The Queen of Controls Shares 4 Proven Formulas for Writing Attention-Getting Headlines

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

Carline started her copywriting career 18 years ago and has been churning out one winning control after another. She got a little boost in the beginning and I’ll tell you more about that in just a minute.

For now, take a minute to think about what she has accomplished. For 18 solid years straight, she’s been making a living as a highly paid, sought-after writer. She’s living proof of what you can accomplish when you pursue your passion for writing.

And you can imagine that she’s managed to accumulate a huge collection of sales letters she’s written, enough to fill up more than 19 (nineteen!) 5-inch binders.

That qualifies as a mini-museum of direct-response controls.

It’s not just her clients that know her brilliance as a copywriter. 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. (By the way, the event takes place in May in Delray Beach, Florida. If you haven’t registered, don’t wait long. It sells out fast.)

Of course, being an “A-list” copywriter with that many years of experience writing successful sales letters, Carline’s developed a few tricks up her sleeve that she uses to craft attention-getting headlines and leads.

Luckily for you, Dear Copywriter, today I’m going to share four techniques Carline uses to create strong headlines. So if you find yourself struggling to come up with headlines, now you can use her formulas to get yourself unstuck.

Carline likes to think of these strategies 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!

What’s neat about these techniques Carline has developed is that once you get started, you can’t stop. You’ll find yourself writing not just one headline but also several. And soon enough, you’ll have a long list of attention-grabbing headline options. From there, it’s just a matter of picking the one you or your client like best.

Or maybe your client likes them all and decides to test several of them, letting the target audience make the final choice on which one is the “best of the best.”

What’s also really neat about these four formulas 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.

And if you’re writing a promotion for the lifestyle niche, such as AWAI, and you’re teaching people how to be paid writers … you might use the “Hoax or Myth” technique to write this headline: The Myth of the Starving Artist Exposed: How Ordinary Folks Are Getting Paid Huge Fees for Every Word They Write.

Even if you don’t have a current project for a client, it’s worth your while to practice using Carline’s proven techniques for writing headlines. 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.

Editorial Note: The Power of Being in a Group. No doubt Carline’s made quite a name and career for herself. But she got a little boost in the beginning. She was fortunate enough to be mentored by million-dollar copywriter Clayton Makepeace. Sometimes we all need a little help getting started. And one of the best ways to give yourself a career boost is surrounding yourself with like-minded writers like AWAI members and experts who share ideas, advice, and motivation to keep going.

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: February 18, 2019

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