How to Use “The Other” Headlines In Your Sales Copy

So, what exactly are “The Other” headlines?

These are the sub-headlines which create what is called a double readership path as well as the bullet points which often do the main job of “selling” in your advertising and marketing.

The Importance Of A Double Readership Path

A double readership path refers to the idea that many of your prospects are skimmers and will quickly glance over your sales copy rather than reading every word.

In order to make sure you don’t lose any sales due to skimmers missing the key points of your sales message, you need to make it easy for them grasp the big benefits of your product or service.

The best way to do this is to have a sub-head which is almost as powerful as your main headline placed every 200 to 300 words throughout your sales letter or sales page.

It should be bold and larger than your regular text. My preference is to have the main text 12 point and the sub-head to be 16 or 18 point, so it really stands out. Sometimes I will also make it a different color like red to contrast the black text of the body copy.

The real purpose of having sub-heads in your sales message is to communicate the benefits of your product or service to the many “skimmers” among us.

Yes, maybe even YOU are in the occasional skimmers club. Perhaps an ad catches your eye and you want to quickly check it out, but you don’t have the time to read a full sales page or watch a long Video Sales Letter.

So, what do you do? Well, this is where the sub-heads come in. If done right the sub-heads should act like additional headlines which both focus your attention and progressively unveil the story behind your product or service, as well as shout the big benefits of what you are selling.

The ultimate goal of the sub-heads is to move your prospect along through your sales message all the way to the close…

… or at least raise their interest enough to get them to go back to the beginning so they can read ALL of the details which were missed when they were “skimming”.

This brings us to what is maybe the most important technical skill you can develop as a direct response copywriter.

And that is…

The Ability to Write Powerful, Benefit-Rich Bullets

A bullet is the single most effective tool you can use in constructing your killer sales message because IF it’s written properly…

… it will light a burning curiosity in your prospect and an all-consuming itch which will ONLY be satisfied by giving in to buy what you are selling.

But that’s not all. Bullets are often used as the foundation of writing headlines, pre-headlines, calls to action and can be used in the offer and post-script.

One Good Bullet is Often Enough to Push Someone Off the Fence and Make Them Give In to Buying.

How? By hitting the right emotional hot buttons that affect your prospect on a deeply personal level …

… and will keep them up at night until they find out if what you are promising your product or service will do …

… will REALLY work for them.

When I write bullets, I start again with carefully analyzing the product or service I will be selling looking at every feature and then digging out as many benefits as I can.

I will usually go “old school” and take out a piece of paper and draw a vertical line right down the middle of the page.

On the left-hand side of the paper, I will list all of the features of the product or service. (Remember, a feature is a physical or tangible aspect of what you are selling while the benefit is what that feature DOES for your customer.)

Then, on the right-hand side, I will list each and every benefit I can think of.

Now, I’m not just talking about “Obvious” benefits but also what is called “Hidden” benefits.

What’s The Difference Between OBVIOUS and HIDDEN Benefits?

Well, an obvious benefit would be something like buying that new car will get you from point A to point B without having to worry about it breaking down for a long time as it’s never been used, and it comes with a bumper to bumper warranty.

The hidden benefit is that feeling of pride you get from driving that shiny looking new car around town. The stares of envy you notice from your neighbors. Maybe even the thrill of feeling like you possess some increased sex appeal (which is most likely totally in your imagination, but still).

You now want to take your list of obvious and hidden benefits and present them in tidy little statements of interest which provoke CURIOSITY and BURNING DESIRE in your prospects.

Here are a few examples of bullets from some of my most successful sales letters and online sales pages:

