The speed and immediacy of communication on the web, make the task of a copywriter even more difficult: a user, once landed on your page, will take only a few seconds to judge your content, evaluate its real usefulness and decide whether to continue browsing or abandon it.
And it is precisely in this very short period of time that the competence of a copywriter emerges. In these few seconds, a good communicator must be able, not only to capture the reader's attention, but also to persuade him to continue reading.
How to succeed in this laborious undertaking? Well, first of all, by learning how to create really effective headlines! Here, in this article I want to show you some elements that you should no longer underestimate when writing a headline.
But first, let's be clear: what is a headline really and what makes it different from a pay-off, for example?
Headline and Pay-off: the differences
Headline, Pay-off, Claim, Bodycopy. In short, juggling the English-speaking terms that define advertising communication is not always easy. In general, there is a tendency to make a certain confusion between the headline and the payoff. This is because, in principle, these are phrases in which the copywriter must demonstrate all his skill and creativity.
But let's go in order. Let's see what the headline is, starting from the very definition of this term.
"Title or header of an advertisement or advertising poster, more or less closely related to the visual (see), which summarises the theme of the campaign in a very concise form and is printed in such a way as to attract the attention and interest of the public effectively, with the size and design of the characters" Treccani Vocabulary
There you go, then. Declining the discourse on the web and, in particular, on the writing of texts for sites and blogs, the headline is nothing more than the title of the page we are going to write.
On the contrary, pay-off is the catchy phrase that generally accompanies a logo. In this case, rather than attracting attention, the aim of the pay-off is to represent the values and essence of the company in a few words.
Well, now that we have clearer ideas about what the headline is, let's see some rules to write it really effectively!
How to create an effective headline: the 4 U technique
And that's something we should never underestimate, especially if we do copywriting.
The main rule, therefore, to write a good headline is to get as close as possible to the way we think, to the needs and desires of our potential reader.
To make it as simple as possible, the American Writers Institute has coined the 4 U technique, where each one defines a precise characteristic that our headline should assume. Here it is:
- Urgency: the headline must trigger the urgency, in the reader, to get the specific need we are going to talk about immediately
- Usefulness: the headline must communicate the value, the benefit that the user will get from our text
- Uniqueness: in the headline we have to differentiate ourselves from our competitors
- Ultra-specifical: no flips, but clarity and conciseness!
And if that's not enough...
5 Types of Headline that convince
To write a good headline, in addition to the 4 U technique, just remember that there are at least 5 types of headlines that work. There are, in fact, headline is able to:
- Recommend: "The article you should definitely read to improve your blog"
- Curious: "Here's 5 things you don't know about copywriting."
- Promise: "How to make a really effective headline in just a few steps"
- Telling: "When, and why, I decided to start a blog"
- Inform: "80% of online users do not go beyond the second page of Google: that's why".
These were some suggestions for creating an effective headline. And you, what advice would you give to a copywriter who is about to write his first headline? Write it in the comments!