Teach Yourself Copywriting: Benefit-Laden Headlines That Sell

by Angela on May 2, 2007

You can teach yourself copywriting (writing for business) because copy is everywhere you look, every day. Because there is so much copy we’re blind to advertising. So when you’re writing copy, your headline determines its success or failure. Some copywriters suggest that your headline is worth around 80 per cent of your copy.

If you don’t grab your readers (or listeners or viewers) with your headline, you’ve lost them. This makes some copywriters desperate, and they indulge in cute, tricky or outrageous headlines which promise much more than the body copy can deliver. Don’t do that. Yes, your headline is important, but if you alienate people there’s little chance they’ll take you up on the offer that you make at the end of your copy.

There are several ways of writing effective headlines. The “benefit” headline will never go out of fashion, because everyone has a “what’s-in-it-for-me” (WIIFM) mindset. We’re all people, and this is the way we are.

Write Headlines That Promise A Benefit To Write Successful Copy

We’re consciously blind to much of the advertising that surrounds us every day, however our subconscious mind is ever-alert to both threats and advantages to our well-being. You can scan a magazine, flipping through the pages without reading the ads, but nevertheless something catches your eye – it’s a graphic, and a headline that offers you a WIIFM benefit, so you read the advertisement because something alerted your subconscious.

When I’m writing copy, I make a list of all the features that a product has. For example, let’s say I’m writing an ad for yoga sandals. These sandals spread the toes, and this helps to improve posture – this is a feature of the product. The product has many other features as well, and I continue to list them.

Next, beside each feature, I write one, or several benefits. A benefit is what the product does for the purchaser. Toe spreading and massaging, for example, improves blood flow in the toes and feet, and helps to ease and prevent arthritic pain in the feet, as well as back pain because of the improved posture.

I write as many features as I can think of, and if the client has customer testimonials, or other feedback, I read the material very carefully looking for benefits which those customers love.

Benefits, Benefits And More Benefits – Give Yourself Plenty Of Choice

When you’re writing copy, benefits are everything, so spend a lot of time thinking about, and researching benefits. One of the payoffs when you do this, is that you’ll find yourself getting excited and enthusiastic, and this tone comes through in your copy.

So there you have it: benefits, the secret not only of writing great headlines, but also of writing great copy. Any copywriter worth his or her salt spends a lot of time on benefits. They’re vital.

Teach yourself copywriting today

Teach yourself copywriting with Angela Booth’s popular “Seven Days To Easy Money: Copywriting Success” ebook

You can visit her blog for the ebook – ask your copywriting questions on the forum. Copywriters are the kings and queens of the writing world: they’re well-paid professional writers, highly sought-after for their skills. If you’d like to become a copywriter you can teach yourself and enjoy a fantastic writing career.

[tags]copywriting,teach yourself copywriting,copywriting headlines,freelance copywriting,start and run a copywriting business,Web copywriting[/tags]

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