Headlines are the most important part of any piece of writing.
Because if your headline doesn’t grab readers’ attention, they’re not going to keep reading.
Most writers get comfortable with one or two types of headlines and stick to them.
Sometimes this makes sense if you’re getting good results.
But often, it just becomes a habit.
This is a topic that copywriter Bob Bly explores in The Copywriter’s Handbook. In it, Bly outlines eight different types of headlines that writers should know.
I’m going to walk through his list here and provide examples using a combination of sources.
1. Direct Headlines
Direct headlines are (surprise!) direct. They state the selling proposition upfront.
They’re often used in retail promotions.
2. Indirect Headlines
Indirect headlines are meant to arouse curiosity. They raise questions that are answered in the body copy or on the landing page.
3. News Headlines
News headlines deliver new information about a company, product or service.
4. How-to Headlines
How-to headlines offer the information to accomplish certain tasks or solve problems.
5. Question Headlines
Question headlines ask a question—preferably one that readers can empathize with.
6. Command Headlines
Command headlines tell prospects what you want them to do.
7. Reason-why Headlines
More commonly known as “list headlines,” these headlines promise a numbered list of instructions or information.
8. Testimonial Headlines
Testimonial headlines use the customer’s own words to make the pitch.
Try a New Headline Today!
You can probably think of a few more headlines types to add to this list. There’s no shortage of headlines to choose from.
So don’t be afraid to experiment! Give some of the other types a try.
And do some A/B testing to see what headlines work best with your target market.