Copywriting for Non-Copywriters: Use Headlines to Select Your Audience

Headlines are important marketing tools

I’m guessing you’re interested in copywriting, but you don’t consider yourself a copywriter.

If I’m correct, don’t go thinking I’m psychic.

I simply used this blog post’s title (which is really just another type of headline) to select a specific audience of readers: non-copywriters interested in copywriting.

Today’s good news is that you can use headlines to select your audience too!

And that’s whether we’re talking about webpage titles, ad titles, blog post titles, email subject lines…or any other type of headline out there.

Here’s how…

Why Use Headlines To Select Your Audience?

If someone is your audience, you have something they want.

So your first marketing goal is to communicate to them that “This copy is for you!”

…because the sooner they know this copy is for them in particular, the sooner they’ll dive into your message.

And once they dive in, if your copy is good, hopefully they’ll respond to it (e.g., comment on your blog post, buy your product, sign up for your service, etc.).

And if someone isn’t your audience, well, life’s too short to waste it reading something that isn’t going to do anything for you.

So do your readers a favor:

Use your headline to tell them if they’re your audience or not.

How Do You Use Headlines To Select Your Audience?

When it comes to selecting your audience, the secret is to always make sure your headline is specific enough to indicate what your copy is about.

Let’s look at some examples:

    “Are You Tired?”

Too vague. It’s unclear whether the copy that follows this headline will be about a new mattress, sleeping pills, or a tropical vacation.

Remember, if you force your readers to read your copy to find out if it contains something they value, it’s likely they’ll simply skip to the next headline instead.

Let’s give it another shot…

    “Having Trouble Sleeping?”

Better. It’s narrowed the potential audience to those with sleep problems. But the copy that follows this headline could still be about a mattress or sleeping pills.

Let’s try again…

    “Does Your Mattress Give You The Ultimate Sleep?”

Okay. Now our headline selects our audience: people that feel their mattress compromises their sleep.

Write Headlines That Your Readers Relate To

If your readers relate to your headline, they’ll read your copy; if they don’t relate, they won’t.

Either way, you’ve crafted a headline that selects your audience.

And as we already established, your first marketing goal is to communicate to your audience that “this copy is for you!”

So mission accomplished! And well done.

So, How Do You Use Headlines To Select Your Audience?

Have your own tips for selecting audiences with headlines? Have a particular favorite headline that selects an audience?

Let us know in the comments below! That way we can all be better marketers.