Proven Headline Formulas and Why They Work

magazine headlinesFriday, I gave some examples of killer headlines that grab your attention.

Sure, they’re formulas. They’ve been used over and over since the days of John Caples and Eugene Schwartz.

The question is, why do these headline formulas work so well? What makes us keep reading (or clicking)?

Curiosity

They make you wonder how something could possibly be true, or what the connection between two unrelated things could be. They set up a contradiction, like “Eat More and Weigh Less.” That doesn’t sound right, so you want to find out more about it.

Or, the headline asks a question, such as “Do you make these common marketing mistakes?” The only way to find out is to read more.

Problem-solving

An easy solution to a tough problem. People struggle with weight, setting up a blog, getting rid of weeds, etc. A headline that promises that it can help you fix what’s bothering you will be very powerful.

Promises and inside information

Headlines that make big claims or promise you’ll learn secrets or inside tips. Headlines such as “Retire Early Without Being Rich” or “Secrets the SEO Experts Don’t Want You to Know” promise access to information that other people don’t have information that will help you get something you want, such as more money or a better ranking on Google.

What makes you stop and read a headline?

Image thanks to:  Robert Couse-Baker

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