What is the most important part of an advertisement? Is it the price? Is it the unique combination of features and benefits? Is it the picture? Is it the main section of the ad? Is it the headline? As you probably guessed, although all these items are important, the single most important part of an advertisement is the headline. Let’s notice two different of advertising headlines that generated large responses and why these headlines worked so much better than the original ad’s headline.
The importance of the headline
The success of an entire advertisement may stand or fall based on what is said in the headline. In fact, studies show that the headline is 50-75 percent responsible for the success of failure of the advertisement! Headlines compete for our attention, not just from other headlines, but also from all the little things that are constantly pulling at our attention. This all ads up to a decision made in the space of a couple of seconds or less, to read or skip the ad based largely on the effectiveness of the headline in captivating attention.
Headline Example 1
Headline A: “John Smith made $110,000 the first year writing motion picture scenarios.”
Headline B: “John Smith sold his first motion picture scenario for $9,000 one month after completing this Course.”
Both ads were for a correspondence course. Headline B drew a much larger response than Headline A. The reason was that it was easier for people to imagine themselves making $9,000 than it was for them to imagine themselves making $110,000. The benefit featured in your headline must be something that your audience can relate to. The more strongly that they can relate to the benefit or result that you are featuring, the better the response to your ad will be.
Headline Example 2
Headline A: “ARE YOU AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES IN ENGLISH?”
Headline B: “DO YOU MAKE THESE MISTAKES IN ENGLISH?”
Although both ads were identical except for the headline, the results they brought in were anything but similar. Headline B produced a much bigger response than Headline A. The reason is that Headline A is fairly boring. Headline B, on the other hand, grabs the reader’s attention by arousing curiosity and self-interest to see if they are making the blunders described below in the rest of the advertisement.
The impact that a headline has on the success or failure of what is advertised is huge. Make sure your headlines are interesting – feature the benefits of your product /service or arouse the curiosity of the reader. There are a variety of factors that go into crafting the ideal ad headline. Split testing your advertising headlines will allow you to determine which headline produces the largest response among your audience.