Quick Tip:
Headline Checklist – a Tool to Make Your Headlines Compelling

"Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement." – Samuel Johnson

As an AWAI copywriter, you're familiar with the job of a headline ("to grab the reader's attention and draw him into the letter"). To get the job done, your headline should do three things:

  • Relate directly to the prospect – to his deep emotions, needs, and intense fears.
  • Make (or imply) an intriguing promise – something he can get excited about ("Is It Possible to Have Your Very Own Money Tree? Yes … If You Can Write a Simple Letter Like This One.")
  • Establish the Big Idea of the promo. ("Great things are in store for you – if you can write a letter like this one.")

"Easier said than done," you say? Not if you use my tried-and-true, 11-Point Checklist for Powerful Headlines.

Evaluate – and improve – every headline you write by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Does this headline connect with my Big Idea?
  2. Does it talk to my prospect as a real person and not part of a group?
  3. Does it show simplicity (one idea)?
  4. Does it express an emerging idea, technology, benefit, etc.?
  5. Does it imply an inherent benefit my prospect can gain simply by reading the letter?
  6. Does it express future benefit?
  7. Does it make the prospect feel he is special in some way?
  8. Is the headline Unique?
  9. Is it Urgent?
  10. Is it Useful?
  11. Is it Ultra-Specific?
The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: March 5, 2007

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