How to Create Killer Copywriting Headlines

By Garrett Mickley •  Updated: 01/09/23 •  14 min read

Attention, all you creative copywriters: It’s time to cultivate powerful headlines that can practically jump off the page! 

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to craft captivating headlines that will make your copywriting shine

So grab your pens (or keyboards), and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

    Understand What Makes a Great Headline

    When it comes to copywriting, any good writer knows that crafting great headlines can make or break an entire piece

    A reader’s likelihood of engaging with a bit of content—for both online and printed materials—is significantly impacted by its headline; if the copy is not appealing, the reader will quickly move on.

    It is, therefore, essential for any serious writer to have a solid understanding of how to create killer headlines that are persuasive, succinct, and effective.

    Here are some headline-writing tips to consider:

    1. Keep it short – Great headlines should be short, easy to understand, and entice the reader to learn more. Lengthy headlines don’t work because they often contain too much information or none at all. Keep your headline clear and concise so that readers immediately know what they’re getting.
    2. Use numbers – Headlines with numbers serve as powerful introductions. Everyone loves lists and breakdowns, so give them one! If crafting a creative headline isn’t your strong suit, you can always list the number of facts in your article or blog post. “10 Reasons Why Your Company Needs Great Copywriting” is one example of how you can create a captivating title with numbers.
    3. Make it provocative – When crafting copy for different pieces of content, use catchy phrases that capture people’s attention immediately: ask questions, provide insight on controversial topics and tap into emotions. This strategy ensures that viewers want to take action by clicking on the link or reading more in-depth information about what you have written.
    4. Include keywords – One of the best ways for search engines to locate content is through keywords placed in titles and descriptions. Include strategic keywords within your headline so broader audiences have access to your material and other potential readers like journalists and industry experts who may be searching for similar pieces online.

    Learn the Key Copywriting Principles and Techniques

    Learn the critical copywriting principles and techniques that can help you create killer headlines that attract attention, engage your reader and move them to take action.

    Copywriting is an art form that requires honing quite a few writing skills and understanding the principles that make copy compelling.

    However, by learning key copywriting principles and implementing a few basic techniques, you can create compelling, engaging copy for any purpose.

    When it comes to creating headlines for content – whether it’s email subject lines, ad campaigns, or blog posts – there are several techniques you should consider:

    When writing copy for posters or online ads, pay close attention to language as well as formatting, like: 

    Finally, insert calls to action throughout – this encourages readers to act after reading through your content versus just scrolling past it quickly without fully absorbing what you have written.

    Practicing these copywriting principles and consistently employing valuable techniques like those listed above will help you write compelling copy every time.

    Research What Works for Your Audience

    Creating copywriting headlines that grab your audience’s attention is vital to any content marketing strategy.

    After all, no matter how compelling or informative your content is, your audience will only see it if it grabs their attention!

    Therefore, a good headline should be engaging and help establish the tone and focus of the content.

    Conducting market research to understand your target audience and their preferences is essential when developing headlines.

    Different demographics prefer different types of language, even when referring to similar topics, so you’ll need to understand whom you’re creating for.

    Are they looking for something humorous? Something serious? Knowledgeable? Friendly?

    Once you identify this, you’ll be able to develop a headline that will resonate with them.

    Gathering data on copywriting headlines that have worked in the past can also be a great resource.

    Take note of trends in well-performing headlines and use similar phrasing or word order in yours.

    Additionally, look at the posts that drive user engagement on social media as inspiring ideas for new headline formats and styles.

    Understanding what gets people talking can help you hone in on something they may respond well to when reading through an article or blog post.

    It’s also essential to create effective copywriting subheadlines and maintain them throughout your content.

    Make sure promises made by the title are delivered with thoughtful information in the copy or blog post itself.

    This consistency across titles and body texts helps build trust with the reader, creating loyalty among existing customers and encouraging future ones!

    Keep It Short and Sweet

    Creating effective copywriting headlines can differentiate success and failure when gaining readers’ attention.

    Your headlines should be short, direct, and attention-grabbing – ensuring your message is delivered succinctly and efficiently.

