In this article, we are going to talk about how you can create a nearly infinite number of headlines for your opt-in and sales pages using what I call a copy block system.
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of this before. You will learn what it is in just a moment!
I’m also going to share my number-one philosophy for writing 6-figure headlines toward the end of the post. But before we can get to that, you need to understand the basics of writing catchy titles and headlines.
And that is what we are going to go over first.
Why You Need to Write Catchy Headlines
You need catchy titles for almost everything you create as a content marketer.
You need awesome titles for your opt-in pages, sales pages, videos, blog posts, etc.
You need your titles to be awesome because they are going to be doing the majority of the heavy lifting in all of your marketing.
Just like the cover headline is what sells a magazine, YOUR headlines are responsible for selling whatever you are offering to potential customers/followers.
They are responsible for getting you leads, opt ins, and sales.
Your Headlines Suck Because…
Your headlines may not be doing their job for a number of reasons.
They may not be hooking customer attention, they may not be prompting your visitors to continue reading, they may not be interesting enough or impactful enough, etc.
The number-one job of a headline is to get your reader to keep reading. And any headline that does not accomplish this needs to either be fixed or replaced, period.
But how can you figure out how to do that?
Well, keep reading. Because that is what I’m about to teach you!
How to Write an Infinite Number of Headlines that SELL
This all starts with what I call ‘copy blocks.’
The basic idea here is that there are several components within your sales copy, headlines, opt-in pages, etc. that are interchangeable.
So what we want to do is start with a headline template, then write out copy blocks, then replace the different blocks as we see fit during testing, just to get the very best headlines possible.
But before you can start that process, you first need to figure out what your copy blocks are, and how to arrange them. So let’s get started with that process.
1. Get your copy blocks started.
Coming up with your copy blocks that you will then use to build your content or headline isn’t quite as difficult as you may think.
Here are the basic ‘copy blocks’ that you are going to be working with in most marketing situations.
- Desired Result
- The Key Benefit
- The Biggest Challenge/Fear
So, these are the basic copy blocks. Now you need to apply them to your target customer, and find out what these things are for them.
And of course, you really want to be as specific as possible. The more specific you are, the better.
If this is a little bit confusing at this point, don’t worry! I’m going to be giving you some very specific examples in the next section. Just keep reading!
2. Indicate the time frame.
The time frame is very important. People like to know how long something is going to take them. This gives them a more specific idea for how long they can expect it to take to get results.
For example… if you tell someone that they can lose weight, that is one thing. But if you tell them that you can help them to lose 10 pounds in 30 days… that is something more!
This added time frame helps to paint the picture in their mind of exactly how this product can help them, and that they can expect faster results with it than with another similar product.
Need ideas for this? What is an example of great copy from your swipe file?
Of course, you need to be accurate and believable with your time frames. If you tell them that they can lose 10 pounds in 2 hours… well, that isn’t necessarily believable. And if you can’t deliver, you will quickly earn some negative reviews!
3. What’s in it for them?
Why would they want this product?
Crafting a successful headline begins by thinking about it from the target customer’s perspective.
You need to put yourself into their shoes, and figure out what would stand out and get their attention.
What will this do to bring them value? How will it help them to solve their problem?
And perhaps most importantly… why is this a good deal for them?
This needs to be considered and woven into the headline.
“Buy this state-of-the-art, award winning weight loss supplement!”
… Is probably not going to be as effective as this one…
“Lose 10 pounds in just 30 days with this award-winning weight loss pill!”
The reason for this is because the second headline tells them what is in it for them… instead of just giving them information about the product.
4. State the desired results.
It is very important that your headline states the results.
Which of these is better?
“Buy this weight loss pill - on sale now!”
“Lose 10 pounds in 30 days without counting calories!”
You are obviously going to have better luck with the second one. Because in this headline, you are stating results… not just information.
Your audience doesn’t want to buy a product. Your audience wants to solve their problem! They want to get results. THAT is what you need to sell them with your headline!
Best Book To Nail Your Headlines Every Time!
If you feel like doing some quality reading on the subject of headlines, I would absolutely recommend a book by Victor Schwab, titled How To Write A Good Advertisement.
It is an older book, one of the best copywriting books of all time, published in the mid 1900s… but it is a classic, and you can learn A LOT from it!
Check it out if you really want to level-up your content/headline writing game!
5. Empathize with your audience
Empathy is very, very important when writing headlines. You need to empathize with what your audience cares about, and try to get into their headspace to see things from their perspective.
In other words… you need to choose the words you use very carefully. You can’t just plug keywords into a template and expect for it to work well.
You need to find out which words will create an emotional response with your audience.
For example, this headline…
“How to lose 10 pounds in 30 days so you can fit into a bikini!”
