Did that headline grab your attention? Did it stand out in your list of new posts and you just had to know what it meant? Did you think I really wanted you to grab my ass????

I hope so. I mean, not about grabbing my butt, but about piquing your interest. That was my intention. I wanted to grab your attention and I want you to grab mine. With your marketing pieces, that is.

What’s the next thing you noticed in this blog post? Probably the picture, right? And if you hadn’t seen the title first, you probably even noticed the picture before the headline. If you’re normal, anyway, which I’m not quite sure about. You are a writer, after all.

Studies have proven a gazillion times that when we browse media with a mixture of photos, headlines and text (e.g., newspaper, magazine, web page), we look at pictures first. If they pique our interest, especially with an attention-grabbing caption, we’ll read the headline. If the headline keeps our attention, then we’ll start reading the text that accompanies it all.

After pictures, our eyes go to titles. Sometimes there is no picture, but a good headline will stand out enough to grab us anyway. Especially in media where only a list of titles is provided first and you have to click for more information.

So when you’re creating a marketing piece, whether it’s a display advertisement or a banner ad, a press release or a blog post, include an eye-catching picture and create a headline that makes the viewer or reader want to know more. When you grab their attention with these two items, they’ll start reading or clicking or doing whatever you want them to do so you can create a strong desire in them to take action.

We’ll talk about creating desire another time. First, you must have the reader’s interest. Use the power tools – the graphic and the headline – to grab their attention. And if that doesn’t work, I suppose you can try grabbing their ass, but, well, proceed with caution and don’t say I told you to do it!