Today’s episode of GSDdaily will be about headlines, and writing copy. Good copy is the difference between selling a lot of stuff and not. I mean, at the end of the day, sales funnels are sales funnels.
Most people think of a sales funnel as a collection of pages. Actually, a sales funnel is a whole lot more than just a collection of pages. It is the copy that is on those pages, the headlines, and subheadlines, the video, the features, and benefits, and bullets and all of that stuff. All of it is what drives sales. It isn’t just the pages or the layout or the way that pages are set up or structured. That stuff matters a whole lot less than what you would think.
What matters is how people engage with the page.
How they engage with the page is through the copy that is on the page. Now, we’re going to talk about how to write headlines. I’m going to walk through the different ways that headlines can be used. Actually, headlines can be used for email subject lines, for blog post titles, and then of course for sales letter headlines.
Good copy is a good copy and can be used in a lot of different areas.
It’s all just a form or a function of this idea of how to write headlines. That’s what we’re going to talk about.
For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Jason Drohn, I am the creator of doneforyou.com. We specialize in creating offers, building sales funnels, and marketing automation. Those are the three areas that we play in and we’re experts in. It comprises the foundation of every great business online at least, so that is where we love to be.
How To Write Headlines
Now, today I want to talk a little bit about how to write headlines, and also show some split tested examples. There are some really simple ways to get good at copy or get good at writing copy. You just have to put the effort and the work into it, which sucks, but I mean, it is what it is.
If you want to be a master of your craft, you want to sell a lot of shit online, you have to put in the work.
- figure out some of the buyer’s psychology of what people want to buy
- what makes them buy
- what are their triggers
How to write headlines is the easiest way to start to pinpoint that. For instance, great headlines are very to the point. They have a compelling message and a compelling offer. Usually, they have a little bit of urgency, and they convey a benefit in them. At the end of the day, one headline encapsulates the entire message of a blog post, sales letter, the whole thing. But besides, it also serves as the jumping-off point when somebody is reading it.
They read the headline, which helps them understand what the offer, the page, the email are about. In addition, it also gets them to read the next line. That next line is usually a subheadline or the opening paragraph or whatever. That paragraph gets them to read the next line or paragraph, and then that gets them to read the next one, all the way down the page.
When you’re looking at sales letter-like stuff, there are some screen capture tools and stuff we use. It records a video of somebody watching a sales video, watching a sales page I should say or scrolling through a sales page. Most people read the headlines, and then they go back and they read the subheadlines. Then they find the sections that they get into. They read those sections down to the buy button.
They’re kind of like, they scroll the page, and then they go back up to the top, and they scroll the page and then … They’re back and forth, back and forth before they decide they want to buy it. It’s even oddly enough, it’s even more prevalent right now in the pandemic, people are sporadically going through sales pages, they’re not looking at sales pages, formulaically, like they have in the past, they were kind of like, up and down, up and down, up and down, “Oh, I’m going to buy.” Then they buy, and then the same thing for the upsell, the up and down, up and down.
1. Hint it to some curiosity
It’s interesting the way our psyche has changed because of the pandemic and the crisis. At the end of the day, how to write headlines, you want to hint it to some curiosity. Your curiosity wants to propel, to give some urgency. You want to make sure your headline is believable as possible. If you can use numbers, numbers are great. But they also engage the logical side of the brain is away from the emotional side of the brain.
2. Avoid hype
You want to make sure to avoid hype, which is all over the place right now.
3. Use humor
If you can use humor, make sure to use humor. I am not a very humorous copywriter, some people are in. As I’m saying this, I’m thinking of the Harmon brother’s video ads. They’re very humorous, they’re funny as shit. That’s what makes them so unbelievably viral.
People want to share them despite them being advertisements. If you can tie humor into it, then that always helps.
4. Add Pre headline, subheadline
Your main headline though sometimes can be preceded by a pre headline, something like a qualifying statement. Some of the stuff we use is like a headline, turn clicks into customers, then there might be a pre headline that is for coaches or consultants, or there might be a sub-headline underneath that, that qualifies them a little bit more.
