I’m excited to introduce my readers to a new friend of mine, Ray Edwards. I’ve admired Ray’s work for many years. He has a unique ability to teach copywriting that makes it simple and easy to execute. We’re going to have him lead our Inner Circle Mastermind in August. Today, Ray is talking about headlines. Grab a pen and paper and take good notes! This one lesson can increase traffic to your website, close more sales by email, and ultimately, increase the profit in your business! – Sandi Krakowski
Headlines are vital to the success of your sales copy.
How important are headlines? So important that some of the highest-paying work in the copywriting business is creating headlines for magazine covers and tabloids. Think about it. Aren’t you sometimes at least tempted to pick up those magazines in the grocery store line? That’s the power of a great headline at work.
That same power will attract readers to your ads and sale pages, putting more money in your bank account.
Effective headlines tend to follow a pattern. Here are five headline templates you can use that should have more people reading your blog posts, clicking your social media links, and buying your products.
1.) The “How-To” Headline.
The key to making this particular headline work is that you need to tie it to a benefit your reader cares about (related to your content, of course). Examples:
How to Write a Blog Post Every Day
How to Land More Clients As a Freelancer
2.) The “Transactional” Headline.
This headline is all about the promise. When you truly have “Wow!” level content, this headline will grab attention. Examples:
Give Me 30 Minutes And I’ll Give You More Blog Traffic
Try These 5 Tactics for a Week, And Be Twice As Productive
3.) The “Reason-Why” Headline.
Robert Cialdini cites the power of the word “because” in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. His research showed that simply adding the word “because” to a request makes it more likely you’ll get what you’re asking for.
Advertising copywriters have known this secret for a long time. Decades earlier, John E. Kennedy wrote a modest little book called Reason Why Advertising, which has become a classic in the field.
Use the power of the “reason why” in your headlines. Examples:
Why Your Blog Posts Get Ignored, And How to Fix That
7 Reasons You Should Be Using Social Media In Your Marketing
4.) The “Probing Question” Headline.
With this kind of headline, you ask a question that creates an intense desire to know the answer. Be careful with these headlines. If you ask a question like “Do You Want to Know My Blogging Secret?” You might get a discouraging answer, such as, “No.”
The kind of question you want to ask is one that really evokes strong curiosity, or taps into a problem you know your reader has. Examples:
Why Don’t Doctors Get Sick?
Do You Wish More People Bought Your Book?
5.) The “If-Then” Headline.
With this headline, you contrast something that’s easy for your reader to do with the major benefit of your post. Examples:
If You Can Send and Receive E-mail, You Can Build a Platform
If You Can Follow a Recipe, You Can Write Better Headlines
One final piece of advice: I have found the ultimate secret to writing really good headlines … is to write a lot of really bad ones. The point is not to stop with just one or two attempts; write lots of possible headlines for your sales copy, subject lines for your emails, and titles for your blog posts before you finally settle on one.
Using these five headline templates, you’ll create more effective copy faster than ever before.
Ray Edwards is a Communications Strategist, Copywriter, Speaker, and host of one the top iTunes Business Podcasts. His book How to Write Copy That Sells is a best-seller. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, and with some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business. His clients include New York Times best-selling authors Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Michael Hyatt, and many more. He has been featured on Forbes.com, SocialMediaExaminer.com, and Entrepreneur.com.
Get Ray’s Copywriting Quick-start “Cheat Sheets” for FREE at: