And these headlines make GREAT email subject lines as well…
A great headline is essential to your marketing and advertising success.
Practically 90% of sales page viewers decide based on headline alone if they’ll keep reading.
In a world of email onslaughts, your subject lines need to stand out to get noticed.
Social media posts, ads and blog articles also need great headlines if you want them to get the attention they deserve.
As a copywriter, I spend more time on headline and sub headline creation than I do on the rest of the entire sales letter.
And why wouldn’t I? These elements directly influence 90+ percent of readers. They’ll either stay or go, take action or not, mainly based on these factors.
First, a little bit of strategy. Trying to come up with a headline can often cause some serious writer’s block. So instead of creating your headline first, do it last!
Write your article, sales page, blog post or email body copy first. Quite frequently, as you’re writing, you’ll get ideas for your headline.
I’ve been doing this for months and it makes writing headlines much easier. With the benefit that the headlines tend to be more successful … and are HIGHLY related to the content of the piece.
Now, on with the show:
Weird Places To Get Great Headline Ideas
1 – Your local (trendy) coffee shop.
Gotta be trendy, ideally the type of place that lovingly describes their daily roasts on a chalkboard. You’d be amazed by some of the compelling words these companies use to describe their coffee. Tip: if you see 2 or more “fixie” bikes parked out front, you’re probably in the right spot! Side bonus: the place is guaranteed to have wifi, so bring your laptop along and add anything catchy to your swipe file.
2 – Tabloids
Yes, they’re cheesy, but wow do these rags ever sell a lot of copies. The front page alone is usually stacked with headlines designed to grab your attention. A whole lot of shock and wow factor words in use.Best part? You don’t even have to buy them, just take a peek next time you’re at the grocery store checkout..
3 – Hardware stores
Sounds crazy, but bigger chains in particular spend big bucks highlighting key products. In person, check out the barbeque, appliance or lawnmower sections. Top products will have cool descriptions – usually written by marketers. You can get some great ideas for hooks, triggers and “selling” words here.
You can even find some solid nuggets just by visiting websites of some hardware stores – just check out their “featured products” section for the best ad copy.
4 – Sporting goods stores
A lot of companies pay marketers and advertisers good cash to write up descriptions for products. While these descriptions will include features and benefits, they’re designed to sell. Personal favourite area? The shoe department. Just look at some of the power words and phrases used to describe the most expensive pair of Nikes in the shop. Use your phone to take a picture of the descriptions you like best.
5 – Brew pubs
This is like having your cake and eating it too. “Research” has never been more fun, if you’re a fan of craft beers. Most of these places go to great lengths to describe their selection of beers in entertaining and compelling ways. Bring a notepad instead of your tablet, because electronics don’t play nice with spilled beer.
6 – Infomercials
I respect the heck out of the marketing that goes into these things. Often the product is complete garbage, but that doesn’t stop the advertisers from going all out. You’ll pick up some GREAT calls to action and “buying triggers” to add to your collection.
7 – YouTube
There’s a LOT of competition on the world’s 2nd largest search engine, so smart video marketers put a lot of effort into standing out. From the home page of YouTube, scroll down to the “recommended channel for you” section. You’ll find some catchy phrases and punchy headlines from popular channels.
The reason I like “going out of the box” with places like these is simple. Most copywriters aren’t pulling in unique ideas from weird sources. Most are sticking to headline formulae, templates and “power words and triggers” from the latest and greatest copywriting manual.
Nothing wrong at all with this practice. BUT … you can certainly stand out from the crowd and get more attention using headline ideas sourced from offbeat places.
For a slightly more conventional look at crafting winning headlines, check out this excellent post from Quicksprout.
Or if the “quick and dirty” method sounds more appealing, Brian’s got you covered in an earlier post where he shares a couple of great, free online tools that make creating headlines a breeze.
Or You Can Check out the video about it /> ––