    Here are a few tips for crafting killer copywriting titles:

    1. Keep it short. Summarize your headline in just a few words, so it’s easy for readers to skim through. Short titles usually make for better headlines, as people are more likely to remember short phrases than long ones. Additionally, mobile readers prefer more concise copy because their screens are small, and scrolling can be tedious; avoid stuffing too many words into your titles, so they’re still digestible on mobile devices.
    2. Evoke emotion. Call out the benefits of your product and think about how your title will land emotionally with readers – ideally creating a sense of anticipation leading up to reading the body of the copy itself. Positive words or phrases can help make an emotional connection that might pique someone’s interest in exploring further what you have written about in the content of your copy or blog post.
    3. Accurate description. Titles should accurately describe whatever you are writing about; this is important if people using search engines come across your piece during their search results, as everyone needs to know what they’re getting themselves into before clicking through!
    4. Use action verbs & adjectives. With strong adjectives and verbs, you can paint an exciting picture with just a few choice words – giving interested parties an idea of what they’re signing up for before delving into the body of text these titles support.

    Creating killer copywriting headlines isn’t necessarily complicated.

    Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be able to craft powerful titles that attract reader interest and enhance engagement with whatever content lies beneath them!

    Use Power Words to Capture Attention

    Good copywriting starts with great headlines.

    Your headline must capture attention and convince readers that your content is worth their time.

    Knowing what words and phrases will grab a reader’s attention and compel them to read further is essential for a copywriter.

    One way to write captivating headlines is by using powerful words or attention-grabbing phrases.

    Popular words used in headlines are action words like ‘discover,’ ‘uncover,’ ‘reveal,’ and ‘unlock.’

    They imply quick tasks and bring a specific promise to readers.

    For example, “Unlock the Secrets of Copywriting Today!” or “Discover How To Write Captivating Headlines Quickly!”

    When using powerful words in headlines, it is crucial to keep them relevant, so they don’t feel manipulative or disingenuous.

    Powerful words should frame a desirable outcome for the reader.

    The headline should excite them about reading and learning from your content.

    Remember that power words can become clichés quickly when used too often, so have some fun with your choices!

    A good copywriter will also use powerful wording beyond headlines.

    Think about other areas where you can weave colorful phrases like descriptions, subheadings, calls-to-action, and even just link titles throughout your writing that capture readers’ eyes.

    Finding creative ways of integrating powerful rhetoric throughout your writing will help you create stronger connections with readers.

    Include Relevant Numbers and Statistics

    In writing compelling copy, it is crucial to use techniques to appreciate your readers’ attention and draw them closer.

    One way to make your copy attractive is by including numbers and statistics within your headlines.

    Today’s modern reader expects information to have facts and figures to back them up.

    Therefore data-driven copywriting keeps readers interested and proves the point of the writing.

    A statistical analysis of headlines verified that those with numbers receive 36 percent more clicks than those without numbers.

    So you can see why it’s essential to include this type of information in yours.

    When you start featuring relevant numbers, statistics, or percentages in the titles of your copy, it can evoke curiosity.

    It could also demonstrate the scope and scale by showing readers how powerful your topic is or how probable they achieve a specific result.

    Additionally, numbers highlight functionality and features and show scarcity through limited offers or special deals.

    Numbers are an appropriate way for people to gain access to more details quickly as they function like mini-teaser trailers informing readers about what’s inside pertinent content pieces.

    It clarifies what topics need exploration and encourages primary interactions with online articles, which can lead to greater engagement through sharing among customers and friends.

    Designing catchy headlines around numerical factors enriches all types of publications, whether journalistic or commercial-based content, by deepening their appeal among broader audiences worldwide with incredible success.

    Leverage the Benefits to Draw in Readers

    Creating headlines that draw in readers is one of the most important tasks of a successful copywriter.

    While catchy phrases and exciting ideas are always beneficial, they will never be effective if they don’t attract and engage the reader.

    Leveraging the benefits of what you offer is a fantastic way to make sure your headlines do their job correctly.

    Benefit-driven writing engages readers by focusing on what they want instead of what you want them to do.

