The Levison Letter


A great "teaser" headline from the past 

October, 2013


In a recent issue of the Levison Letter I made the distinction between a "teaser" headline and a "benefit" headline. I wrote:


The teaser headline tries to pique the reader's curiosity. It serves as an intriguing puzzle that can only be solved by reading the body copy. Example from a Wachovia Securities ad: 


What can bagpipes teach us about raising capital?


The benefit headline, on the other hand, instantly promises a solution to a real problem that the reader faces. Example from a Prudential Financial ad: 


Bring your retirement dreams closer

with a Strategic Partners annuity


If you're a regular reader of the Levison Letter you know that I'm no fan of teaser headlines. And this should come as no surprise. After all, I'm a direct response copywriter responsible for getting prospects to act immediately. My writing isn't intended to build brand "image." 


I write to generate leads that turn into sales. I write to get people to sign up for Webinars. To download White Papers. To visit landing pages. To request demos. To buy products or services NOW.


However . . . every so often I come across a teaser ad that works brilliantly. Below is just such an ad that a reader sent me recently. I think you'll enjoy it! The ad, which was written in 1911, is for Listerated Pepsin Gum - a forerunner of Listerine mouthwash. Check it out . . .




As you can see, the copywriter, now long gone, came up with a real stopper of a headline which instantly draws the reader into the body copy. The product itself isn't mentioned until the very bottom of the ad, but who can resist reading every word?


It's a charming ad with a winning sense of fun that I'm sure delighted readers.


The moral of the story? Even a hard-core, benefit-oriented copywriter can appreciate a wonderful teaser ad that buries the punch line but ultimately wins the reader over!




Do you need me to write a motivating email, sales letter, home page, landing page, you name it? Give me a call at (415) 461-0672 and let's talk. IMPORTANT: Contrary to what many people believe, my fees are extremely affordable and I'd love to talk with you about your next project. What kind of results do I get for my many clients? CLICK HERE for the answer!

How to get in touch . . .
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
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Ivan Levison. Direct Mail, Email & Advertising Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive, Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone (415) 461-0672      Fax: (415) 461-7738

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