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What We Talk About

In this episode, we’re breaking down what makes a good headline for your blog posts, social posts, sales pages, landing pages, and email subjects. You’re going to discover what you need to know BEFORE you write a single word, some mistakes to avoid, and even a quick & dirty formula for creating great headlines on the fly. 

  • (2:34) Why Headlines Matter
  • (7:14) What Makes a BAD Headline
  • (9:56) The Problem with Clickbait Headlines
  • (11:50) A Low Value Headline Example
  • (13:31) $50 Words (When a $5 Word Will Do)
  • (15:50) Using Everyday Speech
  • (17:44) 5 Types of Content Headlines You Can Use
  • (26:44) The One Job Your Sales Headline Has
  • (27:51) How To Create a Good Headline: Step 1
  • (29:51) Quick & Dirty Headline Formula
  • (35:11) Where to Get 6 More Headline Formulas
  • (35:59) The Subhead
  • (38:04) Long Headlines vs. Short Headlines
  • (47:33) The Cosmetics of Your Headline
  • (48:05) The One Word Alyson Writes Differently 99% of The Time

Headline Analyzer

30-Second Headline Generator – Use this to get 6 easy-to-use headline formulas that you can personalize to YOUR business in 30-seconds or less. Click below to grab yours now.

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Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:00
On today's episode, we're answering the question, Why do headlines matter? And how do you write a good one? The big question is this as entrepreneurs, coaches and business owners, how do we consistently sell our products, programs and services without making our customers feel like we're only in it for the almighty dollar? How do we serve the way we know we're meant to serve and still run a profitable business? How do we put good into the world while we put dollars into our pockets? How do we change the lives of our community while also bettering the life we

Jennie Wright 0:31
lead? It's not a zero sum game. It's not an either or scenario, it is possible to thrive while serving your clients to the best of your ability. This podcast will show you how. I'm Jennie Wright.

Alyson Lex 0:45
I'm Alyson Lex, and welcome to the System to THRIVE. If you've ever watched a video or fallen for one of those clickbait articles, or open a magazine cover from the grocery store, checkout line, or read an email because the subject line caught your attention, congratulations. Now you know what the job of a headline is, because you've seen it, do it. If you're writing your social media posts, emails, sales pages, blogs, if you're trying to grow a YouTube channel, or basically just share content and get your offers out into the world, you've probably used a headline, right? Absolutely. Headlines or headline?

Jennie Wright 1:28
Well, I've used them not well, until I met you. Now I used them when I say that they were crap. They were really bad. And it took until not trying to master and I still haven't mastered I'm better. But You are the supreme master.

Alyson Lex 1:48
I've had, I've had a lot of practice. Yeah,

Jennie Wright 1:50
you write them to me at one o'clock in the morning. And it freaks me the crap out. And they're awesome. And I'm like, What do you think about this, and you're like, changes word, Master, this is it. I'm like, oh my god. It's like, oh, something's come out. And it's the most amazing headline ever. And here's the best part. they convert. That's the big thing. So that's what we're talking about. today. We're talking about some incredible stuff with headlines. This is Allison's absolute forte, I am along for the ride today. I've got some stuff that I can share simply from the user perspective and the conversion and content perspective. But this is going to be a lot of Alison today. And we're really lucky because she's fantastic. So why do headlines matter? I am literally the poster child for why headlines matter. Because before I knew how to write one, my stuff was just marginally. Okay, right. So, you know, I was one of those people that would just dive into content without really providing that sort of top piece that hooked people that created that really good interest. headlines are the first thing that people see. You see it on a magazine, you see it at the top of you know, a post on LinkedIn or Facebook, you see it everywhere. headlines are that first thing there. They either grab your attention, or they don't. And if they've grabbed your attention, then you take that next step, right. And here's the fun part, usually only get one chance to get it right. People are only going to read your headline once they're not going to go back and go Hmm, the author probably meant to say this and could have said it in a better possible way. But I'm still interested in therefore shall still check out person's stuff. No, that's not how it works.

Alyson Lex 3:36
Like how the reader of your headline automatically became like a potential professor.

Unknown Speaker 3:42
Well, yeah, um, yeah, I

Jennie Wright 3:45
can definitely mimic protect pretentious professor.

Alyson Lex 3:49
I've had a few in

Jennie Wright 3:50
my time. I know I also I also was I am now a reformed pretentious English degree holder. There's a whole story there.

