How to write a killer ‘boat for sale’ headline

There are two fundamentals in advertising a boat for sale.

The first is to be clear that you’re advertising a destination not the airplane. Confusion on this point is the first man-hole trap that many vendors step into.

It’s perfectly obvious that no-one in their right mind these days, travels for the experience of cramped airplane seats, muscle mangling leg-room, ghastly food and the horrors of jet-lag. If the travel experience is worth it at all, it’s due to the pleasures of the destination.

However it is easy to forget that this principle applies equally to copywriting, particularly in the emotional turmoil that often accompanies the selling of a boat.

The second vendor man-hole, no less critical to buyer response is the need for clarity about ‘the problem’. What you might say has ‘a problem’ to do with writing a killer headline?

Clarity on the distinction between your problem as vendor and the buyer’s problem is critical to the success of your boat for sale headline; as it is indeed to the entire exercise of marketing your boat.

The thing is, in the business of buying and selling, everyone has what might loosely be called for want of a better description, ‘a problem’.

If you’re unlucky enough to be a desperate boat vendor, struggling to stave of bankruptcy, your problem is immediate and in your face.

But so too does the boat buyer have a problem. Sure, it’s more subtle; not the great stinking wildebeest of a problem that confronts the cash-strapped boat vendor. Indeed the buyer’s problem might better be described as a ‘need’ or ‘itch to be’, ‘to experience’ or ‘to manifest’ something ill-defined within the buyer’s psyche. But the urge is just as real in driving the impulse to action.

The point is that as a vendor advertising a boat for sale, the man-hole trap that many vendors unconsciously step into, is that of writing a headline that reflects their problem not the buyer’s problem.

It is important not to make this mistake because such a ‘back-the- front’ headline never succeeds! A boat for sale headline that describes the vendor’s problem is back-the-front.

The fact is that no-one on God’s green Earth is interested in your problem as vendor, however urgent and pressing it may be to you.

In fact the odds are pretty strong that your problem, if it is properly teased out, is actually ‘buyer repellent’. That is to say; proceed deep enough down that rabbit hole and your erstwhile buyer will be wanting to jump out of the first available window to escape your proximity.

For these reasons the first step is always to develop a mental picture of the ‘probable buyer’.

Who exactly is this likely buyer of your boat? What do they (it’s usually a couple), have in mind for their new life with your boat (the rationale by the way is invariably claptrap, because people buy boats for crazy, stupid reasons)? Where do they live? What kind of careers do they have? Do they have children? What kind of car do they drive?

Even if your left hemisphere logical brain is screaming in rebellion, don’t hold back on this; relax and allow your imagination free rein.

The question that arises is this. Behind this picture of the probable buyer that you have by now crafted out of the ether, what exactly in an emotional sense is this buyer’s problem?

You’re probably thinking: what’s the point of all of this woo woo airy conjecture coming directly out of the field of imagination?

Surely you say, the selling process is a linear mechanistic and sequential process; the meeting of the buyer and vendor, triggered by an advertisement placed strategically in a place most likely to capture the buyer’s notice: a case of cause and effect, non?.

On the other hand, is it just possible that the process of imagining the probable buyer, ‘whispers up’ the actual buyer out of the quantum field of limitless possibility?

Believe it or not a successful sale of your boat is most likely to  arise out of activating both forces in tandem.

You need all of the mechanistic steps to be fully developed and in place, including your dedicated boat web-site. And you need to cultivate as a discipline, the correct mind-set whereby with confidence and  gratitude, you look back upon the (future) sale of your boat as having been achieved (past tense) to the ideal buyer and upon financial terms suitable to you.

Time appears to be linear but the cosmic truth is that it isn’t! And money always flows to where it is made welcome.

But I digress. The headline example I give in the book is the best actual case history example that I can think of, that illustrates a back-the-front headline that failed; replaced subsequently by a headline with an emotional hook into the probable buyer’s problem.

So powerful was the latter that it delivered a huge depth of response. By the vendor’s account, the vessel could have been sold many times over, merely on the strength of the headline.

Get your boat for sale headline right and you’re half way home. It should be clear that your headline is potentially worth big money. And yes… it’s not always easy to do when it’s your own boat.

