how-to-write-an-headline

How To Write An Headline That Converts

Copy must be designed to get the reader’s attention from the first word in the first line till the end of the copy, keeping your audience engaged and transfixed on the copy till he absorbs the message, gets convinced, and take the necessary action.

The message must be clear, short, and concise to enable easy communication. Like I said, excessively lengthy texts will only bore out the reader rather than impress them. You are not writing a paper for your college professor. In this chapter, I will thoroughly explain the perfect structure to go about writing your copy.

The Headline

 Your headline is the most important part of your copy, no matter what you are writing for. Even if it is a video, it is the headline that will determine if the audience will be inspired to watch or not. Your headline is similar to seeing a beautiful lady or a handsome guy; you already like what you see before talking to this person.

However, you may eventually have a conversation with the person and realize that he/she isn’t a fit for you. But if you meet a stranger looking rough and tattered, even if he has the highest IQ in existence, you won’t bother to find out because the person’s outlook isn’t a pleasant one. This is the same effect that your headline has on your copy. If it isn’t catchy or attractive, no matter how detailed and rich the body is, very few people will read that.

The 80/20 rule is fundamental, as it reminds us to focus the bulk of our energy on our headlines. If we can get 80% of the audience to read the first 20% of the copy, they will most likely read the remaining 80% of the article. “Put in more efforts to your headlines, sub-headers, and your introductory phrases – which is usually the smallest part of your copy” If you can get them to read the first 20%, then they will most likely read the remaining 80% of the content.

A poorly written headline could throw your entire copy in the bin, your potential customer is ready to spend, but if he doesn’t get convinced by your headline, he will definitely spend his money – although not with your business. If you employ a copywriter who charges you $100 for a copy. Ensure your headline is worth $80, based on the 80/20 rule; because that is where the majority of the value of a copy lies.

There are many tips on creating a highly converting headline, but I will outline a few in this guide. They are:

Be Specific

You do not need to beat about the bush. Your headline should be specific; let them know what they are signing up for in a simple sentence. Hit the nail on the head, and make it as short as possible. After reading your headline, your audience should have a clear expectation of what to expect. You can utilize numbers. This forces your content to be very specific and looks sure of your offering. This confidence is passed on to your audience, and they are inclined to get interested in your offer.

Capitalize On Emotional Words

Emotional words in copy headlines pass on the emotions in your text to your readers’ brain. Your audience will typically read your words in their minds, unconsciously emphasizing these emotional words. If you are a travel agency and you want to write a blog post as a content driver, say you want to write about the best honeymoon locations around the world. You could go: “10 AMAZING Honeymoon Destinations That You’ve Never Heard Of.” This is quite a catchy topic for a potential traveler as it lets the reader understand your emotions that these places are amazing. Eventually, the reader may open the blog post and discover that he has heard of them before, but you have gotten him to open your post. You probably even included a few CTAs that give him information on the cheapest available flight tickets; this could make your reader a subscriber to your newsletter. Whenever he decides to travel, I can bet you’ll be the first agency on his wish list as you have already created a bond with him using your copy – and it all starts from the headline. Apart from “Amazing,” there are a thousand emotional words to use in headlines. Moderation is essential, so it is very OK to use just one per headline.

Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

You can utilize the application of FOMO to your headline strategy, although only at strategic times. You need to ensure that the product is one that is in high demand. You may introduce a price slash and make people rush the product because you have ensured to let them know that there is a limited amount of stock available. Nobody wants to miss out on the bumper deals, so they will be inclined to buy these products quick before it becomes unavailable. If you sell an online tool, such as a VPN and your premium offer is $9.99 per month, you could announce via social media and to email subscribers that you will be doing a 50% price slash for the first 100 people to subscribe to your VIP package.” Many people probably want the premium package but are unwilling to pay that amount for it. But if they can see that they only need to pay $4.99 for that same value, many people will jump on the offer because they do not want to miss out on the moving train. This headline strategy has worked a lot of times, and because Internet users make a lot of emotional purchase decisions, it will always work.

As you can see from this copy, this website has created a sense of urgency with a very irresistible offer. We only have 9 hours to go, and the audience will gladly accept this offer as it’d be a cheap bargain

Offer Irresistible Benefits To Your Readers

One key strategy for creating specific headlines is offering irresistible benefits to the audience. Your headline should highlight the benefits he will get, how soon he will get it, and a clause to overcome his objections. For example: “Enjoy Unlimited Access To Keyword tools, beat your competitors at their game in a month, 100% money-back guarantee”. This offer is an irresistible offer to your potential customer who may be skeptical about being a premium subscriber to this tool. Still, as soon as he sees the 100% money-back guarantee, he is assured that it will definitely work for him, and if he doesn’t, he will get his money back. In the copy, after the headline, you should list the conditions that will make the money-back guarantee valid, such as “not using any of the premium tools” and many more.

Uniqueness

You should avoid copying the headlines of other people. Remember, your audiences are all over the place, and they know what they have seen before and where they have seen it. Don’t base your copy on plagiarism. Create something unique, and you will grab the attention of your audience. 

There are dozens of tips on creating outstanding headlines, but the summary of it all is that you should be able to get the reader curious from the headline such that he will be inspired to read the remainder of the copy. Also, offer clear benefits to your readers, let them know what to take away from reading the headline, and ensure that your benefits are guaranteed to be enjoyed as early as possible. 

You may also input your headline into a free headline analyzer, the “American Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer” to determine the strength of your headline.

Read NextCopywriting Examples, Unique Value PropositionBusiness WritingCopywritingEmail MarketingSEOSocial Media MarketingContent Marketing.

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Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"