Copywriters – Do You Make These Headline Mistakes

This article is for the copywriters that love to swipe successful copy with no rhyme or reason. The headline for your sales letter needs to scream with enthusiasm, yet be completely void of hype. Read on to find out more about newbie headline mistakes.
I selected an over-swiped headline for this article deliberately. There is so much swiping going on in the newbie world of copywriting that it would make the original authors turn over in their graves. You can’t just take a letter and change a few words around and have it work for your market. The tone and the type of product being sold will drive the tone of the letter. You can’t just take a sales letter from one industry and plop it into a completely different one and have the marriage work successfully. Sure this will work in similar situations, but if you are going to swipe, you need to put like copy with like copy.
As far as headlines go, the headline is the foot sticking out in the crowd, trying to trip you and get your attention in the sea of marketing garbage that we are bombarded with every day. If you are a copywriter, you are conrtributing to that sea of bombardment, so you will need to make sure that you are providing the best experience you can to your clients.
You want to grab the person and not allow them to let go until they get their unanswered questions resolved. Create something fascinating and then make them keep reading into the copy for more. Swiping a well-worn headline can work, but there is much more at stake beyond just changing a few words. You need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What are they looking for? What problem do they want to solve? What keeps them up at night? Try to touch as many emotions and feelings as possible. You don’t have to give the whole offer, just enough of a teaser to get the next paragraph of the sales letter read.
Many new copywriters give away the whole offer in a headline that looks more like a paragraph than a title. The classic copywriters like Eugene Schwartz and Gary Halbert used very few words for their headlines, around 7-9. You should consider yours a long headline if it’s over 14 words, and should probably be shortened. Most of your customer will decide if the way to keep going in just a few seconds. If it take them too long just to read the headline, then they won’t even bother waiting around for the rest of the letter.

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