How to Write Headlines that Tell, Compel & Sell

Mar 23, 2017

Well, any writer worth his/her name, knows the cruciality of writing effective headlines. Be it a blog post, website content or a newsletter campaign, headlines are the copywriting equivalent of fishing baits!

Now, this is a pretty generic information and if you are reading this post, chances are you already know it.

But, how to write effective headlines? Headlines that tell, compel and ultimately sell!

There’s been much research on this subject and much debate about how best to coin a headline that intrigues a website visitor or an email contact in reading your copy. While everyone has his/her own style of creating headlines, there’s no end to the concerns of a new copywriter struggling to master the art of writing effective headlines.

Should you use the so-called ‘power words’ in your headline? How long should the headline be? Should the headline be direct or suggestive?

Well, the questions may be many and answers may be even more numerous (to add to your confusion, of course); but there ARE some no-nonsense principles of writing an effective headline.

So, here’s some super-simple principles for writing effective headline that budding copywriters can live by.

#1 Keep it simple, silly!

While many copywriters run after fancy ideas, in most cases, keeping the headline as simple as possible is the best way to do it.

This is especially true when you are writing a website headline.

Here’s an example:


Headline writing tips


Siftery is a product comparison website where you can get recommendations for enterprise software from real users.

Now, look at the headline here!

It has nothing fancy about it. It simply states what the website can do for you!

More often than not, a straight-forward benefit statement tells your readers about what you can do for them, compels them to find out more and ultimately sells your products/services!

So, next time you are plucking your hair trying to find an awesome headline, remember, the way to awesomeness is simplicity!

#2 Appeal to Reason!

A leading Harvard Psychologist, Ellen Langer found in her studies that people almost always consent to requests when given a reason. Be it using the photocopy machine or jumping the queue, when given a reason like ‘I’m in a rush’ or ‘I need to attend the class in 2 mins’, people tend to be more accommodating to the request.

As a copywriter, you can definitely cash on this tendency of human brain!

Simply give a reason to your reader to scroll down the page and read the rest of the content.

For example:


Headline writing tips

Well, yeah, this is the GoldenLion Home page you are looking at! Forgiving the ‘beat-your-own-trumpet’ syndrome, if you look at the headline here, it gives you a clear reason why you should check out the website.

Now, GoldenLion (if you don’t know already) offers complete traffic-lead-conversion solutions to businesses across the globe. And any business who wants to grow needs to attract more traffic, convert them into interested leads and finally convert them into paying customers. Thus, GoldenLion offers essential solutions for achieving big dreams of a business owner.

The reason offered in the headline is completely justified here!

So, when you are coining a headline, giving your audience a reason why they should check out your website, why they should buy your product, why they should read your blogs can make all the difference.

But, make sure that the reason you are giving is completely justified!

# 3 Crunch Some Numbers!

Nothing grabs readers’ attention better than some big fat number!

Copywriters all over the world love to make big claims in their headlines. Simply look at the word ‘best’ and how many times you spot that on headlines! Be it a product advertisement, blogging tips, growth hacks or ways to shed those extra pounds; everybody loves to brand their product as ‘best’.

Well, calling your product the very best is nothing wrong, IF you can offer some data to support that!

But the fact is, very few businesses (if any) can actually offer factual information to prove that claim. So, here you are, declaring your product the very best (not one of the bests or best-in-class) and not having any data to support it!

Result? You are losing your credibility as a brand.

On the other hand, offering factual data leaves no room for guess work and automatically boosts your credibility and compels your readers to investigate more.

For example:


Headline writing tips


This headline is from where the website owner was offering a webinar on generating organic traffic.

See the way the website owner has used a specific number and not just said ‘thousands’ or ‘more’ visitors. By giving a specific number here, the copywriter is instantly increasing credibility and thus compelling the visitors to read the rest of the copy or in this case enroll for the webinar to find out how.

So, these are 3 super-simple ways of writing effective headlines for your copy!

However, if you need expert guide on creating awesome copies that Tell, Compel and Sellget in touch with us and create the ultimate killer copy for your business.


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