The worst headline in the world

The great David Ogilvy once wrote:

“When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

i.e. 80% of your effort in a sales letter should go into the headline.

It's like the subject line in an email. If you don't capture your prospect's interest there, you have no hope of getting them to read what follows.

A headline needs to do a lot.

Provoke curiosity, identify with the prospect, offer a solution. Above all it needs to keep them reading

One tried and tested way to do this is to leave an unanswered question.

But not like this….

“Why look any further than your bank?”

Let's think of a few reasons shall we?

Because I'm on first name terms with at least three financial advisers.

Because the account I have with you is just for fun money, so you have no real idea what my income & spending looks like.

Because your own finances were so bad you had to be bailed out by the tax-payer less than a decade ago.

There's three. I could go on a lot longer.

Note this isn't a bitch at this bank, (well maybe the last one is), it's just a list of answers to their question and every single one of them leads me further away from them.

And to think that when I opened their letter this morning I wasn't even thinking about them. Now I'm thinking of reasons why I don't trust them with my money!

Copy is incredibly important but increasingly forgotten amongst the technology of marketing.

Just being able to bash out words on a computer doesn't mean they're good words. There are bad words too you know (and I don't even mean f**k).

Words that can drive your prospects away from you and towards your competition.

If you can't get that across. If you can't clearly state the reason why a customer should buy from you. If you leave that answer up to them, you've not mastered Positioning, the 1st “P” of The MAPPED Method.

Find out how well you do here:

http://themappedmethod.com

Stephen Pratley

I've spent 20 years building huge email lists and prospect databases for the UK's biggest retail, media and technology brands. Now you can learn the same tactics for your own business.

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