    Rather than describing why your product or service is fantastic (although it likely is!), think about how it can help solve your readers’ problems or meet their needs.

    A benefit-focused headline should succinctly but strongly emphasize the advantages of what you offer – including “how-to” descriptions, savings amounts, and other types of incentive messaging that draw attention to potential gains in using your offering.

    When writing benefit-driven headlines, remember to avoid language that might come across as confusing or overly technical.

    Focus on ways to use simplified terms readers can quickly relate to, such as personal merit statements (e.g., “Use This Simple Trick To Improve Your Life Today”).

    Here are some other tips for writing killer copywriting headlines:

    Make It Unique or Memorable

    It would be best if you led all copywriting or content you create with an eye-catching headline. 

    Not only can it act as a great starting point for the message you want to deliver, but it will also be one of the first things readers digest.

    In other words, if you don’t make sure your headline stands out, readers will click away from your post before they even get to read any of the body copy.

    Creating memorable and catchy headlines takes a little effort and creativity.

    You want them to not only stand out in people’s minds and prevent them from scrolling past without a second look, but you also want them to reflect what the article is about accurately.

    The key is finding the perfect balance between original wording that grabs people’s attention and concise information that describes what readers will learn if they continue reading.

    One strategy for creating headlines with both elements is to look at common phrases or sayings associated with your topic and then rewrite them to be more exciting. 

    Instead of using “Start With Why” as a headline, try “How To Put Your ‘Why’ At The Center Of Everything You Do.”

    Other tips include:

    Both tactics draw the reader’s attention by being different from standard headlines but don’t sacrifice information about the discussed topic.

    By remembering to make every headline unique or memorable, you can ensure each one captivates readers and draws them further into your content each time!

    Focus on Quality over Quantity

    When it comes to brainstorming and writing quality headlines, you must focus on the quality of your content rather than the quantity.

    Crafting an attention-grabbing headline requires creativity and, above all else, attention to detail.

    That’s why it’s vital that you set high standards for yourself when it comes to headline writing.

    The research has consistently shown that headlines are more important than any other single element of copywriting.

    This is because your headlines are generally the first impression readers will have of your content and can go a long way toward determining its overall success or failure.

    As such, you must take head crafting very seriously.

    When brainstorming for a compelling headline, begin by seeking inspiration from ads, magazine titles, and other sources outside your imagination.

    It can also help to look at previously published articles with successful titles and consider what made them especially effective at capturing readers’ attention.

    Additionally, consider drawing on newsworthy events or trends when creating headlines, as those will often boost their shareability quotient.

    When writing headlines, experiment with different lengths or phrases until you find the one clickable option that works best for both SEO purposes and reader interests.

    The right combination should feature keywords to increase relevancy and creative turns of phrases tailored to grab attention via emotion or controversy.

    With solid strategic planning and a careful commitment to quality over quantity, your next headline will wow audiences big and small!

    Ask a Question to Invoke Curiosity

    Writing excellent copy that engages readers can be challenging, and headlines are critical.

    An engaging headline is the first step in hooking your audience.

    When crafting copywriting headlines, one strategy is to ask a provocative question that captures readers’ attention and makes them want to know more.

    A compelling question will help draw people in and make them curious about the answer.

    The “what” and “why” questions work exceptionally well for this purpose.

    For example: “What Would Changing Your Password Do To Your Online Security?” Or “Why Is Creating a Digital Identity So Vital But Difficult To Achieve?”

    Questions can also spark ideas for stories that don’t necessarily have definitive answers, such as: “Has Technology Made Us More Creative or Less?”

    This type of headline invokes curiosity by prompting your reader to think about their own experience with the subject matter discussed.

    Developing eye-catching questions that engage your audience takes practice, but it is well worth the effort.

    Not only do thought-provoking questions make good headlines, but they can also open up conversations on interesting topics – stimulating discussion among readers and leading naturally into stories or articles worth reading.

    If you want people to keep reading, craft intriguing questions to construct captivating headlines.

    Garrett Mickley

    Garrett Mickley has worked across the entire spectrum of digital marketing across a decade and a half.