“Subheads act as road signs on a reader’s journey through the text. They give direction and highlight key information and points of interest. If your signals are clear, your readers can quickly see what’s most important and what they want to read.” — Jacqueline Howard
The poor subhead. So often neglected, so often misused. Something that needs to be there but doesn’t seem worth the trouble. For many copywriters, they are an afterthought — “Oh yeah, I have to put in some subheads. Darn.”
Sometimes beginning copywriters put in subheads simply because their mentor tells them they have to. And if you treat your subheads this way, they’re going to suffer. And quite likely, they’ll do more harm than good by just getting in the way of the flow of your copy.
But that won’t happen to you if you understand why subheads are used, and how and when they should be used. Here are some considerations:
Why do we need subheads? — Subheads are mini-headlines used to break up your copy, and they have several very specific purposes. Their first purpose is to attract your prospect’s attention and bring them into the sales letter, the landing page, the article… whatever you’re writing. This works for both linear readers — ones who read a sales letter from start to finish — by arousing curiosity and making the reader want to continue to the next section, and non-linear readers — ones who skim headlines, subheads, and bullet points — providing stepping-stones for them to get through the copy.
In the latter case, the subheads must provide enough interesting ideas and compelling copy by themselves to keep the prospect engaged until they feel ready to read the letter or… if you’re really lucky… to convince them to buy without even reading it.
Another reason for using subheads — and it’s every bit as important as the others — is that they break up long blocks of text, making it look easy to read. As a result, your prospect will mentally be willing to read more copy, giving you the opportunity to develop your sales pitch more naturally and effectively.
This article is reserved content for Wealthy Web Writer Platinum members. To continue reading this article please log in or become a member today.