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Headline formula cheats

Last week was a big week.

Relatively speaking.

I did the training thing. With tech issues and everything.

There was a point at which I was yabbering on about headlines, and was the only person in the session that could actually see the slides I was referencing.


Which is why I shared the replay plus the slides – not something I was planning on doing.

But, y’know what? Despite that glitch, the positive feedback from your guys was humbling.

So there’ll be plenty more training action in the next few weeks – keep your eyes peeled for updates (or click here to get ‘em).

But this article isn’t about all the lessons I learned and what I’d do better next time. Let’s leave those stories for my yet-to-be-identified therapist (or unsuspecting friends after a few glasses of red).

We’ll move onto a more pressing matter – like answering a question that was asked during the training from one of the trainees (hi Vishnu!).

The questions in … er … question is:

How do you create emotional headlines?

It’s something we touched on during the training, and I could go on and on about it for many hours, but let’s just cut to the chase:

Phrases like write emotionally compelling headlines shroud copywriters in an air of irresistible mystery because they tell you to do something without actually telling you how to do it.

How desperately disappointing.

The simple answer to the question is this:

Write a headline that makes the audience feel something that’s connected to what you’re offering

This means that when they’re reading a headline on your sales page, landing page or blog post, they feel an emotion strong enough that makes them click or want to read on because you’re giving them something they need.

Think about your own behaviour.

When was the last time you read a headline and was intrigued enough to click through?

Every freakin’ day, I imagine.

But let’s use an example to .. er .. exemplify:

A headline like There are 6 ways to get more clients – what does this make you feel? Pretty dead inside, I imagine.

But the same headline, rewritten like this: 6 little-known tactics to double your clients in 7 days – does that make you want to read more?

I’m betting yes.

And the reason is because it makes you feel 2 things:

  1. Intrigue – They’re little-know, which must mean they’re little-known to me. And now? I just want to know what they are
  2. Hope – there are 6 different ways (so one must apply to me) and 7 days is such a short period of time, that even I can make this work

Your headlines have to make the reader stand up and pay attention. And have to show them they’ll get something they currently think is out of reach (or is part of their plans).

That’s the theory. And like I said repeatedly during the training, practicing with headline formulas first will train you think about the emotion the headline you write will evoke.

So, in the spirit of being the opposite of desperately disappointing, here are some headline formulas to get you going:


Show them what they’ll walk away with

Not what they’ll learn (they’ve learned and not applied more than enough) – but the thing they walk away with.

Template: This [delivery method] will make you [thing they get] with [ridiculously simple action]

Example: This webinar will make you put lead generation on autopilot with a few simple teaks to your website

Give them hope

Show them that others in the same place as them have achieved what they want to achieve.

Template: How a [target market] [what they’ve achieved]

Example: How a mother of 3 earns $20k a month after just 8 months in business

Make a statement and then ask the question your audience is asking:

Some of your audience will be cynics. There’s no getting away from them. But you can address their concerns head on in the headline itself.

Template: [statement showing a result ] [question the audience will ask]

Example: 78% of business owners using social media outsell their competitors. The question is, how do they do this without hours of work or buying lists. And more importantly – how do they make it profitable?

Show them what you’ll do for them

Rather than blatantly stating they’ll learn something (instant turn off for those that are serial course buyers), tell them what you’ll teach. This immediately positions you as the expert.

Template: I will teach you how to [thing they’ll learn] without [assumptions the audience make on the amount of work it’ll take]

Example:  I will teach you how to get your guest posts published on high traffic sites, without building relationships with the bloggers first, months of preparation or the risk of rejection.


Alright. Template time over

Templates are great when you’re reading them in an article. But they’re easily forgotten afterwards. So to make things easier, I’ve created a cheat sheet that you can reference the next time you’re writing a headline.

Add your name and email address and download the cheat sheet for free (and get 3 bonus templates – you’re welcome):


And finally – which one of these templates will you use in your next sales page, blog post, or social media update? Write your headline in the comments below and I’ll happily critique it for ya

85% of business owners miss this one step + then wonder why their websites don’t convert. Add your name and email and download the guide that gives you the secrets they don’t have:

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sabita May 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

That’s a great post Raz!

Thank you for making the headlines topic even clearer than before. I do have cheat sheets earlier but you’ve build the concept here in a well-defined way which is the awesomest part.

I’m sure that when now I write my headlines, they’ll shout out what they’re meant to do.


Razwana Wahid May 18, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Cheat sheets are a dime a dozen,but not all of them have templates from me – haha!


Iva Ursano May 18, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Another great article! Thanx Raz. So much valuable info from you, again!!


Razwana Wahid May 19, 2015 at 9:47 am

*So* happy you found this useful, Iva :-)

What else would you like me write about?


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