0 - Something for Nothing No. 2

     The following is Rule 1 of "The Ten Golden Rules For Successful Advertising". You may download it here and use it with my best wishes for your future business success, at no charge whatsoever. I am confident you will find the techniques listed here not only extremely useful but also totally effective. These are the tried and tested techniques which all successful advertisers use and for which advertising agencies typically charge as much as 1,000 ($1,600) per hour.


C. F. SEARLE ©1994 (Revised 1999)

Rule 1 : The Headline
     The headline should summarise the whole offer. It should grab the eye and make the reader want to read the sub-heading.
     The headline is the big, thick, chunky text at the top of your advert. This is the text which will catch the reader's eye as he or she scans across the page. If the headline doesn't really grab the attention, then your advert will flop. Just take a look at some of the mail-order adverts in the newspapers and magazines and see what terrible headlines they have.
     The headline should intrigue and captivate the reader. Its sole aim should be to make the reader want to read the sub-heading which, in turn, should lead them on to read the body (copy) text. You should take great time and trouble over the headline. For instance:

"This Book Is Worth One Million Pounds"

     Such a headline is intriguing. How might a simple paperback be worth a million pounds? It makes the reader want to read more. Even stronger might be:

"How You Can Give Up Your Job And Make A Million Pounds Instead"

     This is a slightly better headline because it talks about 'YOU', the reader. It's also still as intriguing as the first headline.
     Let us suppose we are going to start a book on home security. Basically, home security is boring. People are scared of crime but it is very hard to sell preventative products. It's much easier to sell desire. But let us see what we can do with this subject. Well, we could start off with something like:

"Crime Figures Up"

     This is, in fact, very bad, but typical of the sort of amateurish approach favoured by so many advertisers. People don't really care about 'crime statistics' because it's boring. What they do care about is their own house or car being broken into. OK, how about this:

"Is Your House At Risk?"

     This is slightly better. It personalises the subject and it does play on people's fear. It's still pretty weak, though. What we should be looking for here is an angle. A headline which will really grab the reader by the throat and force them to read on. We should also be looking to sell a product which entertains as well as informs. No one wants to read a simple, boring textbook on how to improve the security of their home. So, how about:

"How To Burgle Your Own House And Steal Your Own Car"

     This is what's known as a 'killer' headline. You've just got to read on, haven't you? It should also give you an idea of the 'angle'.
     To summarise. Think very carefully about your headline. Make it extremely intriguing or interesting or exciting. If you are selling a straight product, then use a slightly different approach. For straight products, the headline should state what the product is, with a few adjectives in front. This may sound boring, but it is the only approach which works. So, for a Tea Trolley, say, your headline might be:

"New, Italian, Fold-away Tea Trolley"

     There will also be a picture of the product (more on that, later). The picture and the headline simply act to grab the eye of anyone remotely interested in purchasing this type of product.

C. F. Searle ©1994 (Revised 1999)

     If you would like the entire set of "The Ten Golden Rules For Successful Advertising", click the email link (top right) to send me an email to request details.

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