How to Write a Headline: Lipstick on a Pig
Writing Skills

How to Write a Headline: Lipstick on a Pig

Did you see that girl with the amazing personality? No? She might be a perfect match for you, but without a little display behaviour on her part you’re never going to get to know her.

Headlines come in a variety of flavours. Get your customers to wrap their lips around your ad with one of the delicious headline strategies below.

Each one has its own merits. There is no-one-size-fits-all solution. Decide which one is best for your product, audience, and the particular advertising at hand, and then make those headline pheromones pump.

Headline Strategy 1: Key Benefit

An advertising classic. Lead with a benefit. Benefits nearly always trump features. So don’t just shout about your product’s most important spec; tell the reader what that spec will do for them.

Lose 10 Lbs in Less than a Month!

More Air in Your Jump!

Junk Up Your Trunk!

Headline Strategy 2: Shock and Awe

Some headlines are designed for intrigue. (The headline of this post is an example.)

Say something outrageous. Say something enigmatic. Or say something quirky. Make your readers desire to find out what it’s all about.

Get It Out of My Eye

Pinch It Like You Mean It

Only in Blue Jeans

Headline Strategy 3: Question Your Readers

Create interest by directly questioning your readers. Leave them wanting to seek out the answer in the rest of your ad.

Why Does Our Chocolate Taste Better?

Which Sugar Sells Faster Than Any Other on the Planet?

Will Our Condoms Fit You Like a Glove?

Headline Strategy 4: Problematize

Be a sadist. Make your potential customers worry. Problems breed interest, so sock ‘em with a problem to get them hooked on your ad.

Your Car Might Be a Deathtrap

50% of Husbands Cheat on Their Wives

My Kitty Litter is Toxic?

Got more headline strategies? Feel free to leave them in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.