Copywriting: Steal 4 of My Profitable Headline Formulas
My understanding of copywriting was basic, and I was pretty much copying my competitors’ writing.
This didn’t work out well because I have created duplicate headlines, which were competing against the existing headlines (sorry, guys).
I was at Barnes & Noble one day browsing through the magazine section. I figured I would look at magazines for inspiration since they use professional copywriters.
I had a big “A-ha” moment when I realized most of the headlines were similar to each other. Although the magazines covered vastly different topics, ranging from cars to women’s issues and fashion, I noticed I could break their headlines down into formulas and create headline templates.
I asked myself, “Could I apply some of these formulas to affiliate marketing?”
I had to adapt the headlines to match my goals and to accommodate a limited number of characters, but finally I was able to get higher click-through rates on my ads. Better ads meant lower click costs and more profitable campaigns.
Here’s a look inside of several proven formulas I’ve used and the psychology behind them.
The Headline Formulas
1. A Big Promise without the Pain
Everyone wants the benefits without paying for them. In other words, we all want gain without pain.
What’s the pain of losing weight? People HATE going to the gym or dieting. Everyone knows what the solution is, but implementing it is a different story.
Promise your readers they can achieve their goals and tell them it doesn’t involve their biggest pain or fear.
The Formula: How to
- How to Lose Belly Fat Without Dieting or Going to the Gym
- How to Make $438.99 a Day without Selling
- How to Look 7 Years Younger without Botox
2. The Comparison Headline
People make judgements based on something they are familiar with. This is called the anchor effect in psychology.
The Formula: [Your Offer] is Better than [Known Product]
- This Game is Better than Angry Birds
- Our Acne Cream Works 250% Better than Proactive
- eHarmony Is for Old Guys. Our Website Works!
In this scenario, we’re claiming the product we’re advertising is better than the product your audience is familiar with.
Apple said they are better than Windows. The cheap cereal brands claim to taste the same as the name brand. People are always trying to improve what they’re already using.
3. Promise Instant Gratification
We lack patience. That’s why we always crave instant gratification.
Domino’s promises your pizza to be delivered in 30 minutes or less. Progressive promises you a car insurance quote in 15 minutes or less.
The Formula: [Get Desired Result] in a [Time Frame]
- Get Your Credit Report in 2 Minutes or Less.
- Single? We’ll Find You a Date by This Weekend.
- Repair Your Android Battery in 60 Seconds.
4. Rebel Against the Experts
I saw a commercial a few years ago for a drain cleaner product. The company’s slogan was “Plumbers Hate Us.”
Plumbers are the experts, and they hate this product because it’s so good that it’s taking business away from them.
What if you implied your product was so good, the experts in that field didn’t want others to know about it?
The Formula: The Secret the [Experts] Don’t Want You to Know
- The SEO Tool Matt Cutts Doesn’t Want You to Know
- The Weight Loss Trick That Personal Trainers Are HIDING
- Dentists Hate Her. Mom Discovers Teeth Whitening Trick
- Analyze the psychology behind these headlines
- Look at popular headlines and see if you can turn them into templates
- Practice writing these headlines
- Take action and practice these headlines
- Create an Evernote file containing some of your favorite headline formulas you can refer to.
When it’s time to write headlines for my ads or landing pages, I don’t write them from scratch.
Instead, I consult my Evernote file, which has over 100 headline formulas. It doesn’t matter what niche or vertical I am writing for. I can always find a relevant headline and adapt it to my needs.
I know these formulas work. They save me a huge amount of time, and they will do the same for you.
P.S. Take a stab at writing a few headlines using the formulas above and put them in the comments below. I’ll read through them and give suggestions to a few people.