This blog is the seventh and final installment of blogs that focus on finding ways to increase your sales by increasing engagement. I hope you’ve found some benefit in all of them and started to implement some of the tactics. I know they have helped my own stores and hundreds of J&L clients.
In case you missed the first in this seven part series you can find it here “7 Direct Response Tactics You Need to Increase Sales”. I encourage you to re-read it along with the following six now that they are all complete and published.
Today, let’s discuss the importance of your advertising headlines…
(7 of 7) Tell your target audience why they should read, watch or listen to your advertisement
For every one person that reads your email, direct mail piece, social media post/ad, blog (basically any form of content or marketing with short to long copy), almost six additional people read the headline.
If your headline can’t effectively sell your ad or your product, you’re losing countless engagement opportunities and potential sales.
The only purpose of your headline is to grab the attention of your prospect or customer and convince them to read your ad. It’s the advertisement for your advertisement.
I’m always shocked how many people are content with cute, humorous, nonspecific, or abstract headlines or even worse – no headlines at all.
You will never maximize your advertisement’s ROI potential with a poor headline.
If you want more sales, you have to increase engagement. If you want more engagement, you must get more people to respond to your Call-to-Actions.
If you want more people to choose a Call-to-Action, you have to provide tremendous value in your offers.
If you want to influence more people with your superior offer, you have to increase how many people actually read it.
That’s what your headline does.
To give you an idea of how important this is and to show you how it’s done, I’m giving you our top 8 headlines we’ve used repeatedly with superior results:
Our Most Successful Headlines for Car Dealers (over the last 90 days)
- Imagine Buying a Car and Loving Every Minute of It
- Here’s a Quick Way to Save Time and Money Buying a Car
- How to Upgrade Your Vehicle & Lower Your Payment with No Money Down!
- How to Get More Money Out of Your Trade-In Now
- Suddenly No Gimmicks, Just Lower Payments Every Day
- How to Buy Your Car Faster, Easier and with No-Pressure
- How to Find the Best Deal and Lower Your Payment Now
- Easy Car Buy is the Best Way to Easily Lower Your Payment Now
Always use your best headline (determined by you’re A/B tests) in every ad (including your videos) to prospects and customers. You should also use a headline in all your traditional advertising – such as TV.
Use these uncommon, power, and emotional words often – How To, Suddenly, Now, Announcing, Introducing, It’s Here, Just Arrived, Important Development, Improvement. Amazing, Sensational, Remarkable, Revolutionary, Quick, Easy, Wanted, Compare, Bargain, Hurry, and last, but not least, Last Chance.
There’s a reason the people who invest millions in advertising, testing, and measuring results use these words and phrases often – because they work.
In addition, you should test personalizing your headline by singling out your city, state, or group to who you are advertising to.
Don’t assume you need short headlines in order to produce the response you want. Longer headlines work well and, in many cases, will out-produce shorter versions.
Consumers pick out what they want to read, listen to, and watch by headlines. They don’t want your headlines to be misleading.
Today, consumers are too hurried. People don’t even have the time to pay attention to some of the content they pay for!
They are not going to pay attention to your ad unless you offer tremendous value (Explain: What’s in it for them?) and let the headline show it.
What types of headlines work best?
Headlines that promote self interest
These headlines speak directly to your audience about the benefit they will receive. They also do a great job of increasing the quality of your traffic because the only people who will read your ad copy will be those who are interested in the benefit you’re offering them.
Headlines that include recent news or developments
A headline that offers topical news can be very successful. Any time you can inform prospects and customers about recent or current developments you build authority for you and your dealership.
If your product or service is newsworthy, put that special news announcement right at the top of your ad because consumers are always on the lookout for new models, or better ways to shop and buy.
Headlines that arouse curiosity
Curiosity headlines succeed because they pique the interest of your target audience without giving away too much information.
Curiosity alone isn’t sustainable. Try combining curiosity headlines with news or self-interest headlines. Most of the headlines listed above do this.
Headlines that make a superior offer
When you give something away or selling something your target audience would be interested in, directly stating that in your headline is a great way to convince them to learn.
Headlines that create a sense of urgency
This is one of the most powerful types of headlines if you have the data skill set to identify an in-market target audience who is ready to buy within the next 30 days. Headlines that communicate urgency tell consumers they must act now.
There are so many ads trying to grab your attention. It’s easy to ignore something that you think isn’t time-sensitive.
Urgency is one of the strongest motivators when it comes to direct response. In-market car shoppers don’t want to miss out on something that potentially can help them right now.
It’s why many private sale and service events limit the opportunity to a limited amount of days and hours. Many times a shorter window of opportunity will actually increase your response rate.
Headlines that explain How-to
How-to headlines teach us something. They help people achieve the outcome they desire. There’s a reason four of the eight top headlines we’ve used in the last 90 days start with How-to.
Most people who are in the market to buy a vehicle, are interested in improving the process for themselves in one way or another. All you have to do is focus on what people want and need and highlight the result of meeting those wants or needs by turning them into a How-to.
Don’t include the process in the headline. By not giving away your secret “how” you also add some curiosity. Stay focused on the end result and your prospects motivations.
Headlines that suggest a quicker and easier way for the consumer to get something they want
If you use the quicker, easier, faster way — be sure your headline is credible and believable. Here is the headline of an advertisement that was tested and became one of our top 8 tested headlines:
This seems to sum up in a few words what car shoppers have wanted since dealers started selling cars and what current day car shoppers want and expect. This headline has generated 3X more leads even with conquest traffic.
If you choose to use a headline like this, remember to keep your promise.
Why should someone take time out of their day to look at what you’re offering? Your headline should answer that question. Remember, it’s not about you. Consumers don’t care about you – they only care about what’s in it for them.
As previously mentioned…
- You need to always deliver on the promise of your headline.
- Always test your headlines. If you decide to do an A/B test it’s important that the only variable is the headlines. If the only difference in your two ads is headline “A” and headline “B” then you will know the true advantage one headline might have over the other.
- You can test your headlines for free with CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer.
If you’ve ever wondered why so many dealers have success driving traffic to their sites, landing pages and showrooms with digital and direct response marketing… but yours falls flat… It’s probably your headlines.
Headlines are the first thing that car shoppers see from you before deciding if they should pay attention to your offer.