The following headline is unique in that it doesn’t address a common problem that readers will be itching to solve. “Problem” headlines are a great way to go with an unproven item or service:
“Are you feeling crippled by the side effects of your medication?”
“Do you lie awake at night wondering when the ax will fall on your job?”
“Will your child make it into a great college…and what if they don’t?”
Your target market should immediately understand what you’re addressing with a problem headline, and it should resonate. The problem should be something they think about, maybe every day, maybe something that does keep them awake at night.
But today’s analysis highlights a headline hints at a problem the reader probably wasn’t thinking about – “Gee, maybe this is more serious than I thought…?”
It’s an old headline, a classic, and you’ve probably seen it before:
Do You Make These Mistakes In English?
The ad copy (which you can find online) elaborates a little on the problem and points to a solution. But the headline draws the reader into the copy with a challenge that can be taken up immediately – “these mistakes” – and who wouldn’t read on if they could immediately test their English skills?
The ad was a success, and Sherman Cody was able to sell his language course for decades.
What makes this powerful is the Now factor – the promise that by reading the ad you’ll get some benefit. And you’ll get to have a little fun.
It’s a tough formula, and not used nearly as often as it could be. Deluged with ads overt and covert, people are wary, and weary. By being a bit more creative in your ad copy, you can use the Now factor to great benefit.
7 Deadly Mistakes of Website Content
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