Of course, the importance of headlines can’t be underestimated. If your headline doesn’t convince the person to read further, then your copywriting failing it’s purpose.
But before I get start explaining the secret of an irresistible headline, we need to talk about your audience.
Knowing your audience is the first key element of a great headline.
Because if you don’t have your audience in mind when you write the headline you could completely miss the mark with your choice of words.
Naturally, we tend to write to audiences who are similar to us. It just comes out that way. But let’s say your audience is 35+ women who stay home to care for their children and you’re a 50+ man who works in a corporation.
Do you think the words the 50+ man writes will appeal to the 35+ woman?
If he writes words that come naturally to him, then the answer is “No.”
Keep a clear picture of who you want to write to in mind. Creating a Customer Avatar, based on Digital Marketer’s template can help you form that picture of your customer.
Figure 1 Customer Avatar from Digital Marketer
Good, effective headlines will establish your unique promise to the visitors.
What is it you want to convey to the reader? What pain or problem are you offering to solve? What need does this piece try to fill? What goal is your reader trying to achieve?
The number 1 problem I see with a majority of websites, videos, or blog posts is the lack of an optimized, benefit-oriented headline. Good headlines will convey one big idea and evoke emotion, stir curiosity, and cause the reader to continue reading.
Let me share 41 classic examples of effective headlines as collected by AWAI:
- The secret of getting [results]
- A little mistake that cost a [target market] [cost] a year
- Advice to… [target market] who want [results]
- Do you suffer from [problem] at [occasion]?
- Who ever heard of [target market] having [results] without [objection]
- How I improved… [problem] without [objection] in just [time]
- Discover the [benefits] you get with [results]
- Proven: The most effective way to get [results]
- How a [something perceived as bad] resulted in [results] and [benefits]
- Do you suffer from [problem]?
- Do you have these symptoms of [problem]
- Guaranteed to [results] without [objection]
- How a new [product] solved my [problem] in just [time]
- Which type of [target market] are you? Is it stopping you get [results]?
- Does your [problem] ever embarrass you?
- To people who want [results] but don’t know where to start
- How much is [problem] really costing you?
- The right way to solve [problem]
- [thousands/hundreds / etc]of [target market] now have [results] will you join them?
- For the [target market individual, not plural] who has less [results] than he/she wants
- Suppose this happened to your [business / life / relationship etc]. Would you survive?
- Are other [target market] secretly overtaking you?
- [X] proven ways to get [results] and [benefits]
- Are you ready to have [results] in just [time]?
- Get your hands on this system that took one [target market] from [starting results] to [end results] in just [time]
- How I got [results] by making this unusual mistake.
- Why some [target market] always have / get [results]
- You can laugh about [problem] if you follow this simple plan
- Five common [problems] faced by [target market] which one do you want to solve?
- What [industry experts] do when faced with [problem]
- [industry] experts prove that you can have [results] and with this new [product]
- Why it’s not your fault you have [problem]. And how to make it disappear in just [time]
- Thousands of [target market] can have [results] but never realize it. Don’t let it be you.
- Why [target market] are raving about this [product]. ([Results] is just one of the reasons)
- For just [cost] a day you can have [results] and [benefits] in [time]
- To [target market] who want [results] by [time]
- This new [product] will get you [benefits] galore
- It’s not right that you don’t have [results] when so many [target market] do
- The secrets of [target markets] that always get [results]
- What the [industry] experts don’t want you to know about solving [problem]
- Why do some [target market] have more [benefits] than others? The answer might surprise you
An effective headline will incorporate four main elements:
- Urgency – does it give your prospect a real reason to want this product or service today, now, right away.
- Usefulness – does it communicate something of value to the prospect.
- Uniqueness – does it suggest that what you are offering is in some way different from every other solution currently available.
- Ultra–Specificity – does it avoid being vague at all costs.
You can check your headlines yourself by creating a scorecard. Give your headline a point for each of the 4 U’s mentioned above. The best headline has 4 points!
Let’s try scoring a few to get the hang of it!
|2||§ The secret of getting [results]
(I don’t think it has urgency, and it doesn’t seem unique. )
|3||§ A little mistake that cost a [target market] [cost] a year
(This one seems unique, useful and ultra-specific but not so urgent. )
|2||§ Advice to… [target market] who want [results]
(No urgency or uniqueness )
|3 – 4||§ Do you suffer from [problem] at [occasion]?
(This may or may not be urgent depending on the problem described! )
After you score your headline based on the 4Us, you can take another pass at the headline and adjust it and make it more compelling.
Take for example the first headline we scored above and reword it to be more Urgent.
Before: The secret of getting [results]
After: The secret of getting [results] within 15 minutes!
See how that works?
Now it’s your turn to put these tips into practice with your own headlines.
Contact me today if you want help with your headlines.