Whether it’s a free report, a sales letter, email or some other type of marketing promotion, the first (and arguably most important) step is to get people to stop what they’re doing and pay attention to you.
This point was brought home by a great advertising headline I saw this morning that incorporates many of the elements of a great hook. Let’s analyze it.
The headline is:
Memory Pill Does for the Brain What Prescription Glasses Do for the Eyes, Claims US Surgeon General Candidate
Now bear with me for a moment…I know you don’t sell vision improvement pills. But, the lessons from this ad are helpful, regardless of what you offer. So what makes this headline effective?
First, the ad anchors what they are offering with something that we already know to be true. Linking the result of the memory pill to prescription glasses, is extremely clever. Think about your business for a moment. In most cases (especially for advisors and experts) your results don’t become evident until after someone hires you. Thus the challenge is, how can I demonstrate results in advance?
One way of doing this is by linking the results your clients achieve, with other “generally accepted” results. The “linked” results don’t even have to be in the same category as yours. If you find that your prospects have a hard time really understanding and getting the benefits of what you offer, this can be a good tool for helping them make the mental leap.
Second…notice the credibility spokesman who’s quoted in the headline. The use of spokespeople is often underused in marketing services. Naturally there are exceptions such as the work being done by Market Masters Legal.
Now, I’ll concede that this ad is a bit too cute for its own good when it phrases the credibility expert as a “US Surgeon General Candidate”. I suppose any MD would technically be qualified to be a candidate for the Surgeon General’s position, but the point of using a credibility spokesperson is a valid one.
Finally, many people assume that headlines need to be short. I’m not sure who made that “rule” but it’s really little more than an urban myth. My friend and copywriting coach John Carlton created a multi-million dollar sales letter with the headline:
Amazing Secret Discovered By
One Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards
To Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks
and Slices…And Can Slash Up To
10 Strokes From Your Game
As an aside, you can watch an interesting video of John dissecting the ad HERE
So…why are the headlines so important?
Marketing is all about building blocks. The success of step 4 in the process depends upon each previous step being successful.
If no one requests your free report you (obviously) can’t stay in touch with them. And if you can’t do that, your chances of building a relationship and converting them from idle prospect into actual client are…well you know the rest.
I’m a believer that in this day and age of endless clutter, you need to be a little bit outrageous in order to get people to pay attention.
So, what does that mean for how you’re promoting your business?
Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Sales Letter, Atlanta Advertising Firm, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube