August 19, 2017

Heads up on benefits headlines

8 types of benefits headlines to choose from

Stuck for a benefits headline? Browse these eight approaches for inspiration:

Heads up on benefits headlines

Get your head around this Write a command, question or testimonial headline. Image by Silvia Viñuales

1. Direct headline

The simplest approach, this headline just states the benefit clearly:

Save $100 on conference registration when you sign up by Feb. 13

2. Indirect headline

Use this approach to attract attention, arouse curiosity and prompt the reader to read on to learn more. The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, for instance, used this indirect headline:

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“The headline writer is the poet among journalists, stuffing big meaning into small spaces.”
— Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar, The Poynter Institute, in Writing Tools

Lift Ideas Off the Page

Draw readers in and reach nonreaders with display copy

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

Leap off the page

Leap off the page Communicate your ideas to your readers with display copy. Image by wplynn

That’s the value of display copy. Display copy — headlines, captions and callouts, for instance — gets the biggest ROI of all the copy we write.

That’s why I’m often amazed that the same folks who spend hours polishing the analogy in the seventh paragraph of their message toss off a headline in the 17 seconds before happy hour on a Friday afternoon. Most of your readers will never read the seventh paragraph. But many more will read your display copy.

So why not put your messages where your readers really are: in the display copy?

At Catch Your Readers — our two-day writing master class on March 22-23 in Las Vegas, and on June 19-20 in Boston — you’ll learn how to use your display copy to pull readers into your message, make your piece more inviting and even communicate to flippers and skimmers.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Reach “readers” who spend only two minutes — or even just 10 seconds — with your piece.
  • Avoid a common PR practice that journalists say “gets in the way” of their doing their jobs, according to one survey.
  • Avoid dropping the piece of display copy that 95% of people read — but that many communicators forget.
  • Run a simple test on your message to ensure that even folks who will not read your message no matter how well you write it still get your key ideas.
  • Make your copy 47% more usable by adding a few simple elements.
  • Pass the Palm Test to make your message look easier to read. Because if it looks easier to read, more people will read it.

This is the only writing workshop we have planned in Las Vegas in 2017. Don’t miss out on your chance to master persuasive-writing in Vegas! Register now.

“It exceeded my expectations and more. Ann really knows her stuff.”
— Diana Meza, public affairs officer, Riverside Community College District

Polish your skills at these Master Classes

Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller in Los Angeles: Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop in Los Angeles on Feb. 23-24, 2017
Register for Catch Your Reader: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Las Vegas on March 22-23, 2017
Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's Tight Writing workshop in Washington, D.C. on April 6-7, 2017
Register for Not Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop in Chicago on May 18-19, 2017
Register for Catch Your Reader: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Boston on June 19-20, 2017
Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie's online-writing workshop in Portland on July 27-28, 2017
Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's tight-writing workshop in San Francisco on Aug, 17-18, 2017
Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller in New York: Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop in New York on Sept. 25-26, 2017
Register for Catch Your Readers in Dallas: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Dallas on Oct. 16-17
Register for Not Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop in Kansas City on Nov. 16-17, 2017
Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie's online-writing workshop in Miami on Dec. 11-12, 2017

Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?

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:

  • Boston: June 19-20
  • Chicago: May 18-19
  • Dallas: Oct. 16-17
  • Des Moines: Feb. 8
  • Fresno, CA: Jan. 24
  • Kansas City: Nov. 16-17
  • Las Vegas: March 22-23
  • Los Angeles: Feb. 23-24
  • Miami: Dec. 11-12
  • New York: Sept. 25-16
  • Portland: July 27-28
  • San Francisco: Aug. 17-18
  • Washington, D.C.: April 6-7

Keep up with my calendar.