We use pre headlines, headlines, and subheads lines to nail our target prospect or demographic. And then that way they know that they should continue reading, or if we’re offering something for sale, like a lead magnet, we usually try to put the price of the thing and how to write headlines so that they can immediately tune out or tune in, depending on what they’re interested in.
5. Make it personal
You want to make sure that they know, they’re being communicated to. In your sales copy, use words like you, make it very personal to them, make an actionable, so all things about the headline.
First of all, I wanted to kind of share some of my copywriting, where I learned copywriting. I didn’t necessarily go through any big course, but the copy is one of those things you have to learn by doing. There’s no other way, you can go through courses, you can listen to audio programs, you can buy, you can go through Udemy courses, and learn what good copywriting is, and it might take years or decades to figure it out.
It’s quicker to write the copy and test it live with real people, real websites, real traffic, and see what converts and what doesn’t.
Way back in the day, I had a website called Marketing Hacks. One of the best, the top blog posts on this website was a post on slogans, it was like the 30 best slogans.
We got thousands of visitors a day looking up slogans, best slogans, unique slogans, company slogans, like all of these keyword phrases, we’re driving traffic directly to this blog post. And I was like, “Oh my God.” This was 10 years ago. “Oh my God, this is such a great opportunity to create a course on slogans.” I created a course on slogans, it was like a six or seven module course. I think I priced it for $67 or $27 or something like that.
When I started writing copying, I wrote some long-form copy, this is before sales videos were kind of invented. I wrote some long-form sales copy, and then I started tracking conversions, it wasn’t even conversions, it clicked. 400 people came to the sales page, I’m like, well, shit I didn’t sell anything.
Then you tweak the copy again, you wait for another two or 300 visitors, and then you didn’t sell anything. And then you tweak the copy again, and then you get one sale after three or 400 visitors. Then you tweak the copy again, and you get three sales. I mean, mind you that we are 1200 visitors into this tweaking process, but yet we’re starting to get some sales. So now with paid traffic, you can do that a lot quicker.
Testing Your Headlines
You can get the traffic, the views, the lead, whatever, to test your conversion process quickly. But you have to learn by doing, you have to learn by writing, so you’re going to learn how to write headlines by testing other headline variations and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
There’s one way that I am absolutely in love with, for testing headlines quickly. Last week we talked about visual website optimizer. This way is a whole lot simpler, so there’s a plugin that I like called Thrive Headline Optimizer. Let me kick into here now, this is a blog post, so there are lots of different ways you can use headlines.
If you know how to write headlines, you can test how to write headlines obviously in your sales copy. You can also test your headlines as:
- blog posts subjects
- email subject lines
You can look and see, where am I getting most of my opens. If I get a lot of opens with this particular email subject line, then it must be a great subject line. If I get a lot of blog posts interactions from this particular subject line, then it must be a great subject line.
Most like Buzzfeed and all these like super, super crazy trafficked websites, they’ll have as many as 25 or 30 subject tests that they run and then whichever one wins, wins and then they just let it go, and then that thing is just feeding traffic crazy forever.
Thrive Headline Optimizer
They test everything and it’s a very important part of what they do. This is a piece of software called, the Thrive Headline Optimizer. It is part of the Thrive Plugin Pack. This is a paid tool, you get like a leads tool and it’s really sweet, but this particular one is not this page.
Thrive Headline Optimizer, is the tool that we’re going to be playing with. I found this thing a couple of months ago and we’ve been getting some crazy organic traffic and I credit a lot of it to this plugin, not all of it because we’re doing live streams, we’re doing a lot of like new cool stuff. I credit some quite a bit of it to this, but not all of it.
Basically, how this headline optimizer works is every blog post that you write, you can split test the subject line. Currently, well today, I mean, you can see that we had 16 views of the split tested subject lines. Now, I have already done this test with 25 blog posts, if we go and we’re going to look at the rows per page, these are all of our completed tests.
