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My copywriting marketing challenge

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Copy challenge day 1: Pre-headlines

Your headline “block” has one main job:

Get your prospect’s attention.

To that end, here are the three pieces of your headline:

  1. The pre-headline, which sits at the very top of your sales letter. This
    is often used to get attention by speaking directly to your prospect, perhaps even “by name.”
    Example: “Attention NBA Fans…”
  2. The primary headline. Since this is your main headline, it’s usually in
    bigger, bold font. This is where you put forth your main benefit or make a big promise.
    Tip: Be bold here, because this part of your headlines needs
    to make your prospects stop in their tracks and give you their
    full attention.
  3. The post-headline. This part of the headline sits right below the main
    headline (in smaller font). This post-headline is a bridge that connects your main headline to your opening sentence. It may elaborate on the main benefit you mentioned in your primary headline, or you can use the post-headline to mention additional benefits.
    Tip: Either way, it needs to hold your prospect’s attention
    and interest.

Collectively, these three headlines are the most important part of your entire sales letter. That’s because the headline is the first thing your prospects will see when they land on your page.

If the headline doesn’t attract attention, then the prospect is going
to click the back button lickety-split and be on his way.


Here then are the keys to creating a cash-pulling headline…

Say “Hey, You!” to your prospects:

Your headline’s #1 job is to get your prospect’s attention. This starts up in the pre headline, where you make the prospects realize your letter is written for them.
You want your prospect to stop and say, “Hey, that’s me!”.

You can do this by identifying them by their niche group or identifying a problem or solution they have.

Examples:
• Attention Skinny Guys!
• To Every Aspiring Novelist…
• An Open Letter to Pig Farmers…
• Do You Sneeze and Wheeze Your Way Through Allergy Season?

Or you can do it by asking a qualifying question. In other words, you ask a question that makes your prospect raise her hand, step forward, and identify herself as a qualified (targeted) prospect.

Examples:
• Does your partner’s snoring keep you awake at night?
• Do you always have cat hair on your furniture and clothes?
• Are you embarrassed by your acne?

Take out the big guns:

Your primary headline is NOT the time to buy coy or subtle.

Instead, you need to take out the big guns to draw attention. And that means you need to make a big promise or present a big benefit.

Indeed, this should be the biggest benefit of your product or service.

Examples:
• “Now You Too Can Quickly and Easily Pack on Muscle – Even If Your
Genetics Are Working Against You!
• “Now Writing Cash-Pulling Copy is as Easy as Pressing a Button!”
• “Here’s How to Grow Trophy-Winning Roses That Will be the Envy of
Your Whole Neighborhood!”

Tip: Be sure to put your main headline in quotes. That’s
because it tends to attract attention better. I’m not just
guessing here – this has been proven time and again by
countless copywriting and marketing experts!

Create an Itch:

While your headlines need to get your prospect’s attention, they also need to compel your prospect to keep reading. And one way to do that is by arousing curiosity (“creating an itch”) in your headline.

You can do this either in your main headline or in your post-headline.

Now here’s the key: You can arouse curiosity by offering the main benefit without telling your prospect how, exactly, they’ll get this main benefit.

Here are a few examples:
• Example: “Now You Can Keep Your Poodle’s Coat Shiny and Free of
Mats – Without Spending a Fortune on a Professional Groomer!”
• “Here’s How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes Without a Garden – Even If
You Live in a Tiny Apartment!”
• “Now You Too Can Earn Six Figures – No College Degree or
Experience Required!”

Another way to do it is by offering the beginning of a curiosity-arousing story.

You may do this by asking a question about the story you’re going to tell.

Examples:
• “How Did This Small-Town Girl Become a Rock Star?”
• “What Common Vegetable Did Suzy Use to Cure Her Acne In Just
Seven Days?
• “How Does This 15-Year-Old Lazy Kid Make So Much Money Online?”

Still another way to do it is by asking a non-story-related question.

Examples:
• “Do you make these snowboarding mistakes?”
• “Have You Heard About the Latest Breakthrough in Acne
Prevention?”
• “Who Else Wants to Discover the Secrets of Creating Cash-Pulling
Copy?”

In all cases, your goal is to create an “itch” that your prospect can only scratch by reading your letter.

In other words, you arouse curiosity in your headline… and then satisfy that curiosity later on in your letter.

Tip: Don’t stop with your headline! Arousing and then satisfying
curiosity several times throughout your letter is one way to keep
your prospects hanging eagerly on your every word!

Urge the prospect to keep reading:

If you’ve followed all the other keys to creating your headline block – if you’ve grabbed attention with a big benefit and/or aroused curiosity – then your prospects will dive in and start reading your sales letter.

Nonetheless, you can still use your post-head to “command” your prospect to read the letter. And you do this by literally saying, “Keep reading” or “Read on!”

Examples:
• Read on to discover how you too can quickly and easily lose
weight…
• If you want to make a six-figure income this year from the comfort of your home, then you need to read every word of this letter…
• Now you too can restore a classic car to showroom-new condition.
Read on to find out just how easy (and affordable!) it is…

Note: Notice that I ended each sentence with ellipses (three periods) rather than a “full stop” (like a period or exclamation point). This is intentional. It’s used to keep the flow going – to indicate there’s more than you want the prospect to read – so that the prospect’s eyes will naturally drop to the next line.

Now let me pull it all together by giving you an example of a pre, primary, and post headline block…

  • Attention Skinny Guys:
    “Now You Too Can Look Like a Beast… Even if Your Genetics Suck and
    You Can’t Gain Weight!”
    You’re About to Discover the Secrets of Creating the Kind of Body that Commands Respect and Gets the Girls. Read On…
  • To Senior Citizens Who’re Worried About Their Financial Future:
    “Now You Too Can Discover How to Quickly and Easily Create a
    Comfortable Retirement!”
    You’ll Kiss Your Money Worries Goodbye Once You Know These
    Investment Secrets. Read On for the Surprising Details…

Now, let me give you an assignment so that you can put this lesson into action fast.

Your assignment of day 1:

Before you start crafting your headline, I want you to spend a few moments
thinking about two things:

  1. • Your prospects: What are your prospect’s biggest problems? What do they want more than anything else?
  2. • Your product or service: What are all the benefits and features of your product? What is the biggest benefit?

Once you know what your prospects want and you know all the benefits of your product or service, then it’s pretty easy to determine your product or service’s biggest benefit.

Your assignment is to craft at least a dozen different headlines (pre, primary, and post) around this main benefit and post it in the challenges’ forum.

Feel free to use the included headline templates for inspiration! And tell us about…

  1. Your niche.
  2. Your site (if you have one).
  3. Your 12 headlines.

That’s it for today!

Do you homework, post it in the forum, and get back here for DAY 2!

To your success!

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