When In Doubt, Use This “Old Faithful” Template

I’ve seen a lot of headlines lately that are tryin’ real hard to imitate successful headlines. But they’re
not cutting it. Often they pick a successful headline Template and insert their product’s details. Which is a
great idea…

…but you need to make sure you understand the headline Template first.

Take this great headline…


“They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano, But When I Started To Play!”

This is a very successful headline from John Caples. (If you haven’t already, get his book “Tested
Advertising Secrets.” It’s incredible.) 

I’ve seen people take this strategic use of words and turn it into something that means nothing…

“They Laughed When I Told Them The Name Of My Product, But When They Started Making $100 A Day Using It!”

This strips the headline of all it’s meaning. The original headline presents a common and nervous
situation… stage fright. And overcoming it with an “I’ll show them!” attitude. There’s a lot of emotion in
that headline!

Does any of that fit into the headline that copied it? No!

Are people ever afraid of revealing their product name? Not really, probably excited.

That’s just another example of not understanding the original headline. 

If you’re not sure why a famous headline is successful. it’s a good idea not to use it. Instead, go with old
faithful. “How To…” 

A great way to write a “How To” headline is to start with… “My product shows you…” and then finish the sentence. It’ll often come out like…

“My Product Shows You How To Generate $100 In One Day.”

Then take out the “My Product Shows You…” part.

“How To Generate $100 In One Day.”

If I knew your product I could get more specific with the headline, which would make it even more powerful. A simple headline like this is much more effective than trying to copy a more complex successful headline from the past.

This entry was posted in Copywriting Tips. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.