In my last article, I wrote about the importance of using powerful headlines for all of your advertising—no matter where it's going to appear.
Why are headlines important? Most advertising professionals consider the headline as "your ad for your ad." Headlines are supposed to flag down the reader. The late David Ogilvy, widely hailed as "The Father of Advertising" claimed that "the headline is the ticket to the meat."
In other words, it's up to your headline to quickly grab your reader's attention. If you can't get their attention quickly—and usually within a split second—they're simply not going to read your ad.
What can you do to get that attention quickly? One way is to appeal to people's curiosity. Let's face it, as humans, we're curious creatures. When you create your advertising headline in such a way that it appeals to people's curiosity, you stand a far better chance of having them read your ad.
One way to make your headline build curiosity is to turn it into a question instead of a statement. Simple statements can be boring, but if you turn it into a question, you almost instantly create curiosity with your reader. As an example, when headlines ask questions like "Is that nasty squeal making your car unsafe?" or "Do those squeaks and grinding noises drive you crazy?" you create the curiosity to draw your reader into your ad.
Why do questions work so well? It's just human nature. Questions tend to agitate our brains and readers just want to know more. Questions also engage the reader, drawing them into your ad so they can find out more. Like I said, that's just human nature.
Another way to create curiosity is to focus on the problem instead of the solution. When your headline leads with a problem and you turn it into a question, you really start to build curiosity and get more attention. That's because the problems make our brains start working overtime. As an example, using a headline like "Does your car burn way too much gas?" makes the reader want to find out more about that problem.
Making your headline focus on a problem that readers can identify with helps to get them to read the rest of your ad because they really want to know how to solve it. Besides, as humans, our brains are just wired that way—they're wired to find the solutions.
Another strategy is to create (what I like to call) "curiosity overload." That's when you make your question very specific, and you can do that by adding one simple word.
When you inject the word "these" into your headline, it instantly becomes focused on a particular problem. All of a sudden, that one simple word makes your headline a lot more specific. As an example, "Does your car suffer from these hidden problems?"
No matter where you're advertising or promoting your business, it's your headline that attracts attention—not your shop name or logo. You can make headlines more powerful when you create curiosity.
Creating that curiosity makes our brains want to find out more. Doing that draws your reader into your ad, and that's the purpose of crafting good headlines.
Matthew Lee, is an automotive service marketing specialist and author of the book, "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing," which offers "no-cost" and "low-cost" marketing strategies for auto service businesses. For a free copy of the book, visit www.JustTheBestMarketing.com.