… May provoke a more emotional response from women who want a bikini body than the headline…
“How to lose 10 pounds in 30 days with a slick little supplement pill!”
You need to find out which words will get an emotional response from your readers. You don’t just want to plug words into a template and publish them!
6. Eliminate their fears.
Oftentimes, people have specific fears that are keeping them from realizing their goals.
Again, talking about weight loss as an example, people may have very specific challenges or fears involved in the process… and these fears/challenges may be holding them back.
Some examples of this could include…
- They don’t want to exercise
- They are afraid it will take too long
- They are afraid that they will have to cut out foods they like
- They are afraid that they will have to count calories
- They are afraid that they may need to pay for a gym membership
This list could go on and on.
So sometimes, you may want to eliminate a fear or a challenge right in the headline itself.
For example, this headline…
“How to lose 10 pounds in 30 days without counting calories.”
… Is going to help get the attention of people who hate counting calories. On the other hand, if you are trying to target people who don’t want to go to the gym, you may say something like…
“How to lose 10 pounds in 30 days without stepping foot inside a gym!”
Eliminating fear does two major things.
- It helps you to target a specific type of customer
- It helps you to provoke an emotional response by solving a negative factor that has thus-far derailed this customer’s ability to achieve their desired result
Eliminating fears in a headline can be super powerful.
7. Cut out the fluff.
As a general rule, you want your headline to be short, concise, and to the point. If it drags on too long, you will lose your ability to make the desired impact in the allotted time-frame.
You want your headline to…
- Grab attention
- Make a bold statement
- Use simple, powerful language
But you DO NOT want it to drag on. If it does, you may lose your potential customer in the details!
Include more key details in the bullets below the headline. But keep headlines short, sweet, and direct to the point.
Take a look at some of the headlines featured on magazines at your local newsstand. These are usually barely 15 words long, if that! They use a few, well-chosen words to get their point across. They make bold statements. They grab attention.
This is what you want!
Headline Template Example for the Weight Loss Niche
Let’s just say that I am going to put together a headline for a weight-loss product.
The first thing I need to do is go through the copy blocks and answer them for my audience.
What is their desired result? What is the timeframe? What is the key benefit of this product? And finally, what is the biggest challenge or fear that this product helps you to overcome?
Russell Brunson and copywriter Jim Edwards use copy blocks to write copy fast, you can see their method in this free webclass.
Now, once we start filling in these copy blocks with answers, we will also need to start focusing on a headline template that we can plug this information into.
And of course, the most basic headline template… one that has probably been tried, tested, and proven more than any other… is the simple ‘How To’ template.
How to… blank, blank, blank, etc.
And then, you can add onto this with the second most popular template… ‘How to, plus time.’
So, template number one for weight loss might be…
How to Lose 10 Pounds.
And template number two, which also includes a timeframe, might sound like this…
How to Lose 10 Pounds in 30 Days.
These are just two examples of powerful, tried, and tested headline templates. But as you can already see, we are using copy block information to fill these in.
We have the desired result. We have the timeframe. And then, we can add more to it, and really switch up the template with the different parts of our copy block.
But now, let’s move on and try a third template. This is what we call the ‘How to, without,’ template. With this template, we use the desired result and the timeframe, but also subtract the challenge or fear.
One fear that someone may have about losing weight is counting calories. Maybe they hate the idea of cutting calories! Well, if your product gets around that, you could put that into your headline. And it might sound like this.
How to Lose 10 Pounds in 30 Days Without Counting Calories!
As you can see, the options for this headline are growing. We are using this copy block information, layering it in, and giving these vital pieces of information to potential customers in a clear and concise manner.
Now let’s take a look at a fourth template. We call this the ‘so you can’ template.
So, this template might look like this.
How to Lose 10 Pounds in 30 Days so You Can Fit Into Your Bikini.
As you see, this fourth template also adds a benefit to the mix. The benefit here is ‘fitting into the bikini.’ The desired result, of course, is losing weight.
But why use a benefit? Well, benefits can be a great way to zero-in on your target demographic. One benefit to losing weight could be fitting into that bikini you have always wanted to wear… and if that is really important to your target audience, that could be a factor that causes them to click ‘buy now!’
And of course, we can even move on from this with a fifth template, and put it all together for a longer headline that fits in even more information. This one would essentially look like this.
‘How to get the desired results so you can get the number one benefit without the thing you don’t want to do.’
So in this example, it might look something like this.
How to Lose 10 Pounds so You Can Be in Beach-Body Condition for Spring Break Without Counting Calories.
Here, the timeframe has been removed. And this is just another example of how you can take these copy blocks, move them around, put them in, take them out… and experiment to come up with the perfect headline for your target audience.
Make Your Time Frame Clear
Your time frame needs to be clear, but also believable.
