Four Strategies to Get Unstuck When Writing Headlines

Sandy Franks
  • Meet the Queen of Controls
  • Writing Attention-Getting Headlines
  • Four Proven Techniques You Can Use
  • These Work in All Niches
  • The Power of Being in a Group

She’s a genius. Those three words perfectly sum up the brilliance of “A-list” copywriter, Carline Anglade-Cole. If you aren’t familiar with her, she practically rules the health and supplement copywriting niche. In fact, one client called her the Queen of Controls.

Carline’s been writing direct-response sales copy for 18 years. She’s got such a huge collection of sales letters she’s written, they fill up 19 (nineteen!) 5-inch binders. That’s enough to qualify as a mini-museum of direct-response controls.

AWAI recognized her talent in 2015, handing her the highly coveted Copywriter of the Year Award at their annual FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. (The event takes place in October in Delray Beach, Florida. If you haven’t registered, don’t wait long. It sells out fast.)

Carline recently joined me for an Advanced Training Webinar, where she taught members how to write attention-getting headlines and leads.

You know if someone’s named Queen of Controls, you can bet they’ve figured out some clever copywriting techniques that virtually ensure success.

Luckily for you, Dear Copywriter, I’m going to share four techniques Carline developed that if you are struggling with writing strong headlines will get you unstuck. Carline likes to think of these techniques more like a little game you can play to stir up the creative juices.

But just because she refers to them as games, don’t be fooled. They are proven to work. So, let’s get to them. Here are Carline’s four techniques for writing strong headlines:

  1. The Got __________. You fill in the blank with the prospect’s problem, but narrowing it down to just a few words. Carline used the “Got” technique in a promo for people suffering indigestion problems. Her headline: Got Gas? Another example, this one for prospects suffering with joint pain: Got Joint Pain?
  2. Who Else Wants … ? With this technique, you’re making the implication that everyone else is doing it. And also playing on the fear of being left out. The “it” is the solution your client’s product or service offers. Here’s one of Carline’s examples: Who Else Wants to Dissolve Dangerous Blood Clots?
  3. The Hoax, Shocker, or Myth. Here you want to confirm the prospect’s skepticism, making them feel as if there’s a conspiracy working against them. With this technique, Carline created this headline: The Big Fat Fiber Hoax. And this one: The Vitamin K2 Shocker.
  4. The New ______. This technique lets you turn something old into something that feels new to the prospect. It’s rather simple to do too. You just drop the word new into the front of your headline. Carline wrote this headline: The New Blood Pressure Normal. Another example: The New Way to Poop!

As you were reading how to do these techniques, I bet you were thinking of ways you could use them for a current project. I did. In fact, as Carline was explaining them, I was writing one headline after another. I’ve now got a page and a half of ready-to-go headlines.

What’s also really neat about these four techniques is they are universal. You can apply them to any niche. For instance, you could use the “Who Else Wants?” to write a headline for a financial service. Your headline might be: Who Else Wants to Make a 237% Return on This Little-Known Pot Stock?

Or what if you write sales copy in the travel niche? Using the “New” technique, you might write a headline like this: The New Way to Travel the World on Just $100 a Day.

What will likely happen as you use these techniques is that you’ll write one or two headlines just to get going. Then as you write more, your headlines will get stronger and more attention-grabbing. As we always say here at AWAI, to get good at writing, you have to practice.

If you use these techniques, it won’t be long before you’re churning out headlines as if you’ve been writing winning copy for the past 18 years.

Your takeaway for today: Start using these proven headline-writing techniques today. Write one headline for each technique and do that every day. By this time next week, you’ll have a worthy collection of 28 potential headlines you can use for your next project.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: May 15, 2017

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