If you are a small to medium business that runs your own marketing campaigns out of necessity you know how hard it is to come up with fresh ideas to continually create content that draws people in. With this blog we wanted to show a few devices that we use to start the creative process flowing, or as a starting block to leap from. Many of them will be familiar as they are in a format that is well used, but you need to take the idea and make it your own. The chances are – if it’s familiar, it’s been proven effective and works well. As you practise them you will find your way of expressing them and be able to make up your own.
The media you are using will often dictate what type of headline or CTA (Call to action) that will be best employed, but a little research will make it clear what will work and what won’t. Have a clear plan to what you want that particular media to achieve. If it’s a blog, what is the reader’s takeaway you want to create? If it’s web site content, what information is relevant and how will you present it? All this is important to making your content readable and attractive.
One thing every article, blog or content needs is an excellent headline.
There are several ways to construct an excellent headline that motivates people to click through to your article, but it’s worth taking the time to explore your options, play with the words and get the headline right. Some writers never write without the title in place, others wait until it comes organically as they create the article – there is no ‘winning’ effective method and you may end up using both at different times.
One style of piquing reader’s interest is a ‘promise’ headline. This is where the words ‘promise’ information. They are often very assertive, creating confidence in the content and present it as desirable. This type of headline works well for blogs and articles but you always need to ‘think big’. The more tantalizing the title, the more likely the information is to be read, but be warned. If you promise something big make sure you follow it through and deliver what you promise.
Here is a list of standalone titles that work and just need the focus of your blog to be added:
Who Else Wants…?
The Secret of ….
Here is a Method of/to… Helping to …
Little known Ways to …
Get Rid of (insert problem) Once and For All
Now You Can Have…
Quick Ways to …
(Do something) Like (Insert world class example) IE: Play Soccer Like David Beckham
Have a/Build a (Insert focus) You/Others can be proud of
What Everyone Needs to Know About …
Get an Unfair Advantage by …
If you can’t find the one you want, there is a great list here:
Another style of headline is a ‘sales headline’. These based around questions or situations where you present value in reading that the consumer has to gain from. Sales headlines can be used for most types of marketing with them particularly suited to blog, web content and email marketing. They create an atmosphere of urgency and necessity so that the lead feels they have no choice but to read further.
The personalizing a headline based on the ideas below will give you the most sales with the least amount of effort. They may seem trite and overused, but they really do work. Play with them. Think about what you can write or create with one, then build from there. Some themes work better than others, so move it arouns until you are happy your sales headline speaks to your customer. Take the time to get good at them and your marketing fails will be limited.
Use a Testimonial Headline (XXX Company uses YYY Product and gets Fabulous Results)
Offer the Reader a Test (Can Your Kitchen Pass the Guest Test?)
Offer Information in Value (7 Marketing Ideas you Cannot Live Without)
Tell a Story (How This Young Man Made a Difference)
Warn the Reader to Delay Buying (Don’t buy XXX Until you Have Read This Article)
Let the Advertiser Speak Directly to the Reader (Write the entire ad in the first person and speak directly to the reader)
Address Your Headline to Specific Person or Group (I suggest you address your target market – If You Are Buying a New Car, Read This First)
Have Your Headline Ask a Question (How do Everyday People Succeed?)
Offer Benefits Through Facts and Figures (Why164,678 People Chose XXX)
Headline builders are tools that stimulate ideas with a ‘Fill in the blank’ model. If you’re really wondering how you are going to grab your audience’s attention then they are a good idea. They can also help with writers block. As you fill in the blanks and play with them the creative juices will flow and you may just find a great subject to write about.
Here are a few easy to use ones:
In titles and headlines you write for yourself need to make sure they contain words that stimulate action or anticipation. These are the types of word that make the reader stop scrolling, or make them click open, because they are dynamic. With a bit of practise you will easily include these words in the headlines naturally and create an atmosphere of anticipation.
Use dynamic, atmospheric words in your headline like those listed below. To make it easier to see how effective they are we have included samples:
Now announcing the secrets to acne treatment
Announcement: Going out of business sale!
How to Discover the Secrets to Better Budgeting
Discover the Secrets of Business Success!
Now Announcing This New Secret That Everybody Is Talking About!
Discover New Secrets to Weight Loss!
The Time To Buy Is Right Now.
