How to Set the Stage For Your Opening Headline
Many different copywriting experts claim that the most important part of any sales letter is the opening headline. That’s because it is often the first thing that a prospect reads when they see your marketing piece. Studies have shown that 70-80% of all readers will decide if they want to read the rest of the sales letter after reading the opening headline. Grab their interest with a powerful headline or killer hook and there’s a real good chance that they will keep reading.
Well, what if there was a way to enhance the chances of success for the opening headline? What if there was a way to literally set the stage so the reader is already more attentive to the initial headline?
The good news is you can do exactly that using a copywriting component called a pre-headline.
You see, a pre-headline, or prehead for short, is found before the opening headline. Its job is to set the stage for the opening headline. To use a football analogy, it’s like a perfectly thrown pass by the quarterback to a receiver standing the end zone: right into the receiver’s hands for the touchdown.
You can use your preheadline as a lesser opening headline that leads into the opening headline. That takes some practice and usually a good amount of headline brainstorming to get it right.
So I’m going to proportion with you an easy way to craft a prehead to do exactly what you want and that’s to rule into the first major headline.
The easiest way is to use your opening headline to clarify who your target prospect or prospects might be.
Let me give you an example. Here’s the preheadline for a sales letter I wrote selling a How To Get Government Grants product:
Attention Students, Loan Seekers, and Entrepreneurs who need more money for their personal (or business) projects…
Notice how I’ve identified the ideal prospects for this product. I’ve also identified one of their biggest reasons for being interested in government grants — they need more money for their personal or business projects.
I use an ellipse (3 dots closely set together in a row or ALT 0133 on your keyboard) to subtly tell the reader that the message continues.
Let’s see what I used for an opening headline:
Free Money Expert Swears Under Oath That His Never Revealed Before Secrets Lets Almost Anyone Legally Steal* Money!
My opening headline then tells my targeted and identified prospect a big assistance: an insider’s scoop on how to get the grants they want.
Try adding a prehead to your salesletters. I’m sure you’ll be happy with the results.
To Your Success,