Content with completed tests, I’m just going to go look at some of these. Here’s one example, this one was, how to use data analytics to unlock sales online. That was the winning variation, we can start another test from here, but let’s look at the results of the last test. Here you see that we got in total … It doesn’t have how many tests we have, but we ran six different subject lines for this particular blog post. And you can see how they ended up charting out.
We had one that sucked, it was terrible. How to use data analytics to unlock sales? It got no engagements, no content views, nothing. Then the next one up was this dark green one, so this was how do you use data to improve sales and conversions. That was a total engagement rate of 42% and that was our control.
Well, now, if you look at some of the winners, the winner was, how to use data analytics to unlock sales online? And then the one book right below that was using data analytics to improve online sales. What this is telling you is, it’s letting you split test a lot of different subject lines, and then it goes through and test them all head to head.
It’s testing all of them for you, to tell you which one works. And you can see, we have a chance to beat original 99.5 and 99.97, 99.99. This green one is the one that we chose as the winner, how to use data analytics to unlock sales online? Now that one is kind of a boring one, but it still goes to show you that more people are going to respond to certain headlines.
Now I could use that headline in an ad or an email subject line because I already know it’s going to resonate by better than a lot of other combinations for that particular keyword phrase. Let’s look at a different one, so there was one here. We’ve got all kinds of traffic. What’s that one, three features from Instagram, Instagram live video, we’re going to look at this one, this one got a lot of traffic, it always gets a lot of traffic.
Our winning variation right now is three features, get your free traffic from Instagram, which is odd because there’s a misspelling in it. I mean, it should be you, your free traffic. Here we’ve tested a lot of different variations, we tested three features, get your free traffic from Instagram so that one has a 100% chance to beat the original.
Then we have three free features that get you unlimited traffic from Instagram. And that one had 99.37%. You can see that both of these ended up, we’re neck and neck. The red one, which is the one with the misspelling, actually won. That is the one that is currently live on the website, but with this tool, basically, all you have to do, let’s go look at an older blog post, and I’m going to show you how to set this thing up.
We’re going to go to all posts and then I’m going to find one, that my team hasn’t set up a headline test for. This one is being tested, these are all being tested, here’s one, tricks to effective sales pipeline management. This was the last one that I did, so we’re going to go through and how to write headlines test using this Thrive Headline Optimizer.
Tricks to effective at sales pipeline management, now, there’s an important thing here. The keyword phrase that we’re trying to rank for is sales pipeline management. We want to make sure that that thing is in every keyword phrase that we’re working with. You can see here under our Yoast SEO plugin, sales pipeline management is the keyword phrase that we’re looking to optimize for.
Setting up the Split Test
Now to set up that split test, we’re going to add a new headline. We’re just going to add three variations of this. Sales pipeline management, how to effectively crack sales. Now we’re going to set up another variation, top tips to effectively tracking sales pipeline management and … Usually, I just throw like a winger in, my last variation usually is just kind of like a Hail Mary, maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t.
As sales pipeline management work, find out here. Now we have three different variations of this test. As soon as we hit update, it’s going to throw that in that Thrive Headline Optimizer plugin. Then it’s going to start to round robining those subject lines. We’re going to check back in a week or two.
Usually, about a hundred views, we’re going to check back and see which subject lines won. We will also check which one’s suck. If there is a clear winner already, then we will activate that clear winner. We’ll kind of lock that in and then we usually retest.
Usually, we’ll do another test and see if we can beat that winner again. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t, but we’re always trying to find a new control with our headlines. How to write headlines, whether it’s a sales page headline, whether it is a blog post headline or an email subject line, we always try to find that new control and then we go from there.
For Questions and Guide
If you have any questions at all. You want to schedule an action plan, call up my team. We will walk through sales copy, sales funnels and email traffic. Just go to doneforyou.com/start. Book a call with us, we’ll be happy to kind of put together an action plan for you, and if you have any questions for future episodes, go to doneforyou.com/blog.