Headline IQ: Are You Including These 7 Elements?

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When it comes to marketing, did you know that while 80 percent of people will read the headlines, only 20 percent will read any farther? That is quite a sobering statistic when you stop to consider all of the hard work that goes into your marketing efforts.

However, there is good news. You can increase you chances of your prospects reading your entire marketing message, by including 7 elements in your headlines. Now, not every headline has to have all 7 elements, but the more that you can include and have your marketing message read smoothly, the better. Read on to find out what 7 elements you need to include in your marketing.

Headline Tip # 1:

The problem- In a previous post I wrote about targeting your audience in your headline. When you include the problem in the headline, you automatically target your audience and let them know that what you have to say is for them. Example: Headache pain? For the next 10 days you can get relief of your headache pain forever at a low introductory price!

Headline Tip # 2:

The Solution: When people take the time to read beyond your headline, they are looking for a solution to their problem. When you include or imply the solution in your headline, you instantly grab their attention. They want to find out what the solution is. You have given them hope that there is an answer for their problem.

Headline Tip # 3:

Scarcity-Nothing will make a person feel like a member of an exclusive club more than believing that they are getting something that few other people have. It is just part of human nature and is a powerful magnet to include in your marketing message.

Headline Tip # 4:

Believability- Long gone are the days of hypey sales material, at least if you want to make any sales that is. Society today has ultra sensitive B.S. radar. If your copy makes someones’ antennae start bleeping faster than a cricket in the middle of fall, you won’t even rate as a memory in their mind as they click away. Make it believable.

Headline Tip # 5:

Ease of Use- Let’s face it, people are busier today than they ever have been. If your solution has too many steps or even looks complicated, people will quit reading your marketing message.

Headline Tip # 6:

A time element- Headlines that include a time element convert better than  ones that do not. You can incorporate a time element by telling people how quickly they will achieve results with the product, or by making the time element part of the offer or the guarantee. As a side note, it is more effective to include the number in the headline instead of spelling it out.   Examples: Headache pain?  Get relief of your headache pain in 15 minutes at a low introductory price! or Headache pain? You can get relief of your headache pain forever at a low introductory price! 30 day money back guarantee.

Headline Tip # 7:

Curiosity- One of the most potent human motivators in marketing is curiosity. When people are curious about something, they can’t stand it until they find the answer. Incorporate curiosity into your headlines and you will keep them reading your marketing message to find the answer. Example: How this housewife cured her headache pain for good using this common kitchen item.

Using the above tips for copywriting headlines doesn’t guarantee that you will make millions, but it is a pretty good bet that you will get more readers if you do, and that is a large part of the marketing battle.

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Ten Commandments of Copywriting

Hello Everyone;
I made this neat infographic for last week’s post, however Mother Nature had other ideas. We were caught in a sever storm and lost our power for about a week. But, better late than never. To view the infographic in full size go to http://visual.ly/ten-commandments-copywriting-headlines  and click on the picture of the infographic.
If you enjoy it, embed  it, link it, tweet it, and share it. Let’s make it viral!



Congruency in Marketing

A part of marketing and copywriting and  that you don’t see mentioned very often, but is an extremely important part of the sales message is the concept of congruence.  Congruence can be defined in a variety of ways. Some of those definitions are:

  • agreement
  • rapport within oneself
  • internal and external consistency, perceived by others as sincerity

You get in your car and tune in to your favorite radio station. Instead of rock music by your favorite bands, you are startled to hear Beethoven’s fifth blaring from the speakers. Convinced that someone has been playing monkey with your radio, you immediately begin searching for the correct station.


Photo credit: alvimann from morguefile.com


Marketing messages that lack congruency are like a radio station playing the wrong music. The reader will stop dead in their tracks. If they do keep reading your message, they do so with only a portion of their attention while the other portion is trying to resolve that little bit of something that is niggling at their mind.

Benefits of Congruency

When your marketing message is congruent,all of the elements that come together to make up the message are in agreement. There are no niggling elements. The customer has no sense that “something isn’t right, but I don’t know what it is”.

Having a congruent message:

  • Increases Predictability
  • Builds Customer Confidence
  • Builds Customer Trust
  • Increases Conversions

How do you make sure that your marketing message is congruent? Congruency starts with researching and defining your audience or customer. You want to know what your customer’s morals, values, and beliefs are. When you know this information, you can craft a message that is in line with those beliefs. Messages that are not in line with the morals, values, and beliefs of the customer don’t get read.


