How to Write a Headline That Sells

Your headline is the key to your advertising success. Without a catchy headline, nobody will bother to read your advertisement. Your headline should:

  1. Use intriguing keywords that make the headline stand out.
  2. Use catchy phrases or slogans that attract people to your advertisement.
  3. Add various key points in the headline.
  4. Catch the attention of the reader immediately.

The headline is the first thing a person will read. These few words will determine if the person opens your email and reads your content or deletes it. Furthermore, if you advertise online or in a newspaper most people only scan the headlines. Therefore, if your headline fails to catch the person’s attention at first glance, chances are nobody will read your advertisement. 

How to get a person to read your advertisement

When writing your headline it should be centered on your product and not your company. Therefore, you must address the person reading your headline and make them feel like you are talking to them personally. Start your headline off by addressing the person directly with ‘you’ and not ‘we’. Never start the headline with your company or product name. Instead ask a question and give a solution. Furthermore, in the solution mention your product name. 

Include a quick snapshot of the benefits your product will give this person. All consumers look for the advantage a product will give them. Therefore, a well-phrased headline will include one of these benefits. Use keywords in your headline that will attract this person’s attention.

15 Tips on how to write a headline people will read:

  1. Be direct and get to the point.
  2. Use your number one selling benefit in your headline.
  3. Write a news flash for a headline.
  4. A ‘how-to’ headline will appeal to the reader's interest.
  5. Ask a question in your headline that will make the person curious to find out the answer.
  6. Convey a sense of urgency in your headline.
  7. Don’t copy another headline, make yours unique.
  8. State a specific number of people in your headline.
  9. Incorporate the word “tricks” into your headline.
  10. Tell the truth about your product in your headline.
  11. Write a headline that states a “reason”.
  12. People love headlines about “tips”.
  13. “The Ultimate” is a catchy way to start a headline.
  14. A warning about making a “mistake” grabs the person’s attention.
  15. A headline that makes something “simple” is a great attention grabber.

For more information on how you can write a great headline read:

  1. Columbia University: Headlines
  2. The New Yorker: How Headlines Change the Way We Think
  3. Econsultancy: The Importance of a Good Headline
  4. KU Edu: Making an impact – accurately
  5. Business Insider: The 20 Best Headlines Ever
  6. BBC: Teacher Resources: Activity – Writing Headlines



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Julie Sinclair

About Julie Sinclair

Julie is a retired school teacher who loves writing, gardening, Internet research, crafts, and being with her family. After retirement Julie has kept up her skills in computing by taking classes at the College near by.