Grabbing Your Prospects Attention

Borrow a headline to fashion your own

Published on June 2, 2011 by Dr Cathy

Lately, I've seen an increase in people standing on the side of the road holding a placard with a screaming headline. "We pay more for your gold." "Prices Reduced." Some of them are waving their placards and others are dressed in outrageous costumes. The whole purpose is to gain attention and pull the prospect into the store front. Will you stand on the roadside like a carnival barker letting everyone know about your business?

I don't know if there are any research statistics as to the effectiveness of this strategy. I can tell you these road side marketers have two things right. You do need to attract attention. A good headline, even on a waving poster, can attract attention if the person driving by is your prospect. The key, of course, is if the person is your prospect.

There are other and better ways to get someone's attention.

First, know who your prospect is. What are their characteristics: income, where they live, educational background and any specific tidbit about those who buy your product or service?

Second, know what will grab your prospect and pull them to you and away from your competition. For instance, is your prospect more interested in price point or in quality? If price is the most important factor, then that's what you focus on. If quality is more important, you don't need to pay attention to cost. You do need to know, however, if price truly is the most important or does your prospect simply need to be educated.

Third, develop a great headline designed to have your prospect do a double-take and read the rest of your advertisement.

There is an art and science to developing a new headline. That doesn't mean you have to be the one to develop it. You can, ethically and legally, take a successful headline and adapt it for your uses. It's simple to do.

Take a headline you like. For the example, "Suppose this happened on your wedding day." This headline tells me there is a good story inside if I keep reading. People love good stories. The key words are, "Suppose this happened..." Your job is to fill in the rest. Let's say you sell life preservers. "Suppose this happened when you were boating."

Right now, take a moment and write down 10 different headlines using the subject of your product or service and plug it into the format, "Suppose this happened..."

Suppose this happened to your web site.
Suppose this happened to your car.
Suppose this happened to your child.
Suppose this happened to your business.
Suppose this happened to your marketing campaign.
Suppose this happened to your dog.
Suppose this happened to your computer.
Suppose this happened to your weight.
Suppose this happened to your eyes.
Suppose this happened to your spouse.

As you're going about your daily activities, pay attention to what attracts your attention from all the advertisements you see. Write it down and find a way to use it for your own marketing. Play around with the key elements of the headline and then substitute the irrelevant words for the ones that apply to you.

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