I believe you’ve heard the story about the boy who cried wolf, am I right?
If you haven’t, the story goes something like this:
Once upon a time, eons (or a bit less) ago, there was a shepherd boy who was watching sheep for the whole village.
He was bored, because there were no mobile phones yet, so to find some amusement, he started yelling, “Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!”
The villagers quickly came to help him, only to find the boy sitting there with the cheesiest grin on his face.
They also got pissed as they had to run uphill for no reason.
Anyway, the boy found that to be extremely amusing.
So he did it again!
The villagers came running, only to be made fools by the boy, again.
Then, as you may already know, the real wolf came chasing the sheep.
The boy yelled and yelled, but nobody came for help.
He hasn’t returned home that day, so villagers came looking for him on the hill.
They found dead sheep and the boy crying, “Why didn’t you come? The wolf was here!”
As they were returning to the village, an old man put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, trying to comfort him said: “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth”
It’s a great story and talks about integrity.
It’s the same thing when you overpromise in your headline, but don’t deliver in the actual content.
Eventually, your headlines lose power.
People might fall once or twice for it, like the villagers did, but they are no fools either.
And there goes your credibility.
Once that is gone, you can say goodbye to making any sales.