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It was terrible… I was shocked, aghast at what I was seeing.

How could they do this? I had just lost my dinner !!

I had depended on them so much… but they have messed up the entire thing.

My dinner was gone!! The new restaurant from where I had ordered my favourite mixed noodles and Chicken Manchurian had messed up the entire dinner. They had packed all the food into a single packet and delivered to me.

They had wasted my entire money and top it all, imagine a foodie like me having to go without dinner for an entire night. My worst nightmare !!

Now what has got to do with my post on copywriting. My dear reader, it has and it will make more sense to you once you get to know the today’s topic.

In my last post, I had written exhaustively about the importance of headlines. In this one, you will get to know more about the shorter form of headlines (or mini headlines as they are sometimes referred to), which are known as subheads.

Keeping them hooked on

Congratulations! Your reader just got hooked on your post by giving a glance at the awesome headline which sits like a glittering crown at the beginning of your post.

But now how do you retain his attention? Through the use of mini headlines or subheads, obviously. Subheads help break up your copy into more meaningful sections which increases the appeal of whatever you are trying to convey. They are like the siblings of the main headline of your post.

A good copy without any subheads is just like a spoilt dinner of mixed noodles and Chicken Manchurian. From the mess, you cannot distinguish which one is what. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were packed separately so that you could savor them individually? Same goes for your copy.

Try to separate individual sections with enticing subheads so as to make them tantalizingly delicious to your reader.

Now imagine reading this entire post of mine without any subheads or breaks. Would that be visually appealing to you? No, it would not. An occasional subhead acts like a guide to the reader slowly nudging him where you want him to be.

Remember, your reader will not read your copy at first. He will first scan through your entire document and while scanning, the sub-heads are the hooks which if he finds useful will successfully capture his attention. An appealing subhead will gently nudge the reader in going through more of your copy, helping you to move closer to your goal.

I bet that we all have played snakes and ladders (I still do!!). Well, what was your mission while playing the game? Obviously to move the coloured pieces through the ladders with every throw of the dice, from zero to hundred. Although this game depends on your luck, fortunately, your copy does not. It all depends on how well you can write the subheads and entice the reader to do something for his benefit as well as yours.

Putting the right spices in your copy

Preparing a great dish requires the right spices and so does your copy. Though not a very technical thing, it will pay off in the long run if you can manage to keep the following points in mind when creating subheads:

  • Make sure that the subheads are capable of generating inquisitiveness which will make your reader dig further into your copy 
  • The body of the text following the subhead should relate to whatever you have mentioned in the subhead
  • The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife’. This quote by the legendary David Ogilvy more than sums up what you should be conveying through your writing. DO NOT EVER make promises or write something in your subhead which is not true or which you cannot keep. Not only for subheads, this is applicable for the rest of the copy too.
  • Make the subheads in the language that your audience wants to hear and not what you want to hear. The reader is not interested in you, he is only interested in the benefits that he will be receiving from your post.
  • The last one by this quote by Leo Burnett says it all ‘Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read

Need I say more? Take your time, and have fun creating great headlines. Learn to care for your readers and with your copy create an environment beneficial to all, personally, professionally, and financially.