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3 Ways to Write Headlines That Turn Heads

Posted by Alexandra Cardinale on Wed Jun 01, 2016 01:00 PM

The following is a guest post by Kimberly Crossland (@SavvyCopywriter), founder at The Savvy Copywriter, LLC. Kimberly is a fierce and curious writer, marketing wonk, and Vice President and Communications chair at the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce.

It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. When I go to a website and the headline only reads, “Welcome to XYZ Company,” I cringe.

Perhaps that’s because I’m a copywriter by trade and this headline doesn’t embrace the power of words. But perhaps it’s something else.

Perhaps it’s because this message feels anything but inviting or informative. It feels unoriginal and unsubstantial. Although the sentiment is well-intended it leaves me feeling like the business doesn’t have a clue who I am or why I am on the website.

I’ll give you this. It’s an easy headline to write, but it’s not the only simple headline. There are other formulas you can follow to help you make a stronger first impression.

Here are a few examples of how you can hit your reader over the head with powerful words that inspire the feeling of, “Wow, THIS is what I’ve been looking for all this time!”

1. Welcome Them

This might confuse you based on everything I just said but hear me out.

If you want to lay the welcome mat out on your website, you can welcome your reader to something other than your company. Welcome her to the benefits of working with your business.

Let’s pretend you have a coffee shop with an inviting store where students and professionals regularly meet. For the sake of this example, we’ll call it, “Coffee Etc.” You could say, “Welcome to Coffee Etc.” or you could say, “Welcome to Coffee, Conversation and Collaboration.”

See the difference?

First, I used alliteration to make the headline easy and enjoyable to read. Second, I incorporated the features the website visitor is hoping to find in the coffee shop.

Instead of assuming your business name will resonate and immediately inspire the feeling you want your buyers to feel, get specific. Show them what they’re being welcomed into.

2. Use Your Brand

Want to have a little fun on your website? Play around with tweaking common phrases into on brand messages.
One company that does this well is Sierra Trading Post. This brand is all about adventurous, outdoor lifestyles. Here is one example of the fun ways they incorporated that into their headlines to capture the attention of their target audience.

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This particular headline sparks your interest with “Be Like Your Dog.” The brand knows that a lot of their customers are dog lovers. Keep reading and you’ll see what they mean. They want their customers to go outside.  

The headline is clear yet clever. It fits in seamlessly with their brand and the items they’re selling.

3. Lead With the How

You’ve probably heard, “start with the why.” This is a spin on it.

The first question your reader wants answered is, “how would this product/service/business make my life better?” Talking about what you offer won’t answer that. You need to lead with the how.

PayPal does a great job of this. Instead of talking about boring financial algorithms and money matters, they focus on how their customers are using PayPal to make their life a little better. Here are a few examples:

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On this page, PayPal shares an image of a couple buying a new home. Right below it, they address the benefit again. It’s fast and easy to send money with PayPal so you can get back to focusing on the very thing you’re buying.

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Here’s another one. “Forget your wallet.” That’s usually a nightmare for people who are out shopping but with PayPal, you can “step to the front of the line” and still pay. They’re telling a story with their headlines about how you’ll use their product.

Takeaways

Your headlines aren’t an area where you want to stuff keywords and tell, tell, tell. You can sell your stuff with creative messaging that paints a picture for your website visitor about why he will want to work with you.

I’m collecting several of my favorite headlines on Crayon.co. And if you’re not sure how to use Crayon during the brainstorming process, check out my best tips for finding copywriting inspiration from this great website.

Filed Under:

Copywriting, Design

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