My headline problems are solved because I now have some easy fill-in-the-blank headline templates that are practically guaranteed to get my messages read! Wow, finally the magic bullet I’ve been looking for! – all I have to do is plug in my info and my message will be noticed!! And maybe throw in a few more exclamation points for good measure!!!
Wait – not so fast, Bucky! Which headline template should you use – they all sound good… which one is best for my message?
Here are some fill-in-the-blank formula examples (the good, proven to work ones, of course!):
How to _______ for ______
Who else wants ________?
Know the Secret of ________
Here’s a method that’s helping ________ to ________
Now you can have/do _________ like __________
Have a _______ / or build a __________ you can be proud of
What everybody ought to know about _________
How ________ is your answer to __________
(#) Steps to ____________
I know you are happy that I will be sparing you from the literally 100s of other headline templates that could be added to this list. Why slog through anymore? Aren’t these 10 confusing enough?
Let’s say your topic is ‘weight loss’ and you are looking for a headline for a blog post or email campaign that will get noticed and opened. Plugging in these templates with that topic all sound like good headlines to use, so how do you choose?
How to lose weight and look great for wedding season!
Who else wants to lose 10 pounds in 30 days?
Know the real secret of losing weight and keeping it off
Here’s a weight loss method that’s helping hundreds to lose unwanted pounds
Now you can have your old weight back like when you were 20
Have a body weight that you can be proud of
What everybody ought to know about losing weight safely…
Why this weight loss program is the real deal
How controlling your appetite is your answer to permanent weight loss
5 Steps to successful weight loss that stays lost
Now I just made all of these up, since I know very little about weight loss programs, but, they all sound like they would grab attention, as long as they’re true, right? Or do they? Since I’m not the target market, I don’t actually know the appeal or lack of appeal of this set of headlines.
But I do know how to help you choose. One key is a deep understanding of not your target market, but your ideal client (the difference between those two concepts is for another time). When you understand that avatar well, you know which benefits she’s looking for. You know her biggest fears. You know what dire issues keep her worried. You know which headline speaks to her core.
The next consideration is to know where you are in the action sequence – what do you want her to do? The job of the headline is to draw the ideal client in to the body content (and let the others who are not ideal fall by the wayside) with a complete story of what’s coming. So what is the purpose of the body content? Is it to educate? To engage for further action (like comment on a blog post)? To move down the sales ladder towards a sale? If so, where is this piece on that sales ladder? Is the headline directing the reader properly towards the desired purpose?
Another consideration is the mindset type of your ideal client that you want to attract. Are you educating a do-it-yourselfer? Great, but is the headline really a DIY headline? Or is your ideal client a do-it-with-you type (someone who you would love to be hired by to coach her through the process). Many make the mistake of putting out a DIY headline (“How to…”, “5 Steps to success with…”) when they really should be showcasing a DIWY (Do It With You) headline, to attract the right mindset type. The professional expert wants to attract the DIFY (Do It For You) type – the person that doesn’t want to bother getting her hands dirty, which the professional expert is very happy to spare her of, for a fee. But are they broadcasting with a DIFY headline?
Headlines take much time to get right, which is time well spent. The headline (or title) is the gatekeeper; if the reader doesn’t enter within the first few seconds, you rarely get a second chance. That first impression is all-important in setting the groundwork for what’s to come. Don’t blow it looking for a template formula shortcut without further considerations as outlined here.
Next time we’ll explore some other ways to get noticed online.
Comment below on headlines – the good, the bad, and the ugly.