February 8, 2021

woman using smartphone for online shopping sitting in armchair

As we have discussed before, the state of awareness and sophistication of your market gives you the content of your headline.

Before, we get deeper into discussing the state of awareness of your market, lets recap on the job of our headline.

As I have mentioned before...

"Your Headline Does Not Need To Sell At All"

It does not even have to mention your main appeal, your products name, or the solution it's solving.

To demand that a headline should sell, is to place the full selling burden onto approximately 10% to 20% of your website.

Your headline only has ONE job.... which is to stop your prospect and get him to read the second sentence of your website.

The more of your website you can force your prospect to read, the more thoroughly you can sell him.

*In this blog I will alternate between using the word "ad" and "website" that's because the way you create your headline for your website is the same way you will create the headline for your ad. Your website and ad will have the same or similar headlines. 

Every market's awareness passes through several stages: The more aware your market the easier the selling job, the less you need to say...

In the following we will go down the awareness scale step by step. Discussing the different levels of awareness, from the easiest to the most difficult.

This will help you create a headline that speaks directly to your ideal prospect, increasing the overall conversion of your website, ads and landing page.

We will start with the easiest headline to write:

State of Awareness one: The most aware

This is the easiest headline to write...

The most aware prospect is someone who knows of your particular service. Knows what your service does. And knows he wants your service. Therefore, nothing more needs to be said. If you say more, you run the risk of boring your prospect. 

How to create the headline:

  • State the name of your service the bargain price in your headline.
  • Example: "Sun Fitness 12-week Bootcamp- formerly $599.50- NOW ONLY $299.99"

This is the typical department store, grocery store ad. They name the store, product and discount price.

*Remember for the most aware market the price is the most important part of the headline.

State of awareness two: The customer knows of the product but doesn’t yet want it

In the second state of awareness the prospect knows of your product but doesn't yet want it. Usually because they aren’t completely aware of what your product does.

The Type of product or service you’re dealing with:

  • Has an established brand name
  • Already linked itself with an acknowledged public desire
  • Has proven that it can satisfy that desire

The goal of your headline is to show your prospect that he needs your product. You do this by weaving in every strand of your products superiority in the headline.

How to create the headline:

  • Display the name or logo of the product in the headline.
  • Use the remainder of the headline to point out the products superiority
    • Example: “hoovers new invention washes floors and vacuums up the soap water.”

State of awareness 3: Introducing new products

In the third state of awareness the prospect knows that he wants what the product does. But he doesn’t yet know that there is a product that will do it for him.

What you need to focus on when introducing new products:

  1. Defining the vague desire that is slowly spreading through the masses.
  2. Sharpening that desire and it's solution so that it can be recognized immediately. 

How to create this type of headline:

  • Name the desire and/or solution in your headline
    • Example: "Healthy Eating Made Easy"

State of awareness 4: Prospect is aware of his need but not his desire.

In the fourth state of awareness, the prospect has a need but not a desire. He recognizes the need instantly. This headline is for a product/service that solves a problem. 

How to write this headline:

  • naming the need and/or its solution in your headline. 
    • Example: “Shrinks hemorrhoids without surgery”

State of awareness 5: Completely unaware

In state of awareness 5, the prospect is either not aware of how desire or his need or he won’t honestly admit it to himself.

To create a headline for a completely unaware market, you have to follow the process of elimination:

  1. Eliminate all mention of price: price means nothing to someone who does know or want your product or service.
  2. Eliminate the mention of your products name: The name of your product means nothing to a person who has never seen it before.
  3. Eliminate all mention of the performance of your product and the desire it satisfies: A direct statement of what your product does, what desire it satisfies, or what problem it solves, will not work. Your prospects don't know about your product or they are not in the position to fully accept any claims.

What can you mention in headline?

your market: you can concentrate on the individual identifications of the people who make up your market. And use that in your headline to attract the right people.

How to target your market in the headline:

Call your market together in the headline, by writing an identification headline. You are selling nothing, promising nothing, satisfying nothing...instead you are echoing an emotion.


  • Headline for a caffeine replacement: “Why men crack”
  • Here the writer is echoing an emotion. This headline would relate to an over-worked man.


Knowing the awareness of your prospect is important when creating your headline because a headline has to cater to your prospects present state of awareness.

If your headline is talking about something your prospect is not aware of, your prospect won't read the headline. And the goal of your headline is to be read!

Now, you have figured out the awareness of your prospect you now know what you can and cannot say in your headline.

To find out the exact words you need to say in your headline, you need to know the sophistication of your targeted market, which we will explore next.

Jennifer Tiwana

Jennifer has experience in Journalism, Writing and Editing for National News Networks such as the Globe and Mail. Student of Leading Marketing and Advertising Experts such as Russel Brunson, Dan Kennedy, Joseph Sugarman, and John Caples. Responsible for Sales Letters that have generated over $500,000 in Revenue.

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