Question headlines have always been popular in direct response copy. In this blog I want to introduce the 'classic' question headlines and also discuss a MAJOR key to the successful question headline.
You've probably faced these question headlines.
- The 'who else...?'
"Who else wants six pack abs?"
- The 'are you...?'
"Are you looking for a vaccuum cleaner so powerful it can hold up a bowling ball?"
In general, I'm not a big fan of the question headline. There are too many question headlines out there. I'm especially non-fond of the 'who else' as I think the writer tends to shoot his or her bolt rather too quickly.
Remember, a headline is supposed to draw the reader into the copy.
The 'Are you?' headline can also stop the reader, rather than encouraging the reader to keep reading. The key is to include a degree of suspense. Instead of...
"Are you looking for new dentures?"
I would write..."If you have dentures, are you looking for a way to eat anything, anytime--with total comfort and confidence?"
Any type of question can be a headline.
The most important part of a question headline: THE READER MUST ABSOLUTELY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION
And it's the same with questions you pose in the body copy. Asking a question to which the reader doesn't know the answer is a rookie mistake. And yes--I've made the mistake. But no more!
Next time you read some copy, look at the question headlines and sub-heads. Are they beckoning you into the copy?
In the next blog, I'll swipe some excellent examples of question headlines.
I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I specialize in providing copy and content for the direct marketing environment for clients around the world. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here for a direct response copywriting quote.