Maybe you want some help? Email the editor and we’ll see what we can do for you.

 

22 thoughts on “How to write a killer ‘boat for sale’ headline”

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  12. This question is to guys from a 17 year old girl? do
    u think small acne marks ,not bumps, on cheeks is ugly …if so then why…and also…what abt freckles are they
    ugly too. freckles and acne marks some times do look similar Gov’t is killing you with
    high frequency electricity.Theotokos Virgin Mary gave prayers to “Schema-nun Antonia”
    on how to save aborted babies from hell.
    If you pray these prayers diligently, aborted babies are released from hell.
    On each painted nail there are 40 demons. Smoking is censer to the devil.Using foul language calls upon Pagan deities
    (aka demons); Holy Spirit departs on 7 meters. People who use drugs see demons who cleverly
    disguise themselves as ghosts and aliens.America will be last country to switch to Euro
    (antichrist’s world currency). Contraceptives = abortion;using contraceptives
    for 1 year = 5 aborted kids.Miscarriages happen because of high heels; cesarean because of tight pants (second generation cesarean will be infertile).Unbaptized aborted/miscarried/unborn babies burn in hell for until
    Final Judgement; if pregnant, keep the kid and deliver at home because
    kids are chipped using IVs and vaccines in hospitals.
    Dentists and doctors chip patients secretly. Ultrasound leads to mark of the
    beast; don’t do ultrasound, please. Abortion leads to breast cancer; a
    demon is released from hell for each aborted kid. Dogs
    can become possessed; don’t keep dogs inside your home [Pelageya of Ryazan].
    Walmart has technology to administer mark of the beast
    to those who have cat bacteria in their stomachs; stay away from cats [Afanasiy Sidyachiy].

    Next false flag is the Statue of Liberty. Above earth there is
    ice (hemisphere); when rockets go up they bring ice down from upper sky to lower sky; ice stuck in lower
    sky will fall on us during Apocalypse. Earth is flat; earth stands on 3
    pillars (the Most Holy Trinity); pillars stand on water at zero Kelvin;
    underneath this ice there is a bubble; and then the abyss.

    Zodiac is planetary prison of demons; don’t believe in horoscopes or you’ll exhibit the traits of the trapped demons.

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    Sleep fully clothed; pray the Jesus prayer.
    Pray to your guardian angel to have normal sleep. Vyacheslav Krasheninnikov was the last prophet before Apostle John (who wrote the
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    the antichrist. Humans were created about 7525 years ago.
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    underground and because earth is heating up. Demons grow human skin (from a sample
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    abduct people. If you’re being abducted, slowly pray the Jesus prayer.
    Don’t panic. Demons use diamonds and souls to power their UFO craft.

    The bigger the diamond, the more it lasts. Demons have 4 UFO bases:
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    which is underneath the Mariana Trench in Pacific Ocean. There
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    by demons because they need the airspace to fight Jesus.
    Antichrist is pale with red eyes. He’s possessed by Satan since he’s 12 years old [Lavrentiy Chernigovskiy].
    He flies super fast; deceived people will say: “Christ is here; Christ is there” when he’s
    flying from one city to the next very fast. He wears gloves to hide long nails.
    He’s surrounded by demons who appear as angels of light.
    Antichrist will trick people that he can do mountain moving and resurrection using holograms/hypnosis; fire from
    the sky is real because of pollution gases in the atmosphere.
    Antichrist will have food only for 6 months; then he
    will feed his 666ed people flour from mashed up turtles (Tavrion Batozskiy), but this won’t be enough because 666ed people are 10 times as
    angry and 7 times as hungry as normal people even though 666ed people became shorter (3-4 feet tall = 80 – 120 cm) because nanochips do function of organs
    (organs diminish) [Nilus Myrrhgusher]. If you have a lot of nanochips in your forearm,
    then you will not be able to make proper Orthodox sign of the cross (last mercy for you will be to cut
    your forearm off). Nanochips are sprayed by the gov’t using chemtrails; they’re also in gov’t food and medicine; so, eat food from your
    own garden. In case garden is destroyed by ice from the sky, have chickens for eggs and goats for milk (Paisios).
    Lipstick contains cells of aborted fetuses, dog fat, and placenta; human flesh is in McDonalds, Pepsi, toothpaste, antiaging, anticancer, vaccines, perfume, etc.; that’s why
    you should not be using anything that modern society has to
    offer. You’re better off hiding within a 10-12 people group in order
    to escape Apocalypse. During Apocalypse, Chrtistians will eat dirt from under pussywillowtree as it’s filled with
    tears of Theotokos Virgin Mary; this water
    will flee if a 666ed person tries to get it. Barcode is Druid black magic curse; QRcode is Mayan curse; when food is
    scanned, it becomes dead because laser is a substance from demons.
    Don’t go into a UFO to be healed by demons. Green 666 is
    given by isotope rays on wrist or forehead when people stretch hands to receive small plastic grey card with no name on it (World Passport).
    It doesn’t just have to be during this procedure (could be anything you sign up for or anywhere where
    there is a secret scanner); biometrics (fingerprints, eyes scan) or getting picture for passport are very dangerous because they could mark you secretly.
    Gabriel Urgebadze said that they do it on index finger
    when they scan your finger. Basically, try to avoid new documents at all cost.

