It’s the headline, and if you don’t get that right…well may as well not even play.
See, the whole point of the headline is to get people INTO the rest of the message. Fail that, and you’re sunk.
When I do ad critiques for Members and personal consulting clients, the headline or headlines they use in their ads start out needing improvement. (But these ads are better than the ones that don’t have a headline all together!) The headline is THE first part of the ad I look at to see if I can help make it better.
Usually, I’ll email back a couple of different examples of headlines that I would suggest them using. In a lot of cases (I know from talking with them during follow up conversations in the next few weeks or after tax season), my client will say that the headline worked and increased the response of the ad.
I’ll then say, “What headline did you choose?” And then they will tell me the headline and it’s many times a “shortened down version” of what I told them to do.
The client complains the headline was just too long. They thought having a headline three lines long (or more) was just too much. They wanted the standard four or five word (maybe a line or a line and a half) headline.
Let’s get to this point now rather than later. The LENGTH of the headline doesn’t matter. What matters is response.
If you get better response from a long headline, then use it. Same with the really short ones. (Sometimes one or two WORD headlines can be very effective.)
The headline you choose could read either way. Both ways would grab attention.