How to Write Headlines — The Most Important Copy
“How To Create Powerful Headlines That Will Stop Your Prospects Dead In Their Tracks and Force Them To Read Your Copy”
Imagine People Being Unable To Resist Reading Your Copy
Do you know what the most important, single thing, the one that matters the most in your copy is?
Yep…the headline. That is the most important part of the copy. Not the offer. Not the guarantee. Not the wonderfully penned words of wit hidden inside your body copy.
Why do I say this? I formed my opinion not only because every great copywriter I know has said it, but also because I have seen in prove to be true in my own experiences in marketing.
It doesn’t matter how powerful the rest of the copy is if the prospects don’t BEGIN to and CONTINUE to read your ad, sales letter, coupon, yellow page ad etc. In fact five times as many people will read the headline as opposed to the body copy.
Headlines Capture Attention
The headline is what grabs the attention of the prospect, and pulls him into the ad. Once while I was attending one of Gary Halbert’s seminars, Gary asked the attendees this question:
“What is the reason people open a letter?”
I blurted out “To see what’s inside!” — “Correct!” he responded.
Headlines Create Interest
The same principle applies to headlines; the reason you need a headline is to get the target audience to read all the other important stuff you have labored to create.
David Ogilvy, one of the greatest ad men of all times has said headlines are the most important part of any advertisement.
“Since headlines, more than anything else, decide the success or failure of an advertisement, the silliest thing of all is to run an ad without any headline at all” – David Ogilvy
Better Headlines Increase Sales
In fact 90% of the time a headline change is all that’s necessary to explode the response of an ad. Since headlines are that important to your ad, then you better know how to write good ones. This one skill, if honed properly, will help you in more ways than you can imagine. You will be able to create better titles for anything you create including books, reports, and advertising promotional materials.
So, I bet you want to know how to write headlines that work? Well let me show you sparky…
There are basically eight types of headlines:
- The Direct Headline
- The Indirect Headline
- The Command Headline
- The How To Headline
- The Reason Why Headline
- The Testimonial Headline
- The News Headline
- The Question Headline
Here’s a simple guide to creating effective headlines and bullets
There is a very specific process I go through when I create headlines, (sorry…but that’s my secret). To make it simple for you here’s what you should do.
First become thoroughly familiar with your product’s features and benefits. Then scan the following list of templates, visualize how the templates apply to your product and then create an appropriate headline.
The list that follows is a partial list of Headline Templates. A template is a pattern, which can be used as a guide. They can be used as guides to creating or inspiring readers. If you are interested in having hundreds of headlines in electronic template format, available to you 24 hours a day at your fingertips, read the special section at the end of this page or visit my product page.
Headline Style #1: Begin With Numbers People Are Attracted To Specificity
- 3 Ways To Get Smarter Almost Instantly
- 12 Secrets For Increasing Your Income
- 21 New Ways To Motivate Any Employee
- 56 No-Fail Strategies For Achieving Success
- 7 S.E.C.R.E.T. Steps To Better Sex
- 9 Ways To Avoid The Most “Deadly” Advertising Mistakes
- 99 Sure Ways To Sharpen Your Golf Game
- 27 Questions You Must Ask Any Job Applicant And The One Question That Will Separate The Serious Applicant From The Rest
- 5 Of 54 Reasons Why You’ll Love Brother’s Bibs
In making up your own headlines, you should replace the underlined words and phrases with your own words and phrases. The underlining is suggestive of places where simple changes can be made. Don’t hesitate to also vary the other words according to your own inspiration.
For example, the first headline on the list: “3 Ways To Get Smarter Almost Instantly” might become
“3 Ways To Lose 10 Pounds Almost Instantly”
“6 Ways You Can Slim Down In The Next 30 Days.”
Notice how in the first example I made changes to only the underlined parts of the headline. Also notice how in the second example I made changes to the non-underlined parts as well.
These templates are most useful for bullets and headlines. However, they may also be useful for inspiring book/report titles as well as captions for illustrations.
Let’s move on and see some more examples…
Headline Style #2:
Begin With ‘A’ or ‘The’ to Signify Uniqueness or Promise Information
- A Discovery So Startling It Will Literally Leave You Speechless
- A Little Mistake That Can Cost You A Bundle
- A Little Mistake That Can Ruin Your Relationship
- A Little Mistake That Could Ruin Your Health Almost Instantly And What You Can Do To Avoid It
- The Four Steps To Peace Of Mind
- An Instant Cure For Sleepless Nights
- The Policci Method For Marketing Success
- The Internet Phenomenon And What It Means To You
- The Kennedy Technique For Managing Your Time
- The Last Word On Buying A Home Computer
- The Man That Changed The Advertising World
Headline Style #3:
Emphasize Curiosity / Questioning Headlines
- Do You Make These Mistakes In English?
- The Mystery To Motivating Children And How You Can Solve It
- The New Discovery That Made An Average Athlete A Superstar
- The No-Fail Way To Get Your First Job
- The No-Sweat Study Guide
- The Number One (#1) Most Powerful Word In The English language
- What’s Wrong In This Picture?
- Who Else Wants A Movie Star’s Lifestyle?
- The Mysterious Secret That Unlocks The Key To Success
That’s a small sample of the kind of structure that exists in the best headlines. Here are 10 other tips to help you to create headlines that pack a powerful punch:
- Look for headline ideas on best selling magazines, National Enquirer etc.
- Model headlines from old ads, from the 1800’s and up to 1930 especially.
- Use Upper And Lower Case Letters. Not ALL CAPITALS.
- Use Serif fonts and classic typefaces, not newly developed styles.
- Quotation marks around headlines draw attention to them.
- Use words proven to be successful over time.
- Include no more than one big idea.
- Include a bold promise.
- Have you used hidden benefit in headline and/or as theme?
- Is headline bolded? Make sure it is so it will stand out.
Those are the powerful essentials. There is much more you can learn and I’ll provide you the opportunity to get as much information as you need to be super successful at this.
In fact, I’ve made it very simple for you to create Killer Headlines without even having to be creative.
I have a collection of over 300 headlines available by e-mail that you can simply cut and paste and modify to fit your project.
I also will give you an in depth guide that will reveal all the secrets you’ll ever need to produce a winning headline every time you sit down to write your copy.
And as a special bonus you’ll get my detailed description of the eight types of headlines that you can use to supercharge your copy.
Contact me if you would like information on this awesome resource.