When you write your messages make sure that you are playing the same music. Keep the message the same throughout your sales letter. In addition, you want to keep the message the same between campaigns. You don’t want to blast rock one day and classical the next.

Marketing Promise (Hope)

What is the hope that you are offering your customer?

  • What will they get from your product that is better than everyone else’s?
  • What is the most important reason they should do business with you?
  • Your message must have a focus.

When you craft your message, make sure that the message is not only in line with the morals, values, and beliefs, of the customer; but also in line with the emotions that they are feeling about the problem that they are experiencing and the solution that you are offering.


Your message should be clear and concise. Avoid using vague language. Other points to follow:


  • Eliminate contradictions
  • Mean what you say
  • Say what you mean


Congruency can also be applied to elements within your design. Your website colors, images, and style should be congruent with your message and your branding. For instance, if you are marketing to seniors, don’t have colors that are pastel and make you think of babies and children.

When all of the elements of your message are in congruence, your offer plays like a well-practiced orchestra. Get it right and you will be rewarded with sales, get it wrong and the only song you will play will be the one of sour notes.



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Target Marketing:Researching Your Customer with Danny Iny

Hi Everyone:

Today I thought we would mix things up a bit here on CopyPen and have a guest post. And I thought it would be even more interesting to make it a video post. Better than that, the guest is Danny Iny from Firepole Marketing.   Danny is a stellar marketer and author of multiple books.   In the video he is going to talk about one very important aspect of marketing that a lot of people ignore: Target Market Research.

Copywriting The Art of Selling Hope

In copywriting, problems equal pain. The pain may be physical or emotional, but the end result is the same; a feeling of discomfort that we want to rid ourselves of. We hope that there is a solution to our pain. When we find it, we hope that we can afford it. And when we buy it, we hope that we have found the relief that we seek. When we buy, we are not consciously buying the solution to our problem. We are buying hope. Hope that the pain will go away, hope that things will be better. Buyers are looking beyond the solution that you are providing to see hope. You can preach how wonderful your product is like an all day revival, but until you make your prospect feel the hope in your solution, you most likely won’t make any sales.

Hope in Copywriting


Hope as a Motivator

Our whole life is centered around hope, it is the motivation that keeps us moving forward from one day to the next.  When we are sick, we hope that we will quickly get better. When we are down on our luck we hope that things will be better. Without hope we are not motivated to act. Today might be awful, but we live with the thought that tomorrow will be different.

Copywriting Hope

Yes, there is a point to my rambling. When you can make your prospect feel that your product provides them the hope of a solution to their problem, you have made a sale. You are selling hope.

Make them feel hope=Make a sale

Buy now I hope you are beginning to ask how to accomplish this. When you start to focus on the emotion of hope you should do it in such a way that your prospect is not aware of what is happening. In fact, you should not use the word hope in your copywriting.  What you should do is focus on what the prospect is hoping to achieve when they buy your product. You are aiming for the emotional response here. What are the emotions that the misery causes? Speak to that misery in your copy. Imagine the misery that your prospect will no longer feel when they use your product.  How does your product relieve it? What emotions are your prospects going to feel once the misery is relieved? Speak to those emotions in your copy, you are selling the solution to that misery in your copywriting.

Use descriptive words and phrases when you are selling hope. You want your prospects to have vivid imagery of the experience and relief that your product will provide. Describe that relief. How does it smell. taste, feel? What things are they going to be able to do and accomplish once they find relief?

Desire for your product lies within the seed of hope. It is up to you to water, nuture, and grow that seed. Remember, you can not create desire where none exists, you can only deepen it. You are selling hope.



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Copywriting: 3 Fixes for Crappy Copy




I don’t care how long you have been copywriting- 3 seconds to 3 centuries- at some point you will struggle to create good copy. Notice I said good, we’ll come back to the great part later. And the bad news is that you will struggle with copy more than once. Who cares?

There are 3 quick and easy things that you can do to instantly improve your sales page and propel you from the depths of copywriting mire and straight through the front door of the nearest bank, at least that’s what the plan is.

1.Copywriting Tip:Target Your Audience in the Headline

Using targeting when copywriting is the simplest thing that you can do to improve your sales page.  But you need to take it one step further. Target your headline to the most profitable segment of your target audience.  Who spends more money on the product that you are offering men or women? People that are 25-35 years old or over 55?  Speak directly to the money spenders in you market and you will grab their attention.

