By Lisa Sargent
“This time the bad advice appeared in a major online newsletter. I read it and cringed. The article – all about crafting effective headlines – said this:
Is [your headline] a question? Never use one. You can’t control a
prospect’s answer, and they may stop reading.
That’s hogwash. In the writer’s shoes, I’d have said this: Your headline shouldn’t ask a question that the reader can instantly answer, because then he has no reason to keep reading.
To discover why that strategy works better, let’s take a trip together: to the shores of the Bering Sea.
You’re in Nome, Alaska. It’s a summer day, and the temperature hovers around 70 degrees. Your bedroom window is open, but the breeze is delightful, and there’s no rush close the window.
Fast-forward to January. It’s 25 below zero with a shrieking winter wind. And unless you’re a seal or a polar bear, I’ll bet you’re compelled to ACT: you’ve got to jump up and slam that window closed.
Why is a good “question headline” like a window left open in an Alaskan winter?
Because your prospect’s brain (and your brain, too) is hard-wired to solve the problem. She must keep reading to answer the question... meet the challenge... discover the benefits (or the secret sources of her pain).
So let’s give question headlines the respect they deserve.
Now for two easy tips that help you write question headlines that get results:
#1. You can ask a yes or no question ... but you must either
answer it immediately, or phrase the question so your
prospect has to read the promotion to answer it.