Secrets for successful subheads

Keep readers reading, skimmers scanning

What if I told you there was a magic wand that kept readers reading and skimmers scanning — even after their attention begins to wane?

Secrets for successful subheads image

Heads up on subheads Subheads can communicate your key messages even to nonreaders. Image by Monik Markus

Friends, there is such a tool, and it’s called a subhead. Problem is, most communicators leave this essential element out of their messages. Many others write subheads that suck.

So why subheads? And how can you write compelling ones?

Why subheads?

Subheads are those short headings that appear within the body copy. For example, in this piece, “Why subheads?” is a subhead. “Keep readers reading, skimmers scanning” is known as the deck.

Subheads can help you:

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Subheads “act as road signs on a reader’s journey through the text. They give direction and highlight key information and points of interest. If your signals are clear your readers can quickly see what’s most important and what they want to read.”
— Jacqueline Howard, Tuscaloosa City Schools

Reach readers with display copy

Because, too often, that’s all they read

By the time you’ve written your headline, David Ogilvy famously said, you’ve spent 80 cents of your advertising dollar.

Head first image

Head first Your display copy may be the only thing skimmers and scanners read. So how can you write headlines, subheads and other display copy that gets the word out? Image by Helena Perez García

No kidding: Display copy — headlines, decks, subheads, captions, links and so forth — get the most readership of all of the copy we write. So why not put your message where your readers are: in the display copy?

At Catch Your Readers — a two-day writing Master Class on June 28-29 in San Diego — you’ll learn how to get your message across to flippers, skimmers and other nonreaders with display copy.

You’ll find out how make your copy 47% more usable just by adding a few simple elements. You’ll discover how to multiply readership by passing The Palm Test. And you’ll walk away with a tool you can use to get the word out about your key messages — even to those who spend just 10 seconds on your piece.

Our discounted early bird tickets are long gone. But you can still nab a seat if you act fact. Don’t miss out. Register now.

Ann’s Catch Your Readers workshop “made me totally rethink the way I write, and I think the info will be top of mind the next time I sit down to write, as well as several years from now.”
— Erin Sikorski, account coordinator, Arketi Group

Polish your skills at our upcoming Master Classes

Learn to Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for writing workshop in San Diego on June 28-29
Register for PR writing workshop in Portland on July 27-28

Register for Online writing workshop in New York on Sept. 28-29
Register for communication measurement workshop in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 12-13

Register for writing workshop in Houston on Nov. 2-3
Register for Creative writing workshop in Los Angeles on Feb. 23-24, 2017

Register for Tight writing workshop in Washington, D.C. on April 6-7, 2017
Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?

Attending #IABC16?

So am I! Let’s connect!

I’d love to see you IRL at the IABC World Conference in New Orleans next week.

If you’re going to the conference and would like connect, please join me at my “Tear Down the Pyramid” workshop from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. on Monday, June 6, in Salons 19 and 22. And if you’d like to meet up at the Welcome Reception, please reply to this e-mail, and we’ll figure out a way to connect.

I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Geneva: Sept. 13 & Nov. 29
  • Houston: Nov. 2-3
  • Los Angeles: Feb. 23-24, 2017
  • New Orleans: June 6-8
  • New York: Sept. 28-29
  • Portland: July 27-28
  • San Diego: June 28-29
  • Washington, D.C.: Oct. 11-12 & April 6-7, 2017

Keep up with my calendar.