Alyson Lex 4:01
I am a reformed English major. I never graduated college, so no degree, but I was an English major. I was that that person? Yep. So you are absolutely right, you get one shot at grabbing attention. Okay. And here's the thing about headlines. And actually, anything that you're putting out there, the thing about anything that you're putting out there is that you are automatically competing with everything else out there. And just to put that in perspective, we receive between five and 14,000 marketing messages a day, between 5014 1000 marketing messages a day. Obviously, that's a pretty big range, but it depends on your media consumption and things like that. Sure, if you're camping in the woods with no signal, you're not going to receive any marketing messages. Was there's billboards, but if you consider everything from TV ads to billboards, to circulars in the mail to social media feeds, which they are, there's both sponsored content and organic content on different media feeds. You have YouTube, you have all of these different places have advertising on them. And we are bombarded. Okay, so creating a headline, whether it's for your content or your sales copy, and we'll break that down through this episode is vital if you want to get eyeballs on your stuff, and the discussion. So it is going to represent you and your business. It's going to make an impression. When you do a headline the right way. It's going to be specific. It's going to be unique. It's going to snag eyeballs. It's going to do all of those things. That's what we're here to help you do in this episode today.

Jennie Wright 6:06
Oh, yeah, cuz because if you if I can learn how to write a proper headline, you guys can do it too. Yeah, right. So and I'm coming from a background where I didn't have to. I've been in marketing since forever. But I wasn't in the marketing space where I had to use headlines, per se. And also when you come You know, there's a little bit of a corporate background in there too. And you don't really use headlines. But the funny thing is, my first exposure writing headlines was writing press releases.

Unknown Speaker 6:36
To try and

Jennie Wright 6:39
try and make a crappy situation not sound so crappy.

Alyson Lex 6:43
It's been Yes,

Jennie Wright 6:44
I definitely learned spin when it came to writing press releases that is for

Alyson Lex 6:50
darn sure. Well, and the skills that you use when putting spin on something, yeah, can be translated to headlines. Because you're picking out one specific piece of information that you want to share. And putting it in a way that's going to gather as much attention as possible.

Unknown Speaker 7:14

Jennie Wright 7:14
and there's good, and there's bad, right, so we're gonna, we're gonna dive into the dark, murky waters of bad headlines for a minute. And we're going to talk about them just to get this out of the way. Because when you're first if you're just getting into the online space right now, or you've been with us in the online space for several years now, which is great. But if you're brand spanking new, then writing a headline, your only examples that you've got that really stand out to you are some of the actually the dark murky water ones, because those are the ones that sometimes stay in your head that they're like little ear worms, and you remember them

Alyson Lex 7:49

Jennie Wright 7:51
Now, the good ones stick to but for some reason, you know, if you're on things like Reddit and imager, or you're reading you know, some pretty click Beatty stuff about speed buzz feed, right?

Unknown Speaker 8:05
Yep. TMZ

Jennie Wright 8:07
if you want to see some examples of some clickbait and if you guys don't know what clickbait is, go check it out the whole premise of clickbait is get the person to click open and read the story. So misleading headlines are huge, too. Let's talk about that for a second. That's when you get an email in your inbox that basically says, I almost died. You know, dot dot, dot and then you open the email and the bridge is like died of laughter Whoa, whoa. And you know what I mean? And it gets you to open the email those those are the ones that go seriously. You got me it's almost it's almost like Rick rolling Where? You know it is to me it's very Rick rolling it and if you guys yeah, Rick rolling is obviously check it out. I'm not gonna ruin the surprise. If you don't know what that is. Just go check it out. Because it's hilarious. But misleading is you know, sort of getting you to open up getting you to click on something and you're like, oh, man, I

Alyson Lex 9:03
fell for it. Seriously. false pretenses.

Jennie Wright 9:06
Yeah, under false pretense. Of course, Allison's gonna say better than me under false pretenses, right. And then there's click Beatty stuff so clickbait is you know, some of the stuff that you see on the sensational sort of newspaper rags that are at the cash register on what's the proper word for those those are tabloid Thank you tablets. So tabloids have a lot of click Beatty articles you know? When you see some These are my These are my favorites. You know, doctors hate her for this one thing. Find out more and you know, it's something silly.

