Remember that the reader's attention is yours for only a single instant. They will not use up their valuable time trying to figure out what you mean.— John Caples
The most sublime John Caples quotes that are glad to read
In striving to produce an attractive headline, the copywriter should not emphasize the "quick, easy way" to such an extent that the headline becomes unbelievable.
Every copywriter knows what it is to struggle with a copy for hours, for days - fixing it, polishing it, rearranging it. We have all been quilty of leaving the headline until the last and the spending half and hour on it - or perhaps only ten minutes.
Unsuccessful headlines were not written without a strong appeal, but it was the wrong appeal for that product and that audience.
A long headline that really says something is more effective than a brief heading that says nothing.
The business of judging a headline AFTER you read the copy is wrong.
It takes for granted that everybody reads the copy.
Now I spend hours on headlines - days if necessary.
And when I get a good headline, I know that my task is nearly finished.
Get the big point of your advertisement into your headline.
Use your headline as a hook to reach out and catch the special group of people you are trying to interest.
Do not try to make your headline so short that it fails to express your idea properly. It's more important to say what you want to say - even if it takes 20 words to do than make it short and fail to express your idea.
Avoid the "hard-to-grasp" headline - the headline that requires thought and is not clear at first glance.
The most frequent reason for unsuccessful advertising is advertisers who are so full of their own accomplishments (the world's best seed!) that they forget to tell us why we should buy (the world's best lawn!).
The advertiser's logotype at the bottom of the ad can be considered as part of the headline. After reading the headline, the reader instinctively looks down at the logotype to see the company name.
A good headline can make an advertisement good even if the picture is poor.
What good is all the painstaking work on copy if the headline isn't right? If the headline doesn't stop people, the copy might as well be written in Greek.
Every single element in an advertisement - headline, subhead, photo, and copy - must be put there not because it looks good, not because it sounds good, but because testing has shown that it works best!
Don't underestimate the value of beginning a headline by naming the people you want to reach.
The headlines are critically important.
The majority of the public reads little else when deciding whether or not they are interested.
To impress your offer on the mind of the reader or listener, it is necessary to put it into brief, simple language...No farfetched or obscure statement will stop them. You have got to hit them where they live in the heart or in the head. You have got to catch their eyes or ears with something simple, something direct, something they want.
You can write a 1st paragraph that continues the same thought you expressed in your headline. If you stop a reader with a headline about house paint, you can be sure of at least one thing about that reader: He wants more info about house paint. You will not lose him as long as you continue to give him what he wants.
If you use a poor headline, it does not matter how hard you labor over your copy because your copy will not be read.
The best headlines are those that appeal to the reader's self-interest, that is, headlines based on reader benefits. They offer readers something they want - and get from you.
The success of an entire advertising campaign may stand or fall on what is said in the headlines of the individual advertisements.
If the headline is a good one, it is a relatively simple matter to write the copy.
Remember that the headline and the appeals are ONE AND THE SAME.
In successful ads, the appeal is almost always expressed in the headline.
Even today you can look through almost any consumer or professional publication and find headlines that possess not a single one of the necessary qualities, such as self-interest, news, or curiosity.
The purpose of the headlines must be to convey a message to people who read headlines, then decide whether or not they will look at the copy.
If you are going to emphasize certain words in the headline, be sure that they are the words that say something.
Readers know what the copy is going to say.
For every curiosity headline that succeed in getting results, a dozen will fail.
An advertisement will be a good one - that is if the headline is really a "stopper."