Create More Effective Headlines

Answered by Brendan Talty

What are some tried and true rules for direct mail headlines?

Ponder this: While 75% of your target audience will read your headline, only 25% will keep on reading inside your direct mail package.

A good headline will draw many more marginal readers into the meat of your offer – and that translates directly to bottom line dollars. Spending extra time on creating a truly compelling lead for your direct mail package can yield big dividends. No, it’s not always easy to craft a fresh, pithy and convincing message, but here are a few guidelines to get you started:

  1. Appeal to your reader’s self-interest. For example, “I lost 10 pounds in only 10 days!”

  2. Stop readers in their tracks with a jarring message. Whatever you choose to say, though, must be supported elsewhere in your package.

  3. Keep your headline to a max of 10-15 words. Short definitely is sweeter. And don’t forget to make your headline “pop” by using large bold letters.

  4. If you are using a photo or illustration, place the headline below the image. Studies have proven that this is a much more natural and effective placement.

  5. Speak about “me” if at all possible. A headline written in first person will out-perform one in third-person eight times out of ten.

© Copyright Print Buyers, Inc.