2. Copywriting Tip:The Offer

The offer in your copy is what makes the prospect say yes and click the buy button. Perception of the value of your offer is the name of the game. And the key here is the perception of your audience, not you. What things does your audience find valuable? Find these things out during your research and then link your product to the benefits of what your audience values. You can’t sell a cubic zircon as a diamond, but you can link it to the benefits of a diamond.

3. Copywriting Tip: Inject Urgency

By the time that your prospects get to your offer, thirty three percent of them have not decided to accept your offer. You can convert half of these prospects just by including some measure of urgency on your sales page. It may be a time limited special price or a time limited bonus, but make sure that once the time limit has expired, the offer changes and the bonus incentive disappears.

By focusing on these three areas of your copy, your sales page will have a better chance of converting tire kickers into buyers, and who knows, you might just turn out a great sales page instead of a good one.


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Copywriting Tips: Using Appeal to Persuade

In order to write great copy you should decide what strategy is going to work best in appealing to your audience. While there are multiple copywriting techniques that can be used, there are three very important ones that are the subject of today’s post.

Photo credit: mconnors from morguefile.com



Copywriting Tip # 1: Appeal Through Authority

People who are in positions of authority are automatically thought to be more honest and trustworthy than those who are not. They also are perceived as people of influence and knowledgeable in their field. So if they say something it must be true. If they recommend something it must be good. Authority figures have an innate ability to persuade.

You can use the appeal of authority in your copywriting in a variety of ways. Include testimonials from respected names in the same field as the product or a related field will enhance the credibility of your copy and the product.

Certain objects can be symbols of authority. A doctor’s white coat or the scales of justice also represent authority. What graphic symbols of authority could you include on your sales page?

A third way that your copywriting can appeal through authority is to use authoritative references. You can do this easily if you state data or statistics related to your product, you can easily throw in the reference. Example: “Mayo Clinic research reveals …… Product x will help keep you safe”  However, be very careful not to imply endorsement of the product by an authority figure if no such endorsement exists.

Copywriting Tip #2: Appeal Through Emotions

This is an important way to persuade the audience. However this one is also incredibly easy to screw up. The emotion targeted must be congruent with the values and beliefs of the audience. In order to effectively appeal to the emotions, the copywriter must show understanding of and empathy toward the emotion.

Fear is a very powerful emotion that can be used to persuade the audience. Fear can be incorporated into your sales letter by making the risk of passing up your offer worse than the risk of purchasing it. This is a very effective technique for increasing conversion. However, be very careful to keep it real and don’t take it over the top or you risk triggering the BS meter.

Stories or metaphors are also very effective techniques for appealing to the emotions. Stories engage the reader’s sympathies and the imagination. Through imagination, the reader begins to believe that anything is possible. Stories turn the abstract of logic into something existent and tangible. And we all know that the buying process is justified with logic.

Copywriting Tip #3: Appeal Through Logic

As just mentioned all buying is justified by logic. Purchases that seem to be highly logical appeal  to all buyers. Logic can be introduced to the copywriting in a variety of themes: saving money, saving time, safety factors, having a competitive edge, etc. Facts and figures are another technique to appeal to logic and have the added credibility of authority.

Appealing to your audience is a way of build a relationship with them. Your words are your sales person. In order to persuade them, make them like your words. After all, most of us would rather buy from someone we like.




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Copy Doesn’t Convert : 5 Reasons You Can Fix

You have spent hours writing copy for  a sales page that you just know will fill your bank account to overflowing. You labored, you sweated, you’ve edited and polished for hours on end. You eagerly place your message before your audience and wait for the sales to come rolling in. And you wait and wait. The initial rush of excitement that you feel gives way to disappointment, and then to frank disgust. You were sure that your sales page was perfect, that your copy could have won a Pulitzer Prize, but your copy doesn’t convert tire kickers into sales. What happened?

Good copy has to have certain elements in place to make it effective. All of the elements interact to create the message that your audience receives. When one of the elements is missing or out of sync with the other elements of the copy, you leave questions in the mind of the reader. If your audience is left with questions, they won’t buy your product or perform the desired action.  When copy doesn’t convert it can usually be traced to one of the following reasons:
Increase Copy Conversion with these 5 fixes
Photo credit: Alvimann from morguefile.com

Wrong message

Your copy will leave an impression on the reader, either good or bad. If your copy reads like an advertisement for a lovely piece of ocean front property in Arizona, then don’t expect your audience to have a favorable impression of your product or your business. Keep your copywriting free of hype and hard sales and watch your sales copy convert.

 Wrong Product

Are you trying to sell the wrong product to your audience? Are you trying to sell shampoo to regrow hair when your customer really wants a toupee? Find out what your audience really wants by hanging out in the places where they hang out. Visit social media sites, forums, and blogs and listen to the conversations, I promise you will learn a lot about your market.

 Wrong Audience

You have a wonderful new product that is designed to keep you cool on the hottest days. Who do you want to market that to? You want to find a desperate audience and provide your marketing message to them. Don’t market to the Eskimos, they don’t need it. But if you market it to the jungles of the world, you’ll sell so many that you will be dizzy counting the money.

Wrong Emotion

Every problem that your audience has also includes a very strong primary emotion that accompanies it. There may be more than one emotion, but if you dig deep enough you will discover that there is one emotion that is stronger than the others. This is the emotion that you want to target in your sales copy. But it must be the correct emotion. You cannot expect to have conversions if you are targeting the fear of pain when the audience is really experiencing the fear of death. Make sure that you are targeting the primary emotion.

 Your Copy Speaks the Wrong Language

In my book Crank Out Copy That Sells, I use an analogy about a very successful marketer who moves to the United States. He is sure that he will have life so much better where there is more opportunity. However, he struggles to sell anything. Why? He isn’t speaking the language of his audience. They cannot understand his message. When you speak, speak the language of the audience. Clear, concise copy will convert.




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Copywriting: Why You Need to Learn to be a Copywriter

Anyone who attempts to do any kind of business, whether it is online or offline, uses copywriting to advertise their business. Either you write it your self or you get a professional copywriter to do it. Either way, you need to learn copy writing skills and there are some pretty compelling reasons for doing so.

Photo credit: mconnors from morguefile.com

Benefits When Working With Professional Copywriters

Learning copywriting increases your communication abilities. You will be more aware of the needs of others and tailor your messages, whether verbal or written to fit those needs. You will be able to deliver those messages to your target audience clearly and precisely, eliminating much confusion and making day-to-day work processes smoother. Being able to use your writing skills to communicate precisely with your target audience will increase your sales conversions and make you an authority figure in your field.

When hiring  professional copywriters to write your sales copy, the process is easier if you understand copywriting. Understanding the copywriting process enables you to convey the needs of your target audience, your business, and your product benefits much more effectively. The benefit that you can reap in return is a decrease in costs due to the time saved, fewer rewrites mean more money in your pocket.

When you know how the principles of copywriting, you can find problem areas and mistakes in copy that you have had a professional copywriter write for you. You will then be able to collaborate with the copywriter to get the problems fixed with minimal fuss and time. You will also be able to identify copywriters who are lacking the writing skills that are necessary for your target audience.

Business Benefits of Learning Copywriting

Writing copy yourself helps to build great offers. Understanding what it means to craft good copy increases your awareness of what you are really providing to your target audience. It will pinpoint areas where your product is weak; a good product should be able to stand on its own. If it can’t, then you need to revise the product until it can. Your copy can also point out when you may need to add bonuses to your offer to increase the value that you deliver. Adding value to your offers generates more sales, makes happier customers, and set you apart from the competition.

With copy writing skills, you will begin to analyze sales offers for your personal and business purchases, whether they are made in person or in the form of advertising media. You will hone in on the benefits and features of the product and be able to decide if the product will meet your needs. You will know what that sales information is really telling you before you push the buy button.

Finally, knowing how to write copy will increase your revenue by enabling you to draft more lucrative offers to joint venture partners, customers, merchandisers, and anyone else that you interact with in your business. The importance of having copy writing skills is important not only for the copywriter but for everyone who needs to communicate in business. Even if you decide to use professional copywriters for your sales copy, you still will need to write many different types of business correspondence and marketing messages that would be too time consuming and expensive for a professional copywriter to handle.

Many copywriters struggle with writing copy when they first begin. But it doesn’t need to be that way. There are many books available to help copywriters improve their sales copy. If you want an easy concise guide to copywriting, pick up a copy of  Crank Out Copy That Sells:The Easy Outline for Everyone     Available at Amazon.com

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