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#59: How to Create a Killer Sales Page Headline

May 21, 2015

Listen on…

One of the business guides I return to again and again is the book Great Leads. This book tells you everything you need to understand about communicating with your audience in a way that cultivates the relationship and results in increasing sales.

No matter how many times I've read this book, I'm always blown away by the statistic they open with:

“80% of emotional impact will be determined by the first 20% of the copy.”

Did you know that? Because I sure didn’t!

The first few hundred words of your copy are known as “the lead.” And if those first hundred words are the entry way to a sale, your headline is the front door that every client has to walk through, in order to get to your product.

Of course, what you really want is for them to be stampeding through!

To get this, you need a killer headline for your sales page.

Four Essentials of a Killer Headline

#1:  The Rule of One

Readers don’t want to hear everything you know about a topic. Instead, they are looking for just a single, useful suggestion. Something they can take action on and see results.

In advertising firms, they refer to this as the Rule of One–focusing on one powerful emotion within your reader.

Too many ideas sends the reader’s mind in too many directions. You can use any number of different stories, predictions, statements or promises, but they all have to support that one Big Idea that your reader will grasp immediately.

Here are a few classic examples of headlines that use the Rule of One:

  • “Is the Life of a Child Worth $1 to You?”
  • “When Doctors Feel Rotten, This is What They Do”
  • “How I Improved My Memory in One Evening”

When you stick with this Rule of One, it makes the copy stronger AND it makes writing the rest of the sales letter easier.


Get the Free Guide: “Quick Guide To Writing A Killer Sales Page Headline”


#2: You need to provoke emotion.

Strange but true fact: people respond to emotion before they respond to reason.

So you need to grab your readers' attention by appealing to their current emotions. Once you have their emotional attention, they'll give you their intellectual attention so that you can convince him with all the great reasons to become your client.

Here are some examples:

  • “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” This one appeals to the emotion of fear–nobody wants to be helpless in this situation!
  • “Do you make these mistakes in English?” This headline appeals to the emotion of insecurity–that you might be making a mistake and everyone knows it but you.

#3: Determine Which Lead to Use

Any advertising or marketing offer can be categorized as one of these six major types. The trick is to determine which type of lead is the best setting for your Big Idea.

The Offer Lead

  • “I Guarantee That You Will Shoot Your Lowest Score Ever on Your Next Round of Golf!”
  • “Don't Pay One Penny Until This Course Turns Your Mind Into A Mental Magnet” 

The Promise Lead

  • “A Hollywood Smile in 3 Days”
  • “Build Your Memory in 4 Short Weeks”
  • “Grow $500 into $4.8 Million”

The Problem-Solution Lead

  • “Do You Have a Secret Fear of Losing Your Job?”
  • “Don’t Put a Cold in Your Pocket”
  • “Feel Stronger Fast”

The Big Secret Lead

  • “The Strategy That Turns Every $1 Into $50”
  • “The Only Investment Legally Obligated to Pay You 181% Gains”
  • “An easier, more foolproof way to garden — anywhere”

The Proclamation Lead

  • “Warning: Your PDR is Obsolete” (I don’t even know what a PDR is, do you? But I definitely don’t want mine to be obsolete!)
  • “Why Most 20th Century Medicine Will Soon Become Extinct”

The Story Lead

  • “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano…But When I Started to Play!”
  • “15 Rivers to Cross … and only 7 bridges Here’s how we were able to bring you … THE GRANADA”
  • “I’m writing to you from our shelter tonight…”

All these leads are super fun to play with. If you like getting creative, you’re going to love experimenting with all these.

Get more info on these lead types, including what type of audience responds best to each one–listen to the full episode on iTunes.  

#4 Determine Your Reader's Awareness Level

Finally, to determine the most effective lead for your sales page, you need to know what your target market already knows about:.

  • Who you are
  • Your product
  • The research behind your product 
  • Their own problem
  • The possible solutions

The awareness of your target market can be divided up into 5 different levels of awareness, from completely unaware to well-informed and already raving about your brand.

Now here's where it gets fun: each awareness level fits best with a certain kind of lead. Once again, knowing your audience really well is the key to communicating your offer in a way they can't resist!

Want to learn how to practically put this all together? Click below to get our free guide.


Get the Free Guide: “Quick Guide To Writing A Killer Sales Page Headline”


Creating a Gateway for Your Ideal Customer

As you might remember from earlier episodes, there are a few different ways to determine your target market's awareness level. Go back and listen to Episodes 55 and 56 if you need a refresher.

Results are not guaranteed. Please see earnings disclaimer for more detail.

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