Drop Everything And Read This Now

by max5ty
22 replies
There's a ton of ideas on how to write a headline.

All the ideas can be good. It takes experience to know when to use what method for your headline.

A headline can take your copy from zero to hero...it can make or break a piece you're advertising.

So, here's a method you can use if you're stuck...or unsure...or need an idea that maybe you haven't tried.

This method will work every time. It may not always be the only method that would work. But it will work.

It's called the 4 U's:

Urgent, Ultra-Specific, Useful, and Unique

The more of the 4 U's you can put in your headline, the better.

A. Does your headline have urgency? "You need to read this now..."

B. Is your headline ultra-specific? "Back Pain Sufferers..."

C. Is your headline useful? "Your back pain gone in 3 minutes..."

D. Is your headline unique? "Bob, a circus performer..."

So, when you write a headline, look for the 4 U's. The more you have the better.

No, I didn't invent this.

Yes, I think it works!
#drop #read
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  • Profile picture of the author alissonborges
    Can you give some examples?
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  • Profile picture of the author onlineworker11
    Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

    There's a ton of ideas on how to write a headline.

    All the ideas can be good. It takes experience to know when to use what method for your headline.

    A headline can take your copy from zero to hero...it can make or break a piece you're advertising.

    So, here's a method you can use if you're stuck...or unsure...or need an idea that maybe you haven't tried.

    This method will work every time. It may not always be the only method that would work. But it will work.

    It's called the 4 U's:

    Urgent, Ultra-Specific, Useful, and Unique

    The more of the 4 U's you can put in your headline, the better.

    A. Does your headline have urgency? "You need to read this now..."

    B. Is your headline ultra-specific? "Back Pain Sufferers..."

    C. Is your headline useful? "Your back pain gone in 3 minutes..."

    D. Is your headline unique? "Bob, a circus performer..."

    So, when you write a headline, look for the 4 U's. The more you have the better.

    No, I didn't invent this.

    Yes, I think it works!
    Great tips. Another advice is to make the subject line sound like the email comes from a friend and not a business. I mean it should be written in a way that sounds like how a regular person would talk, if that makes sense. It also important to remember not to use a subjectline that does not have anything to do what you are sharing in the main ad copy of the email.
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Originally Posted by max5ty View Post


    The more of the 4 U's you can put in your headline, the better.

    A. "You need to read this now..."

    B. I "Back Pain Sufferers..."

    C. "Your back pain gone in 3 minutes..."

    D. "Bob, a circus performer..."
    Originally Posted by alissonborges View Post

    Can you give some examples?
    He gave you examples, Look again at what is quoted.
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  • Profile picture of the author DougBarger
    Great tips, Max5ty.

    I remember Bob Bly teaching this around 15 years ago.

    I believe he referred to it as the 4Us checklist and advised you run every line of copy through it (not just headlines).

    Your use of the 4Us to create this thread title ("threadline") is a good example of the 4Us effectiveness because I clicked on it to open the thread as soon as I read it. It stopped me in my tracks.
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by DougBarger View Post

      Great tips, Max5ty.

      I remember Bob Bly teaching this around 15 years ago.

      I believe he referred to it as the 4Us checklist and advised you run every line of copy through it (not just headlines).

      Your use of the 4Us to create this thread title ("threadline") is a good example of the 4Us effectiveness because I clicked on it to open the thread as soon as I read it. It stopped me in my tracks.
      Thank you for that.

      Interesting about running every line of copy through it.

      Yes, I did an urgent headline. It didn't really add any of the other 4 U's because of where I was posting at.
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  • Profile picture of the author ForestyForest
    Most online newspapers employ someone to write headlines. Often though the headline doesn't quite match the article - clickbait. Presumably, it's considered more important to get readers to the article, than to fulfil the promise of the headline. Does using that tactic work for or damage a brand?
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by ForestyForest View Post

      Most online newspapers employ someone to write headlines. Often though the headline doesn't quite match the article - clickbait. Presumably, it's considered more important to get readers to the article, than to fulfil the promise of the headline. Does using that tactic work for or damage a brand?
      I love good newspaper headlines and some magazine headlines.

      It's clickbait if the writer can't tie the headline in with what they're writing about.

      And yes, I think if a brand uses clickbait headlines it hurts their reputation.

