Since the nature of catalog copy is short, particularly for print catalogs, every word counts.
For this reason, the heading, what’s on top of the copy block, can play a huge role in making or breaking a sale.
Let me explain.
Essentially, there are two types of headings.
Examples of “Name” headings are “Dress” or “Lamp.” Plain and simple, these headings just tell you what the item is.
Examples of “Descriptive” headings are “All Business” (dress), and “Stylishly Bright” (lamp). These headings go beyond just telling you what the product is, they suggest what the product could represent.
Stay with me here now…
With these two heading types, there are three copy style choices.
Basic headline copy is bare bones: “Blue Linen Dress.”
To the point, no-nonsense. If I were looking for a blue linen dress, I’d definitely know I’d found one.
Romantic headline copy tries to provoke an emotional response: “CEO-In-Training.”
Hmmm, If I were an up-and-coming executive looking to professionalize my wardrobe, whoa, this would catch my eye.
Positioned copy, as the name states, helps position the product for its primary use: “Perfect for that Executive Board Meeting.”
This heading suggests to me where this dress would work best. Nice! I don’t have to figure it out.
So, what does this all mean for your copy?
Well, the right heading can drastically improve the likelihood of getting an order. And the right heading is the one that matches who your readers are. Which is why it’s so important to know this.
When you’ve got a good handle on who your customers are, what they want, the problems they face, you can tailor your headings to suit their needs and hopefully, convince them to take the plunge.
Sure, you can play it safe with straightforward, basic name headings, but for any given product, do you ever wonder if a little romanticizing might spur some impulse buys? Or if you use some clever positioning, perhaps your copy might unwittingly produce a convert or two?
Playing it safe isn’t always the best choice. A skillful copywriter can turn the mundane into the magnificent with a brilliant headline that romanticizes or positions.
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter