The powerful FORMULA for creating headlines that attract lots of clicks

The headline of your ad, post or product/service page is a matter of life and death.

You should do your best there.

That sentence will decide if your prospect is going to dedicate all his attention to you.

Your prospect attention is pure gold, and in order to get it, businesses compete with sweat and tears.

By this I don’t mean you should learn how to write those shitty clickbait headlines.

The like of:

“You won’t believe what this girl did with her cat.”

These headlines are often misleading and may work once, but not twice. People won’t trust your brand if you use these shitty headlines.

However, if you learn how to create headlines that grab your prospects attention – increasing their curiosity but in a legitimate way – you’ll have a much better chance of that person staying to listen/read what you have to say.

The best way to learn how to write powerful headlines is to study other headlines and analyse the reasons why they caught our attention.

If you look at many of them you’ll notice that most of them follow certain formulas.

In this post, we’re going to talk about the formula that works best for writing powerful headlines which will also help you write your emails subjects, so more people open them.

Here we go.

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The powerful formula for creating irresistible headlines

You’re not interested in getting everyone’s attention. What’s the point?

What you want is to attract the attention of those people who fit your buyer persona profile.

They are the ones most likely to buy your product or hire your services.

Therefore your headline has to be designed to attract their curiosity.

And here is one of the key elements of this formula.

CURIOSITY

We have seen it all, especially when we are surfing the internet.

But there’s something that always defeats us, and that’s curiosity.

When something piques our curiosity we can’t help it but to do whatever it takes to find out that missing piece of information.

However, the curiosity element only works if it refers to something that really interests us.

For example, rugby interests me very little, if at all, so even if a headline tries to pique my curiosity like that:

The anecdote that convinced Jonah Lomu to play rugby and that will make you play better too.

This headline is not going to make me click.

Your headline has to arouse your prospect’s curiosity with an interesting fact.

Did you notice the other important element of this headline?

It’s in the last words “make you play better too“.

That’s a desirable benefit.

And here we come to the other important element that can’t be missing in your headline.

The powerful FORMULA for creating #headlines that attract lots of clicks. #Copywriting #DigitalMarketing #SmallBiz Click To Tweet

THE BENEFIT

It has to be an important benefit your target customer wants in their life.

No matter how much curiosity a headline raises, if there’s no benefit linked to it, you have fewer chances your prospect will click on it.

It’s about promising a benefit in exchange for their precious attention.

So now we have the formula.

Curiosity + Benefit

But then…

Why so many brands use this formula without much success?

Because they use it in the wrong way.

It’s not just about appealing to curiosity and promising a result or benefit, you need to be specific and put an image in your prospect’s mind.

Which headline makes you want to click the most?

This:

How to earn more money

Or this one:

How to earn 1000 euros more per month without having to work more hours

The second is much more specific and therefore more appealing because we can picture ourselves earning 1000 euros more per month without having to look for a night job.

But, how can we be specific and put an image in the reader’s mind?

With powerful words.

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POWERFUL WORDS

Powerful words are those that make us imagine a situation since they help us draw it in our heads.

They are those verbs and nouns we use when we want to tell a friend what’s happened to us (without the swearing, please :D).

And the guy who was a tank stands in front of me blocking the exit and I’m there looking like a lunatic.  

With that sentence, we try to make our friend imagine the scene and for that, we use powerful words like “a tank”, “blocking” “lunatic”.

These words put pictures of the situation in your head.

It might not be suitable to use those kinds of expressions when we’re trying to sell with our business – unless your brand is a bit of a badass – but I think you get the idea.

Use powerful words that help the reader imagine the scene, for example:

  • 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Their Children Bully Them

The words Mistakes, Make and Bully are powerful. These expressions make us picture situations where children become real tyrants.

Let’s see more examples of headlines that work well because they use the curiosity + benefit formula with powerful words.

The powerful FORMULA for creating #headlines that attract lots of clicks. #Copywriting #DigitalMarketing #SmallBiz Click To Tweet

Several ways to apply this formula

This is where you can differentiate your business and create headlines that stand out because they are different.

You don’t need to be incredibly creative, simply choose one of these ways to apply the formula and adapt it to what you are selling and the type of customer you are looking for.

It’s not difficult, you’ll see!

I’ve highlighted the powerful words on each headline so you can identify them easily.

#The hyper-specific headline

To create this type of headline you have to narrow down the topic and make the benefit very specific or time-based.

