Here is a collection of tips for writing good headlines:

“Cashvertising” by Drew Eric Whitman is a virtual blueprint for persuading the consumer mind.  It’s fast, fun, and a must-read for businesses in all industries.”  (Review by Roger Dawson, author of  ‘Secrets Of Power Negotiating’.)

Here is Whitman’s list of The Life-Force 8:

Human beings are biologically programmed with the following eight desires to which you should appeal:

  1. Survival, enjoyment of lfe, life extension.
  2. Enjoyment of food and beverages.
  3. Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.
  4. Sexual companionship.
  5. Comfortable living conditions.
  6. To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses.
  7. Care and protection of loved ones.
  8. Social approval.

And here is his list of The Nine Learned (Secondary) Wants:

  1. To be informed.
  2. Curiosity.
  3. Cleanliness of body and surronundings.
  4. Efficiency.
  5. Convenience.
  6. Dependability/Quality.
  7. Expression of beauty and style.
  8. Economy/Profit
  9. Bargains.

We got this advice from our friend Arlene, who has been successful in advertising (and jingle writing!) for years.

Offer a promise, benefit, or reward that reflects a want, need, or desire of your target market.

An ad should contain:

  1. An attention grabber.
  2. A benefit, promise or reward.
  3. A call to action.


  1. Hey!
  2. Wanna Lose Weight Easily?
  3. Click here.

Here is an excellent short article from The Urbach Letter called “Are Headlines Important?” It contains great advice from Maxwell Sackheim, the inventor of the book-of-the-month-club, and David Ogilvy, one of the greatest ad men ever.  Sackheim says, “The slickest writing, the finest paper, printing and artwork can’t make a good idea out of a bad one or an attractive offer out of a poor one.”  Ogilvy tells us, “Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy of your advertisement. It may be the only chance you get to make a statement.”

Here are lists of emotional words, hypnotic words, and Great Headlines.

Jay Abraham’s list of The 100 Greatest Headlines Ever Written

Ad Age’s list of The Top 100 Advertising Campaigns of The Century.

Once you have written your headline, you can use the Headline Analyzer at the Advanced Marketing Institute. The Analyzer rates your headline for empathetic, intellectual, and spiritual impact.  Aim for 80% or better!

Happy Headlines!

Bob and Anna Bassett
Skype bobbassett

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