Even the best landing page in the world can’t turn a visitor into a lead after they’ve hit the back button. Your headline has to grab her attention, keep her reading and give your page a chance to work its magic.
But how do you write that headline?
If you’re anything like me, starting is the hardest part of writing. It's like I'm staring at the screen waiting for someone to unblock the idea pipe.
That struggle is over.
While I was on holiday I read a fantastic book on copywriting by Jim Edwards. I may have been the only person on a lounger at the pool with a business book in my hand, but I couldn't put it down. It was like a magician taking me backstage and showing how they actually cut the girl in half.
In the book Jim gives 5 plug-and-play templates for writing headlines that pole-vault you over the empty screen stage.
I thought it might be fun to rework an actual landing page headline using Jim’s templates. The headline comes from a site I was asked to review.
The page aims to sell social media management services to small business owners. The original headline reads...
"Are you looking for complete, powerful and authentic management of your social networks, saving you time and money?"
No business owner actually wants "powerful and authentic management". They want more sales, better enquiries, improved reputation and so on. Also, the term "social networks" is very vague unless you're in the industry.
Let's get started using the templates.
This template is really simple. You start with the words How to ...
Here are a few takes on the original headline using this template.
How to get more sales from your Facebook page.
How to turn your Facebook page into a lead generation engine.
How to use your Facebook page to get potential clients to trust you.
I could probably polish these up a bit but they're not bad for a 30 second effort.
You can extend the how to template by adding a time frame eg. How to ... in as little as ...
How to get more sales from your Facebook business page in one week.
How to turn your Facebook page into a lead generation engine in as little as 24 hours.
How to use your Facebook page to get potential clients to trust you in less than an hour a week.
You can further extend the the how to template by taking away something that’s stopping your audience. Perhaps a skill they’re missing, something they’re worried about or an objection they might have.
How to ... in as little as ... even if you ...
How to get more sales from your Facebook page in the next week, even if you’ve never had a single enquiry.
How to turn your Facebook page into a lead generation engine in as little as 24 hours even if you nothing you’ve done in the past has worked.
How to use your Facebook page to get potential clients to trust you, in less than an hour a week, even if you have no idea of what to post.
This template offers some number of ways (it doesn't have to be 5) for the reader to get what they want.
5 quick and easy ways to ...
5 quick and easy ways to get more sales from your Facebook page.
3 simple things you can do to turn your Facebook page into a lead generation engine.
7 types of content for your Facebook page that’ll get potential clients to trust you.
You can enhance this template by removing a feared negative outcome.
3 fast ways to get ... and avoid ...
You can also expand this by taking away an obstacle like we did in the "how to" template.
5 quick and easy ways to get more sales from your Facebook page even if you don’t have time to post every day.
3 simple things you can do to get 5 star reviews on your Facebook page even if you can't respond to messages.
The template comes in a two variations.
Which of these ... mistakes will you make?
... mistakes all ... need to avoid
I don’t like the warning template as much as the others because it feels like a hard sell. I guess that's a cultural thing because of my South African upbringing. It may work well for your audience.
It also comes in a few varieties.
WARNING: here’s what every ... needs to know about ...
WARNING: don’t even think about trying to ... until you read this
Here's my take on our candidate headline.
WARNING: Here’s what every small business owner needs to know about Facebook.
WARNING: Don’t even think about trying to run your Facebook business page until you read this.
Here’s the perfect solution if you want ...
You can extend this by removing obstacles in the same way as for the how to and 5 ways templates.
You can also use the even if extension on this template.
Here’s the perfect solution if you want ... (even if ...)
And a variation on this.
My proven ... method to ...
My proven 6-step method to turn your Facebook page into a lead generation engine.
My proven Facebook business page strategy to get potential clients to trust you.