What you absolutely must know about writing headlines
It is very important that your headline causes the buyer to make an immediate judgment decision on whether or not to buy your product. If, after reading your headline, it is not possible for a person to say "I want this or "I don't want this", then your headline is worthless. That is to say, with a good headline, the buyer will make the decision to buy immediately after reading the headline. This is not a conscious decision, but a subconscious desire to have what they imagine the product to be.
For the most part, after reading a headline, the buyer knows virtually nothing about the product. But with a strong headline, the buyer will read your sales letter in an attempt to justify the subconscious decision he has already made to purchase the product. It is not necessary to give out more information about the product in your sales letter in an attempt to "make the sale." In fact, this could actually take away customers who may discover that the product is not exactly what they expected. Therefore, in many ways, your sales letter should just be an elongated version of your headline, where you simply re-establish the claims that you've made in your headline in a more drawn-out way.
The following headline is a perfect example of what I'm talking about:
"Finally discover the rarely revealed secrets that [somebody] doesn't want you to know... and follow this step-by-step program to [do something desirable]!"
This headline establishes two things. First, it contends that this product contains quality information that is worth keeping secret. And second, it will provide you with a step-by-step way to take advantage of this information for your benefit. Now, provided that the person reading the headline is truly a potential customer, after reading this headline (and having virtually no information as to what the product actually is or does) he will subconsciously already want to have the product.
Since the buyer has already made the subconscious decision that the product is something desirable to him, it is not necessary to give him too much more information about the product. Instead the letter should focus on restating each claim and justifying them as believable. This will reassure the buyer that the subconscious decision he has made was the correct one, and the decision will move from subconscious to conscious, resulting in a sale.
In a very significant number of cases, the buyers of your product will not have even read the entire sales letter. This is due to what I've been talking about in this article, and it is the reason that your headline is so important to your overall sales pitch. As I'm sure you know, even minor changes in a headline can drastically change your conversion ratio. Therefore it is of the utmost important that you have a strong, compelling headline that immediately induces the desire to have the product in the buyer's mind.
About the Author
Joe Lloyd has been quietly making a living online for over six years, and is the owner of Profit Guild, http://www.profitguild.com, an information hub and community for Internet Marketing professionals.