I remember the first time I started reading old school sales letters.
Especially sales letters written by the * real * greats of the old school.
Copywriters like Gary Halbert, Gary Bencivenga, Joseph Sugarman, etc.
For most people, they find it strange to read old sales letters that sell everything from ham, skin care products, or perfumes.
So today, I’d like to dive into one of the most critical elements when selling … well, anything.
Specifically, its headline.
Once you’re good at writing headlines, your blog posts will generate more engagement … more emails will be opened … your face-to-face sale will be easier … and your sales letters will sell more of your products.
In other words:
Writing great headlines is a must if you want to have a successful business.
I’m going to give you a lot of examples, so in the end, you’ll have a lot of tools in your tool belt to write your next BIG headline.
But, before we dive in.
I’m probably going to scare off newbies and template junkies (which I love to do) with what I’m going to say next.
I’m * not * going to give you any generic templates like most other articles do.
My goal is to help you * think * differently.
The best copywriters in the world are great THINKERS, not just great SLIDERS.
So if you’re not interested in learning the principles behind big headlines and are just looking for the following swipe template, this post is not for you.
With the formalities out of the way … let’s dive into:
The first old school sales letter I read had a fantastic title:
“The lazy way to riches”.
A lot is happening in just these six words.
First, touch a central desire of your target market: “Riches.”
Second, it has an excellent contrast with the “lazy” and the “riches”, which connect directly with our psychology and make us pay attention. Why? Due to the general belief, at the time, it was that to get rich, you had to work incredibly hard. But is this guy talking about getting rich being a lazy bastard? I mean, how can you * NOT * pay attention? If you can, and it makes sense, contrast is a powerful concept to use in your headlines.
This headline is one of my favorite headlines of all time.
However, this brings me straight to the next point when it comes to writing world-class headlines:
“Your headline’s only job is to get your reader to read the first line.”
I first heard about this idea in the book “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook”, written by the great Joseph Sugarman.
Think about it:
If people don’t read your headline … how are they supposed to read your ad, blog post, or email? And if they don’t read your content … how are they going to buy your product or service?
Therefore, writing a great headline is critical.
A headline that stops them in their tracks and makes them pay attention.
Of course, having a great product is essential too. But that’s a story for another time.
Let’s get back to how to write a winning headline that converts.
As I mentioned earlier, I am not going to focus on generic templates. Today’s goal is to help you think differently so you can write YOUR own headlines in YOUR own voice. Obviously, this takes practice. But the more you do it, the better you will become. For example, you will never be a top pianist if you never sit in front of a piano. The same goes for headline writing.
I love the simplicity.
I like to get the best result with the least amount of work, and if people want to classify me as lazy, so be it.
But learning how to write great headlines takes a lot of work and practice.
So while we’re not focusing on templates, I’ll give you some ideas for different headlines to keep things simple for you.
But first, let’s look at some examples of different ways to write a good headline.
After that, I’ll show you ten real-world examples of classic headlines.
Here are some examples of different ways to write headlines:
- Begin your title with the word “Announcing …” or “Finally …” or “New …” or “How …” or “Why …” or “Presenting …”
Tell a story
- Include your offer in your headline. For example, “special offer” or “free offer” or just include the price.
If you can include a time frame, deadline, or other specific time elements, this will automatically create a natural shortage
- Include the # 1 biggest benefit that matters most to your prospect
Talk about specific mistakes your prospect might be making
- Include numbers
Ask your reader a direct question
- If you can’t think of anything, writing a simple “How To” title is an easy way to get started.
Just with this little list, you’re already armed to the teeth to write your next best-selling headline.
But let’s go even deeper.
Let’s look at ten specific examples of winning headlines. Again, DO NOT just copy / paste these headlines. Instead, use the principles behind them. Think by yourself. Use the list of ideas you just read. Everyone else is focused on slipping and stealing other people’s things and “marking” them as their own … don’t be like that. Focus on “being more so you can become great.”
Before moving on to the ten examples, consider the following:
All of these headlines worked for THAT particular product, for THAT particular audience, at THAT particular time.
So even if you decided to copy and swipe it probably wouldn’t work.
You better focus on writing your own stuff and practicing every day.
Writing blog posts, articles, and emails every day.
With that said, here are ten classic headlines to get your creativity flowing:
- The secret of people liking you
A small mistake that costs a farmer $ 3,000 a year
- Does he ever tie your tongue at a party?
How to win friends and influence people
- Do you make these mistakes in English?
When Doctors “Feel Rotten,” Here’s What They Do
- How I improved my memory in one night
They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started playing!
- To the men who one day want to quit their job
For the older woman than meets the eye
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to writing great converting headlines.
If you are ever in doubt about what to write, always go back to the source …
And the source is your market.
You can always find the answer in your market.
As long as you focus on your market’s hopes, fears, and dreams, writing headlines (or writing in general) will immediately become easier.
Bottom line and take this seriously:
The answer is * always * in your market.