Famous direct response marketer and legendary copywriter David Oglivy once said that 5 times as many people read your headline as read your ad copy. And unless your headline sells your product, you’ve wasted 90% of your advertising dollar.
This truth applies to direct mail, Facebook ads, banner ads, paid searches, traditional ads, and more.
Too many of today’s headlines cripple sales and lead generation because they violate the basic principles of direct response, even when written by professional copywriters!
A powerful headline writing tactic that’s proven itself over and over is one of my favorites. It’s called the “How To” and it works equally well for products and services, whether consumer or business-to-business.
Prospects want useful information and are naturally drawn to tips that make life better, easier, happier, and more profitable.
The “How To” headline must have the sales component of emotion, relevancy, and creativity while sparking interest.
Check out the structure of these magnetic “How to” headlines and see if you don’t agree that what comes after these two timeless words makes all the difference in the attention and readability that your headline gets.
Dual benefits: Place a benefit for prospects before and then after the word “and”.

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People (Book)
  • How to Save Time and Get Things Done (Time Management Coach)

Task + Benefit: Start with what your product or service does, ask yourself what your product’s best benefit it, and use “that” as a transition between the two.

  • How to Scan Legal Documents That Make Compliance Easy (Document Management)
  • How to Get a Mortgage that Saves You Money (Refinancing)

Increase curiosity by starting with “How” and leave out the “to”.

  • How Anyone Can Profit from the Coming Stock Market Crash (Financial Advisor)
  • How One Simple Call Center Tweak Puts More Profit in Your Pocket (800 Service)

Now that you understand the benefits of using a “How to” headline—writing tactic that can increase your response—email if you’ve used a “How To” in your marketing headlines.
Tell me whether or not it pulled response for your business and I’ll tell you my reasons why it performed the way that it did. Call me at (310) 212-5727 or email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

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