An example to show that headline possibilities are endless

6 replies
You may or may not have heard of this, but recently a cat made the news in a big way.

I'm talking about the most badass cat alive.

If you haven't seen the video, you should just for sheer entertainment value. It's made cat-haters into cat-respecters.

In essence, a neighborhood dog attacks a small boy and drags him off his bike. The cat barrels head-first into the dog and chases it away, saving the day.

What I found most interesting was the sheer variety of headlines telling the same story, and how people I know either had or hadn't viewed the video based on the headline alone.

Here are a few examples:
Man's best friend; dog. Boy's best friend;cat.

Dog attacks boy, cat attacks dog

Watch This Fearless Cat Save a Boy From a Vicious Dog Attack

SEE IT: Cat saves boy from vicious dog attack outside California home

With a quick Google search, you can turn up tons more.

Point being, are you really telling the story in the best way possible? Or are you trying to be clever? Or are you just stating the facts? Depending on which you choose, you may never get your stuff seen, even if it's awesome.

And I don't care who you are, that cat is ******* awesome.
#endless #headline #possibilities #show
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Excellent point Angie... the relentless pursuit of maximum conversions.

    I've seen a lot of Adwords campaigns over the years, and the marketers who win the Adwords game simply do not rest. They keep testing and testing and testing...

    ... and then they test some more.

    And that's with a 25-character headline limit.

    The sales letter headline possibilities are almost endless.

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  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

    I'm talking about the most badass cat alive.
    Even heroes fall.
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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    • Profile picture of the author NickN
      I've noticed a recent trend of headlines (especially in my Facebook feed) that go like this:

      "How these 15 kids freaked out their babysitters is insane. #4 will haunt my dreams forever."

      "What these women endure is almost unfathomable. But wait till you see it... OMG."

      "Here are 33 cheap but brilliant ways you can keep your kids busy. I wanna do #15!"

      "She had no idea what was coming... and now I'm crying like a baby watching her reaction."

      These types of headlines are EVERYWHERE at the moment. They're starting to annoy me because of the similar structure. Though I admit I've clicked on a fair share of them because they often arouse my curiosity.

      I've started to wonder if the techniques applied in these headlines could be used to create effective sales-copy headlines.

      It's pretty simple:

      1. Directly reference the subject of the story ("These women/these kids/Here are the 33 ways...").

      2. Then tease something specific within the story to arouse curiosity ("I wanna do #15!").

      3. Throw in some hyperbole ("I'm crying like a baby"/ "unfathomable") and personal pronouns like I and you

      4. Profit.


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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee

    I've noticed those everywhere too. I had a similar reaction - annoyance, then surprise with myself because I still found myself clicking. LOL I guess it's a case of being frustrated when you realize a tactic has worked on you.

    Good lesson there, too. Should I focus more on being annoyed with the formula, or seeing how it may or may not work for my business? It may just be ubiquitous now because it's working.

    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

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  • Profile picture of the author danr62
    Patt Flynn of SPI did a post on this headline structure. You can read about it here:

    5 “Five-Minute or Less” Blogging Tips That Yield Big Results. I’m Using Tip #1 in This Title.
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  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    It is amazing how fast UpWorthy and ViralNova, as examples, grew so fast on Facebook, to the point that Facebook changed their algos to filter them down.

    UpWorthy says yeah, we use these emotional headlines, but the actual stories ARE truly inspiring.
    The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You : The New Yorker

    But a closer look shows most of "their" stories are just YouTube videos they found. It's a great lesson in repositioning and the power of a great headline and story.

    Just the other day I was watching a video some regular YouTuber had re-published. (I still don't know how people get away with just reposting the exact same video). He said he was reposting with a different title because the thought the video was good and deserved more views. Sure enough, his title garnered hundreds of thousands of views while the original languished.
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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