For example:

How to Nail an Online Job Interview

How to See a Total Eclipse that Won’t Be Seen for Another 60 Years

# The headline that promises an attainable result without too much effort

With this type of headline, you promise a result that can be achieved without a certain resource, without a side effect that your prospect fears or even if they believe they’re facing an insurmountable obstacle.

For example:

How to Travel Around the World Without Winning the Lottery

How to Work from Home Without Losing Motivation

How to Keep Writing Even When You Feel Like a Fraud

# The headline that tells a motivating story

The story can be about you or someone else. It’s motivating because it encourages the reader to take on a challenge that he/she fears: if you or someone else has done it, they can do it too.

For example:

How I Quit Smoking Without Gaining a Single Pound and Without Anxiety

How a Supermarket Increased 30% its Revenue Using WhatsApp.

Maybe you’re saying to yourself that all these headlines use the “How to” at the beginning and it can get repetitive.

True, but the truth is that “How to” headlines are winners.

You can always find alternatives to “How to”.

For example:

The (Surprisingly Easy) Way I Stopped Beating Myself Up with Negative Thoughts.

The powerful FORMULA for creating #headlines that attract lots of clicks. #Copywriting #DigitalMarketing #SmallBiz Click To Tweet

Headlines with lists also rock

These headlines follow the formula CURIOSITY + BENEFIT + POWERFUL WORDS too and are another way to get your prospects attention.

Lists rock for 2 reasons:

  1. They offer several ways to achieve a result
  2. Numbers stand out on social media, search results and on inboxes.

There are several types of headlines with lists, let’s look at them all.

# Lists that offer a certain number of ways to achieve a result (benefit)

This type of headline is similar to the “How to” headline but lists different ways to achieve that desired benefit.

For example:

7 Smart Ways to Make Money in Times of Economic Uncertainty

5 Steps to Finding Love After a Breakup

# Inspire your readers with a list of examples or ideas on a given topic.

It can also be recipes, tips and anything else that will take them nearer to their desired goals.

For example:

21 of the Best Copywriting Examples to Inspire You

10 Simple but Effective Habits of Healthy People

# Summarise a series of mistakes to avoid in order to achieve a specific goal (This headline is the antithesis of the X ways to achieve Y headline).

We are often afraid of doing things wrong without even realising it.

This type of headline helps people see the mistakes they are making that are preventing them from achieving their goal.

For example:

Top 5 Most Common Mistakes of Websites That Don’t Convert

Top 10 Blunders That Stop You From Making Good Decisions

# The anti-list with your best advice

We are all overwhelmed with so much information, courses, tips, etc.

This type of headline works really well because it removes anxiety by offering a single, most effective tip to achieve a specific goal.

It also increases curiosity since people wonder, what’s that one tip or technique that works so well?

For example:

This is the Only Way to Motivate Yourself to Go to the Gym

My Best SEO Technique to Increase Organic Traffic

The powerful FORMULA for creating #headlines that attract lots of clicks. #Copywriting #DigitalMarketing #SmallBiz Click To Tweet

Summarising

Creating great headlines that catch people’s attention among so much input and distraction is an art. And like any art, it gets better with practice.

Now you have the formulas you need to create impactful headlines.

This is what you should always keep in mind:

If a headline doesn’t raise curiosity or promise a benefit, it’s less likely to grab your prospects attention.

Being specific and using powerful words will help your prospects put a picture in their minds.

CURIOSITY + BENEFIT + POWERFUL WORDS

That’s the winning formula.

You can always combine your headlines so they don’t sound the same:

  • The hyper-specific headline
  • The headline that promises a result without too much effort
  • The headline that tells a motivational story

Lists rock:

  • X ways to get a result
  • X examples or ideas to obtain a result
  • X mistakes that prevent a result
  • The best way to get a result

And remember, without powerful words, there are no powerful headlines!

See you around!

This post is based on what I’ve learned doing this wonderful Enchanting Marketing course.

The powerful FORMULA for creating #headlines that attract lots of clicks. #Copywriting #DigitalMarketing #SmallBiz Click To Tweet

Sobre Elena de Francisco

Siento un placer inmensurable aplastando textos zombis que no dan resultados y transformándolos en textos llenos de vida que provocan muchas ventas.

About Elena de Francisco

I find real pleasure in crushing zombie copy that doesn’t provoke any emotion and turning it into vivid words that convert prospects into smiley paying customers.

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