Everyone wants a “killer headline” but what is it?

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of copywriting websites offering “killer headlines”. But what makes a “killer headline” and will it work for your business?

“Killer Headlines”! The what and the why…

“Killer headlines” are headlines that are supposed to grab the attention of your customers in such a way that they give them a virtual lobotomy, stifling all rational thought and objections and making them reach for their credit cards and the “buy Now!” button. Do they work? Obviously on some people they do but maybe – just maybe – that product or service would have sold anyway if it offered great value and had quality copywriting of the non-sleaze variety.

Why do they work? They usually work on curiosity. They lead you in and then the body copy does the rest. (That’s the way all good copy is supposed to work.) The problem I see with them is that the pages they appear on – often call “squeeze pages” -usually look sleazy and if you pay attention you can feel yourself being manipulated. That maybe OK if you have a product that you want to sell once but if you want any sort of relationship with your customers then my feeling is that they are counter-productive.

Guard your reputation

If your business has a solid reputation and the products and services you sell offer genuine value, my feeling is that using “killer headlines” and “squeeze pages” devalues your business. It lumps you in the “make undreamt of wealth from the internet” category of business.

It’s the old story of the turtle and hare

Killer headlines and squeeze pages may get you fast, even spectacular results, but for how long? They are becoming so common that the public is waking up to the manipulation and even non-web-savvy people recognise what’s coming. Relationships, referrals and repeat business are what success is about. That’s built on trust not manipulation. Remember the turtle wins the race!


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