Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

Headlines make a difference

Headlines are not just for advertisements. Use them to get your emails and letters read. To quote David Ogilvy, of Ogilvy and Mather, ‘On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.’

For your correspondence, a headline will attract your reader’s attention and set their expectation for what is to come.

1. Be believable.
Most people believe that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Be short.
Never use more than fifteen words.
Use quotation marks.
Eliminate adverbs and adjectives to shorten and remove sensationalism.
Make it easy to read. Don’t use flowery fonts, reverse type, all caps or italics.
Stir emotions. Emotions motivate people into action – the stronger the emotion, the more prompt the action.
3. Here are the top types of communication that appeal to readers:
Humour (i.e. 10 excuses for being late)
Headlines with numbers (i.e. 4 top tips, 10 ways to…)
Controversial topics
Business advice


Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. What is most important? What might be funny, interesting, unusual, a tie-in? After you write your headline, test it against the criteria set for a good headline. Is it truthful? Does it grab the reader’s attention? Does it convey a benefit the reader will be interested in? If a potential headline does not meet these three criteria, rework it or eliminate it.

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