Raising the eyebrow copy

Eyebrow copy.

When you Google it, there aren't many relevant results (apart from this excellent article written back in 2014 and this one written in 2018.)  

There are a lot of tips on how to shape your eyebrows or choose emoticons with raised eyebrows - but that's not what we're talking about today.

What is eyebrow copy?

Eyebrow copy is a tiny piece of copy above a headline.  In as few words as possible, it tells the reader what the rest of the copy will be about.  

For example, take a look at this screenshot from the Jaguar Land Rover website.  In certain places, they've used eyebrow copy such as "Investor Relations" to give readers context and information on what the story is about.

Do we need eyebrow copy?

Eyebrow copy isn't appropriate for every instance.  Use these keywords when your readers need context or clarity on what's coming next.  In some instances, your headline may already make it absolutely clear what's coming next with no need for eyebrow copy.

If in doubt, it can help to play about with the options, adding eyebrow copy and then seeing if it works.  

Many people read by skimming and having a tiny bit of copy to grab their interest can go a long way in encouraging them to read on.

Why is it called eyebrow copy?

Honestly, I don't know.  There's only one line, so, in my mind, calling it unibrow copy would make more sense.  My best guess is that it sits above the rest of the copy in the way an eyebrow sits above an eye?

How do you write eyebrow copy?

Eyebrow copy needs to be short and pithy.  I always recommend using as few words as possible.  

If ever I'm unsure what to write, I think about an old tip my former editor gave me.  He said: "What would be your first words when telling a friend about [X, Y and Z]?"  Those first words form a powerful foundation on which to build the rest of your copy.  This applies to just about anything you need to write, in my experience.

Want to fast-track the results and free yourself up to work on something else?  Speak with me about writing eyebrow copy for you.