Write Tempting Marketing Headlines that Convert and Sell | Ruth Clowes | Skillshare

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Write Tempting Marketing Headlines that Convert and Sell

teacher avatar Ruth Clowes, Professional Copywriter

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:58
    • 2. 4 Golden Rules for Persuasive Headlines

      4:50
    • 3. Speak Directly to Your Audience

      4:24
    • 4. Offer Your Reader a Benefit

      4:41
    • 5. Generate Curiosity (and Avoid Clickbait!)

      4:32
    • 6. Ask a Relatable Question

      4:28
    • 7. Report Something Newsworthy

      3:39
    • 8. Give a Direct Command

      4:25
    • 9. Emergency 6-Step Headline Formula

      4:56
    • 10. Tips and Tools

      3:23
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About This Class

Do you want to write marketing headlines that are more persuasive and clickable? This tempting headlines copywriting class is for you!

The copywriting skills you’ll learn in this class will help you attract new customers and make more sales, while remaining true to your brand and avoiding clickbait.

I’m drawing on decades of professional copywriting experience to show you how to write engaging, persuasive headlines, titles and subject lines for your blog or business.

With 3 PDF printables to download and keep:

You’ll learn professional tips, techniques and tools for writing tempting marketing headlines quickly and easily. And you’ll see exactly how to put your new skills into action with step-by-step tutorials featuring copy I’ve written for my clients and examples from well-known brands.

This class is for you if you:

  • Write a blog and want to make your blog post titles more clickworthy
  • Create social media post or ads and need to grab people’s attention and increase click-throughs
  • Have an email subscription list and want subject lines that stand out in a crowded inbox
  • Need to write more tempting titles for your online courses, tutorials or YouTube videos.

No sound needed! Give your headphones a break and enjoy accurate captions and fully visual walkthroughs.

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

Here are the free online tools and resources I mention during the class. Do you have your own recommendation? Let me know in the Discussions section.

Headline Planner
Emergency 6- Step Headline Formula
Headline Swipe File
Title Case Converter
The Copy Book
Facebook Ad Library

RECOMMENDED COPYWRITING CLASSES

Connect with me: Website |  Twitter |  LinkedIn | Facebook

Theme music by The Clarendons

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ruth Clowes

Professional Copywriter

Teacher

Your website text, online bios, social media posts and emails define you. They are what make people notice you, connect with you and buy from you… or not.

Learn to communicate more clearly, dynamically and persuasively with classes that focus on straightforward, practical techniques that get great results – fast.

Each session is full of real-life examples and hands-on exercises to help you practice as you learn.

