A Headline Rhyme Is Sublime

Will a rhyme in your headline help your copy pass the cognitive fluency test? Cognitive fluency is a measure of how easily people interpret your marketing message. Using three simple copywriting and design techniques you can enhance your marketing and sales message effectiveness.

Will a rhyme in your headline help your copy pass the cognitive fluency test? Cognitive fluency is a measure of how easily people interpret your marketing message. Using three simple copywriting and design techniques you can enhance your marketing and sales message effectiveness.

It’s no surprise that people prefer easy-to-digest information over difficult. How you write and position your copy and content impacts the immediate judgements and opinions that prospects and customers will form.

In my last column, 8 Seconds to Pounce Using the 3 E’s of Copywriting, I shared how new research suggests that our attention span is dwindling down to a mere eight seconds. Since that’s only about 30 to 40 words in a headline and lead, it’s imperative to make points quickly. When writing with cognitive fluency in mind, you can boost the odds of getting your customer’s attention.

Through cognitive fluency, existing knowledge prepares us to receive new knowledge. Cognitive fluency dictates the ease and speed with which we process information, and it influences our opinion. It leads us to see new information as familiar. Cognitive fluency enables a shortcut in our mind. It helps us process multiples of stimuli that distract people and tug at attention.

Bottom line: cognitive fluency helps prospects and customers make a snap decision about what is worthy of their attention.

Studies have shown that when presenting people with content that is easy to mentally process, the performance and outcome desired can be more favorable.

  • Cognitive fluency helps your customers evaluate information products.
  • It can influence how people perceive others to be attractive.
  • It shapes how people evaluate candidates who are running for public office.
  • Cognitive fluency helps customers evaluate the business and innovation intelligence of an organization.
  • Content that works within the ease of cognitive fluency helps customers to be more forgiving and more adventurous.
  • When people read something in a low-contrast, small-sized, or ornate font, they transfer a sense of difficulty on the topic. When people read about an exercise regimen or a recipe in a less legible font, they tend to rate the exercise regimen as more difficult and the recipe more complicated than if they read about them in a clearer font.

Here are three simple copywriting and design techniques so your message is swiftly and easily absorbed and interpreted:

  1. Make words rhyme in your headline
  2. Repeat statements
  3. Use a clean font and layout

Keep cognitive fluency in mind as you write copy and content, and you will help your prospects and customers determine if your message is worthy of their attention.

Author: Gary Hennerberg

Reinventing Direct is for the direct marketer seeking guidance in the evolving world of online marketing. Gary Hennerberg is a mind code marketing strategist, based on the template from his new book, "Crack the Customer Mind Code." He is recognized as a leading direct marketing consultant and copywriter. He weaves in how to identify a unique selling proposition to position, or reposition, products and services using online and offline marketing approaches, and copywriting sales techniques. He is sought-after for his integration of direct mail, catalogs, email marketing, websites, content marketing, search marketing, retargeting and more. His identification of USPs and copywriting for clients has resulted in sales increases of 15 percent, 35 percent, and even as high as 60 percent. Today he integrates both online and offline media strategies, and proven copywriting techniques, to get clients results. Email him or follow Gary on LinkedIn. Co-authoring this blog is Perry Alexander of ACM Initiatives. Follow Perry on LinkedIn.

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