Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
Some writers argue against using headline formulas, saying they are too predictable.
But there’s a
good reason why master copywriters use certain headline formulas over and over:
A good headline draws in the reader by showcasing a benefit – something that helps the prospect, meets one of his needs, or interests him, such as –
This formula benefits the reader by offering a practical, step-by-step solution to a problem. For this formula to work, make sure your body copy delivers the goods.
Example: How to write headlines that guarantee you’ll be read
This formula benefits the reader by raising curiosity about your reader’s problem. Your question implies there’s a solution in the content. For this formula to work, make sure you provide one in the body of the piece.
Example: Are you sure your headline works?
This formula benefits the reader by angling a nugget of new or unusual information about your reader’s problem.
When he bites, he’ll find more detail in the text.
Example: Why 5 times as many people read the headline over the body copy
This formula benefits the reader by challenging the reader with a concrete action step (a Call To Action) they can take to fix their problem. Command formulas use a strong, second person verb.
Example: Try these 5 proven headline formulas
This formula benefits the reader by building trust.
A beneficiary, donor, or celebrity gives credibility to your product or service by speaking from experience, explaining how you provided an answer to his problem.
“These 5 tried-and-true headlines doubled my open rate!”
More Tips for Writing Headlines
More on writing formulas
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