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, my name is Ruth. Welcome to my class on writing headlines. I'm drawing on decades of professional copywriting experience to show you how to write engaging, persuasive headlines, titles, and subject lines for your blog or business. The copywriting skills you'll learn in this class will help you attract new customers and make more sales while remaining true to your brand and avoiding clickbait. This is the perfect class for you if you write a blog and you want to make your post titles more click-worthy, maybe you create social media ads and you need to grab people's attention and increase click-throughs. Or perhaps you have an email subscription list and you want to write subject lines that stand out in a crowded inbox. I'm a professional copywriter. I'm a member of ProCopywriters and I've trained with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Google. I use the tried and tested techniques, I'll teach you every single day myself, both in my full-time job as a creative copywriter and my varied freelance clients. I'm especially excited to be teaching this class because headlines are so crucial. If you get your headline wrong, no one will even read the rest of your content. In this class, I'll share with you professional tips, techniques, and tools for writing persuasive headlines quickly and easily. I'll show you exactly how to put your new skills into action with step-by-step tutorials featuring copy I've written for my clients and examples from well-known brands. I've also put together three PDF printables: a planning worksheet, a super-simple formula, and a swipe file of headlines you can use for inspiration on the go. For your class project, follow along with the class, write one headline using the skills you learn in each lesson, then send me your favorite. What you're about to learn will take your headline writing to the next level. Let's go. 2. 4 Golden Rules for Persuasive Headlines: Let's start with the basics. A headline is a short phrase or sentence right at the start of your copy. It might be the slogan of a magazine advert or poster, the subject line of an email, the title of the blog posts, the main heading of a web page or even an entire social media post or caption. They need to grab people's attention and make them want to keep reading. That's not easy because there are so many headlines competing for attention, especially online. Think of your own social media feed or inbox. What you're looking at is essentially a list of headlines and I bet one of them has to be pretty persuasive for you to stop scrolling and pay attention. Headlines are so important because it doesn't matter how good your blog post or product or service or online course is if you write a weak headline, no one is going to keep reading or click through to find out what you've got to offer. That's why I've put together a package of resources and tools that I use to help me write headlines and I'm going to share them with you today so you can use them too. I've also identified the four golden rules of writing great headlines consistently. Golden rule number 1 is to nail the basics behind your headline. What it is you're promoting, where your headline will appear, your objective, and target audience. The headline planner principle will help you with this part. We'll go through it together in a couple of minutes. Golden rule number 2 is experiment and test. Spend time trying out different styles of headline to see which sounds best. It will be different every time. If you can't, split test your headlines or at least get someone else's opinion of which they prefer. This experimentation is especially valuable for things like social media ads where a little tweak can make a big difference to click-through rates. Golden rule number 3 is to have a tried and tested full back headline formula you can use when you get stuck and needs come up with a great headline in a hurry. I've got one of those for you too, and I'll show you how to use it later. It's perfect for when you're on the spot and you need to come up with something quickly or you're having a creative block and you need to get your creative juices flowing. Finally, golden rule number 4. Keep your eyes and ears open for great headlines you see when you're out and about reading magazines or browsing your social feeds and build them into a swipe file you can use for inspiration later. There are so many headlines all around that when it comes to writing your own headlines, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Take note of successful headlines and adapt them to suit your own purposes. It's not cheating. Professional copywriters do this all the time. I've put together a beginner's headline swipe file for you to get you started and I'm going to show you lots of other examples of great headlines throughout this class. Let's kick off with that first golden rule. Be clear on the basics behind your headline, starting with what it is you're promoting, where your headline will appear, your call to action, and your objective. The headline planner will help you quickly and easily clarify those basics. I've based on the briefing template I fill out when I start working with a new freelance clients. I'm going to start filling out the headline planner with all the information about my client, Daily Bread, new product gluten-free sour dough loaf. Follow along and answer the same questions for your own product service or blog post. I'm going to be writing headlines about this product for three different platforms. The headlines will appear on a poster in the bakery as the subject line of an email to the bakery's email subscription list and as the title of the blog post about the product. Think about where your own headline or headlines will be seen, as well as clarifying where each headline will appear you also need to define each call to action, what you want people to do straight after reading your headlines. For the poster inside the bakery, I want people to be immediately prompted to try a free taster of the bread or to be