      Curiosity headlines are another thing. They work great...as long as they can be tied in with what is being written about.



      Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post


      So I will pull up my panties now an' go check my pizza ain't toast.
      Just thinking out loud here...you may have taken the "Drop everything" the wrong way...but then again headlines are powerful things
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      • Profile picture of the author Princess Balestra
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        Just thinking out loud here...you may have taken the "Drop everything" the wrong way...but then again headlines are powerful things

        Defined lines licked ovah heads
        diminish all othah insteads is all I got.
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  • Profile picture of the author Princess Balestra
    May I proffer Undressed?

    Touchgasmal authenticity is always a wannable lure.

    Trooth you can get your hands on.

    No artifice.

    It is abominable to be this way bcs we prefer always to shy out on illusion.

    Which is why I said to my pal Bob, "quit bendin' ovah all stoopid jus' to please nowan an' mebbe smile once in a frickin' while."

    He was unrelentin' in his love for Moi aftah that -- an' now I gotta bolt my apartment door.

    The moral of this story?

    Showin' a little cleavage maxes out the believage.

    (For guys lookin' in on this wisdom, try hangin' summa that excess *flesh* you gaht ovah your belt next time you moseyin' out).

    So you gotta show promise of reveal.

    That is the drop.

    Neat headline Maxo.

    So I will pull up my panties now an' go check my pizza ain't toast.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Dude, let me see copy you've written in the real world.

    I've seen you here for years now... and never seen one campaign of yours.

    You give tons of advice.... but there's literally no reason to read or believe.

    Let's see some of your shit.

    Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

    There's a ton of ideas on how to write a headline.

    All the ideas can be good. It takes experience to know when to use what method for your headline.

    A headline can take your copy from zero to hero...it can make or break a piece you're advertising.

    So, here's a method you can use if you're stuck...or unsure...or need an idea that maybe you haven't tried.

    This method will work every time. It may not always be the only method that would work. But it will work.

    It's called the 4 U's:

    Urgent, Ultra-Specific, Useful, and Unique

    The more of the 4 U's you can put in your headline, the better.

    A. Does your headline have urgency? "You need to read this now..."

    B. Is your headline ultra-specific? "Back Pain Sufferers..."

    C. Is your headline useful? "Your back pain gone in 3 minutes..."

    D. Is your headline unique? "Bob, a circus performer..."

    So, when you write a headline, look for the 4 U's. The more you have the better.

    No, I didn't invent this.

    Yes, I think it works!
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

      Dude, let me see copy you've written in the real world.

      I've seen you here for years now... and never seen one campaign of yours.

      You give tons of advice.... but there's literally no reason to read or believe.

      Let's see some of your shit.
      Thank you for your comment.

      If it's hard for you to believe about the 4 U's after so many copywriters have talked about it...I'm not sure what else to say.

      Yes, I've been on here for years, which obviously means I have a deep passion for copywriting. I've never sold anything or asked anyone to buy anything on here. You have and I don't have anything against that...I wish you the best.

      Why my posts would affect you so much is amazing. Probably only shows my extraordinary ability at marketing also.

      I don't need to list all my past clients or all the millions I've made them.

      All I ask is that everyone takes what I say and considers for themselves whether it is an idea worth using or not.

      I enjoy keeping my private life private, while at the same time being able to discuss copywriting issues. I don't need any more money and I don't need a following.

      If you need someone to worship, there's plenty of gurus online that you can look up. I don't see any of them posting on here...at least not by their names because when they do it changes the whole laid back idea of open discussions.

      Can't remember how many times you've had issues with my posts, but I'd only suggest you read them and decide for yourself if the advice is usable or not.

      I wish you all the best in whatever you're pursuing. I've read all your posts and never once looked to see how much you were making or who you were making it for to decide if your advice was good or not...as a matter of fact, I've never cared how much anyone else was making or who they made it for after I read their comments.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to offer your feedback.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThePromotionalGuy
    Hellor Max5ty,

    Talk about old-school copywriting training.

    The first time I learned about the 4 U's was over 20 years ago.

    That was about the time I stumbled onto The Rule of 1.

    Thanks for the refresher.

