It basically tries to attract the attention of the readers and create curiosity so the audience or reader sees further. The advertiser has four seconds to get the reader’s attention. If you and your advertiser are having a difficult time writing a head line ask them the following two questions.
What would I want to know about this product?
Why should I go here instead of somewhere else?
There are 4 major types of headlines:
- Direct promise of benefit – makes a direct promise about how the product will benefit the reader. Example: It Cleans Your Breath While It Cleans Your Teeth
- News about the product – what is new with the product? Use words like ‘new’, ‘improved’, etc. Example: New Diet Burns Off More Fat Than If You Ran 98 Miles a Week
- Curiosity or provocative – tries to create curiosity about the product. It forces the reader to see the copy of the ad where the promise is made. Example: 9 Out of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact
- Command headlines – the reader is urged to buy the product by promising a reward. Example: Stop Paying Too Much for Car Insurance
This is not always used in ads. However, when the advertiser wants to say a lot at the beginning but the headline cannot do the job, then the subheading is used. The headline and subheading together can contain a longer message. The subheading usually spells out or elaborates the promise made in the headline or it stresses on the product’s unique features.
The headline usually makes a claim, the body copy elaborates upon it and provides supporting proof. When the headline poses a question, the subheading answers it. The amount of detail in an advertisement should be sufficient to answer the questions arising in the minds of a prospective buyer. State the benefits not features – people buy what a product does for them, not what the ingredients are. Example of a furnace: don’t say 80,000 BTU; say it will lower your electric bills
Call to Action:
Create a sense of urgency, tell the reader to do something. Offer a free trial, discount, or percentage off. Maybe add a coupon that expires soon.
The advertiser should show their product when possible. If the graphic takes more than 50% of the ad space it increases readership by 50%.
A logo is important because it allows the manufacturer or merchant to identify their goods and distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. However, it should never be used as the headline. The customer makes a purchasing decision by what a product does for them, not because a client’s logo is good.
Business Contact Information:
Address, Phone Number, Hours of Operation, Website, Map, Credit Card Icons