intrigued enough to find out more about it by asking a staff member. The other two headlines have a very simple job to do. They just need to encourage people to keep reading either the email or the blog post. This is important to remember, if your headline is the title of an email, blog post, social post article, anything where there's loads more copy below or behind it. The main rule of the headline is just to persuade people to keep reading or to click through but we mustn't lose sight of our overarching aim. The main point of the campaign, which in Daily Bread's case is to sell loads of sour dough loaves. If you're writing copy for a business, your objective will most likely be around selling a particular product or service. Alongside that, you may have objectives around building brand loyalty or brand recognition or positioning yourself as an expert in your field. Write all those objectives in here. In the next lesson, we'll identify our audience and look at some techniques for writing headlines that appeal to our target group. 3. Speak Directly to Your Audience: If you've taken any of my other copywriting classes on Skillshare, you'll know that one of my breakable rules is to always write with your audience in mind. Headlines are no different. The space on the headline planer for you to define the audience for whatever you're promoting. Be as specific as you can. In the case of the daily breads, gluten-free sourdough loaf, their main audience is people who are either allergic or intolerant to gluten. A little more generally, people who are on board with the whole wellness trend. Target your reader with your headlines. Remember, you don't want attention from everybody, just the audience you've identified in your planner. Trying to get attention from everyone will dilute the message of your headlines, so you'll end up getting attention from nobody. I'm going to use this principle to create a very basic audience focused headline for daily bread. I'm going to start by addressing my audience directly with the phrase calling all coeliacs. Other ways of doing this might be with attention coeliacs or even just coeliac with a question mark after. Then I'm simply going to describe the products and I'm going to pop the word introducing in front to make it more conversational. Again, there are variations of how you could introduce your product here. For example, you could say, "Try our new gluten-free sourdough bread or you'll love our new gluten-free sourdough bread." Let's look at some more examples of audience-focused headlines. This headline in an advertisement for digital gaming vouchers is a great example of an audience-focused theme-setting headline. Just one more game. Straightaway we know this content is aimed specifically at gamers, it's speaking their language by using a phrase many gaming addicts often say to themselves and others. Anyone with a healthy gaming addiction and anyone who shares their home with a dedicated gamer is going to have their attention grabbed by this headline. Using inside a language like this also makes your target reader feel like you're on their side and you're both part of a particular group, it creates rapport. Here's a slightly different example. This is an impact report I wrote for the charity practical action. This report went out in a direct mailing to existing donors. Its purpose was to thank them for their support, show them its impact, and encourage future donations. Your support makes a world of difference. In this headline, I reached out to my audience by addressing them directly with your. This is a very effective way to build instant rapport with your reader. It feels natural and human because it's like you're talking to them face to face. For that reason is a technique that's used a lot in the charity sector. So many years I wrote this blog about my local area, Clarendon Park. I often used audience-focused headlines to get people to click through from Twitter and Facebook, which is why I did most of my promotion. Clarendon Bark: 8 things to do in Clarendon Park with your dog. I've used you here too and I've made it very clear in the title that the blog post is meant for dog owners. I even got a little cheeky in the first paragraph by hammering home the audience it's aimed up. Alongside the featured image of two cute dogs, this is guaranteed to grab the attention of dog lovers. Now, this may not be as subtle approach, but when you're promoting your blog posts on a crowded social feed, this directness and clarity can be very effective. This classic advertisement for the car brand Saab is less direct but very clever. The sports sedan for people who inherited brains instead of wealth. The key selling point here is price. What Saab is saying is that their sports sedan is cheaper than its competitors. But they've wrapped that message up in another message that massages the reader's ego and makes them feel like Saab's product is also an intelligent choice. This headline is going to get the attention of a reader who likes to think of themselves as smart and who doesn't have a huge budget. That type of customer now has two reasons to buy. They save money and they get to feel like they've demonstrated their intellect. Now, look at the product service online course or blog you're promoting. Create a headline that speaks directly to the target audience you've identified using one of the techniques we've covered in this lesson. If you get stuck, use my daily bread headline as inspiration. Just replace coeliac with your own audience and gluten-free sourdough bread with your product or service. In the next lesson, you'll learn how to write benefit-focused headlines. 