Would you like to discover the proven sales letter headline formulas that can do wonders for your business? Keep reading…
Why is the sales letter headline important?
The headline is the most crucial part of your sales letter.
If you get it wrong, forget about making sales.
80 percent more people read your sales letters headlines than your body copy, which only 20 percent of the people will read.
If you want more eyeballs on your body copy,
Make your headlines stand out.
The image below shows the purpose of your headline: It is called the slippery slide.
Headlines aren’t just for copywriters
A lot of people believe that product headlines are ONLY the domain of nerdy copywriters.
Oh, no, no.
The Business Bro who “wants to do a startup” should get damn good at headlines as well, because you can avoid a lot of failed ideas BEFORE BUILDING ANYTHING by simply watching how people react to the “headline” of what you’re building.
Elon Musk, one of PayPal’s co-founders, discusses how the company’s initial concept did not fare well. Every time he told someone about it, they were unimpressed.
But then they discovered a small feature within PayPal (which Elon described as “the EASIEST feature they built”), and it took off: “Sending money to an email address!”
“Sending money to an email address” was a huge hit in 1999, and it’s what PayPal is known for to this day:
So, by paying attention to which “headline” people respond to, they may be able to steer the company more in that direction.
So knowing how to write a catchy headline can have a big impact on the type of business you start!
How to write the best sales letter headlines
The following sales letter headline formulas are among the simplest and most effective.
When it comes to writing headlines that sell, start with one of these. At the very least, you’ll have a creative starting point for writing a winning headline.
1. Be straightforward
The direct headline should be used far more frequently than it currently is. There will be no cleverness, jokes, or wordplay. The straightforward headline gets right to the point.
It works especially well with strong offers, well-known brand names, and product or service types that the reader is already familiar with.
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2. State the huge benefit
Transforming your main benefit into a headline is one of the first techniques for writing the best sales letter headlines. After all, your main selling point should be right up front.
You have the best chance of selecting and preparing the right audience. Plus, even if they don’t read anything else, they’ve seen the best selling point of your copywriting offer.
If you’re having trouble writing this type of headline, it’s a sure sign you need to think about your product or service a little more.
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3. Announce exciting news
People enjoy reading newspapers and magazines online because they are interested in current events. It’s simply human nature. We’re intrigued. We need to know, not just want to know.
Casting your headline as news rather than advertisement can have the same powerful appeal as a feature story.
And the product or service does not have to be brand new to qualify as news. It only needs to be new to your reader.
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- Introducing the Newest Idea in Cross-Training, from NordicTrack
- This Breakthrough in Driverless Cars Is Going to Change Everything
4. Appeal to the “How to” instinct
The how-to headline taps into the desire that most of us have to better ourselves or our lives in some way. The key here is to focus on a need or desire and promise to meet that need or desire.
But be cautious. The how-to must emphasize the benefit or end result rather than the process itself. Consider the following example:
- How to Make Money Working from Home with Your PC
Instead, how about “How to Start a Full-Time Computer Business From Home?” Doesn’t this miss the point? It appears to be a lot of work. It says nothing about the true motivator, which is making money with a computer you already own.
To write a how-to headline, start with the words “How to” or “How,” then fill in the benefit immediately.
How to …
- Stop Smoking in 30 days … or Your Money Back
- Profit From the 3 Greatest Service Businesses of the Decade
- Travel Central America on $17 a day
5. Ask a provocative question
Some of the best sales headlines directly involve the reader by asking a question.
Your question, however, cannot be random or clever.
It must be directly and clearly related to the product’s main benefit. It should also nudge the reader to say “yes” or “I’m not sure, but I want to know more.”
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6. State a command
Are you ready to learn how to write a powerful sales letter headline?
Sales copy frequently falls flat because it fails to instruct the reader on what to do. This headline type allows you to be direct while also providing a benefit and taking a commanding posture.
It isn’t conversational; it is dictatorial — but in the acceptable manner that readers have come to expect from clear writing.
