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home | Sample Articles | Five Seconds…And Then Theyre Gone

Five Seconds…And Then They're Gone
Michael Attias
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Five, four, three, two, one! You have five seconds to grab a reader's attention with your headline. Headlines can be used in your ads, sales letters and even radio and tv spots.

Headlines are referred to as "The Ad for the Ad". Unfortunately, most ads I review think their logo is their headline. This is often called an "In Love With Yourself" headline. Others plaster a product name or price at the top of their ads.

Let me be blunt. Your customers don't give a flip about your logo. They care about what you can do for them. If your headline interests them, you advance to the next level. Otherwise your ad ends up in the trash.

"Fifteen Slain In School Shooting", "How To Know If He's Cheating On You" and "President Fathers Alien Child" are examples of headlines used by newspapers, magazines and even the National Enquirer. Headlines are designed to reach out and grab you by the throat. They beg you to keep reading. Just think about the magazines you read at the supermarket checkout line.

Your job in designing your headline is to uncover your customer's or prospect's hot button. Ask yourself, "What is the single biggest benefit of doing business with me?" or "What really bothers my prospect that I can solve?" The answer is closer than you know.

Your current customers are an excellent source of this information. They can tell you why they frequent your restaurant or use your catering service. Take that information and translate it into a benefit.

A benefit is the result you get from a feature. A feature of our caterings is "All You Care To Eat". The Benefit to my customers is they won't run out of food. A sample headline would be Never Run Out Of Food At Your Picnic. Variations might be: The Secret of Never Running Out of Food At Your Picnic or How To Never Run Out of Food At Your Picnic.

Think about how people fear running out of food at their events. Nothing could be more embarrassing. Once the reader's attention is grabbed you can use the rest of the ad to explain how you'll make good on your promise.

BIG TIP: Don't be intimidated by the thought of writing headlines. Most copywriters like myself use what's referred to as a "swipe file".

I have a collection of over 500 headlines I regularly use as a model. Start clipping out headlines from magazines, newspapers and even The National Enquirer and incorporate your benefit into their style.

Look, no one understands your business better than you do. Make a commitment to get involved in marketing your business. Start incorporating benefit packed headlines in all your ads, sales letters and marketing pieces today.

Michael Attias, the countries foremost expert on high return, low cost direct marketing strategies for restaurants, speaks from experience in the trenches. He operated a close to $3,000,000 a year restaurant in Nashville, TN that he used as his marketing "laboratory". He now helps restaurant owners increase their sales by adding or expanding a catering profit center through his company The Results Group. You can download his FREE Report: Tapping Into Your Hidden Catering Profit$ and subscribe to his free e-zine: The Restaurant Marketing Minute at www.ezRestaurantMarketing.com.


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