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Marketing has a language of its own. This is our last in a series of publications aimed at helping new marketers learn this language. What term do you explain most often to new recruits during onboarding? Let us know.

Marketing 101: What Is A Headline That Gives The First Point?

This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

A point-first headline is a headline that begins with the main point you’re trying to make to the reader.

There are three types of sentences: point first, point middle, and point last.

Creative Sample # 1: Illustration of a Sequenced Grammar

Essentially, when you first write a headline, you are leading with the most engaging and relevant information to the reader. Thus, placing the main point of value for the customer at the beginning of the sentence increases the likelihood that it will be read and understood by potential customers. For this reason, the best performing stocks are usually pointed first.

Writing a headline first is the equivalent of the inverted pyramid in journalism. Writing a story this way encourages the reporter to prioritize the most interesting information.

Another journalistic saying that applies very well to a leading headline is “Don’t bury the lede”. In other words, make sure the most interesting part of the story is in the foreground. For marketing, « most relevant » translates to « the main point of value for the customer ».

A featured experience

MECLABS Institute worked with a survey company to research which titles would be most effective in recruiting panelists to participate in surveys (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

The experiment tested a series of titles first and last. Below, you can see each title along with its conversion rate. We have also highlighted the main point of each title.

Titles pointed first

  • Get paid to participate in FREE surveys: 28.76% conversion rate
  • Here is your first survey, and an invitation to join our research community: 28.35%
  • Get paid to complete online surveys: 27.98%
  • Get rewarded for your opinion: 27.92%
  • Surveys – Fast, Easy and FREE: 27.52%
  • Win money and prizes for online surveys: 27.27%

Last titles

  • Set up your FREE account today and Start earning money! : 27.35%
  • You are invited to join the [Company Name] Community and to Earn rewards for your opinions: 27.14%
  • Join [Company Name] Community and make your opinions count: 26.92%
  • Take online surveys from home and Win money and prizes: 26.81%

As you can see, first point titles tended to outperform last point titles.

While no midpoint titles were included in this experiment, as they tend to underperform both dot first and last dot titles, here are a few examples of what might look like. the midpoint titles for that landing page.

Titles in the middle

  • Register today and to be paid participate in free surveys
  • Take free surveys and to be rewarded for your opinion
  • Share your opinions and earn money with online surveys

As these examples show, the main customer value is easier to ignore in a one-time title.

Page templates that work

The trend for point-first headlines to outperform point-first and especially mid-point (all things being equal) headlines has led MECLABS to recommend that marketers test point-first headlines on your landing pages.

In the free resource Page Templates That Work: Improve Conversions With These Scientifically Proven Web Page Templates, models advise marketers to use a « headline first that clearly communicates the value of the page’s objective. »

Creative Sample # 2: Snippet of Page Templates that Work

Creative Sample # 2: Snippet of Page Templates that Work

You can follow Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content and Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute, on Twitter @DanielBurstein.

If you are interested in headlines, you might also like …

Copywriting: See immediate improvements by applying these 5 principles to your headlines

Headline optimization: how the 10 headline test found a 3 letter word that improved conversion more than major changes

Email Marketing: 3 Letters For Your Subject Line Success

If you are interested in entry level marketing content, you might also like …

Marketing 101: What Is Creating Funnels?

Marketing 101: What is PPC in Marketing?

A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing: 53 Articles (and 1 Video) to Help With Onboarding

Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction of MECLABS – seeking actionable insights while serving as a public advocate. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and webinars. Previously, he was the lead writer powering the MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from web clinics to research journals to blogging. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications, a communications consulting firm specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in writing, editing, internal communications, sales support and field marketing communications.

Categories: Writing Keywords: Copywriting, landing page

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