January 18, 2019 | Sean Foo
The difference between a successful digital campaign is if the copy is read or if it is closed. From Facebook ads to a website copy, your headline is the first thing that your readers will see.
It is the headline that helps determines if your ad will deliver the results and conversions you desire.
What you need is a headline that speaks directly to your target customer and prospects, compelling them to click on your ad to find out more.
It really doesn’t matter if you are launching a social campaign on Facebook or utilizing Adwords to reach your audience, it is the headline that will determine the success of your campaign (and the return on investment of your hard earned marketing dollars).
At SpeechSilver, our copywriters and team have been following a proven formula and system when it comes to crafting ad headlines that convert.
Before we unveil the 49 headline formulas we use for our clients even until today, we must first understand the three core rules of creating an awesome and targeted headline that will resonate with your reader.
3 Rules To Remember When Writing Your Headline
While there might be certain trendy and unique headlines that can help make posts go viral or really ‘clickable’, it might backfire if not used correctly, that’s why we have these 3 rules to help you craft a time-tested headline that converts.
Rule 1: Focus On Clarity & Simplicity
You might be running a Google Adwords campaign or a Facebook social campaign, but you might be competing with hundreds of competitors all gunning for the same attention of your prospect.
The first step to capturing that precious attention is to ensure your headline is clear and easy to understand.
If it takes someone more than 3 seconds to understand the meaning of a headline after reading it, then it’s a bad headline.
Rule 2: Use A Proven Structure
As we mentioned earlier, while having innovative and interesting headlines might work occasionally, those same headlines are not reliable or bankable.
A headline structure that is time-tested and proven will arouse your prospects interest.
But what is interest? Can we define it?
Interest is simply the showcasing of benefit/value + curiosity.
It is about letting them know there is value to explore further while still retaining a little mystery.
Rule 3: Make It Useful, Ultra-Specific & Urgent
“Loved By Michelin-Star Restaurants, Save 35% Off Our Spanish Wines This Month Only!”
The above headline is a classic example of one that gives useful information: a 35% sale and highlights the quality of the product with the specificity and throws in the urgency of the sale ending by the end of the month.
Great headlines usually offer their reader useful information, ultra-specific details as well as a call to action or a hint of urgency telling the reader to act now.
Every market from digital marketing to beauty and technology has their experts and influencers in them.
When influencers talk, people tend to listen.
From Gary Vaynerchuk to Michael Jordan, borrowing the name credibility of a market expert is a great way to capture the attention of your reader by arousing the natural curiosity they might have.
While having linked to trendy influencers or celebrities are great, you can also turn back the clock and use historical figures like George Washington and Einstein to add a touch of uniqueness to your headlines.
1. [Authority] + [Unique / New Information]
Eg. Bill Gates Reveals All About Microsoft’s New Revolutionary Smartphone
2. [Authority] + [Ask a compelling question]
Eg. From Andy Lau To Eason Chan, Do You Have What It Takes To Be China’s Next Pop Superstar?
3. The [New Product] That [Authority] now endorses
Eg. The Breakthrough Golf Club That Tiger Woods Swears By.
4. Top [Authority] Spills The Beans On The Inside Secrets To [Benefit]
Eg. Singapore’s Top Real Estate Agent Spills The Beans On The Inside Secrets To $30,000 Of Commissions A Month!
5. The 9 Secrets [Authority] Doesn’t Want You To Know
Eg. The 9 Secrets The LA Lakers Doesn’t Want Amateurs To Know
6. You Don’t Have To Be [Authority] To Be [Desired Result]
Eg. You Don’t Have To Mark Zuckerberg To Build A Successful Tech Company
Benefit Based Headlines
Everyone is eager to know what they can get in the product. Whether you are running a campaign on Google Adwords or a social campaign on Facebook, your reader wants to know what they can get at the other end.
For every campaign that is running at the local level, there are probably five or ten of your direct competitors also actively running their advertisements to grab your market share!
Why should your audience check out your ad and not your competitors?
Easy! Because he can get something out of it. You need to spell it out for them!
A great ad headline is one that is benefit based.
7. Get [Desired Result] In [Desirable Time Period]
Eg. How To Get The Girl Of Your Dreams In 30 Days!
8. [End Result] + [Time Period] + [Address Potential Objections]
Eg. Learn How To Start Your Own Drop Shipping Business In A Week With Less Than $1,000!
9. [Take This Action] + [Time Period] + [End Result]
Eg. Come Down To Our Warehouse Sale Today And Stand To Win $2,000 Worth Of Shopping Vouchers!
