Rules of engagement

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Do you want more customers? I know I do. The secret to this is engagement with the reader. It doesn’t matter whether this is on a website, in a store, in a letter or on a flyer, the rules of engagement matter! You need to grab the reader’s attention immediately. To do this you need to get a grasp of copywriting. But what’s copywriting I hear you ask? Here’s what good old Google has to say about it: Copywriting is … [t]he art and science of … strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action.  But how do we do this? Let’s find out…

Rules of engagement Part 1 – The headline.

The first step to writing great content is the headline. This is what attracts your attention and is the most important part. It needs to be right. It needs to reach out and grab you by the shirt while screaming “READ ME” at the top of its voice. The 4 U’s are a great starting point for this.

  1. Create a sense of Urgency in your title.
  2. Give your reader something Unique to read.
  3. Is there something Useful that you can relay?
  4. When possible, be Ultra-Specific.

Your headline doesn’t have to meet all 4 of these criteria but meeting one is the bare minimum you should be aiming towards. For example, “Do you know you are losing customers?” will create a sense of urgency but is neither unique nor ultra-specific. “Do you know your website is losing customers?” is better as it now contains specifics. However, “Do you know your website is losing customers? We can help prevent this!” also adds the Useful part as well but adds extra length to the headline. Once you have written your headline, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does your headline offer the reader a reward for reading?
  2. What specifics could you add to make your headline more intriguing and believable?
  3. Does your headline trigger a strong, actionable emotion the reader already has about the subject at hand?
  4. Does your headline present a proposition that will instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?
  5. Could your headline benefit from the inclusion of a proposed transaction?
  6. Could you add an element of intrigue to drive the prospect into your opening copy?

For example, the title of this post “Rules of engagement” is both unique and specific but also add’s a hint of intrigue as it is quite an ambiguous statement. 9 times out of 10 it will probably be read and taken out of context which hooks the readers curiosity – this is what makes them read on. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece. Well, that’s enough of me talking for now. I’ll be digging deeper into this subject in my next post where i will be giving further tips for writing great content. If you want to keep on following (and I hope you will!), please sign up for my newsletter.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all soon!

Gaz.

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