It’s Lewis aka Nerd #2.
Today I’m sharing with you the 38 performance enhancing ways the legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz thought of that you can use to take your headline from good to GREAT!
You’re gonna LOVE these.
These tips come from an at-a-glance set of cliff notes I have on Gene’s “Breakthrough Advertising” book. It was published in 1966 and to preserve the impact of the headlines he used as examples, I haven’t changed any of the words in them.
This means you’ll see some awesome terminology that dates this timeless wisdom. You’ll also probably recognize some of the famous headlines he used for examples.
Here’s the Reasons Why You Need To Make Sure You’re Breathing Life Into Your Claims You Make In Your Headlines…
Most people make boring claims in their headlines. You must reinforce the claim by binding other images to it with the words in which you express it. This is Verbalization.
- You can strengthen the claim, by enlarging it, measuring it, making it more vivid etc.
- You can make the claim new and fresh again. By twisting it, changing it, presenting it from a different angle, turning it into a narration, challenging the reader with an example
- You can help the claim pull the prospect into the body of the ad, by promising him information about it, by questioning him
All these goals are achieved by adding variations, enlargements or embellishments to the main headline claim. They alter the main claim to make it more effective.
First you need to determine the appeal itself. And then, how to shape the appeal into its most effective form in the headline.
Here Are Some Guideposts For How To Do This:
- Measure the size of the claim: “I am 61 pounds lighter”… “20,000 filter traps in viceroy!”
- Measure the speed of the claim: “Feel better FAST!”… “In two seconds, bayer aspirin begins to dissolve in your glass!”
- Compare the claim: “Six times whiter washes!”…”Costs up to $300 less than many models of the low-priced three!”
- Metaphorize the claim: “BANISHES corns!”…”Melts Away Ugly Fat!”
- Sensitize the claim by making the prospect feel, smell, touch, see or hear it: “Tastes like you just picked it”…”The skin you love to touch”
- Demonstrate the claim by showing a prime example: “Jake Lamotta, 160 pound fighter, fails to flatten mono paper cup”
- Dramatize the claim, or its result: “Here’s an extra $50, grace– I’m making big money now!”… “They laughed when I sat down at the piano–But when I started to play…”
- State the claim as a paradox: “How a bald-headed barber saved my hair!”…”beat the races by picking losers!”
- Remove limitations from the claim: “Shrinks hemorrhoids without surgery!”…”you breathe no dusty odors when you do it with lewyt!”
- Associate the claim with values or people with whom the prospect wishes to be identified: “Mickey Mantle Says: Camels Never Bother My Throat!”…”9 out of 10 decorators use xx carpets”
- Show how much work, in detail, the claim does: “Now! Relief From All 5 Acid-Caused Stomach Troubles, In Seconds!”.. “relieves congestion in all 7 nasal passages instantly!”
- State the claim as a question: “Who else wants a whiter wash, with no hard work?”.. “could you use an extra $25 a week income?
- Offer information about how to accomplish the claim: “How to win friends and influence people”
- Tie authority into the claim: “Boss mechanic shows how to avoid engine repair bills!”…”Here’s what doctors do when they feel rotten!”
- Before-and-after the claim: “Before Coldene a child got over a cold after 5 days of aching, sneezing, wheezing etc”…”with Coldene a child gets over a cold in 5 days”
- Stress the newness of the claim: “ANNOUNCING! Guided missile spark plugs!”
- Stress the exclusivity of the claim: “Ours Alone! Persian lamb originals!”…”Only gleem has GL-70 to keep teeth clean all day long!”
- Turn the claim into a challenge: “Which twin has the Toni? And which has the $15 permanent?”….”Does she or doesn’t she? Hair coloring so natural only her hairdresser knows for sure”
- State the claim as a history quotation: “Look, Mom, No Cavities!”… “would you believe it… i have a cold!”
- Condense the claim, interchange your product and the product it replaces: “NOW! A ring and piston job in a tube!”.. “pour yourself a new engine!”
- Connect the mechanism to the claim in the headline: “Floats fat right out of your body!”…”Feeds waste gas fumes back into your engine!”
- Startle the reader by contradicting the way he thinks the mechanism should work: “Hit the hell out of the ball with your right hand’ says Tommy Armour!”
- Connect the need and the claim: “there is only one solution to an advertising problem: find the man!”
- Offer information in the ad itself: “Why men crack…”…”What everybody ought to know about this stock and bond business”
- Turn the claim or the need into a case history: “Aunt Meg, who never married”… “Again she orders–A chicken salad, please”
- Give a name to the problem or need: “When you’re weary with Day-Time Fatigue, Take Alka-Seltzer”
- Warn the reader about possible pitfalls if he doesn’t use: “DON’T INVEST ONE CENT OF YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY UNTIL YOU”
- Show how easy the claim is to accomplish by imposing a universally-overcome limitation: “If you can count to eleven, you can increase your speed and skill at numbers!
- State the difference in the headline: “The difference in premium gasoline is right in the additives”
- Surprise your reader into realizing that former limitations have now been overcome: “See what happens when you crush a Hartman DC-8? Nothing!”
- Address the people who can’t buy your product: “if you’ve already taken your vacation, don’t read this, it’ll break your heart”
- Address your prospect directly: “To the man who will settle for nothing less than the presidency of his firm”
- Dramatize how hard it was to produce the claim: “When Jens finished designing this candleholder we had to invent a new kind of candle”
- Accuse the claim of being too good: “Is it immoral to make money this easily?”
- Challenge the prospects present limiting beliefs: “You are twice as smart as you think”
- Turn the claim into a question and answer: “You don’t know what’s under the hood and you couldn’t care less as long as your car runs smoothly. Who should you see if it doesn’t? Someone who cares — United Delco”
Testing your headlines daily can make you rich.
It’s actually one of the 3 activities you should be spending at least part of one hour of your working day on as I talked about in this post here…
You now have 38 variations that you can mix and match that you can apply to these tests to see what your specific market responds to. Only through testing will you pin point their emotional hot button that causes them to respond to your marketing.
Now do yourself and favor and print this out, pick one of these 38 strategies out and weave the enhancement into a headline you’re running now for a salesletter, PPC ad, banner ad, etc. and run it up against the current champ and see what happens.
And do me a favor and tell me about any awesome variables Gene could’ve added to the list if you have any in the comments below.
Lewis LaLanne aka Note Taking Nerd #2