Alyson Lex 9:42
Favorite are the like 17 places you never expected to see in your hometown. Number five hap gave me chills.

Jennie Wright 9:52
So click Beatty

Alyson Lex 9:56
and the thing was clickbait and I want to make sure that it's right Really important to mention is, you know, I have used click Beatty style headlines when I write my sales copy. But it's really important to follow up on what you're promising them they're going to discover. Yeah, I think the big thing with clickbait is, it's a high sensational, highly sensationalized headline, and not a lot of pay off. Yeah,

Jennie Wright 10:23
I agree. I agree which, what, which is one of the reasons why, you know, we want you to kind of avoid it now. I've seen you use it, or I've seen you use that style, but you definitely do follow up. You know, it's sort of the where's the beef, thing and zactly and you deliver on that a

Alyson Lex 10:40
lot of pop culture references in this episode

Jennie Wright 10:43
is awesome. And you know, we should put that in the show notes. Today's pop culture references are rickrolling.

Alyson Lex 10:53
Where's the beef? Where's the beef?

Jennie Wright 10:56
And if you are not, if you were, if you were born post 1986, you probably have no idea what that is. What if you were pre that you probably do. So there's misleading headlines, there's clickbait headlines. Now, there's also headlines that lack value. And this is another thing that drives marketers insane, but also can cause your ideal client, if they're seeing these things to turn away from you. Right? So the because the goal of the headline is to get people to interact and actually take action with you doing these types of headlines that we're talking about right now, these dark murky water ones, and those are the ones that are gonna cause people to go and not interested. Right, right. So if you're, if you're give us an example, Allison, with your awesome brain, what a headline is like that lacks value.

Alyson Lex 11:46
That is really putting me on the spot, okay?

When you have a headline that lacks value, it really means that you didn't bring a benefit into it. And we'll talk about this a little bit more as well, when we talk about sales headlines, but it would be something like if we were going to put a headline on this episode, write all about headlines. Yeah, there's Yeah, it doesn't tell me what to expect, doesn't tell me what I'm going to get out of it. It doesn't give me any kind of reason to participate in that content share, if

Jennie Wright 12:24
that makes sense. Boring. It is boring. And and that makes sense. Actually, there was somebody that a mutual friend of ours, created a Facebook

Unknown Speaker 12:33

Jennie Wright 12:34
recently, where they were trying to get people to show up for a training that they were going to be hosting. And the title of that training just said, in very blank terms, such and such and such and such, like, word and word, but there was no value in it. It was very just bland. Right? And I saw that and I was like, Okay, we got to spice this puppy up, because nobody's going to check it out. It's just you know, it was like it could have just said honestly, like meatloaf and ketchup like

Alyson Lex 13:04
that. I was thinking what can beans Why did we call it the food? Why? Okay. If you say like, you know, the, instead of all about headlines, you know, how to write killer headlines. There you go convert. I've got some benefits in there. I've told you what to expect from the content.

Jennie Wright 13:31
So here's one that I actually used to do, which was writing headlines that were over people's heads.

Alyson Lex 13:37
Mm hmm.

Jennie Wright 13:38
Okay, so this is where I pulled out, you know, and and insert the Unruh ruffling sound of my degree

Alyson Lex 13:47
back in the day. And you know, the visual,

Jennie Wright 13:50
right, right, this unfurling of this document, I easily wrote things that are over people's heads using $15 words when a $5 word will, you know, will do or going over people's heads using phrasing that isn't common. And you've caught me doing this even recently, because you actually change some wording that I did even recently, where I use like an uncommon word, and you're like, Nope, not doing it. And you like changed it mid, you know, mid writing, which is great, which is why I love Google Docs because we collaborate. And it's making sure that you're speaking in the language of your ideal client. Am I correct?

Alyson Lex 14:28
Yes. And this has been really difficult for me to I love words. I am a total word geek. I love the history of words. I think, you know, I have actually, when I graduated from high school, one of my favorite teachers gave me a gift and it was a thesaurus, which tells you when I graduated because the now exists but I still treasure it like I love words.

Jennie Wright 14:58
Writer literally Have a thesaurus in my background, if a guy's name and French dictionaries I have French dictionaries behind me.

