When I think of a “headline,” the first image that always pops into my brain is some kid in a black and white movie, standing on the corner, holding up the day’s paper, and screaming to the passersby, “EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!”
The men and women on the street very often stopped what they were doing, flipped the kid some change, and tore into the paper to see what could possibly be so special that it deserved its own headline.
That is exactly what you want people to do when they open their mailbox and see what you’ve gifted them! You only get one chance at a first impression, and your postcard’s headline can (and I’m extremely serious) make or break what your readers do next.
The Franklin Agency tells us that, “Ultimately, a headline’s job in any setting is to categorize the information for us and immediately tell us if something is worth investing [in].” We take that a bit further and tell you there are four different types you should consider when crafting your own uber effective headlines.
- Command Headlines – Just Do It! Telling your reader to do something in the headline is an effective way to grab their attention and motivate them. These kinds of headline are 100% direct. But they MUST always strike a positive and assertive tone. (Example: Cut your Office’s Energy Consumption in HALF with Efficient Solar Panels!)
- Question Headlines – These really tend to stick out to the reader. Ask the reader a question – any question – and they subconsciously answer it in their head. The best question headlines therefore tend to expect a yes from the customer. Keep it positive. Unless you’re asking a client if they like mold, don’t give them the option of associating your offer or business with ‘no’. Lead them in the right direction with strong questions that invoke, or even imply, a ‘yes’ response. (Example: Would You Like to Have an Extra $500 EVERY Month?)
- Big Benefit Headlines – Tell the reader what your product does that your competition’s does not. Overload their decision to consider you the best option by giving them the three main benefits they’ll get if they buy your product. Be concise, create curiosity, and make them want to find out more about those benefits. (Example: Isn’t It Time Your Business Enjoyed Fast, Secure, and Affordable Web Hosting?)
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Headlines – Businesses use USPs to tout the fact that their products are bigger, stronger, faster, and cheaper. USPs can provide significant visual impact especially if your business is in a saturated market. The more eyes you have on your product or service, the better. (Example: Presenting the Lightest Laptop in the World – A Must-Have for the Frequent Business Traveler!)
What kinds of headlines do you respond to in your own mailbox? Are they compelling? Do they grab your attention? Does it feel like they’re setting the theme for the entire postcard?
Take advantage of the fact that you’ve stolen a ‘moment’ with the reader. It’s just your business and the reader. She’s giving you three seconds of her valuable time. You’ve got one chance to get this right. With that one phrase, that one question, that one statement, you must let the reader know what she could possibly gain from reading any further.
Even though you’re not exactly telling Fancy this is her one chance and not to let you down, headlines carry an enormous amount of weight. Give Opportunity Knocks a call at 1 (866) 319-7109. We’ve helped tens of thousands of small businesses in nearly every industry introduce themselves to prospects with outstanding postcards and headlines that, well, stand out.