4. Offer Your Reader a Benefit: When we just come to a piece of copy for the first time, they're thinking what's in this for me. At that early stage, they're not even asking what they could get from the product, but whether it's even worthwhile reading the rest of your copy. A classic way to draw the reader in and encourage them to keep reading is to include a benefit in your headline. The space on the headline planner to list the benefits of your product, service, or post, and you'll notice that it's next to this section about features. That's because the easiest way to draw out your product or service's benefits to the customer is by starting with its features, the cold, hard facts about it, then to work out how those features benefit the user. The main features of Daily Bread's new gluten-free sourdough loaf are pretty easy to list. Now we just need to answer the question, so what? Why are these features beneficial to the potential customer? The fact that the bread is gluten-free has health benefits, particularly for people with an allergy or intolerance, it means it won't make them ill. The fact that it's sourdough makes it super fashionable. It's also healthier than some of the types of bread and it has a distinctive taste and texture that lots of people like. Finally, the fact that this is a brand new product adds novelty and means people will have the kudos of being one of the first people to try it. There's room for some additional selling points at the bottom of the planner. We'll come back to those later. Don't try to cram too many benefits into each headline. Feature one, two at the most, and unpack the rest in your body copy. The Daily Bread's benefit-focused headline. I'm going to focus on the health benefits of gluten-free bread. I'm going to follow a really simple three-step format. First, I'll tell readers the good thing they'll get the opportunity to enjoy artisan bread. Then I'll tell them the negative thing they'll avoid, the bloating, and finally, I'll link that benefit to the product. Just as an aside, clearly and simply stating what you're selling in your headline like this is extremely important in some online context. If you want your headline to show up in search results, you want to make sure that it contains the key your target audience will be searching for. That's why it's often better to save your more creative headlines for things like prints and the email subject lines where SEO isn't an issue. Let's look at some more examples of benefit-focused headlines. This charity mailing announces, "Join our new lottery to flip your one-pound entry into 500 pounds." That's a pretty clear benefit. It's going to get the attention of anyone who's fond of a flutter. But there's more. When I turn over I'm presented with another benefit. By joining the lottery, I'll also be saving the planet, excellent. First appealing to a reader's self-interest, then reassuring them that they're actually doing something selfless is a useful tactic, especially if you're writing for a charity. Notice how WWF is also using novelty as an extra little selling point here. This ad for an expandable suitcase by Trip isn't really encouraging us to steal hotel bathrobes. It's using exaggeration to sell the main benefits of the suitcase, the fact that you can fit loads into it. This side is audience as well as benefit-focused. The reference to stealing hotel toiletries will be understood by the target audience of frequent travelers. The ad is building a rapport with those readers, then going on to explain how the product eases a common traveler pain point, not having enough room in your suitcase. Some of the best ads are like this one and that they incorporate two or three of the styles or techniques we'll explore in this class. Don't feel like your ads have to fit neatly into one category. Sometimes it can feel like you're bragging when you sing the praises of your own products or services, after all, your reader may well respond with, boy, you would say that. One way around this is to use a positive customer review or testimonial in your headline. Look at this example from graze. If graze themselves came right out and said, "This will probably be the best thing you've done this year," it would sound hyperbolic and arrogant. But using a positive review that says the same thing gives the message added authenticity. Think about the product, service, online course, or blog post you're promoting, and the benefits you've identified on your headline planner. Now creates a headline that promotes one of those benefits using one of the techniques we've covered in this lesson. If you're having trouble getting started, use my Daily Bread headline as inspiration. Follow the simple format of enjoy the good thing without the bad thing with our product. In the next lesson, you'll learn how to write curiosity-focused headlines without resorting to click-bait. 5. Generate Curiosity (and Avoid Clickbait!): In the last lesson, we saw how offering a benefit is a tried and trusted way to draw your reader in. But it's not the only way to go. You could write something less direct that peaks your readers curiosity. Then as they lean in and start reading, you reveal more details linking the headline to the product and throwing in some benefits. Look at this headline for Daily Bread's new products. Rather than coming right out and telling them what it is and what the benefit is. I've taken a more circuitous route. I'm still mentioning the gluten free elements of the product, but I'm drawing on my readers curiosity to what are those other ingredients. I've also brought in one of the extra selling points identified in the last section of the headline partner. The fact that this bread is made with just a few simple components. Bringing in less obvious features of your product like this can work really well in this headline. Here's another example of a curiosity based headline in an ad for a plant-based sleeping aid. The start of this ad, "Night night. Sleep tight," will immediately get the attention of the target audience, people who have trouble sleeping. Then instead of the expected, don't like the bedbugs bites, we have the name of an obscure chemical. Altering well-known phrases like there so that something familiar is combined with something unexpected is a useful copywriting technique. It works well here and the mention of this chemical which turns out to be a synthetic ingredient used in prescription sleep aids, is going to encourage the target audience to keep