Alyson Lex 15:07
And so for me to break the habit of using those big words, has it's it's been a multi year thing. I got that crash course when I worked at Glaser, Kennedy, because that was a big No, no. And it's really, how can I say this and still be interesting, but not be college level reading here, we really want to make sure that it speaks to a broad audience and lower that reading comprehension rate. It's not because we think our people are stupid. No, it's because we know they're overwhelmed.

Jennie Wright 15:50
Yeah. And we respond better to the language that we use in our everyday speech. We don't we don't wake up in the morning and here comes, you know, pompous professor, we don't wake up and go, you know, good Morrow, good, sir.

Alyson Lex 16:05
upon which today, blah, blah, blah. Like, I mean, I

Jennie Wright 16:08
could I could go off in a diatribe, there's work. But we don't talk like that to each other. We talk in normal words, a normal sentence structure. And, you know, normal sentence structure is short and choppy. And normal ways of talking are using, you know, common language. And if your headlines and speak above that, just for the sake of doing it, it's not going to convey to that larger audience. The only caveat is if you're writing a fricking scientific paper, then you can use all the wordy words you want to

Alyson Lex 16:40
write, because that's what it's for. And don't be afraid if you have specific industry jargon, to use it, because that'll connect with your people. But you have to make sure that any jargon you're using is easily understood by your target audience. Correct.

Jennie Wright 16:56
So to wrap up on hole over people's head portion of this, it just makes your audience trust you less, and there's the creates doubt it creates the feeling of what is this? And who are these people think they are? Or, you know, I don't want to have to figure out what they're trying to say. So I'm overseas, right. Right. So and then when it comes to, I want to switch over to talking a little bit about content headlines, which I definitely use a lot of, in what I do Alison's the absolute Master, when it comes to sales, and all these amazing things, I do have a bit of a stake in the ground when it comes to content writing, and a little bit of a stake in the ground here. And I'm very thankful that I've been able to sort of establish myself that way, and which is great. So when we talk about content headlines, we have to instead give them a compelling reason to read, whatever it is the article, the post. You know, we've been talking a lot about Allison and I offline about this thing called the authentic share. And we'll have an office an episode about what that is, at some point, I'm sure. But we've recently been using this technique called an authentic share to help our clients grow their reach prior to doing a launch. It's one of our strategies in the thrive sort of framework. And we want people to, you know, have a compelling reason to read the thing. And in our authentic share in the posts that our clients are creating for these things. That first line matters. Because it establishes and it's not even really a headline, it's a sentence, but it establishes the whole feel for the entire post. Do remember when on Facebook and all those, you know, Instagram, everything that it was like, hashtag vulnerable share was like the thing that was in the first line. Yes. Right. So that is stat. Like that was a technically I mean, you could almost say that's like a headline it was it was establishing what they were about to read. And based on that readers would be like, yeah, okay, I want to I want to hear what this person's momentarily sharing or not. Right, right. And, and it breaks down into something further, which we're going to talk about a lot about today, which is the five types of headlines you can use in your content, which are going to make a difference.

So the five types of headlines that you guys can use that are really gonna make a difference are using curiosity peeking people's curiosity, using questions in headlines. Those are

Alyson Lex 19:29
good, right? Absolutely. And so peeking somebody's curiosity is really like I think when you mentioned earlier the I died email subject. That's somebody trying to pique curiosity, but in a murky, muddy way, yeah. Right. But if they had said I just about died would have had the same curiosity peeking effect without the murky muddy love it absolutely love it because it does. tell you,

Jennie Wright 20:00
oh, so this is, you know, this is going to be an interesting email, we're gonna we're gonna have a giggle, right? And it kind of sets it up for, you know, if I want to have a giggle, I'm gonna open that email.

Alyson Lex 20:09
But I also want to know, like, oh, why did I just about die? laughing? I gotta know.

Jennie Wright 20:14
So the next one is that your content has one is answering a burning question. burning question, something that people just have to get the answer to. And this is where you get to use that specific terminology in your niche that can really, really help. Because it speaks directly to that person and the questions that they're experiencing and the issues that they're having. This is where you get to do the famous Alyson Lex poke the bruise a little bit, right, where you get to, like, answer the burning question right? In

Unknown Speaker 20:43
the headline, correct?

Alyson Lex 20:44
Absolutely. a burning question for this episode would be how the heck do I write a headline? Yeah. Right. That's a question we get a lot. So this episode would be answering a burning question. Mm hmm.

