Headlines, subheadings and preheadlines: writing sales copy that attracts the reader

Headlines grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. But once they’re willing to read beyond the headline, he must continue to engage and hold their attention throughout the sales letter. We achieve this with subtitles and pre-titles.

Subheadings and preheadlines are written to get your reader closer to your sales copy. When you start your captions with phrases like “what if,” “imagine what if,” or “think about it,” people begin to imagine themselves living the story in their own imagination. Your imagination is more powerful and more personal than anything we can imagine.

When you’re first writing your web copy, start writing as many headlines as you can think of. There are many good books that give examples of headlines that you may find attractive. Think about what is important to the person you are writing to. What will happen if they use your product or service? What will happen if they don’t? Are you appealing to something that is painful for them, like the need to lose weight or not having enough business? Or are you going to provide them with a pleasant experience with your product or service, such as helping them find a new job? Put yourself in their shoes and write anything you think might get their attention. Then, put everything you’ve written aside for a day or so.

When you go back to your list of headlines, see which one catches your eye and grabs your attention. That will be your headline. Now check out the others and see which ones don’t address the needs of your readers. Throw them. The rest of the headlines you have written will become your preheadlines and subheadlines. They will be used throughout your sales copy to further bring your reader closer to your product or service.

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