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11 Ways to Create a Headline that Sell Ice to Eskimo

Remember the well-known Ogilvy quote “It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money…” Indeed, it is your headline that makes or breaks the sale. In the enormous online world, getting your piece lost in the clutter is easy. Therefore it is the goal of every copywriter to stand out among the rest—and you do this through a headline that can sell ice to an Eskimo.

Creating a catchy headline can be a pain in the neck until you learn its dos and don’ts. Even expert writers can get lost in the process. But a good headline is important because it will serve as glue that will keep readers stuck on your copy, while a poorly written one will shove readers somewhere else.

So, what is a headline? It is an abstract sentence which is usually five to ten words with a complete thought and has a subject and a verb. Its goal is to grab the reader’s attention and make him stick around your article.

Asking yourself whether or not the potential customer will find it delightful and intriguing to read your article based on the headline alone is a good way to failsafe your writing. Is it worth your time? Will it make sense to your life? Ask these questions, and if the answers are positive, then you got there a nice headline.

Also, take note of your audience. Keep in mind that like music which has different kinds of genres, articles, too has various readers. They may vary in age, culture, interests, hobbies and thinking.

How to Create a Catchy Headline

There is no secret recipe to making an attention-worthy headline; rather there are obvious tips to get along with the work. But too often than not, creating the headline is the most neglected part in writing. People would shove off the idea of making a good one because of the thought that it won’t matter among readers. In their mind, it’s simply a boring part of the article, a cherry on top of a sundae, when the truth is: the headline is the sundae itself.

The headline is so important that it is the sole aspect that can make or break a sale. In fact, a good headline for emails can result to an increase of clicks by as much as 46%. Hence, if a product promotion reaches 2,000,000 customers then this can equal to more than 17,000 increase in clicks. Because of this, we have included 11 proven tips to help you make the catchiest headline there is:

  1. Stir curiosity; grab your audience’s attention. The most important yet the most neglected rule when writing a headline is to get it read by grabbing your reader’s attention. Use of exaggerations and words that stir curiosity always do their magic.
  2. Use the word “secret”. People are fond of “secrets,” either by learning it or by sharing it. Sometimes putting the word ‘secret’ or emphasizing what you don’t know about on a headline will make its readers pick on your piece. For example, “Easy ways to treat fungi” or “The secret ingredients of oatmeal and your health” are just some of eye-catching headlines.
  3. Get the numbers working. There is also a technique where you can put on numbers on the heading and give some twist, like “10 ways on how to break a guy’s neck” or “5 great makeups of all time.” You can also try the writing a headline like “Get abs fast and be like Channing Tatum.”
  4. Be a Grammar Nazi. Be aware of your grammar, punctuations and choice of words. You do not need to put all the punctuation marks on one headline. Punctuation is something a reader would stop reading, and you don’t want that. They might lose their interest or would not read your article at all. Also, avoid using CAPITAL LETTERS.
  5. Let lose. When you write a good headline, make sure it is understandable. Avoid too much formality. Do not use abbreviations or words that are hard to understand. Furthermore, do not use overly designed fonts – and don’t make it too large or too small. Play with words – you’ll never know how many synonyms a word has in a Thesaurus.
  6. Use the power of W’s and H. Using words like “why” and “how” are effective to persuade people. These are called “trigger words” as they never fail to trigger curiosity.
  7. Keep it simple. Always be accurate and direct to the point, avoid redundancy and offensive headlines. Stir curiosity but be modest with your writing.
  8. Make a promise. Promising your readers with something valuable is a surefire way to get their attention. Teach them a new skill or ask them to do something they have never done before. Be bold and dare the reader to read your write-up.
  9. Make it stand out. Your headline should be unique so it stands out among the clutter. Do not try to be a copy of someone, rather be that someone.
  10. Be specific. Aside from being unique, you should also ensure that you are ultra-specific with your promises. If you aren’t specific and you keep on beating the bush, the customers may not understand what you are really driving at.
  11. Work it out until you get it. Always re-write your draft headline until you end up with the best. Stick to the classic headlines, and just re-work it. You can never go wrong with it.

Writing a headline is a recipe for success. So do not get swayed into thinking that the headline won’t be anything important than the body. People won’t click on something that is boring, hence a poorly written headline will surely get less clicks from readers. So make it exciting that people will want to pause awhile and read through your work. So take time in writing your headline, turn it into something that will grab your reader’s attention.

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