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Top 3 Reasons Why Your Headlines Fail

Additional Reading

by George Dodge

Many professional copywriters estimate that the headline contributes 80% or more of the success of any ad, article, or sales letter.

One direct marketing expert goes so far as to credit the headline with 100% of the success or failure of any ad or sales letter, because if the headline fails to pull the reader into the main body of the ad or sales copy, then there is no chance of success!

Think about how you read a newspaper or magazine. Do you start with the first article and then read every word from front to back of the publication?

Of course not!

Instead, you quickly scan the headlines, looking for something that interests you, either because of curiosity or because there might be something in it for you. You skip over all the rest!

Well, guess what. That's the same way your readers view your ad, article, sales letter, or sales page.

So, here are the three main reasons for headline failure.

1. You Fail To Grab Your Reader's Attention!

Your headline serves as the ad for your ad, article, or sales letter. Its' mission is to grab the reader's attention, stop them dead in their tracks and get them to want to read further down into the article. If your headline fails in its' purpose, then the whole ad, article, or sales letter will fail because they will never get read!

2. You Fail To Tell The Reader What Is In It For Them To Continue Reading!

Where possible, your headline should present your strongest benefit to the reader. If the reader can identify a want they have with finding a solution to that want in your ad, article, or sales letter, then they will continue reading. If they don't see any benefit to reading on, they won't. Remember, it is all about what is in it for them, the reader.

3. You Fail To Connect With The Reader!

If your headline is not addressed to the reader, they will not be interested in what you have to say in the rest of your ad, article, or salesletter. There must be a match between the message and the target audience, of which the reader is a member.

So, in summary, if your headline doesn't stop your reader dead in their tracks and get them to read further into your copy, then all is for naught!

The time it takes a reader to scan most headlines and decide whether or not to stop and read your copy or move on is less
than 3 seconds!

As a result, many professional copywriters spend as much time creating their headlines as they do for the rest of
their copy.

Creating 100 or so headlines before picking the headline which the writer feels is most likely to succeed is not

Alternative headlines can often be used as sub headlines in long copy. These sub headlines help pull the reader further along into the copy and towards the ultimate goal of a sale.

Be sure to give your headlines the time and effort they deserve and they will reward you with sizable sales.

Copyright 2005 About the Author: George Dodge has worked on the Internet since 1994 developing, and serving as webmaster for, numerous government and commercial websites. One of his commercial sites focusing on headline copywriting is http://www.Headline-Creator-Pro.com where you can get your copy of a headline generating software that enables you to create winning headlines quickly with push-button ease.


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