Copy Chat: 15 Proven Headline Formulas to Save You Time and Despair!

Posted on January 21, 2011 in Copy Chat, Marketing Tips

Awesome headlines are usually not created out of thin air. There are many tested headline formulas that can be adapted and used repeatedly. Of course, you need to understand why a particular headline works in order to know whether that formula is right for your post, or article, or landing page.

Here are 9 headline formulas and examples for you to consider and to give you an edge up on your headline creativity.

  1. Simple and Direct
    Be straightforward and appealing.

    example: FREE Upgrade to Next Day Printing

  2. Highlight Benefit
    Let the title tell your reader what’s in it for them.
  3. example: Design Your Postcards and Flyers in Minutes

  4. Announcement
    This works because it satisfies human curiosity.
    • example: Now You can

  5. How To
    We love to be better, faster, thinner, richer….
    • example: How to Write Headlines that Sell

  6. Use a Question
    Relate the question to your biggest benefit.
    • example: Do You Make these Three Common Mistakes in Your Headlines?

  7. Tell Reader what to Do
    Be a little bit of a dictator.
    • example: Write Amazing Headlines in Minutes

  8. Give Useful Information
    This isn’t actually about the information, it’s about helping readers feel they’ll gain control, or learn a secret.
    • example: The Two Most Important Steps You Can Take to Write Headlines that Work

  9. Testimonial
    This is why celebrities get paid well to back up a product – we listen and believe.
    • example: This Headline Lesson Helped Me Triple My Sales – It Can Work for You Too

  10. Quirky
    We don’t like sales copy so adding a little extra can help break through the perceived hype.
  11. Who Else Wants XYZ?
    We all like to belong.
    • example: Who Else Wants Great Flyers?

  12. The Secret of XYZ
    We’re born loving secrets.
    • example: The Secret of Successful Postcard Design

  13. Here is a Method That is Helping (X) to (Y)
    Know your target audience and your benefit.
    • example: Here is a Method That is Helping Designers to Save Hundreds of Hours

  14. Little Known Ways to (XYZ)
    This formula hits on a little intrigue.
    • example: Little Known Ways to Design Flyers in Under 5 Minutes

  15. Get Rid of (Problem) Once and For All
    This identifies a painful problem we want to eliminate.
    • example: Get Rid of That Bad Logo Once and For All

  16. (Do Something) like (World-class Example)
    Inspires us to believe we can do it too.
    • example: Design Like a Pro

Looking to dive deeper into headlines? More headline writing resources:

Photo by dolmansaxlil

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About Karen Daniels

Karen is an author, freelance writer, and content specialist with a great interest in blogging and content marketing. She is passionate about providing unique content and staying in tune with the ever-changing face of the Internet.

View all posts by Karen Daniels

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