The One Essential Ingredient in Every Killer Headline

Self interest.

You can be cutesy. You can be clever. You can be absolutely stupid and make the inane assumption that your audience will read the entire sales copy and then understand your cleverly written headline to “tie it all together”…

Or you can always write killer headlines by making sure your headline is full of self-interest. What’s in it for them?

Don’t stroke you own ego by showing everyone how smart you are. Tell your audience why they should care in the simplest words possible. My iPhone’s Scrabble game beats me with words like “aniseed” worth 85 points. But Mr. Scrabble Computer would be a horrible copywriter.

The headline is the gateway. It’s the attention-grabber. If you don’t grab their attention, then you’re phenomenally-written copy may as well be garbage. It won’t matter.

Here’s a simple copywriting formula for you:

Spend 70% of your time finding all of the pain points of your audience.
Spend 25% of your time writing a headline that addresses the most important pain point (or two).
Spend 5% of your time writing the rest of the copy.

Oh, and then once you think you’ve found the perfect headline, test it.

And keep on testing it.

And never stop testing it.

One thought on “The One Essential Ingredient in Every Killer Headline

  1. So true, so true.

    I am listening to a fun little book on tape right now called “How to win friends and influence people”, ever heard of it? :) In it Carnegie explains how no one ever does anything with out thinking of THEMSELVES, just like you said “making sure your headline is full of self-interest.”

    How will they benefit is truely all they care about!

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