I wrote a letter to get the over 50s active in a recent campaign, and learned that with one change I could double my results and get twice as many over 50s active for no extra cost.
The letter was based on the research from the promoting activity toolkit, it spelt out the key benefits that our audience was interested in, it addressed the barriers that our audience faced. It followed the marketing guidelines precisely. You would expect this to do really well. And it did. A typical response rate is 1-2%, but we got got 4%. Fantastic – we’ve doubled our results for no extra money.
Except that’s not the whole story. Because I’m a keen student of marketing (or marketing geek as my mates assure me) I actually sent two versions of the letter. The second one was identical to the first in all ways except for the headline, it explained the same benefits, addressed the same barriers, even used the same font size and font type. The only thing that was different was one line at the top – the headline. Surely this little change wouldn’t make a big difference. Well, yes it did. It doubled the already successful response rate from 4% to 8%.
How is that possible? Well, the headline is the most important part of any marketing materials you write. What you put in the headline will make more difference than anything else in the whole letter, poster, flyer, advert or any other kind of marketing materials.
On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.
It’s fairly obvious that if people stop at the headline, you’re already dead in the water.
The better your headline, the better your odds of beating the averages and getting what you’ve written read by a larger percentage of people.
And what were these headlines?
- Would you like to be more active but don’t know where to start?
- Free activity taster sessions
Which one did better? Well, you can find that out and much more in the “Double your marketing results through writing” workshop. The next one is on Wednesday 2nd March – find out more.