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Sunday, January 6th, 2013

50 Examples of Headlines that Forced Me to Read On

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Back when I was a journalist, I used to be a horrible headline writer — my editors would replace whatever headline I wrote just about every time. I would get pi$$ed, but they were right.

I’ve since embraced the notion that if a headline is no good, the reader won’t continue on to your actual story or ad.

I’ve studied headlines over the last 5 years and gotten a bit better. Whenever I see a good headline idea, I try to jot it down, especially if it strikes an emotional chord.

Below are a list of my favorite headline templates/examples by categories. The categories are proven winners

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Sunday, December 16th, 2012

“Alienate the Non-Prospect” to Truly Dominate Your Market

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Is attracting people to your product always a good idea?

No!

No, attracting potential customers isn’t always a good idea because there is a cost to attracting certain prospects.

The Apple ad with mac guy versus the pc guy | alienating the non-prospect

Apple is ok alienating 80%+ of computer prospects (represented by PC/Windows guy on the left) in order to attract hipper prospects like the Mac Guy (on right).

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Sunday, December 9th, 2012

My Recent Speech On “Personal Branding” For AMA @ ING Cafe

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I gave a speech on Personal Branding to the American Marketing Association (San Francisco) (thanks, Brian Kerr!) on Nov. 20th at the ING Direct Cafe.

Some of you asked for the slides of the show.

Here’s the Powerpoint slide show via Slideshare and then below that are some notes from the speech:

Rob kelly powerpoint slides personal branding speech ama ing cafe from Rob Kelly

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Monday, July 23rd, 2012

A Long List Of Words In Our Brains That Brands Own

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The average American knows about 12,000 words (though Shakespeare was said to have had known 66,000) — the best brands are ones that own the most market share of a couple of those words.

CNN owns “news” in my brain. When I think of “reggae,” it’s Bob Marley — he owns it. There’s an awesome analysis of this in Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind (they discuss the concept of ladders (product categories) in your brain with room for just a handful of rungs (brands) — it’s the primary reason I voted it one of the Top 20 Best Business Books Of All Time!).

Who cares? Well, if your business wants market share of something, you have to decide which words you are going to try to “own” in my brain. 

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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

The 50 Best Product Taglines By Industry

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After naming a product, the tagline may be the most important marketing lever you can pull.

Afterall, the name of the product opens up the conversation with your customer…but the tagline can immediately tell them what it is that you do — and what makes you unique.

You’ve probably seen how much I love lists.

So I’ve compiled a list of 50+ of my favorite taglines. Enjoy!

Automobile

  • Avis — “We’re #2, so we try harder”
  • BMW — “The ultimate driving machine”
  • Volkswagon — “Think small”
  • Zipcar — “Wheels when you want them”
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Monday, September 26th, 2011

5 Basic Rules To Consider Before Naming Your Product

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I re-read the must-read marketing book Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind (#13 on my 20 Best Business Books Of All Time list) over the summer.

It inspired this simple list of naming tips (which I think is a good foll0w-up to 5 Tips On How To Name Your Brand To Be As Dominant As Kleenex).

How To Name A Product: 5 Basic Rules To Consider

1) Include Your Prospect’s Major Benefit  (Or Pain & Urgency)

Close-Up Toothpaste shows a clear benefit about making your teeth look better.

Shake ‘n Bake (for cooking chicken) tells you the two simple steps — you shake (the herbs) and you bake (the chicken) — to make tasty chicken.

You may also consider the pain or urgency that your customer has.

For example, if you have dandruff and you want to address the flakes on your shoulders as well as shampoo your hair, Head & Shoulders shampoo is a darn good name.

2) Be Almost, But Not Quite, Generic

Microsoft names its product because it focused on “micro”-computer “soft”ware.

Kentucky Fried Chicken is self-explanatory. People Magazine is pretty good too.

But don’t go too generic, warns the book Positioning: “Lite” beer from Miller was the industry leader but it lost its brand positioning when other beers co-opted the name (Bud Light, Coors Light, etc.).

The law sided with those competitors since “Lite” is generic and so similar to “Light” (as in opposite of heavy).

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Saturday, August 6th, 2011

10 Easy Tips On How To Write Better Headlines (Warning: Response Rates May Soar 20X)

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The “Dean Of Copywriters” John Caples famously said that an effective marketing piece/ad can have 19.5 times the success of a poorly written ad. And the most important aspect of advertising is the headline.

In fact, 5 times as many people read headlines as read the body copy of an ad, according to David Oglivy in his Oglivy On Advertising (A Top 20 Best Business Book Of All Time).

The headline of this ad is considered one of the most effective in the history of advertising due to its appeal to self-interest and curiousity.

Maybe you’re not directly in marketing/advertising, so should you care?

Big time!

If you do any of the following you will benefit from improving your headline writing skills:

  • Write emails (the subject line is your headline)
  • Name things (whether your product or your business or, in some cases, your child!)
  • Write blog postings
  • Write a description of yourself on your resume or LinkedIn profile

I’m by no means a copywriting expert, but I hang out with some and I’ve studied some of the greats (David Oglivy, Al Ries, Jack Trout, John Caples).

So I am going to share 10 awesome headline-writing tips I’ve learned along the way.

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Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

6 Easy Tools To Help You Name Stuff On The Web

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Naming products and businesses is key to marketing and there are a bunch of cool, free naming tools on the Web to take advantage of.

Below are six good ones I’ve used.

Naming Ideas: Where To Start?

I think Google’s Keyword Tool is a great place to start as it provides you with the # of monthly searches being made for certain words/phrases.

Let’s pretend that I’m interested in naming a business that deals in “personality types” — type that into the search box.


 

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