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How to Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines

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Do you want to sell more through your marketing efforts? Then it would be helpful if you could write great headlines. Headlines are the most critical element of copywriting. Please don’t take my word for it. Here’s what David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising,” had to say about headlines:

“On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

Writing great headlines will give you more opportunities for people to read your messages and hopefully generate more leads. Why? Because great headlines grab people’s attention and entice them to continue reading.

One of the best ways to hone your skills with headlines is to start with headline templates. This list will get you well on your way to creating attention-grabbing headlines in no time.

How To Headlines

Headline Template Example
How to [achieve a desired outcome]. How to enjoy movies at home.
How to [achieve a desired outcome] in as little as [time frame]. How to optimize a home theater in as little as 30 minutes.
How to [achieve a desired outcome] in as little as [time frame]…even if you [objection/barrier in the way]. How to optimize a home theater in as little as 30 minutes…even if you’ve never done it before!
How every [group type] can [achieve a desired outcome]. How every homeowner can enjoy movies at home.

Related: Email Marketing Secrets to Grow Your Business

Get What You Want Headlines

Headline Template Example
[Number] quick and easy ways to [achieve a desired outcome]. 5 quick and easy ways to enjoy movies at home.
[Number] fast ways to get [achieve a desired outcome] and avoid [negative outcome]. 3 fast ways to protect your home and avoid being robbed.
[Number] quick and easy ways to [achieve a desired outcome]…even if [objection/barrier in the way]. 5 quick and easy ways to enjoy movies at home…even if you don’t have surround sound.
[Number] little-known ways to [desired outcome] 7 little-known ways to protect your home from intruders.

Try to use an odd number like 3, 5, 7, or 9 with these types of headlines. For some reason, they tend to work better.

Mistake Headlines

Headline Template Example
Which of these [type of mistake] mistakes will you make? Which of these home theater design mistakes will you make?
[type of mistake] mistakes all [group type] need to avoid. Home theater design mistakes all custom installers need to avoid.
[type of mistake] mistakes every [group type] needs to avoid. Home theater design mistakes every custom installer needs to avoid.

Related: How to Use Storytelling in Your Marketing

Miscellaneous Headlines

Headline Template Example
Here’s the perfect solution if you want [desired outcome]. Here’s the perfect solution if you want an amazing home theater.
My proven [clever name] method to [desired outcome]. My proven “1-minute” method to home theater calibration.
You won’t be able to [claim or desired outcome] until you [action] You won’t be able to enjoy your home theater until you do this one thing.
Stop [strong command] Stop dreaming about the perfect home.
[Number] reasons your [outcome] 9 reasons your home theater sucks.
Imagine [desired outcome] Imagine having music throughout your entire home.
What you should know about [topic] What you should know about home theater design.
Why [problem] (and what to do about it) Why your home isn’t comfortable (and what to do about it).

A tool I like using is the headline analyzer from the Advanced Marketing Institute. It will help give you an indication of how strong your headlines are. It’s super easy to use, and you can tweak your headlines until they are just right.

Start looking at magazine covers at the grocery store or the direct mail pieces you receive. All headlines are templates. Once you realize this, you’ll start noticing them all around you.

Create a swipe file of the headlines I’ve provided along with ones that catch your attention. Over time, you’ll have all the templates you need to create amazing headlines that will help you sell more.

Related: Recipe for Online Success

Now that you know how to create headlines, you need to start using them. Here are ten places you can begin using headlines in your marketing today.

  1. Email Subject Lines
  2. Blog Posts
  3. Videos
  4. Sales Pages
  5. Online Ads
  6. Offline Ads
  7. Email Opt-ins
  8. Testimonials
  9. Case Studies
  10. Social Media Posts

I hope you see how headlines can kickstart some of your marketing efforts today, and it’s not that difficult. All you need to do is follow the templates. Happy headline creating!