reading. With this approach, you're gambling short-term relevance in the hope of winning longer-term interests. A headline like this one doesn't say much about the product, but it does speak directly to an experience that relevant readers have probably had. If the gamble pays off, there'll be more absorbed and curious upfront than they might have been with a simple benefit headline like those we saw in the previous lesson. There's another type of curiosity based headline, and that's the type made famous by websites like Upworthy and BuzzFeed. These websites have built their business, creating headlines with enough seduction in the headline to inspire readers to click through to find out the rest of the story. Upworthy calls this a curiosity gap, and says a good social media headlines seduces people to click through by telling them enough to whet their curiosity, but not enough to fulfill it. The problem is that this technique gets a little tiresome and requires more and more hyperbole. It can also devalue your brand, but don't worry. The curiosity gap technique can be useful. The trick is to remain honest and only use headlines like this when they're helpful for your audience. Go ahead and use "The 29 Genius Buys That Will Make Cleaning Your Entire Home Incredibly Easy." But only if "The 29 Buys" are likely to be considered as genuinely genius to your audience. In short, the key is to deliver in your copy what you promise in your headline. Not doing so is not only unethical, it's not going to help you achieve your end objective. In online contexts, it's going to send your bounce rate through the roof. In my experience, I've found that curiosity style headlines work especially well as blog post titles where the blogger already has an established following. I think that's because if you write a blog and you already have a loyal following, your followers will trust that you're not trying to mislead them with clickbait and an intriguing blog title might be all it takes to encourage them to click through and read your latest post. I'm often used to this technique on my Clarendon Spark blog. This particular poster is based on the memories of an elderly residents of the area picking out some of the more unusual things mentioned in the post was a great way to draw people in and much more persuasive than if I had called the post something like, "An Elderly Person Remembers What Clarendon Park was like in the 1930s." Spend some time drawing out what's unusual about the product service, online course or blog posts you're promoting. this technique does need a bit more creativity than the others we've looked at. Take your time and try to be a bit playful with it. See if you can create a headline that will pick the curiosity of your target reader, and if you're struggling, you can always use my daily bread headline as a starting point. Try following the format, our product has these number of something, this one bad thing isn't one of them. In the next lesson, you'll learn how to use questions in a headline to build rapport with your reader. 6. Ask a Relatable Question: Do questions work in headlines? Yes, as long as you read the answers the question the way you want them to. The simplest approach is to ask a leading question that invites a yes-no response. Coeliac? This question couldn't be simpler. If the reader answers yes, we at Daily Bread know that there are target audience and we've got their attention. Notice how this is also an audience-focus tactic. We can follow that simple opener with another question, dream of eating tasty sourdough bread? Again, our target audience is likely to answer yes here. Actually, this is just a slightly more engaging version of the headline. Now Coeliacs can eat tasty sourdough bread. It's also another benefit focused headline. You can see what I mean about there being a lot of overlap between the categories. What makes this headline stand out from a simple benefit headline is the conversational tone and those unspoken yeses from the reader. They make the difference between passive acceptance and active agreement. They make for a very persuasive headline. Just to seal the deal and make sure our readers get the message. Let's add a positive little now you can on the end. Here's another example of a question headline that prompts the answer yes. Anyone with a vinyl record collection to sell is going to answer in the affirmative and go on to read the rest of the ad. This example is a little different. By asking, did you know you can have more than one ISA? Scottish Friendly is actually hoping that their target reader will answer no and be interested enough to keep reading. Did you know, can be a good opener for a headline. Just make sure the fact you're announcing is interesting enough that your read isn't tempted to answer no, and I don't care. The next level up is something with a bit more emotional power like this example from Christian aid. This ad is encouraging people to take small steps like turning their heating down to make a big difference to people living on the front line of climate change. The message is given added gravitas because it's framed as coming directly from the person in the photograph. That's an important thing to remember when you're writing headlines. Your headline will often appear next to an image. In fact, some of the best advertisements ever written have been successful because they've combined a headline and an image in a creative, original way. Just something else to bear in mind when you're experimenting with different headlines styles. Back to question headlines. Not all questions work as well as the examples we've seen so far. One that can cause problems is why not. Why not eat insects? Clearly, the title of this book is supposed to shock people. There's an element of the curiosity style headline at work here. But the problem with asking why not is that it invites the reader to think about why they wouldn't want to do something. I've never eaten insects before. I might not like the flavor because that sounds really gross and so on. It's a question you don't