Thursday, November 23, 2017

Do Your Ads Have a Point... of Impact?

Seventy years ago, direct-response copywriter Victor Schwab ran an absurdly long ad for his agency titled “100 Good Advertising Headlines."

Though as corny as Kansas, the 7,500-word treatise is still remembered today because Schwab used it to reveal his "secret sauce" for headlines.

Good headlines entice readers, just as bad ones repel them; and always display two attributes, according to Schwab. 

Good headlines "select, from the total readership of the publication, those readers who are (or can be induced to be) interested in the subject of the advertisement, and promise them a worthwhile reward for reading it.”

Today we might say good headlines aim at your 1,000 true fans and deliver irresistibly clickable content; but Schwab's two principles still apply: targeting buyers and offering value are the only way to guarantee an ad has impact.

It's no surprise recent research by Conductor shows customers respond to "reader addressed" headlines; or that research by Demand Gen Report shows "content-enabled" campaigns—where content, rather than a product, is the value offered—produce high open and click rates.
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