A Good Headline Entices Like
a Good Cup of Coffee

Writer drinking coffee

What makes you reach for a good cup of coffee? The smell, of course! No one can resist the smell of good coffee. The aroma is captivating, and it breaks into your brain like a steam roller, obliterating everything in its path until all you can think of is coffee. You’re enticed by the aroma — it is unambiguous and promises that the taste that will follow will satisfy your desire — and you want coffee now.

Similarly, headlines should captivate, and clearly state the promise of what will come in the rest of the copy. And then, deliver the satisfaction of conveying something new or answering the reader’s questions. A headline that attracts attention is the first step in getting more people to read your content, take action, and ultimately buy more products.

A well-crafted headline has the power to intrigue, evoke curiosity, and draw in a reader thirsting for engaging content.

This article will show you effective ways to help you master the art of crafting exceptional headlines that leave a lasting impact on readers. Let’s dive in!

Make Your Headlines Appealing

The digital world is vast, and readers’ attention is often lost in mountains of content. They are looking for something to stop them from scrolling … an irresistible headline with a visible benefit to catch their attention. Like the aroma of a cup of coffee can entice, your words need to infiltrate their brain, stopping them in their tracks and luring them further into the body copy.

Your headlines will appeal when they resonate with the reader’s needs and motivations. The headline must announce the benefit your reader will get from reading the rest of the message. Your words must make the reader feel like your headline speaks directly to them. Their curiosity needs to be piqued, so they will read further to learn more about the benefits, and solutions to their pain points.

So, to craft compelling headlines, you need to answer, “What questions do they seek answers to?”

Tempt Your Readers with Powerful Words

Words have the power to grab the reader’s attention, and motivate them to read further.

When writing headlines, experiment using different words. Certain words will jolt the reader from the ordinary just like a refreshing cup of coffee. Read the headlines out loud and decide which power word will work best to create that impact and immediacy in your headlines.

Tried and trusted gems in the copywriting arsenal include “essential,” “secret,” or, my favorite … “the secret sauce.” Who wouldn’t want some secret sauce? I sure would.

You may also try “ultimate,” “unveiling,” or “indispensable.” These words intrigue and entice readers to stop, read, and learn more.

Experiment with different power words to find the ones that resonate the most with your readers. Most of those powerful words are used in a lot of copy and may seem overused, but they still work. Even I stop scrolling when I see a promise of an “ultimate guide” on a subject I am researching.

Let Your Headline Speak for Itself

Your headline needs to be like coffee. When you make a cup of coffee, you know exactly what is in it — there are no secrets. No hidden agenda or meaning.

A clear headline will make heads turn and be better than 95% of all headlines written today. If readers can understand — in a split second — the main benefit a headline promises, they are likelier to stop and read the rest of the copy. That is why clearly written headlines are much more effective.

State your content’s benefit or main takeaway as clearly and concisely as possible. Google only gives you a little room to display your headline, so keep it around 60 characters to ensure it displays in full in the search results.

Use Open-Ended Questions in Your Headlines

Asking open-ended questions gets your readers to think. A well-placed question can make readers eager to explore further. The question engages a reader’s mind and compels them to seek answers within the rest of the content, making them effective.

For instance, consider this headline, “Are You Making These Common Grammar Mistakes?” The headline challenges the reader’s assumptions about their writing practice and makes them reflect on whether they make common grammar mistakes. It also stimulates their curiosity about the common grammar mistakes writers usually make and addresses their pain point of wanting to improve their writing skills by avoiding common grammatical errors in their own writing.

Infuse Your Headline with Emotion

Just like sharing a coffee can stir up a variety of emotions, write your headline in a way that tugs at the heartstrings.

Take, for example, a headline like this: “Discover the Life-Changing Power of Copywriting.” It is packed with emotional triggers aimed at igniting the reader’s curiosity. It also evokes strong emotional responses in many readers looking for a way to improve or change their life circumstances.

The transformative experience the headline promises of discovering the life-changing power of copywriting makes it clear to readers what they stand to gain by clicking to open your post and makes it irresistible to scrollers.

Clever use of emotion-filled words will show your readers why they shouldn’t miss out on reading about your offer.

Make Your Headline Credible with Numbers

If you are writing about something technical or scientific, adding numbers to your headlines can make it sound more trustworthy. For example, “5 Cutting-Edge Technologies Shaping the Future of Artificial Intelligence.”

Numbers attract attention and demonstrate the tangible results readers can expect. Sometimes, just adding those percentages, statistics, or figures can make your headline more compelling.

Mastering the art of headline writing is a powerful skill that can significantly impact your content’s reach and engagement. But this is only the frothy milk foam on top of your coffee. To truly win the hearts of readers and ensure your content leads to conversions, you need to back the headline with great body copy.

To learn how to craft the whole package and take advantage of the gold standard in copywriting training, check out The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter. It will teach you about crafting compelling headlines that captivate and inspire your readers — and much, much more.

An additional valuable resource is Writing Great Leads. It’s a shortcut guide to writing strong headlines and compelling leads so easy to use, they practically write themselves every time.

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: April 5, 2024

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