15 ways to grab attention with headlines

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I came across 15 examples of classic headlines in a book called Marketing Your Services for People Who Hate to Sell by Rick Crandall. You can rewrite these headlines for your own purposes, which is what I will do here (and for future promotional purposes).

  1. “The Secret to Making People Like You” – The Secret to Writing Error-Free Copy (a great way to promote both my writing and editing services)
  2. “A Little Mistake That Cost a Farmer $3,000 a Year” – A Little Mistake That Cost A Real Estate Developer Thousands of Dollars in Sales (I saved a client from printing the wrong directions to their sales office on an expensive brochure)
  3. “Advice to Wives Whose Husbands Don’t Save Money – by a Wife” – Advice to Managers Whose Employees Are Too Busy to Review Their Work – by an Editor (pretty obvious)
  4. “Are You Ever Tongue-Tied at a Party?” – Do You Have a Problem Finding the Right Words? (promoting my writing services to companies that don’t employ writers)
  5. “A New Discovery That Saved a Florist’s Business” – A New Way to Promote Your Business (by developing content products for your clients)
  6. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – How to Write Exciting Press Releases and Get More Media Attention (press releases are a great way to promote what your company is doing without spending a lot of money)
  7. “Who Else Wants Softer Hands for Less Money?” – Who Else Wants to Write Emails that Get Better Results? (for those businesses that want better bang for their email marketing dollars)
  8. “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?” (followed by test) – Do You Make These Business Writing Mistakes? (the original is great and I could use it as is, but I thought that I would target the headline at a more specific market)
  9. “Why Some Foods ‘Explode’ in your Stomach” – Why Some Articles Get Read More Often (because they have great headlines!)
  10. “Hands That Look Lovelier in 24 Hours – or Your Money Back” – Marketing Materials Copy Edited Within 24 Hours… or Your Money Back (most marketing materials are only a few pages long, so this is very doable)
  11. “You Can Laugh at Money Worries – If You Follow This Simple Plan” – You Can Laugh at Spelling Mistakes… If You Hire Me to Edit Your Documents (pretty straightforward)
  12. “Why Some People Almost Always Make Money in the Stock Market” – Why Some Emails Almost Always Get Great Responses (which is what you want from an email marketing campaign)
  13. “When Doctors Have a Headache, Here’s What They Do” – When Business Book Publishers Need an Editor, They Call Me (yes, it’s tooting my own horn, but I am good at what I do)
  14. “Five Farm Problems – Which Do You Want to Overcome?” – Five Common Writing Problems: Which Do You Want to Solve? (many people have common writing issues, and I can demonstrate that I can help them in more than one area)
  15. “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano… and Then I Began to Play”- They Didn’t Believe That I Could Improve Their Content… Until They Read the Headline (that worked out nicely!)

Note that most headings fall into one of the following categories:

  • Direct – tell people your offer immediately
  • Indirect – arouse curiosity
  • Command – tell people to act now
  • Question – involve the reader and make them think
  • Reason – describe specific benefits to the reader
  • Testimonial – someone endorses your service
  • How-to – provide step-by-step guidance on achieving a task

Do you need help with writing headlines? Let me know – contact@davidgargaro.com.

David Gargaro

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