- Key 1: Grab Their Attention
- Key 2: Qualify and Screen the Reader
- Key 3: Suck Them In
- Key 4: What’s in it for Me?
- Key 5: Credibility Wins
Headlines are like the appetizers of the content world. They wet the reader’s appetite for the main meal and should build desire and anticipation. A great headline must grab the reader’s attention, interest them with a promise, and pique their curiosity enough to make them keep reading. In this article, we will be discussing a five-step framework that will help you turn ordinary words into words that sell anything.
The headline of your ad, email, or blog post can make or break the success of your content. To create a strong headline, it is important to understand the five keys that every headline must possess.
Key 1: Grab Their Attention
The most important job of your headline is to grab the reader’s attention. You need to elicit an emotional reaction and make a promise or claim that will awaken their curiosity. Examples of this include “Can you really reverse hair loss?” or “The three deadliest mistakes you make while driving.”
Key 2: Qualify and Screen the Reader
If you write a headline directed towards everyone, you are writing it for no one. Headlines must speak to an individual, not a group. Examples of this include “Is tired the new normal?” or “The easiest app to learn a foreign language.”
Key 3: Suck Them In
The headline must sell the reader on the rest of the ad, blog post, or email. Examples of this include “Master French cooking in three steps” or “Turn fat into muscle without stepping foot in a gym.”
Key 4: What’s in it for Me?
The headline should sell the reader on the one benefit they will receive from reading your content. Examples of this include “Salvage that overcooked Thanksgiving turkey” or “Five hairstyles in five minutes without a hair dryer.”
Key 5: Credibility Wins
To grab the reader’s attention, you must establish credibility and be an authority. Examples of this include “A Yale study confirms entrepreneurial DNA is a thing” or “Gary Vaynerchuk reveals his secret to happiness.”
To make sure your headlines possess these five keys, you can use one of the five headline templates every copywriter should be using. These templates are The Question, The Promise, The How-To, The Contrast, and The Why.
The Question should create a burning desire for the reader to get the answer. The Promise must do more than just grab their attention, it should tell the reader what they will get if they transact. The How-To should tie the benefit to the reader and make it matter to them. The Contrast should relate to something the reader can relate to. The Why should explain the reason for the headline.
In conclusion, writing great headlines takes practice. Write lots of headlines, make subtle word changes, and weed out the weak ones to get to the winning headline. Using these five templates will help you create sharp and effective copy more efficiently than ever before. So, grab a pen and paper and start practicing!