It’s easy to find proponents who are both for and against using questions in headline copy. Some will argue headlines structured as a question are too sales-y and therefore ineffective, while others will swear by it’s connective nature to the user.
For affiliates, that will frequently be the copy they write for the top of a custom landing page or squeeze page. Some will argue headlines structured as a question are ineffective, while others will swear by it’s connective nature to the user.
Betteridge’s law of headlines states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” It is named after Ian Betteridge, a British technology journalist. If there is any validity to this statement, you can overcome it by simply creating questions that aren’t easily answered with a ‘No’.
The best headline copy questions are ones that ensure a user’s answer persuades them to become more invested in what you’re promoting. That’s why the phrasing of the question is so important, because you’re aiming to minimize the possibility of a user answering that question negatively.
If anything, you don’t want them to be able to answer it easily. You want them to have to read through the rest of your copy to find their answer. Doing this will increase their interest in what you’re promoting, ensuring they invest more time into your landing page and learning about the offer.
If you directly tie the answer to the question with the campaign’s product or service you’re promoting, there’s a greater likelihood the user will go looking for the answer. To properly answer the question you’ve asked them, they will quite literally HAVE to find out more information first.
You want a internal conversation to be created within the user’s head where they’re automatically trying to answer what you’ve asked.
An example of this could be: “Is This Weight Loss Program The Perfect Match For YOUR Body?”
The user isn’t going to be able to answer this question without delving into the content further. There, they’ll inevitably be learning more about the program you’re promoting by engaging with your ad, article, social media post, or landing page.
Sparking the curiosity of a consumer can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a lead.
If you were to just ask: “Are You Looking to Start Shedding Pounds Today?”, it’s very easy for the user to answer “No”. If they’re feeling unmotivated or are still considering options when it comes to weight loss or living a healthier lifestyle, then it will be even easier for them to dismiss the headline.
The disconnect between the headline and the content (which for you will likely be the campaign landing page or a custom squeeze page) allows for an easy “exit” out of the sales path.
Questions aren’t always the best option for headline copy, but they can still be useful way to make users engage with your content. Strive to make them as inclusive as possible while enticing the user to read more about what it is you want them to buy. You have to make them feel like there’s truly something in it for them, and the headline is your first opportunity to create that feeling.