If you say “Lose 10 pounds fast,” this is usually less effective than if you would say “Lose 10 pounds in 22 days!”
Why? Because people need to be able to visualize the time frame. This is an important part of appealing to their emotions!
Give them a specific number.
Giving a specific number will help your audience to get a solid mental picture of how this product could help them.
Maybe your customer wants to have a bikini body by the time summer gets here! Your specific number could get them imagining success using your product… which may, in turn, cause them to go ahead and make the purchase!
Describe the Desired Result
The desired result should obviously be communicated in the headline. This is super important!
In other words, you would never want to say…
“Wear a bikini in 30 days!”
Instead, you would want to make sure the desired result is clearly, and concisely, communicated.
“Lose 10 pounds in 30 days to fit into that bikini again!”
If you don’t make sure to clearly communicate the desired result, your audience is going to have a problem figuring out what you are trying to say. And that will lead to fewer clicks, less interest, and a reduced value on the reader’s end.
Identify the Challenges and How to Crush Them
It is very important that you help to eliminate the challenges in your headline and/or bullet points.
This can be done directly or indirectly, but it is usually pretty helpful and adds a lot to the headline.
You always want to communicate the desired result. But by identifying challenges, you can get more attention from specific members of your target audience.
If you do mention a challenge in your headline, it is very important to crush that challenge by showing your audience that this product will help them to either sidestep it, defeat it, or eliminate it altogether.
Refer to your swipe file to see how magazines are identifying challenges
Building great headlines from scratch can admittedly be a difficult thing to do in some cases. This is one reason why building a swipe file is a great idea for copywriters.
You can refer to popular magazine articles for reference, and see how they deal with challenges and fears. Watch how the copywriters of these magazines subtly dismantle these fears, communicating the message to their readers using only a few bold, impactful words.
These are the ingredients required to build a winning headline!
Keep it short, sweet, and punchy.
Of course, you want your headline to be short, sweet, and punchy.
Look at this headline. Notice how wordy it is.
“Learn how to play the piano at a master level! This course will take you only 180 days, and will give you everything you need to become a very accomplished classical piano player!”
Let’s shorten it up, keep the most important words, and bolden-it-up.
“Learn to play master-level classical piano in 180 days!”
As you can see, this headline basically says the same thing. But it is much less wordy, much sweeter, and much punchier.
Be careful of wordy headlines! They can cause reader interest to plummet. You need to make the sale and make it quick! A great headline will do the bulk of this work for you.
Split-Testing Your Headlines - Why You Should Do It
Split testing your headlines is absolutely essential to getting maximum opt-ins and conversions. And it is actually pretty easy to do.
- Come up with a headline
- Run that headline for 30 days, for 3,000 impressions, for 1,000 clicks, etc. You just need a consistent frame of reference to measure results by
- Switch up ONE element of the headline. It could be one of the benefits, it could be a part of the copy block, it could be the timeframe, it could be the results, etc.
- Then, run it AGAIN, for the same length of time, and see which headline gets the most opt-ins, leads, or sales
Fiddle with your copy block
This is one reason for why the copy-block method makes so much sense. You can easily switch out just one part of it, and leave the others intact.
Test different ways to communicate the benefits, and see which way works better. Which benefits should you share? Switching this part of it around during split testing can show you what your target audience is more interested in.
Sometimes, there is more than one way to communicate the results. Experiment with saying it different ways.
Instead of saying “Lose 10 pounds,” try saying “Lose 15 pounds,” and then adjust the time frame accordingly, etc.
You never know what people will respond to better until you split test!
Experiment with different timeframes, and adjust the rest of the headline accordingly.
What works better… 30 days or 35 days? 3 months or 5 months? 2 months or 8 weeks? See what your customers react to. This will give you a lot of insight.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Bold
One of the biggest mistakes I see with headlines is that they simply end up too weak.
Don’t be afraid to be bold, but also make sure to balance it with honesty and believability.
You want to grab audience attention with boldness, and then immediately sell them on the idea by also making it completely believable.
In the end, the key to all of this is to stand out, grab audience attention, and sell your idea in one short, concise, catchy title.
But don’t forget… I still haven’t told you my number-one philosophy for writing 6-figure headlines.
It is practice!!!!
Copywriting is an essential skill that every good content marketer needs to master. And writing headlines is absolutely a copywriting skill. To get better at it, the only option is just to practice.
So keep writing, keep trying, keep researching, and keep plodding forward.
Sure, it may sound difficult. But with a little bit of practice, and a bit of education, you can be well on your way to crushing your opt-ins and sales with awesome headlines and catchy titles to get huge results for your content business!
So refer back to this article as needed, and keep working at it!
If you have any questions or are interested in talking further about how to write awesome headlines, please hit me up in the comments! I always enjoy talking and sharing information!
Have a great one! See you next time!