I have a confession to make.
I hate spending money.
Yep, nothing stresses me out more than spending a sizeable chunk of hard-earned cash on something I don’t need.
Because the products are usually a waste of both my time and dollars.
Sure. I enjoy spending money on books and audio programs about copywriting, marketing, science and anything else that I’m interested in. Mostly books though, ‘cos some of those audio programs fetch a high price.
The higher the price, the higher the stress levels.
This is exactly how I feel when I see nanotech companies throwing away marketing dollars by writing terrible headlines.
Those terrible headlines come with a high price. Lower open rates, lower click-through rates, fewer leads… and ultimately fewer sales.
The most important part of your copy
I mean think about it.
Think about the last email or magazine you opened. Or the last white paper you downloaded.
What made you open and read it?
The headline, right?
It’s no exaggeration when I say a great headline is the number one requirement for a solid marketing piece. It’s THE most important part of your copy.
Because, as the late John Caples so eloquently put it:
“If the headline of an advertisement is poor, the best copywriters in the world cannot write copy that will sell the product. Because if the headline is poor, the copy will not be read”.
And if the copy isn’t read then you don’t generate leads or make sales.
It’s that simple.
But… most technology firms mess this up by trying to be too creative with their headlines or not learning what works and what doesn’t.
Whatever way you look at it, learning how to craft magnetic headlines that gets your marketing opened and read is one of the most important skills you can develop.
Now, there are two types of headlines used in marketing B2B and high-tech.
The first is the teaser headline.
A teaser headline does what it says on the tin and attempts to generate curiosity in the reader by ‘teasing’ them into opening the email or downloading the white paper. The headline usually has nothing to do with what’s in the rest of the copy.
What’s the problem with a teaser headline?
Only this: a teaser headline is essentially a bet.
You’re betting on the reader opening the rest of your piece because the headline is so intriguing and creative.
If you read the issue ‘Las Vegas, Marketing and A Lesson Learned’ a couple weeks ago, you know you don’t want to be placing your precious marketing dollars on a bet.
Trust me. You can waste a lot of time trying to be creative and intriguing with a teaser headline in the hope that this will get your copy noticed.
But, as David Ogilvy once said:
if it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative
So what kind of headline should you write?
That brings us to the second type: the benefit headline.
This headline implies that the reader will get some kind of benefit when he reads the rest of the copy.
This might be to save time, improve productivity, save money, get things done faster, comply with regulations more easily, improve sales, get the edge on the competition etc.
Putting benefits into your copy is copywriting 101, so you might be tempted to overlook it.
Don’t make this mistake.
Benefit headlines work. Period.
The reason they work so well is they follow a proven and time-tested formula.
So do yourself a favour and stick to writing benefit headlines. A proven formula will always work better than misdirected creativity.