10 Emotion-Based Headlines that Work

10 Emotion-Based Headlines that Work

Reader Comments (53)

  1. You told me I’d like today’s post and you were right- this is always something I have trouble with: I can turn features into benefits, but often, the copy is long-winded and not paired down enough.

    Also, it’s easy for me to spell the benefit out instead of letting it linger there for the audience to “get” on their own

    Your headlines target these emotional needs and desires without having to dumb it down. Thanks for the direction.

    Lawton Chiles
    Chiles Advertising

  2. Very clever, Sonia. Thanks for the great tips.

    A while back I posted a headline called ‘Why We Need YOU To Create’. The purpose, I suppose, was to make my readers feel special – I wanted them to realize how their unique style is important to the rest of us.

  3. These are quite concise, yet intriguing. I think they probably work best for a shorter copy sales letter or article. Having a longer headline that offers even more benefits may convince more people to spend their time reading it.

  4. I love the word “dork”. How many words are there that combine affection with a put-down? And, in case you care, I don’t think you are a dork. I truly like your writing and learn from your posts. Keep up the great work.

  5. @Neil, or you could also go with a header & subhead for a longer piece. Good point that sometimes you need a little space to get the full beneficial goodies across.

    @Phyllis, I love “dork” too. It has that nice punch-your-pal-in-the-arm feel. Thanks so much for such nice words, I am very glad you’re enjoying my work.

  6. I saw your message on Twitter and thought I’d check it out. These are great! I’ll be sure to Stumble this.

    I appreciate your work – I quoted you a couple of times in my recent white paper about writing in a web 2.0 world (yes, it’s as dorky as it sounds).

    Have a great weekend!

  7. It makes me think I should start with the emotional benefit first and then work backward to the headline. I haven’t done that before although I typically write the headline after the blog post.

    Good idea!

  8. Sonia,

    Great ideas. I’m seeing a matrix where these emotions are paired with the 5 senses instantly creating 65 headline possibilities right at one’s finger-tips.

    Hmmm… Looks like I’ve got some work to do this weekend…

    Thanks for posting this.


  9. These are great emotional headlines to draw a reader into what you have to say.

    Not mentioned here is the parallel in the advertising world; next time you watch TV or listen to the radio, pay attention to the commercials which undoubtedly passed a series of consumer tests to similarly draw you in to hopefully buy a product.

    The irony of this entire page is directly underneath I am staring at a Google ad with the headline, “How to Write Killer Ads.”

  10. Hi Sonia – Thanks for this great list. Really very informative. If I can add in 1 more to this list which is a sure shot success more often than not:

    What you need to do to (make money, be successful, get women easily, etc.).

    This headline usually captures instant reader attention and also builds certain credibility by portraying the blogger as an expert in something. Again, this may at times fit into the “Emotional Headings” section or otherwise.

    Just my to cents!

  11. Hi Sonia! You don’t know me, but want to let you know this is a FANTASTIC and extremely useful post! Every week I’m looking for new ideas for ‘subject lines’ for enewsletters to our sales reps. Of all the articles I’ve read about writing headlines, I believe this one is the one I’ll be coming back to and learning from through shameless adaptation. Thank you for writing this. What can I do for YOU?

    Emmon Scott
    Arden Companies

  12. Great in sight on headlines. I like the fact that it is as simple as taking one or two good points in your articles.

    I have never been good at writing headlines. I will take your advice, take my time, and certainly get better at it.

  13. Hi Kyledeb: You say you feel like you SHOULDN’T read what’s under these headlines — and I’m kind of curious about why you feel you shouldn’t. Do you mean you feel these headlines are implying content you feel you shouldn’t read on the job, or for ethical reasons? Something else?

  14. As I read down the list of titles, I immediately felt the emotional pull, and noticed similar titles used on other blogs, which got my attention almost immediately.

  15. very valuable new way to look at creating headlines. we constantly fret over our newsletter headlines. sometimes they take longer to write than the body content.

  16. OK… it’s official. I shamelessly stole one of these great headlines today as the subject line for an email blast to chefs/cooks I want to have take a product survey.

    The headline I pilfered was #5 — I just substituted Founders Circle Membership with the name of my testing program! I tried to edit and/or improve on it but it was too good to change.

    Thanks from a now addicted Headline Bandit!

    “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a marvelous friendship” (with this post)

  17. @Emmon, that’s what I like to hear! Glad you made good use of it. 🙂

    @oddpodz, the power of a great headline is worth the sweat. I sympathize–I am not a natural headline person myself, they take some brain damage on my part.

  18. Let’s take this beyond headlines! These are also great for lecture/webinar titles and tweets that link to other content.

    Thanks for sharing them and emphasizing the need for expressing an emotional benefit.

  19. I have to beg my clients and readers alike to write posts for their blogs, even though they know what content will do for their businesses without my input.

    So I will try some variations of these to get them to take action on their own. Of course…if any of you fine people have any ideas on how to get the blinders off…I am all ears!

  20. I know this is an OLD post, but I recently “discovered” copyblogger and I absolutely live it! I am learning a lot here!

    Thanks Sonia for the sample headlines and the respective emotional benefits. Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with “catchy” headlines. I will certainly refer to them for ideas and inspiration!

    For any copy to succeed, connecting with the reader is critical. Once you get that connection with a reader on an emotional level, it becomes easy to sell them whatever you are selling or to ge them to subscribe to whatever idea that you are supporting.

  21. Sonia, these are awesome headlines. I’ve been in search of some catchy headlines to make use of a couple of “outrageous” marketing ideas. I see some here that I can modify to fit my needs. Never really thought so much about the emotional aspect of the headline, but it makes a lot of sense.

    Great job!
    Margo Thomas

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