Headline Shortcuts (Part IX)

The Success Margin

Monday, September 15, 2008


By now, hopefully, you are absolutely convinced that the headline by far is the most important element in your copy.

Once you come up with a great headline, the rest of the copy is relatively easy. You simply expand upon and prove the headline promise

As a long-suffering reader, you will recall I’ve written ad nauseam that without a powerful headline your copy will simply not work at all.

Today I’ll discuss the headline formula I use the most. Why? Because of its unparalleled and successful track record.

I call this formula:

How To (Blank)

Here are some examples of successful headlines:

* * * * * * * * * *

How to Solve All Your Money Problems Forever!

* * * * * * * * * *

How to Make $87,000 Per Year as a Magazine Writer!

* * * * * * * * * *

How to Easily Get All the Credit You Could Ever Want!

* * * * * * * * * *

How to Increase Your Profit in Any Economic Climate

* * * * * * * * *

How to Triple Sales to Your Existing Customers

* * * * * * * * *

How to Fight Cancer and Win

* * * * * * * * *

How to Form Your Own Corporation Without a Lawyer for Under $75

* * * * * * * * *

You may recognize the last three headlines above, which serve as ad headlines as well as book titles.

Please note: A book title is really the headline for a book. Unless a book title is at least as good
as a headline in an ad, the book will almost always be a dismal failure.

One of the reasons that 95% of the time books do not even sell out their first printing is most book
titles are completely ineffective.

Indeed I have turned several failed books into best sellers just by changing the title. This includes two
of my own.

According to Books in Print, right now there are over 7,000 book titles in America that start off with
the words “How To.” Reason? You guessed it. They work!

Nothing engages and involves the reader as well as the words “How To.”

The “How To” fill-in-the-blank formula is amazingly simple. And it will get you on your way to writing fantastic headlines.

The “How To” headline formula is this: How To (Get, Have, Acquire, Own, Profit From, etc.) the (Biggest
Benefit Your Product Delivers)

Just take any or all of the samples I’ve provided and adapt them for your own use.

Fill in the blanks with appropriate descriptions, expressions, action words or benefits that apply to

Once you taste success with this amazing headline formula, please share it with me and your fellow
subscribers. You will also be unleashing the incredible power of the Law of Reciprocity in your life.

Your correspondent,

Ted Nicholas