Why and How to Create Subheads in Your Sales Letter that will Dramatically help your Copywriting

Using good subheads in your copy is a must. Especially online.

Subheads have two basic purposes:

  1. To break down your copy into easily digestible segments.
  2. To capture the attention of those who quickly scan your copy to see if they're interested.

How People Read Online

See, most of your readers, especially on the web, quickly scan copy to see if there's anything that they're really looking for. The results or benefits that they want. The information that they've tried to find for hours.

So you should break down your sales letter into sections and give each section a subhead. That makes it more easily soaked in. It also makes it more confrontable. Think about how you are. Would you rather read pages and pages of pure text? Or would you rather have that broken down into sections that are labeled so you know what you're reading better? So you know what you've read and what you haven't if you come back to it?

The Thought Behind Subheads

You'll have two main types of people reading your copy online.

  • Strongly interested prospects
  • Prospects interested, but not really looking to spend money.

The strongly interested prospects will read every word. And they'll love that your copy or information has been broken down into sections.

Those interested in the result or benefits, but not really looking to spend any money, will usually just scan the info to see if it's the type of benefit or result that they're looking for, the type of information. Then they'll read your subheads.

So your subheads are really mini-headlines in that sense.

So what you want to do is give the fast scanner what she's looking for. Benefits. Results. The strongly interested reader will like it, too.

How to Create Your Subheads

When you sit down to write the subheads for your various sections, have them tell a little story all on their own. They should help to contribute to selling your product or service.

They would tell of main benefits and the offer.

"Learn how to Keep all of your Condiment dispensers Perfectly Clean"
then, "Written by 11 of the top Kitchen minds in the World" (starts a credibility section)
then, "Keep Salt from Clogging up the Holes" (starts a benefits section)
then, "147 tightly packed pages of Tips and Tricks for Just $9.95" (starts the offer section)
then, "Guaranteed for life." (starts the order form or order form link)

That's an example I just made up, but all by itself it tells a little story that could enhance the content of the sales letter and make the scanners immediately know what's in it for them.

More on SUBHEAD Whys & Hows

Another reason that you'll want to use ample and descriptive subheads is because when the quick scanner readers read a subhead interests them, they'll stop and read that section of your copy.

Then, if that gains their further interest, they'll read on. Maybe they'll even go back and read the rest of your letter.

They won't do that if you don't use subheads. And if your subheads also tell the story all by themselves, you'll TYPICALLY sell more.

Also, with subheads being like mini-headlines, you should apply the basics of writing good headlines. They'll help. So practice writing a series of subheads for your own product or service.

And make sure they're descriptive of that section and tell a little story of your letter all by themselves.


Links for This Section:
| The Copywriting Tutorials Index |
| What is Copywriting? | The Basics | The Emotions |
| The Headline | Lead or Hook | The Body |
| Building Benefits | Subheads | Why You? |
| Building Credibility | The Withdraw | The Close |
| Creating Urgency | The Guarantee | The P.S. |
| The Order Form |

© 2002 by Russell Burnham. All Rights Reserved.
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How to write subheads in your sales copy.