Whenever you design a flyer, leaflet or brochure, its first task is to be noticed. This initial interest should be quickly gained to encourage the recipient to spend time investigating your promotional piece. One of the key ways to successfully achieve this starting point is by creating a powerful, compelling or interesting headline.

You'll receive some such pieces which simply present the company name at the head (in the old days in newspapers this used to be known as "tombstone advertising"). It's true that some recipients may recognise the name, but even then, this does not mean that they will retain or read the communication. In fact, sometimes exactly the opposite effect could be realised!

There are a range of different ways to present your headline, but all need to comply with one key principle – the message should refer to something that's both pertinent and of interest to the potential reader. Again, you'll receive some communications which simply talk about what the creator thinks is important but may be of little or no interest to the recipients.

Three simple and powerful headline options

  • Use the words "how" or "how to" to show that the content is going to be useful. It's also a way to tie this to your service or products. Examples: "How to reduce your stationery costs with a single click of a mouse" or "How to be sure that your storage system won't let you down".

  • Ask a simple question, one that the reader will want to know the answer to. Examples: "What is the best-value vehicle lease plan available to your business?" or "Which secure facility option would work best for your company?"

  • Find something new to offer, as people always like the idea. Examples: "Introducing a simple new plan for cutting computer maintenance callout times" or "At last there's a new way to find the best-value travel provider".

Develop your headline story

The next step is to make sure that your copy quickly develops, explains or enhances what has been said in the headline. In this way, the initial interest is seized upon and heightened. It's important to take time to create an effective headline because, no matter how great your offer, powerful your claim, or valuable your service, the first key is to make sure those who receive your printed communication invest the time and interest needed for you to complete the piece's task.