10. The Method To Help [Audience] To [Benefit]
Eg. The Method Top Marketers Use To Triple Their Conversions On Facebook.
11. Now You Can [Desirable Result] While [Not Sacrificing Much]
Eg. Now You Can Tour The Whole Of America With Just $2,000!
12. Give Me [Short Time Frame] & I’ll Give You [Benefit]
Eg. Give Me 3 Hours & I’ll Increase Your Sales By 50%.
If you just conduct a random search on Google for almost any topic, chances are you will run into a list headline.
‘Top 10 buffalo Wings in Singapore’……..’The 5 Best Mooncakes To Die For’…’The 5 Rules Of Profitable Stock Trading’….well you get the picture.
These are called list headlines and are perhaps one of the most popular headlines you will see out there and it’s quite obvious why.
When a reader reads a list headline, they immediately know that there is useful content that can benefit them at the other end.
If you are wondering why most list headlines have a number of them, it’s because having a number helps capture attention better by being specific letting people know what to expect upfront.
13. The Modern Rules Of [Category/Subject]
Eg. Discover The Modern Rules Of SEO Rankings In 2017
14. [Number] Quick Ways To [Benefit]
Eg. 9 Quick Ways To Cook That Perfect Sizzling Steak
15. [Number] Ways To [Desired Result]
Eg. 13 Ways To Contact That Decision Maker Online
16. [Number] Lies About [Topic]
Eg. The Top 6 Lies Your Insurance Agent Are Telling About Your Life Policy.
Escaping Pain Headlines
Most of us are motivated by either the end goal so big that we just need to chase it….
Or (more often than not) a painful situation that we just need to escape from.
Many products from beauty to software take advantage of this psychological trigger and effectively craft not just their headlines, but entire marketing campaign around helping their customers avoid a certain pain that they fear.
Sometimes, the idea of taking away a negative is more powerful then even offering a benefit, especially if your customer is experiencing the pain right here and right now.
17. Warning: [Undesirable Situation] Are You One Of Them
Eg. Warning: 85% of Singapore Car Owners Are Paying 155% More For Their Car Insurance. Are You One Of Them?
18. If You Don’t [Take A Certain Action] Now, [Undesirable Situation].
Eg. If You Don’t Switch To HTML5 Today, You Might Be Track To Losing 30% Of Your Audience!
19. Top [Number] Reasons Why You [Undesirable Situation]
Eg. The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Income Stays The Same Year After Year.
20. Get Rid Of [Problem] Once And For All
Eg. Time To Banish Away Your Eye Bags And Dark Circles Once And For All
21. [Undesirable Situation] + [Solution]
Eg. Sales Accounting Gone Haywire? Discover The Top Software On The Market Today!
A contrast headline combines two unlikely characters or situations into a single headline that makes it near impossible for your reader to click away.
When you use contrast headlines in your marketing, you will introduce a paradox to your reader which they might find hard to believe.
And it is exactly the desire to discover how is that possible that drives your reader to click on that headline.
22. The Lazy [Person’s] Way To [Desirable Results]
Eg. The Lazy Couch Potato’s Way To Losing Fat Every Single Month Without Fail!
23. [Before] to [After]
Eg. How One Broke School Dropout BecameThe CEO Of A Fortune 500 Company.
24. Why You Should Be Happy To Have [Negative Situation]
Eg. Why You Should Be Happy To Have A Lower IQ Score.
25. Why [Good Situation] Doesn’t Bring [Desired Result]
Eg. Why Becoming A Billionaire Doesn’t Bring Lasting Happiness.
From Christmas sales to Chinese New Year offers, there is a range of exciting opportunities that we marketers can capitalize on.
From e-commerce companies to even technology brands, weaving some holiday cheer and offers into the headlines is one of the best ways to maximize conversions.
While almost all business types can make use of seasonal headlines, these are especially ultra-effective for businesses selling directly to customers (B2C) or e-commerce companies.
26. [Benefit] + [Holiday] + [Urgency]
Eg. Save 30% Off Our Premium Christmas Coffee Blends This Weekend Only!
27. Make This Your Best [Holiday] Ever With Our [Product]
Eg. Make This Your Best Chinese New Year Ever With The Chance To Win $88,888 With Every Purchase Made!
While managing your ad-spend and targeting the right demographics are certainly important for any campaign, a key component is the sales copywriting behind it that forms the backbone of your ad.
While the ultimate sale or conversion is always our end goal, it is the headline that actually brings your audience in for the opportunity to learn more.
Master the headline and you will begin to enjoy fantastic conversions never seen before.
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