types of effective headlines

When you’re writing a landing page, website page, or blog post, your headline may be one of the last pieces of copy you focus. After all, the words in your headline make up only a small fraction of all the words you need to write for your page or post.

But here’s the thing: if you want the copy on your page or post to get you the results you want, that headline is incredibly important. Why? Because your headline has to do some serious heavy lifting—it has to convince your ideal customer to read the rest of the copy on your page or to click on your post. In other words, an effective headline is how you get access to your customer’s world.

Still not convinced? Stats show that although 8/10 people will read a headline, only 2/10 people will click through. And traffic to a page or post online can vary by up to 500% just because of your headline! That’s why you don’t want to slap a half-baked headline onto the sales page or blog post you just spent hours writing.

So what kinds of headlines should you choose if you want to attract your ideal customer’s attention and set them on the path to clicking “buy” or “subscribe”? Take one of these 9 types of effective headlines for a spin:


Need some help writing headlines that convert?
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(They work for other types of headlines too!)

1. “How to” headlines

People are always on the hunt for information about how to do something. That’s what makes “how to” headlines such effective headlines—they tap into people’s innate desire to learn a new skill or process.

“How to” headlines are very common in blog posts. But you can also use them for landing pages, sales pages, and ads if your offer teaches people how to do something.

Example: Check out Marie Forleo’s “how to” headline for her audio training freebie.



Marie Forleo audio training


2. Question headlines

In the same way that people love learning new skills and processes, they love finding answers to questions they have. Question headlines are effective headlines because they reference questions and promise to answer them.

When writing question headlines, you can experiment with both closed-ended question headlines and open-ended question headlines. Closed-ended question headlines ask questions that have a limited number of possible answers. For example, “Do you use the most effective egg substitute in your baking?” is a closed-ended question headline. In comparison, “What are the best egg substitutes for baked goods?” is an example of an open-ended question headline.

Example: Melanie Duncan uses a closed-ended question headline on this sales page.



copywriting secrets


3. Numbered list headlines

Numbers are like brain candy. That’s why numbered list headlines are one of the most effective headlines out there.

When you write numbered list headlines, you might wonder if just any number will do or if certain numbers are more effective than others.

Some entrepreneurs and bloggers prefer to use odd numbers in their headlines because odd numbers are more believable and make information easier to remember.

That said, data shows that even numbers are also effective—sometimes even more effective than odd numbers.

In any case, if you want to make numbered list headlines effective headlines, be sure to use the digit (e.g., “7”) rather than the word (e.g., “seven”).

Related: 9 blog title generator tools to help you craft the perfect headline

Example: I used a numbered list headline for my blog post on copywriting secrets for writing better sales pages.



copywriting secrets


4. Statistic headlines

Other effective headlines that include numbers are statistic headlines. These headlines include a statistic to make results, benefits, or other outcomes more concrete. Because they include numbers, statistic headlines are more appealing to readers and can even generate 73% more social shares.

Example: In this headline, CoSchedule includes a statistic to emphasize the magnitude of the benefits conveyed in the blog post.



CoSchedule effective headlines example




Need some help writing headlines that convert?
Download my 72 free blog post headline templates.
(They work for other types of headlines too!)

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5. Evidence headlines

These are effective headlines because they highlight that the content on a page or post is backed by some sort of evidence. This makes the content seem more accurate and reliable and, therefore, more attractive to audiences.

Example: This Inc.com headline appeals to science to establish credibility for the content in the post.



Inc effective headlines example


6. Problem & solution headlines

These headlines can be a bit tricky to craft because in just a few words, you have to identify a problem and hint at a solution. But if you can pull them off, they can be incredibly effective headlines. After all, they not only validate a key problem your audience has but also promises some sort of fix for it.

Related: 5 blog post headline mistakes you need to stop making

Example: In this headline, Melyssa presents a problem and then hints at a solution to convey the benefits of reading the rest of the headline.


Melyssa Griffin effective headlines example


7. Personal experience headlines

One of the best ways to really connect with your audience is to share a personal experience with them. When you do this, you’ll probably want to use a personal experience headline for your copy or content. These headlines are effective because they not only promise information that your audience can learn from but also humanize your brand.

Example: Amy Porterfield appeals to her personal experiences in this email headline.



Amy Porterfield effective headlines example


8. Teaser headlines

Teaser headlines hint at something interesting or exciting without giving away all of the details on a topic. These are effective headlines because they appeal to your audience’s sense of curiosity and encourage them to keep reading or click through.

When crafting these headlines, make sure that your headlines match your body copy or content. And be sure to steer clear of the click bait zone.

Example: In this headline, Jenna Kutcher hints at the downsides of something that most people consider a luxury: being able to work from home.


Jenna Kutcher effective headlines example


9. Controversial headlines

These headlines hint at a controversial topic or position (e.g., why Facebook has been dead for years). They can be effective headlines because people find them to be counterintuitive. This can persuade your audience to read the rest of your copy or content to find out just what your controversial headline is all about.

Example: In a world where entrepreneurship seems to be all about working yourself to the bone to achieve your dreams, this email headline from Elizabeth McKenzie stands out.



Elizabeth McKenzie effective headlines example


Take these effective headlines for a spin

Because there’s so much riding on a headline, it can feel really stressful when you have to write one. But the good news is that when it comes to crafting headlines, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, focus on testing these 9 types of effective headlines with your audience. They’ll help you capture your audience’s attention so you can get more people to buy, subscribe, and sign up.




Need some help writing headlines that convert?
Download my 72 free blog post headline templates.
(They work for other types of headlines too!)

Send me the free templates







9 effective headlines that attract customers & subscribers + 72 free headline templates

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