5 tips for writing headlines that turn heads

Headlines. They’re all around us. In articles, flyers, brochures, display advertising… On every medium, grabbing at our attention, headlines on all.

We’ve come to expect them and without an enticing one, we just might not bother reading on.

If you’re struggling to write a headline for a marketing piece, an email subject header or an opener to a business letter here are 5 tips that will help you whip up a winner.

1) Target Emotions

People buy on emotion, then justify if with logic. Catch them with a Key Motivator like fear, greed, vanity or desire and then you can go on to reel them in.

More motivators to buying decisions include:



2) Follow a tried and tested formula

It doesn’t always pay to be different. Cleverly crafted puns and allusions don’t always hit their mark. Better to be a straight shooter with one of these oldies but goodies and fill in the blanks for a sure-fire hit.

Get What You Want Formulas

  1. 10 money/time saving tips for ….
  2. The secret of getting …
  3. 5 ways to …
  4. Who else wants to…?
  5. 7 signs you are….

How to Formulas

  1. 5 Little known ways to…
  2. How to find/get/have/look…
  3. 10 Reasons its Better to…
  4. How to Plan the Ultimate…
  5. Here’s a Method That is Helping… to…

Best & Worst Formulas

  1. Top 10 Cheapest/Best/Ultimate…
  2. 100 Useful tips to…
  3. 5 Reasons … is better than…
  4. Top 19 most…
  5. 21 Most Hilarious…

Problems & Fears

  1. How secure are your…?
  2. Get rid of your….
  3. What your… is not telling you about…
  4. Beware … and how to spot them
  5. The biggest dangers of…

Fact & Fiction

  1. What everyone should know about…
  2. The real truth about…
  3. 10 secrets they don’t want you to know about…
  4. Revealed: 10 myths about…
  5. All you need to know about…


3) There’s no need to SHOUT!!!

Use caps sparingly. Same goes for exclamation marks.


4) Ask a question

Is anything more engaging than asking a question?

As opposed to making a statement, asking a question immediately prompts a response. Curiosity may have killed the cat but it’ll breath new life into to your response rates.

Compare your reaction to an email with the subject heading:

“Make money the easy way”

to the way you feel after reading:

“Are you making money the easy way?


5) Agitate the Problem

I’ve discussed in my previous post what motivates a purchasing decision and how targeting your customers emotional Achilles heel is the key to sales success.

Take a shot at their pain points in your headline and then solve their pain as they read on…


Struggling to write enticing headlines?

Are your customers looking elsewhere online?

Is your marketing team missing vital opportunities?


Not only do these headlines ask a question, they also push the pain point that you can then go about making better.


Try testing your skills by writing emails to friends featuring different subject headers. You’ll soon find out which ones elicit the best response.


Happy headlining.


Till next time,


Lisa at The Word Nest