As promised, here is the next installment of techniques for writing that powerful headline for your promotional flyer. Part 1 talked about using word play, being direct, using the best selling point, announcing exciting news, and the how-to technique. Here are a few more headline formulas:
- ASK A THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTION
This is a question that directly addresses your reader. It should be something that your readers have already asked themselves one way or another– not only does this show that you empathize with them, but it also indicates that you have an answer or solution. Pose the question in such a way that it will state a major benefit from your offer, and would trigger a “yes” response, or at least spark your reader’s interest to know more.
- “Ever had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere?” (roadside assistance)
- “Did your dog chew your favorite slippers again?” (pet obedience school)
- ISSUE A COMMAND
Directly telling your readers what to do gets your message across in very few words. This type of headline allows you to provide a benefit while creating the impression that you are someone with the authority to do so – not because you are bossy or imposing, but because you are in the position to know what you are talking about. This approach is effective because it meets your readers head-on (they become involved in the message), and telling them to do something triggers that first step in making a sale. Consider these slogans that make commanding headlines:
- “Save Money. Live Better.” (Walmart)
- “Own a Jaguar at a price of a car.” (Jaguar)
- USE TESTIMONIALS
A testimonial headline is powerful because it comes from real people. This reinforces what you are offering because you present an offer and an endorsement at the same time. Having the right testimonial also appeals to readers because it lets them know what other people think of your product or service; the testimonial is social proof. Be careful in choosing testimonials though; if it sounds too good to be true, you might risk losing your reader’s trust.
- “The best sleep I’ve had in years!” (mattress company)
- “I lost 120 pounds and won $500!” (beach body challenge)
- EXTEND AN INVITATION
This is a more polite version to issuing a command. Being less aggressive, this technique is best reserved for products or services that have a refined or elite character. It’s not pushy, yet “invites” your readers to check out what you have to offer.
- “Come join our reading breakthrough.” (learning program)
- “Join us for a weekend of pure relaxation.” (resort and spa)
- MAKE A LIMITED-TIME OFFER
This is similar to the direct approach headline but with emphasis on urgency. This also works well if your offer is specific to certain items, or if your offer has certain stipulations. This is especially effective for retail stores.
- “Last chance to get 50% off on silk blouses!”
- “Get free shipping through Friday.”
These are just guidelines on how to formulate a headline that will capture your reader’s attention. Paired with eye-catching design, you will get your flyers read and responded to by more potential customers.