    Edit: I just found an article dating back to June 2001 over on AWAI's website that talks about this very subject:

    A Review of the 4 U's

    Chinchilla

    Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

    There's a ton of ideas on how to write a headline.

    All the ideas can be good. It takes experience to know when to use what method for your headline.

    A headline can take your copy from zero to hero...it can make or break a piece you're advertising.

    So, here's a method you can use if you're stuck...or unsure...or need an idea that maybe you haven't tried.

    This method will work every time. It may not always be the only method that would work. But it will work.

    It's called the 4 U's:

    Urgent, Ultra-Specific, Useful, and Unique

    The more of the 4 U's you can put in your headline, the better.

    A. Does your headline have urgency? "You need to read this now..."

    B. Is your headline ultra-specific? "Back Pain Sufferers..."

    C. Is your headline useful? "Your back pain gone in 3 minutes..."

    D. Is your headline unique? "Bob, a circus performer..."

    So, when you write a headline, look for the 4 U's. The more you have the better.

    No, I didn't invent this.

    Yes, I think it works!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11664341].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author aaronrogers034
    That's is an interesting technique to start copywriting. Thanks for the update
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  • Profile picture of the author Princess Balestra
    Let's Play

    Clarify with Johnny

    c/o Today's Self-Bumping Post
    so shocksy a jolt
    you may actshwlly FEEL IT


    Little known fact:

    When Walt Whitman was sellin' off his pants to devoted maidens in ordah to buy paper an' pen (plus the occasional dinkily worn hat) for his Way Sensayshoowanaaahl Poetic Gahd upgrade, he was asked how he made his way in life so successful as a bum.

    "Quotation is never aloner", he said (an' records show that at this very moment he was ironin' summa his pants -- one leg at a time, for upwards of twenny minutes, in tandem with sum random guy he'd hired -- while the reportah quotin' what he was sayin' quoted him all wrong), "than when presented as a contextless boner."

    Natchrlly this gem nevah made Leaves of Grass.

    Aftah all, who would wannit?
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    • Profile picture of the author max5ty
      Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post

      Let's Play

      Clarify with Johnny

      c/o Today's Self-Bumping Post
      so shocksy a jolt
      you may actshwlly FEEL IT


      Little known fact:

      When Walt Whitman was sellin' off his pants to devoted maidens in ordah to buy paper an' pen (plus the occasional dinkily worn hat) for his Way Sensayshoowanaaahl Poetic Gahd upgrade, he was asked how he made his way in life so successful as a bum.

      "Quotation is never aloner", he said (an' records show that at this very moment he was ironin' summa his pants -- one leg at a time, for upwards of twenny minutes, in tandem with sum random guy he'd hired -- while the reportah quotin' what he was sayin' quoted him all wrong), "than when presented as a contextless boner."

      Natchrlly this gem nevah made Leaves of Grass.

      Aftah all, who would wannit?
      I read your post probably at least 15 times trying to figure out what you were trying to say here...

      it eludes me.

      I have no clue.

      Maybe (probably) it's me.

      I'm sure there's a deep meaning here...
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      • Profile picture of the author Princess Balestra
        Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

        I read your post probably at least 15 times trying to figure out what you were trying to say here...

        it eludes me.

        I have no clue.

        Maybe (probably) it's me.

        I'm sure there's a deep meaning here...
        It is naht (prolly) you; it is (mebbe) evrywan.

        I am speshly lookin' at quotes an' memes rn an' seein' how ancient wisdom compares to noofound glitzo in terms of transmissibility.

        Always, context is key.

        One way to figure this is how the planet's most benevolent wisdom can be re-purposed so as to enconsequencialize the worst kinda stuff.

        Natchrlly, Whitman nevah said nuthin' like I said ... but less'n you a Whitman watcher, he coulda ... if'n whatevah he nevah said had the right kinda authority whippin' its ass into acceptance.

        So what might the efficiency of clocks an' the skillin' up of the masses mean for nowan got a cloo 'bout fancy cars an' ivory tinklin' if'n these quotations survive into a fyootyoore don't actschwlly know what is gowin' on here?

        I guess that was my point -- salaciously catapulted into the erudite swamp of overeasy replication.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ndyama
    These tips are really cool and I definetely need to try them out on practice. So, I believe this technique was used in the name of the thread which made me tap on it. Anyway, sounds logical and effective.
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