How Do You Write Decent Headlines

By: Billy Powell

Even the best copywriting authors get stumped every once in a while when trying to write a good headline. The headline is the most important part of your sales letter. If people never read your headline, they will not read the rest of the page. A good headline is crucial! All you need to do to write a good headline is to write pages and pages of headlines until you get the one you want. All the while, keep these three headline factors in mind: image, facts, and emotion.
Every great headline begins with a good image. Consider the one legged golfer headline: "Amazing Secret Discovered By One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards to Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks and Slices... And Can Slash Up to 10 Strokes From Your Games Almost Overnight!" That headline is filled with action verbs. Discovered, eliminates, slash... you can just about picture that one legged guy standing on the driving range about to take a swing.
Then there is the fact element. Headlines need facts not just for believability, but so you can provide benefits. What reason do your readers have to read the rest of the sales letter? What will they get out of it?
This headline contains a whopping three benefits: slash ten strokes from your games, eliminate hooks and slices, and add 50 yards to your drives. What is really cool about these benefits is that they are relative. Even if you are a pro golfer, you can add fifty yards in addition to your drives. There is also the hidden fourth benefit: you can make these changes overnight. The lesson is that you can stack multiple benefits in the same headline. Even if you cannot come up with any benefits in your headline, just mention one thing people can change, and how quickly they can make that change.
Finally, and probably most importantly, there is the emotion factor. The emotional hook is the one-legged golfer. A guy with one leg can teach me something about my golf game? Also, notice that the headline used the word "your" not once but twice. This is clearly a very well thought out headline written by a copywriter designed to illicit the maximum emotional response from the reader.
Anytime you are stuck writing a headline, or you want to augment an existing headline, keep those three factors in mind: image, facts, and emotion. Apply those three factors and you cannot fail with headline copywriting.

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