There Has Never Been a Time Like Right Now to Learn a New Language!
Order Now for Your Amazing New Kit
Now Introducing the Most Amazing New Vacuum Cleaner
Facts (You Should Know):
Facts You Should Know About Healthcare
Facts You Should Know About Weight Loss
Click Here For Your Breakthrough New Report
Now Announcing a Medical Breakthrough
At Last, an Easy Way to Make Money Online!
At Last, the Answers You Deserve!
Advice to Lower Your Mortgage Payments by Half!
Advice on How to Stop Acne Before It Happens!
Do You Want to Know the Truth of How to Lose Weight?
At Last, Learn the Truth of How to Live a Better Lifestyle
How to Protect Your Family Even When You Are Away From Home
At Last, a Secure Way to Protect Your Investments
Here’s How to Live the Life You’ve Always Dreamed About
Discover the Secrets to a Happy Love Life
Here, You Will Find What You Have Been Looking For
If You Want to Get Rich Online, Start Here
Discover the Secret New Way to Protect Your Investment
Here is Where You Will Discover Secrets That Will Change Your Life
Yes, At Last, Your Search Is Over!
Yes, You Have Found a Free Report!”
Looking For a Bargain? Look No Further!
Now Introducing the Best Bargain You’ll Ever Find Online
Do You Want to Discover Your True Potential?
Do You Want to Buy a Bargain?
Here Is How to Protect The Family You Love While You Are Away From Home
Looking For a Bargain? You’ll Love This!
Do You Hate Spam As Much As We Do? Read On!
How Much Do You Hate Your Sky-High Interest Rate?
You Have No Idea How Much This Will Change Your Life
How Much Is Too Much to Change Your Life?
How Would You Like to Lower Your Mortgage Payment?
How Would You Like to Win a Free Vacation to the Bahamas?
This Idea Can Change Your Life!
This Is Your Chance to Change Your Life
Previously Only Shared to 200 People
Only You Can Decide
Buy Now – This Is a One Time Sale!
Don’t Walk Away From the Greatest Bargain Sale!
Download Your Free Report!
570 Free Sales Letters and Business Forms!
You Are the Only Person Who Can Change Your Life
You Must Act Now
How to Make Money Online Fast
How to Design Your Own Golf Course
To create urgency or desirability, use words other dynamic words like efficient, attractive, necessary, fabulous, surprising, gorgeous, shocking, amazing, exciting, effective or any other description that induces the reader to action.
Calls to action are another important element of sales ‘copy’. If you do not require your audience to perform some action you will never have them engaged. Successful copy has three important elements:
The pattern is you grab them, draw them in, and then make them act – all by using words. If you leave out any one of these stages your marketing will not be effective because you demand nothing of your leads. The more you engage them, the more they bond to your ‘brand’ and more loyal they becomes.
Calls to action are a lot of work and organization. You need a web site or marketing platform that can add them, and administer the action behind them. Simple CTA’s are a download of cheat sheet or paper, sign up for a newsletter or to read another article/blog/landing page. This sounds complicated, but it worth the effort as you can capture all kinds of information that is important. You can build up email databases for email marketing campaigns, know what your customer is interested in and offer free trials that are a valuable source of sales.
In an ideal world all your content will have a CTA and a purpose.
Effective CTA’s need some thought as they need to attract the user and convert them into a lead. Styles go in cycles, like fashion does, and the current style is to be less formal and friendlier. You will see many that say, ‘We want you to be part of the team, join us – click here’, or ‘Can’t wait to hear from you, click here’, type of sentiments.
Start it with action-oriented verbs
One of the rules of effective copywriting is to use verbs to encourage your words to take action. But don’t just include any verb; use action-oriented ones like:
Remember that without an action-oriented verb in your CTA, your audience won’t be encouraged to do anything.
Here are some examples to consider and adjust to your circumstance:
When you have your words, design a button that uses color and style to attract people. There are many templates available in the internet so you are sure to find one that suits your article. When it is designed, think carefully about the placement. Try and introduce it naturally into the text above the fold so it can be seen without scrolling down. Lead the writing into it with a question that the CTA will answer.
By working through the steps listed above to create a great title and CTA you’ll be able to create a headline and CTA that will convert readers into leads, and make it easy to get your online real estate working at full capacity for your brand. What more could you want?