From a sales letter promoting a self-help seminar…

  • How to use a breakthrough process to identify where your limiting beliefs are and where they came from (This will allow you to literally re-program your subconscious mind, so it will start working 24 hours a day to help you in achieving ANYTHING you decide to!) …
  • The single most important factor in creating the desire to live life to its fullest (If you miss out on this then you may NEVER get out of a self-sabotaging mindset that keeps you from getting the most out of life) …
  • How to automatically avoid the “blunders” that many people make when trying to repair damaged relationships (This will be like pushing a reset button in your sub-conscious mind that will re-build the most important connections in your life) …
  • Why it doesn’t matter what your background is… how many times you might have failed, how old you are or what kinds of “Advantages” you may not have been born with (You’ll learn how to start over TODAY and still have EVERYTHING you desire) …
  • Secret techniques for using the tools that are already hidden inside of you to SKYROCKET your levels of success (We’ll show you what they are and how to maximize what they can for you in all aspects of your life) …
  • How to manipulate your brain’s thought process to your advantage (You’ll quickly gain the ability to identify, deal with and eliminate the negative “Self-Talk” that ALL of us are plagued with).
  • What the WISEST, RICHEST and MOST SUCCESSFUL men and women know about “Connecting” with others that separates them from most people in the world (This alone will change your life IF you model it for yourself) …
  • Key strategies for finding peace no matter how bad the storms of life are (You’ll be able to relax in the warmth of unconditional acceptance even during the toughest trials) …

From a Sales Letter for an E-book on Acne Prevention…

  • The most effective “Natural Way” to eliminate acne forever (You won’t believe how simple this is and that the solution has been literally “right under your nose’ all along).
  • The secret to eliminating acne WITHOUT drying out your skin (Hint: It’s got nothing to do with lemon juice or any other wives’ tale).
  • The sweet treat you can eat all you want that’ll help your skin look better the MORE you eat it! (You’re gonna LOVE this).
  • 5 foods you should NEVER eat if you want to keep your complexion clean and beautiful (I GUARANTEE you’ll be shocked at how bad these seemingly “healthy” foods are for your skin).
  • How to quickly remove acne scars while you are sleeping (No one will ever know you had skin trouble after this almost “Too Easy” remedy).
  • 7 affordable foundations and powders you can buy for a few dollars at your local Walmart (These get even BETTER results than those expensive, celebrity endorsed products you see on TV).
  • What Dermatologists give to their kids to prevent them from EVER having an Acne breakout (You’re not going to believe how simple this is).
  • Why everything you thought you knew about preventing acne is DEAD wrong (This one breakthrough will save you HUNDREDS…if not THOUSANDS of dollars).

From an online sales letter selling a course on giving wedding speeches…

  • An easy step by step process of writing your wedding speech that’s so simple a child could do it (It’s like a paint by numbers system for writing… if you can follow simple instructions, you’ll have your speech written in less time than heating a frozen microwave dinner).
  • How to avoid the most common mistake people make when giving a wedding speech (It’s such a small thing you’ll never think of it on your own, but it will KILL your chances for giving a successful speech).
  • A surefire way of adding humor to your presentation that will instantly “warm up” the listeners (And do it in a way that guarantees to not offend anyone…not even grandma or the minister).
  • A simple little tip that automatically eliminates pre-speech jitters (You’ll be the picture of confidence and you won’t have to rely on having a couple of drinks to chill out which could only ruin things).
  • The 7 most effective emotional “Power Words” to liberally sprinkle throughout your talk (This will have everyone – even that supercritical uncle – eating out of your hands!
  • A huge blunder made in preparing to give a wedding speech you need to avoid at ALL costs (Just this one tip could save you YEARS of embarrassment!)
  • The easiest way to start off ANY speech with a BANG (You just might achieve SUPERHERO status from this one).

From the opt in page for my FREE E-book…

  • How to Write Headlines That Speak Directly to the Emotional Wants, Needs, Desires and Problems of Your Prospects… (You’ll Never Have to Worry Again About Whether You “Missed the Mark” With Your Target Audience!)
  • The Secret to Grabbing the Attention of ONLY Your Perfect Potential Customers… (While Deflecting Away Any Time Wasters Who Would NEVER Buy from You Anyways!)
  • A Can’t-Miss Headline Writing Short-Cut That Perfectly Sets Up the Sale… EVEN If the Rest of Your Sales Message is Weak (This Will Get Your Prospect Worked Up into a Frenzy, Practically Begging You to Take Their Money!)
  • The Five Steps You Can Count On To GUARANTEE You’re Creating the Most Powerful Headline Possible… (A Quick Look at These 5 Steps Will Supercharge Every Ad or Marketing Piece You Ever Write Again!)

I hope you see how important the “Other” headlines are for the success of your sales message. Use them liberally and you will see an increase in your sales and profits.

Please keep checking back for more articles on Copywriting and Marketing!

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