really want them to answer. Some questions encourage readers to reflect more deeply on themselves and their situation. In your own linguistic programming they're called Meta model questions. They usually begin with what or how, inviting a thoughtful, descriptive answer rather than yes or no. For example, the Planetary Society asked people to imagine how they could use a new service to send items to the Moon. This headline by Napatech does a similar thing, but it links the question to a benefit. The benefit being low cost. What will you do with all the money you save in your edge datacenter? By asking a question like this, you can prompt the reader to start speculating about their future. Then you'll copy positions the product as the first step towards making that future a reality. Now think about the product or service or blog posts you're promoting, and create a headline that includes a question using one of the techniques we've covered in this lesson. You can make it either very straightforward or more emotional, and you can combine it with any of the other headlines styles we've explored so far in this class. Remember if you're struggling, you can use my Daily Bread question headline as inspiration. Start by calling out your audience. Then use the words dream of, followed by a benefit and now you can or a similar positive reinforcement on the end. In the next lesson, you'll learn a few journalistic techniques to help you write newsworthy headlines. 7. Report Something Newsworthy: The power of the news headline is that it promises readers some informational benefit that they couldn't have had before. That neutralizes their reflex to say not interested or don't need it. If what you're offering is truly new, they've got to find out more before they can be sure it's not for them. On top of that, newness usually means progress, so whatever readers know about the product already knew still promises some extra benefit even if it's only a slight improvement. To signal novelty, you can use words like new, now, the first, introducing, discover, and so on. Here's an example from BT, the UK's first unbreakable Wi-Fi. To make this work, you need to have genuine news to share. You've probably bought a new and improved products like a laundry detergent, where you couldn't identify what had actually changed. If your news isn't really that big a deal, consider whether there's a better way to frame your message so it doesn't set the reader up for disappointment or even worse, get labeled as clickbait. This habitat headline fits into the news category because it's promoting the fact that habitat is changing, but look at the word they've used, revolting is a clever play on words because revolting means changing, but it also means disgusting. Imagine the difference if this headline was just habitat is changing, would have nowhere near the same impact. That's why it's good to experiment with lively words in your headlines. They paint a picture in the mind of your readers. Lookout for useful double meanings like habitat is done and try using positive objectives like ultimate, brilliant, awesome, intense, hilarious, smart, critical, surprising. Remember what we learned in the curiosity lesson there and don't get carried away, only use those words if they honestly represent the content or products. A variation of the news headline is to explain why. Starting your headline with why or how is a good approach, if you need to explain something to the reader before you start selling to them. The headline promises some useful or interesting knowledge while the body copy goes on to deliver it. The Daily Bread's new product is a great opportunity to use this technique. How about why that bloated feeling you get after eating bread is a thing of the past. Why and how a powerful because they promise insights as well as information. The reader feels like going to gain some deeper understanding instead of just being handed a bunch of facts. I read the title for this blog post on Practical Action's website. Using how makes the headline more engaging than if I'd gone with something like partnerships or reducing flood risks or similar. The explaining technique works well for higher value products and services too, because it's likely that the reader will want to find out more information to justify their purchase if they're spending a lot of money. Its time to create your own newsworthy headline for your product, service or blog post. Use one of the techniques we've covered in this lesson. Consider where your headline will appear a more straightforward headline using new or introducing might be more suitable for a print poster or advertisement, whereas why and how headlines work brilliantly for blog posts and articles. You can use my Daily Bread headline as inspiration if you're struggling. Use he format YX is a thing of the past with X being your customer's pin points, the problem your product helps them to solve. In the next lesson, you'll learn how to cut to the chase with headlines that use directs commands. 8. Give a Direct Command: Go ahead, use the command. Come right out and tell the reader what you want them to do, as Nike would say, just do it. Commands are powerful and they get attention because we didn't receive that many simple direct orders in normal life, unless you're in uniform, even instructions from superiors at work are usually softened with something like, "Do you think he can or could you just?" One of the main ways to use commands in copywriting is in calls to action at the end of your copy, by they can work at the other end in headlines too. Sometimes the effect is similar to describing a benefit. For example, do your gut a favor, try a gluten-free sourdough bread, same product, same benefit, but issuing a direct command does give it an extra bit of punch, doesn't it? Speaking of punch, this is an advertisement for an advertising agency. Yes, it's all getting matter. But it's difficult to imagine a more direct full-on command than this. Notice how the command is combined with an element of curiosity. Here is a less confrontational