Create a Headline That Gets Attention

by G.B. Oliver

I was looking through Craigslist the other day and a headline really stood out to me. It wasn’t because it was in all caps or using asterisks (although sometimes that does help). It stood out because of what it said. It was for a wedding photographer and the headline read:

“DO YOU WANT TO LOVE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS?”

Pretty grabby headline, mostly because the photographer is addressing a need it knows its customers have. Brides (and grooms) want to LOVE their wedding photos. By doing a headline like this, it makes it obvious to me that this photographer gets “it”. They have already convinced me that me loving my photos is their top priority. Very effective.

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Looking through Craigslist further, I saw another grabby headline. It said:

“NEW APARTMENT? HIP ARTWORK FOR SALE”

Again, the poster is reaching out to a potential target market, the new apartment dweller who is probably young and hip and doesn’t have much money. But the point is someone reading this, who does answer “yes” to the question “New Apartment?”, will be drawn to it.

Sometimes a headline can just make you curious enough to click over, even if it is not what you need or are looking for. Again, on Craigslist I saw the following headline:

“FUN, FUNKY & FABULOUS BIRDHOUSES”

Now I’m not in the market for a birdhouse, but I was curious how you could make one fun, funky and fabulous so I did click over to see it was an Etsy shop called, MikeMerritArt. Now, I am not sure if this headline gets tons of traffic for Mike (or better yet sales) but it got my attention. Maybe if he were to add:

“GIFT IDEA FOR THE NATURE LOVER: FUN, FUNKY & FABULOUS BIRDHOUSES”

By adding the “Gift Idea” part you have created a need. So while I may not need one, I am at least now thinking is there someone else I could buy this for. You could ask it in the form of a question, which is also effective:

“NEED A GIFT FOR A NATURE LOVER? CHECK OUT THESE FUN, FUNKY & FABULOUS BIRDHOUSES”

Basically, the best and most effective headlines are when you directly try to answer a customer’s need. Another example:

DO YOU WANT TO MAKE MORE SALES ONLINE? Then my marketing ebooks are a must-have if you want to effectively promote your shop and make more sales, with new ideas for today’s marketplace that you won’t find anywhere else! (see how I worked that in? But seriously, my ebooks really do work!)

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.