This tip comes courtesy of the excellent copywriters, Dickie Bush & Nicolas Cole.
Nicolas and Dickie say that using 'clever' writing over clear is this the number #1 mistake in writing. I’d go even further and say it’s the #1 mistake in performance marketing.
Websites that try to use clever headlines almost always fail to engage the visitor.
Some real-life examples we’ve seen:
- Alliteration: “Building better businesses”
- Pun: “Put your money to work”
- Jargon: “We put people before profits”
- Nonsense: “We are digital artisans”. “We. Are. [name]”.
What do these actually mean?
None of them tick the essential components of a headline. They try to be clever, but in the process, they fail to engage the visitor.
A powerful headline should:
- Be clear about the problem
- Be clear about the solution
- Be free of jargon, puns, and unnecessary words
- Be easily understood by someone outside of your industry
Bad heading example:
“We’ll help you to align your business goals with an eye toward creating value through process change initiatives”.
Better heading example:
“Work faster and smarter by transforming your business processes”
As a general rule, if a 12-year-old can understand what you’ve written then a multi-tasking adult with one finger on the back button is likely to stick around and read more.