Lou Anne Brossman, CEO and Founder, Government Marketing University

Lately I’ve been noticing headlines and thinking that they could’ve been better written than what I’m seeing – I do this when reading the news or magazines (I drive myself a little nuts at times!).  On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your Headline, Subject Line and Title of your government marketing content and why they so highly determine the effectiveness of your entire piece.

Every element of compelling copy has just one purpose – to get the next sentence read. And then the sentence after that, and so on, all the way down to your call to action. So it’s fairly obvious that if government buyers stop at the headline, you’ve lost their interest.

Headlines should follow the following structure (3 U‘s):

      1. Be USEFUL to the reader,
      2. Provide a sense of URGENCY,
      3. Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow UNIQUE.


Copywriter Clayton Makepeace of Responselnk says to ask yourself six questions before you start to write your headline:

      1. Does your headline offer the reader a reward for reading?
      2. What specifics could you add to make your headline more intriguing and believable?
      3. Does your headline trigger a strong, actionable emotion the reader already has about the subject at hand?
      4. Does your headline present a proposition that will instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?
      5. Could your headline benefit from the inclusion of a proposed transaction?
      6. Could you add an element of intrigue to drive the prospect into your opening copy?


I know these six questions combined with the basic structure of The Three U’s provide an excellent framework for writing spectacular headlines for your government marketing content.  

Just wanted to share these thoughts as we all strive to garner the attention and awareness of our government audience.