Do you have ADHD? I don’t mean in the traditional, diagnosed medical sense. But exhibit the symptoms regardless?confusion

You’re connected every waking moment. Constantly check emails, Twitter, Facebook etc. Sleep with your mobile phone under your pillow and the first thing you do in the morning (while still in bed) is check what’s happening in the world.

You flit from item to item – barely giving each a second’s thought.

Until something catches your attention and you delve deeper, focusing in.

Your prospects are no different. They ALL have ADHD!

Over the last few articles we’ve discussed 2 core concepts. How to select your market and the media to get in front of them.

Today we’ll concentrate on one way to effectively communicate – via your marketing message.

You have between 1 to 3 seconds to engage a new visitor who lands on your website, sees your Twitter post or Facebook update before they click away.

So you need a big hook. Something that catches and keeps their interest while providing a big benefit.

Enter the “Headline”.

Your headline is one of the most important parts of any marketing copy. It’s designed to catch interest and get your prospect to read more.

Gossip magazines and newspapers have this down pat. Their headlines are designed to evoke primal curiosity and/or make bold claims designed to encourage you to read more and buy the magazine.

From Australian Men’s Health Magazine:

“How To Torch 1,000 Calories: In one hour, your weekend indiscretions will be history.”

“The Daily Habits of the World’s Most In-Shape Men”

Interested in investing in property? These are from Australian Property Investor:

“Smiley ‘appy people – The apps that help you profit from property”

“Pretty Vacancy Rates – 50 Suburbs where rental demand exceeds supply”

Every one of these headlines evokes curiosity and/or promotes a benefit drawing readers in.

Your marketing copy must do the same.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling homes, specialised machinery, financial planning or plumbing.

If you can’t get your audience to read your ad, what’s the point?

Want to write great headlines? Remember this formula:

I = B + C

All great headlines which have stood the test of time incorporate 2 critical elements. Curiosity and Benefit.

So Interest = Benefit plus Curiosity

Curiosity gets us interested. Implying a benefit makes us want to read more.

Robert Collier, one of the 20th Century’s best known copywriters put it best. “You must get into the conversation in your prospect’s head.”

Ergo, what do they want? What do they want to avoid? What pain or frustration, wants or desires drive them?

Take golfers.

They’re a rabid lot. Once they’ve got the bug they’ll spend inordinate amounts on coaching and improving their game.

They live it, breathe it and can’t get enough, rain, hail or shine.

Every serious golfer I know wants to reduce their handicap. Many just want to hit the ball further without hooking or slicing it.

As a golfer, what would your reaction be if you read this from the late, great, Gary Halbert?

“How does an 84 year old woman with extreme arthritis, a fractured knee…and…a torn rotator cuff humiliate young, expert golfers by hitting every tee shot out of sight straight down the fairway?”

You get the idea.

But of course, while the headline is an extremely important component of any marketing copy, you must also have a structure for the rest of the piece.

Something we’ll get into in another article. Look out for it.

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