example from Very Lazy, a company that aims to take the hard work out of cooking. This headline, make delicious meals isn't really telling the reader to do anything other than try the product. But what the reader takes away is buy our stuff and you'll be a better cook. But that's still a strong message and the command gets it across in only three words, and it follows those up with the products main benefit, how easy it is to use. Essentially this headline is commanding the reader to do something they probably already want to do, in a way it's giving them permission. Here's a famous example of that technique at work. Kitkat's, have a break, have a KitKat. Another contexts that this type of command headline works well in is tutorials or how to guides or online courses. Let's take a look at Skillshares' homepage. Create iconic logo designs, draw realistic humans, start scrapbooking, make your own clothing. Command headlines are short and sharp and attention grabbing. They're perfect for tutorials because they tell your reader exactly what they'll be able to do as a result of taking your class. I'll let you into a little secret. I actually changed the title of this class when I was doing the research for this lesson and saw just how many successful Skillshare course titles have raised this commands. I ditched the how-to and made my class title a clear and simple command. What do you think; is it an improvement? Let me know in the discussion section. At a higher level, commands can be inspirational as with Nike's famous slogan challenging its customers to perform better and achieve more, "Just Do It." Here's another example of an aspiration or command headline on the front of Boden's latest catalog. Boden is a clothing company that target demographic is middle-class, middle-aged women. Remember what I said earlier about matching your headline to your images. Everything about this cover is aspiration. We've got a beautiful young woman relaxing on a classic yatch sunset and the headline gets swept away is essentially selling this whole aspirational image. Is saying buy our stuff and you'll look and feel like this. That's just something else going on here as well by commanding us to get swept away, maybe Boden or encouraging us to throw caution to the wind and spend more money on their products than we normally would. Another more gentle approach to command headlines is to subtly guide the reader towards a particular state of mind by talking about something less concrete. The charity Care International asked you to imagine a life without water. It's a command that stops you in your tracks as you consider the implications of living without something many of us take for granted. The blog posts then explores those implications for people in Southern Africa for whom getting water to drink and cook with is a daily struggle. It makes a strong case for support, but it's set up by that initial command to imagine a very different world. See if you can create your own headline using a simple direct command using one of the techniques we've used in this lesson. If you're not sure where to start, use my Daily Bread headline as a starting point. Take the format, do your x a favor, and change the x to whatever makes sense for the product or service you are promoting. The second part of the headline can then just be the word try, followed by the solution you're offering your reader. In the next lesson, I'll show you a simple six step headline formula you can use to generate headlines in a hurry. 9. Emergency 6-Step Headline Formula: Can you remember the third golden rule of epic headline writing? Is to have a tried and tested formula you can use when you get stuck and need to come up with a great headline in a hurry. I've got a formula that will help you do just that. Download and print this cheat sheet, and have it handy for when you need to come up with a basic but effective headline at short notice. It will help you define your product's key benefits and get the creative juices flowing. Let's go through the six steps together. Step 1 is to define your offer. To do that, you complete the statement, my product helps my customers because. When you're working on this step, try to use everyday language and not to be too formal about it. Imagine you're explaining to a friend what your product or service is, or what your latest blog post office read is. In the case of the daily breads new product, I might say, "My product helps customers because they can get their sourdough bread fix with zero gluten." For step 2, we shorten our previous sentence by getting rid of everything up to, and including the word because. By doing this, we're effectively taking away the prompt that's done its job, and we're left with a concise explanation of our product's main benefit. They can get their sourdough bread fix with zero gluten. For step 3, we're going to turn it around so that we're speaking directly to our audience. We'll do that by changing the words then, they, and that to you and your. You can get your sourdough bread fix with zero gluten. Don't you think that that step has made so much difference? It's taken the statement from a general indirect comment to something totally focused on our target reader. In doing so, it's really brought that benefit to life. Now, this is a perfectly adequate headline on its own, but what I'd like to do is inject a bit of urgency and emotion into it? There are a number of ways of doing this, and we've explored some of them in this class. To keep things simple with this formula, we're going to add now an easy way to at the beginning. Now, an easy way to get your sourdough bread fix with zero gluten. If that headline is working for you, you can absolutely leave it to that. But if using the formula and thinking about your key benefits has got your creative juices flowing, you can go further. The next step is to create more variations of your headline using the techniques you've learned in this class. I've listed the different styles we've covered as a reminder. I'm going to finish filling in the cheat sheet with the