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9 ways to write headlines that sell

Do you want to write headlines that sell?  Here are the secrets.


1. State the benefit


Transform your number one selling point into a headline:

  • Yoga fights depression

  • Create your own website in a week

  • FREE gift when you subscribe

2. Be direct


This headline doesn’t employ jokes or clever word games.  Instead it gets straight to the point.  It’s best used when the reader is already familiar with the product or service:

  • Pure wool jumpers…50% off

  • The Ultimate Roller Coaster

  • 3. 'How to...'

  • We all love to improve ourselves.  The key to the ‘how to…’ headline is to identify the reader’s need and to fulfil that need.  The ‘how to…’ must always get to the heart of the benefit – what the reader really wants.  For a smoker who wants to stop smoking quickly:

  • How to stop smoking in 7 days…or your money back!

  • To appeal to the (many!) people who need a holiday but have very little money:

  • How to holiday in the Lakes for £20 a night

  • 4. Exciting news!

  • People are drawn to news – it’s instinctive.  Your product or service doesn’t have to be news in the wider sense, just news to your reader.

  • At last, a slimming formula that really works!

  • Introducing the latest in concrete slipforming machines

  • Now you can verify a caller’s identity with our revolutionary voice recognition software

  • 5. Ask a question

  • When you ask a question you directly engage with your reader.  The question must communicate the benefit of the product or service and make the reader want to find out more.

  • What’s the secret to keeping your weeds at bay?

  • Just had an accident that wasn’t your fault? Read this.

  • How do I know which savings plan is right for me?

  • 6. Be bossy

  • Don’t beat about the bush. Armed with your benefit, tell the reader what to do right from the start.

  • Become a published writer in just 1 year

  • Ring anybody, anywhere for FREE

  • Don’t waste money on web design.

  • Use Wordsite to create your own website in hours

  • 7. Filter information

  • In today’s world people are suffering from information overload.  What people want are important facts that don’t waste their time but get to the nub of things.

  • 10 Vital Steps to Living Longer

  • Secrets to ending your money worries forever

  • Horse racing tips. All you need to know

  • 8. Testimonials

  • Third party endorsements sell products.  Turn testimonials into headlines.

  • ‘From a rough sketch of my garden Colin brought my vision to life. I thoroughly recommend Greenfinger Gardens.’

  • ‘This diet smoothie program worked for me. It can work for you too!’

  • ‘It’s the first book on computing that’s really made sense to me!’

9. Use Amazon


If you are selling a product, find a similar product on Amazon.  Read the positive reviews and find one that could form the basis of your headline.  Take this five star review of an educational title aimed at early years’ practitioners:


‘This book is amazing! Real resources, little plastic! Senses, vintage, nature this book is truly an A-Z of outstanding practice!’

  • The A-Z of outstanding early years practice!

  • The ultimate early years’ book

  • Inspirational ways to resource your setting for FREE

In the end there are lots of ways to write headlines that sell.  Brainstorm all your ideas.  The more ideas you have to choose from the more powerful your headline will be.

Linked articles:

Copywriting headlines that sell

How to write headlines that sell and convert

20 ways to increase sales with direct mail letters

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Posted on October 31, 2018

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