John Carlton Copywriting Tips: Using Quotes In Headlines


John Carlton’s hot seat is for Brian, who wrote a sales letter for the launch of an online product. Here, they discuss using quotation marks in headlines.

John: Did you pick that up for me, or from Nicholas?

Brian: I just read it somewhere.

John: We’ve known this for a while and we have no idea why, but quotes have increased headlines… David, are you using quotes on your magalogs and headlines?

David Deutsch: Sometimes. I don’t know if I would use it there, because it’s not like a statement. It’s a question, and I’m not sure about it being in quotes.

John: Yeah, I’ve never really cared whether it was a statement or question, but I just started throwing in quotes randomly. I didn’t test it, but it didn’t hurt, so it’s just interesting. Do you have any feedback? Nobody’s tested this.

David Garfinkel: Yeah, I heard Nicholas being interviewed once. He said he had an 8% increase.

John: but that’s Ted.

David Garfinkel: Yes that’s Ted. My theory is, when it doesn’t have quotes around it, nobody said it. It’s just type on a page. When there are quotes around it, somebody said it, so it must be important.

John: It’s a sneaky little thing. It’s like “as seen on TV”, or “it has to be true, I read it in the newspaper.”

David Garfinkel: Yes, somebody said it. It must be true. And, it’s in writing.

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