daily bread's headlines I've written during this class. Step 6 is choose your favorite headline and remember, you don't necessarily need to choose just one. You might choose different headlines depending on the platforms they'll appear on, and just CTA. For example, I think headline number 3, the curiosity driven one would be perfect for the poster inside the bakery, where we want to encourage people to try the product and ask the staff for more information about it. Whereas headline number 5, the newsworthy one would make a brilliant email subject line. It would really encourage people to open the email and read about our new product. I'm also a big fan of headline number 6, the direct command. So many people are concerned with good's health these days, and I think leading with that could be very persuasive. Maybe this would make a good blog post title. What do you think? There's just one small thing we need to do before these headlines are ready to go, and that's a little bit of formatting. We should convert the written number 7 and 1 into numerals. Many studies have shown that when used in a headline, numerals are more attention-grabbing. They also make headlines shorter, so it's a real win-win. There are some of these headlines we could shorten in other ways to make them more punchy. We could replace this and with a colon, for example. Finally, we need to convert our headlines into title case, which means capitalizing the first, last, and important words. Now, writing in title case is a bit of an inexact science, and there are differences in opinion about how it should be done. Don't get too bogged down in it. I sometimes use an online title case converter tool like this one. This is the one that's actually recommended by Skillshare to teach us for when we're writing class title, so it's a safe bet. You just copy and paste your headline in and it converts it immediately. Once you've done that, I'd recommend just taking a look at the result and making sure you're happy with it. These tools aren't foolproof, so just alter anything that looks really off, then you're good to go. Generally speaking, you should avoid writing a headline in all caps, it can look aggressive. But putting important words in all caps can help your headline pop. In this case, I'm going to write now in all caps. Write a headline for your own product or service using the emergency six-step headline formula, and fill in the variation section with the other headlines you've created during this class. In the next lesson, I'll introduce you to the headline swipe file and a few more tips and tools to help you really ace your headline game. 10. Tips and Tools: There's just one golden rule of headline writing left to explore. Golden rule Number 4 is, keep your eyes and ears open for great headlines you see when you're out and about reading magazines or browsing your social feeds and build them into a swipe file, one you can use for inspiration. I believe that the best way to become a better writer is to read more. Whatever kind of writing you do, whether it's marketing copy like we're talking about today or something more creative, reading widely and taking inspiration from what's successful is a no-brainer. This is equally true of headlines. Check out the headlines in marketing materials you see in the newspaper, on TV, on the sides of buses, or anywhere else. Note down your favorites until you have a swipe file. Then you can adapt and tweak your favorite formats and approaches to suit your own brand. I've put together a list of 30 headlines to get you started. There's a real mix here of benefit headlines, news ones, headlines that create intrigue, commands, everything we've explored in this class. If you want more inspiration, I can highly recommend The Copy Book. It's a chunky compendium of brilliant headlines accompanied by notes from the copywriters who wrote them. I've used lots of examples from The Copy Book during this class. Is a real goldmine of ideas. It also gives an insight into the creative copywriting process. There's a link in the class description. I know the brilliant place to look for headline ideas is the Facebook ad library. This is a public database of all the abs currently active on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. Facebook have made all the ads on their platforms viewable to everyone in the name of transparency. But it's also a massively useful tool for marketers. It's a great place for headline ideas because the best social media posts are one-sentence short and punchy, just like a headline. You can get some great inspiration just from browsing the ad library, but here's an idea. How about spying on the ads of others who are in the same industry as you, or who sell similar products to see how they advertise their products. Thank you for joining me for this class on writing tempting headlines. Congratulations on finishing the class. You've learned dozens of professional tips, techniques, and tools today to help you write persuasive headlines quickly and easily. Don't forget about your three printables: the planning worksheet, the super simple formula, and the swipe file of headlines you can use for inspiration on the go. Your class project is super-simple, write a selection of headlines based on the styles and approaches you've learned in this class, then post your favorite or all of them as a project. I look at all the projects that are posted. Do let me know if there's anything, in particular, you'd like feedback or help with, either in your project post or in the Discussion section. If you've enjoyed this class, I'd be so grateful if you take the time to leave a review. I read all the reviews and they really help me improve my classes. Speaking of which, I'm always open to your suggestions about what to teach next. I've published a class about writing for social media, another one aimed specifically at creative businesses. What aspect of copyrighting would you like to learn about next? Let me know by posting in the Discussion section. Thank you again for joining this class. Enjoy the rest of your day.