Headline Shortcuts (Part III)

The Success Margin

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008


I think of a headline as an ad for an ad. As a marketer, you should too. And be aware of the following truth.

“On average five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.”

Who said this? The late David Ogilvy, world- famous founder of the ad agency Ogilvy & Mather and author of the best-seller “Confessions of an Advertising Man.”

I call today’s headline shortcut Ways To/Reasons Why.

Here are some headline examples which illustrate this powerful and underused technique.


Seven Reasons Why Information Publishing is Today’s Best Business Opportunity


11 Secrets I Wasn’t Taught in School That Have Put Millions in My Bank Account


Ten Ways to Survive and Prosper During the Current Recession


Six Ways to Beat the Coming Tax Increase


13 Inside Secrets to Getting the Best Deal On Your Next Automobile Car Dealers Do Not Want You to Know


101 Little-Known Ways to Add Perceived Value to Your Home So it Sells Fast For at Least 98.5 Percent of the Full Asking Price!


17 Ways to Make More Money From Home With Your Own Internet Business


There are Three Good Reasons an Internet Offer Succeeds… And You Already Know Two of Them–The Third Reason May Be The Final Piece of the Puzzle That Makes Your Next Offer Click

The main reason this wonderful technique works so well rests on a very simple principle that is a powerful motivator for all of us.


Think about your own experience as a consumer. When you see an ad that lists a number of ways to do something beneficial to you, can you resist checking it out?

I cannot. I’m always intrigued. I want to know the “ways.” Or “secrets.” Or “reasons.” And once into the copy, if it’s good, I often order.

Do you relate to this?

My experience has proven to me most consumers feel the same way.

The formula for the technique Ways To/Reasons Why is very simple. Here it is:

(Specific number) ways to dramatize (the big benefit)

I look forward to seeing your highly charged headlines and, as always, hearing about your greater success.

Since the headline shortcut series began, so many Success Margin subscribers have sent in beautiful headlines. I’m considering a contest for the best ones.

Your correspondent,

Ted Nicholas