    Police will microchip and isotope ray people on highways.
    Chipped people will be influenced by computers to
    take grey plastic card; but when they do, green mark by isotope rays is given on forehead/wrist.
    Food stores will isotope ray people too. Antichrist will
    also release prisoners to mark people. Reject 666 at all
    cost because it leads to permanent hell. If you’re
    about to be marked, pray the Jesus prayer.
    Hide with Orthodox Christians to escape 666; leave all electronics behind
    so that antichrist’s minions can’t track you; burn documents
    because they’re from Satan. The Most Holy
    Trinity gives you a name during baptism; devil gives an antiname during antibaptism (ex.
    Social Security Number). People who die with these Satanic documents
    go to concentration camp in hell to await Final Judgement;
    once the BEAST Computer is burned down, souls will be released for Final
    Judgement. That’s why you should give back documents of your deceased relatives back to
    the gov’t so that the gov’t cancels these digital
    antichristian names given during antibaptism by the beast
    system; or just burn these documents because gov’t could get upset and could send demons to mark you because of this outright act of defiance.

    Prophecy from half a millenium ago describes Final Judgement
    like this: Jesus was very upset with people who had little boards (plastic cards)
    in their hands because they wanted discount from the antichrist.
    Give to charity in the name of Archangel Michael;
    he rescues people from temporary hell twice a year [at midnight between September 18 and September 19 and similarly on November 20-21; pray at these times on your knees remembering the deceased by names (adding “and relatives by flesh up to Adam”) so that they are rescued if they’re in hell] (or brings them up a level,
    that is, to a level with less punishment; eventually, people are
    freed). Feed the pigeons; when pigeons bow down,
    people are saved from temporary hell. It’s a big sin to remember
    the dead with wreaths (because demons put these wreaths on their necks if they’re in hell with their hands tied up behind their back while hanging by
    their hands), meat, alcohol, sweets, and worldly
    music. Demons print icons of saints in newspapers
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    these saints. Crosses on soles of shoes
    and back of pants are blasphemy. Demons make
    carpets with crosses and put them on sidewalks so that people walk on crosses.
    Playing cards mock how Jesus suffered on the cross: clubs (cross on which Jesus was
    crucified), diamonds (four nails Jesus was crucified with), hearts (sponge with vinegar
    that Jesus was given to drink),spades (spear with which
    Jesus was pierced).Cremation is devil worship; only blasphemers such as Lenin should be burned; if
    Lenin is buried, earth will be polluted, and China will
    attack Russia because of this.After China attacks Russia, Ruski Orthodox Tsar (shown by resurrected Seraphim of Sarov) will come to
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    and gov’t; as a result, Russia will be the only country not
    under the antichrist.Ecumenism = 263 heresies;each heresy leads to hell.
    In 2006 in Moscow (that’s why Moscow will sink),representatives from
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    Arkhimandrite Antonin Kapustin left a prophecy that John the Baptist’s living space will become a
    church and it will be blessed by forerunner
    of antichrist; Patriarch Kirill of Russia blessed this church.When priests pray
    for current gov’t (instead of praying for future Tsar),Jesus gets up from His throne and turns His back to them.
    Forgive me.

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