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7. Offer useful information
Let me reveal a little secret to you. The majority of people do not want information. I know you’ve been told otherwise, but it’s true. People are drowning in information.
People crave a sense of order and predictability in their lives. We want to have control over our surroundings. As a result, we look for secrets, hints, laws, rules, and systems that promise to help us gain control and make sense of things.
Take note of how these headlines promise information that delivers.
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8. Show a customer testimonial
A testimonial headline can help you with two things. First, it provides a third-party endorsement of your product or service to your reader. Second, it takes advantage of the fact that people are curious about what others are saying.
Consider the following testimonials:
- “Quite simply, the finest design software ever released”
- “This diet program worked for me. It can work for you, too”
- “It’s the first book on personal finance that really made sense to me”
A variation on this strategy is to write a headline in the first person and surround it with quotation marks. This “virtual testimonial” makes your headline more interesting and increases readership.
9. Add a little spice to your headline
People are skeptical of sales copy. With good reason. A lot of copywriting is inaccurate or deceptive.
To break through this distrust, add something extra to your headline that appears out of place but rings true.
Examine the headlines below and note how the words “Ohio Man,” “Obsolete,” and “Frustrated Bartender” stand out. Their uniqueness or quirkiness lends a genuine air that traditional copy cannot.
- Ohio Man Has 21-year Tested Formula to Create Multimillion-Dollar Business from Scratch, without Bank Loans, Venture Capitalists, or Selling Stock
- Small Company’s New Golf Ball Flies Too Far, Could Obsolete Many Golf Courses
- Frustrated Bartender Develops Incredible Device to Clean and Disinfect Your Entire Home
10. Be relevant from the beginning
People want to know they’re in the right place right away. So, the better you know your ideal prospect, the more specific headline you can create for them.
Assume you’re talking to someone in person. What would you say to pique their interest and keep it?
These examples demonstrate how to engage someone and guide them through the rest of your copy:
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11. Use emotional words and power words
We all know that trigger words and persuasive words can make or break your content and copy, so don’t forget to include them in your headlines to connect with your reader.
Empathy shows your reader that you understand their problems — and that you can help them.
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There are numerous other approaches to writing headlines that sell. Whatever strategy you choose, don’t make a hasty decision. Allow time for brainstorming. Create dozens, if not hundreds, of headlines.
Because you never know exactly what you want to say until you say it, giving yourself plenty of options is the best way to come up with the best sales letter headlines.
More about the how-to headline formula
I’ll give you examples of headlines you can use in your sales letters to guarantee that people read your body copy.
The how-to formula is an age-old time-tested and proven formula that still works today.
People still want to know how to do stuff.
So if you start your sales letters with “how-to”, you’re guaranteed more eyeballs on the body of your sales letter.
Also, you can put attention-grabbing words before “how-to”. For instance: “Attention”, or “Discover”, or “Introducing”.
If you want to take it one step further… Add “Even if” to the headline.
Let me explain:
People want easy things and adding “even if” makes what you’re showing them seem simple enough. For instance:
“Discover how to get a girl in bed in less than 30 minutes… even if you’re shy and can’t talk to a girl to save your life.”
See what I mean?
The phrase, “Even if” has qualified those who are shy or don’t have experience talking to girls.
It makes the whole process easy and they’ll want to know more.
Other headline formulas and templates are:
- “How to [Benefit] in X days or less… without [Annoying pain]… Guaranteed!
- “Little-Known Ways to [blank]”
- “Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All”
- “Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]”
There are more guaranteed headlines in the complete copywriting course, but these ones should help you write better headlines.
Just swipe them and write them to suit your product.
A good headline can change your life.
If you found this post useful, let me know in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to share using any of the links below.
Maku Seun is a freelance copywriter and Direct Response Marketer. He helps digital marketers, coaches, and course creators boost sales by writing compelling sales letters for their products and services. If you’d him to write a sales letter for your business, click here.