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Seize Your Reader’s Attention and Erase Doubt From Your Marketing Copy

Drafting the Headline
During the last century, countless advertising and marketing experts have crowned it king of the copy castle— the most critical element in any promotional piece.
This status is well-deserved.
After all, the headline is your first opportunity to grab your prospect’s attention. If you fail to attract eyeballs and communicate a reason to continue reading, then there’s little use for the remaining copy because most people won’t see it.

"On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money." —David Ogilvy, world-famous advertising executive and best-selling author of "Ogilvy on Advertising."

The good news is you don’t have to be a great wordsmith to write powerful headlines. You can simply alter ones that are already written to fit your needs.
Once you understand the inner workings of a powerful headline, you can replace the elements with your own information.
For example, let’s look at this article’s title (which serves the same purpose as a headline on an advertisement or marketing piece). There are at least three words you could change to target a completely different audience. In my opinion, the easiest terms to remove and replace are “Writer’s,” “Creating” and “Headlines.”
If you want to target people who hate crunching numbers at tax time, why not use the headline The Reluctant Accountant’s Guide to Filing Taxes?
If you want to target people who are hesitant about cooking their Thanksgiving turkey, you could try The Reluctant Cook’s Guide to Roasting the Perfect Turkey. Get the idea?
A great source for coming up with headlines is Digg (www.digg.com). A social news website for discovering and sharing content from the Internet, Digg allows its users to determine the value of information using votes (or “diggs”).
When you visit the site, it won’t take you long to notice a trend. Many posts with the most votes on Digg are numbered lists. Here are a few examples from this morning:

5 Ways Restaurants Provide Your With Better Service
Top 5 Food Shortage Nightmares
15 Best Free Windows Mobile Apps

“How to” headlines are also common on Digg. If you study Ogilvy’s ads, you’ll see he frequently used “how to” headlines to tell potential clients about his agency’s expertise ...

How to Create Corporate Advertising That Gets Results
How to Launch New Products
How to Make Your Sales Promotions More Profitable

The reason numbered lists and “how to” headlines are so effective is because they promise readers helpful information. If you use these types of headlines, be prepared to provide valuable content in your body copy so you reward readers for investing their time. You’ll be amazed at how fast you can build credibility and trust with them when you share your knowledge.

7 Quick Ways to Erase Doubt From Your Marketing Copy
Your prospects become suspicious the instant they start reading your marketing materials.
The reaction is only natural. After all, when you’re a prospect and you’re asked to take action on an offer, your internal skeptic alarm goes off, too.
Right?
So you realize you have only a few seconds to reverse your prospects’ thought process and get them on your side. The challenge is figuring out how to complete this transformation.
Here are 7 quick ways to eliminate your prospects’ doubt when they read your marketing copy:

1. Address doubts immediately.
The longer you let suspicions linger, the more you risk your prospects fleeing to another marketing piece that better addresses their concerns. When you deal with objections, you become someone who helps rather than sells.

2. Add personality.
Your copy isn’t just words on a page. If you want interaction, you must view the words you write as a friendly conversation. Prove to your prospects why you’re just like them and you’ll gain credibility.

3. Write the way your prospects talk.
When you “speak” their language, you quickly establish a level of trust. Long words and jargon can create confusion and, in some cases, a sense of inadequacy.

4. Support your claims with proof.
Testimonials, statistics and case studies go a long way in reducing doubt. Your prospects want to know people just like them were successful using your legal services.

5. Encourage involvement.
Ask for opinions or responses to questions. Give prospects a checklist to help determine desires. You can even lead them to an audio, video or photo to engage their senses.

6. Give an escape route.
This means making your offer risk-free. A guarantee or trial period shows confidence in what you offer and allows prospects to test your legal services on their own terms.

7. Deliver value.
When you give freely, your prospects will feel more inclined to return the favor. There’s no substitute for making them feel like you truly care about their needs. Keep in mind, regardless of how well you write your copy, you’ll never get prospects to do anything they don’t want to do. All you can do is capitalize on an unfilled need or desire.

Tom Trush

Tom Trush is a Phoenix-based direct-response copywriter who helps business owners craft lead-capturing marketing materials. He is the author of “The ‘You’ Effect: How to Transform Ego-Based Marketing Into Captivating Messages That Create Customers” and “The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Creating Powerful Marketing Materials: 61 Easy Ideas to Attract Attention and Get More Customers.” More of his educational articles, videos and expert interviews are available on his website at writewaysolutions.com.

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Filed Under: Featured StoriesMarketing

About the Author: Tom Trush is a Phoenix-based direct-response copywriter who helps business owners craft lead-capturing marketing materials. He is the author of “The ‘You’ Effect: How to Transform Ego-Based Marketing Into Captivating Messages That Create Customers” and “The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Creating Powerful Marketing Materials: 61 Easy Ideas to Attract Attention and Get More Customers.” More of his educational articles, videos and expert interviews are available on his website at writewaysolutions.com.

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