Jennie Wright 21:01
And the next one is one of my favorites. It's a guide, I love the word guide, because it sort of tells the reader that you're going to take them on a journey, they're going to go from not knowing the answer to something or not understanding something, or even maybe not being aware of something. And they're going to get guided through sort of an awakening a process and understanding a journey, whatever terminology you want to use, so that they better understand what it is. And it also Funny enough, I believe that saying the word guide, or using guide is also a little bit of curiosity as well, in a little bit of ways it has, I kind of feel like its companion. Because when you say it's a guide, you're like, Oh, this is going to be good that this person is going to now take me on a journey, which I

Alyson Lex 21:43
like, right. And it may also set them up to expect to receive step by step instruction. Yeah, it's about a user's guide that comes with your vacuum, for instance, it gives you step by step how to set it up and how to use it and what to do. And so it sets them up that they're expecting this is going to be a fantastic resource.

Jennie Wright 22:05
And that's one of the reasons that I know that you use guide quite a bit because in in your sales page copy, I noticed that you use a lot of this is a step by step. And I know that you use that terminology specifically because it helps people understand that nothing is going to be left unturned for them, nothing's going to be left out that they're going to have that complete hand holding experience that gets them to where they want to be, which is what people really, really want. You know, they don't want to do all the guesswork themselves. Like and I totally get that.

Alyson Lex 22:34
It's a big pain point for a lot of people that they they feel like even if after they've purchased something, there's still more that they need to know, I've heard that from people like, I've learned all of this. And I still feel like I don't have all the pieces to the puzzle. Yeah. And so when I create sales, copy that for a product that actually does help. I want to make sure I call that out. But when you create content that actually gives them some good step by step information, tell them that, yes.

Unknown Speaker 23:05
Pull that stuff out. Love it. I love it.

Jennie Wright 23:08
Okay, the next one is sharing a secret. I've used this so much. And so well.

Unknown Speaker 23:16
Oh my gosh. So

Jennie Wright 23:17
it's like the secret you know, the secret to or the unlock the secret to blah, blah, blah. I love using the word secret because it's like, right to tell you, right? I love that. And it's like I've got you know, come here, I'm going to show you something and not everybody knows about it. But after you know about it, you're going

Alyson Lex 23:38
to be used it you're going to be able to use it to help solve problem ABC, right. I love that. And you don't even necessarily need to use the word secret in there allude to it. There's its sales headline, but it would work for content to buy. I forget his name right now, Russ Rufino, and he doesn't find clients on demand. And his webinar, at least it was I don't know if it's updated, but was what the 1% of course creators know, blah, blah, blah. That denotes or implies secret. And it's a really good, good one.

Jennie Wright 24:19
Another really good one. And this is the last one for content headlines that we're going to talk about. And then we're about to transition into sales headlines. So the last one in content is the list. five steps to or the 15 things you need to know about the you know, the 10 ways you can accomplish x like all these different ways where it starts, you know, it has a list in it. People love lists, we cannot stay away from lists. We all love it. Because, you know, there's an episode of a podcast from somebody that I listened to last summer. And it was something along the lines of the 15 things no, the 50 things five zero that I do. do every single day to make sure my business is is successful. And I was like, 50, you do 50 things a day, how do you possibly do 50 so I listened because I was like 50. And I mean, the 50 included, getting up at 645 in the morning, getting on the peloton, and you know, exercising, walking the dog having a you know, so they were like going through the whole thing, like their entire process of their day. But it was it was compelling. Because if I want to be successful in my business, and somebody who is ahead of me who is already, like incredibly successful, is going to give me a list of things that they do. I'm going to listen up,

Alyson Lex 25:40
right. And it can also, it does also work because it lets your reader know that this content is manageable. I'm not going to give you a dissertation on how to have a productive day, I'm going to give you x number of bullet points, maybe with a little explanation. And it allows us to chunk that information down and it doesn't overwhelm us. Remember, we're being bombarded every single day, all day from all angles. And if we can help let our audience know that we're breaking this information down in a manageable, consumable way for them, that it's not going to take a lot of their mental resources to digest it.

That's going to be that's gonna be attractive for them.

Unknown Speaker 26:31

Alyson Lex 26:33
Okay, can we talk about sales headlines? So excited for this? I hit my microphone. She's so excited. She's so excited. I'm smacking my microphone. Okay. So your sales headline has literally one job. And actually your content headlines have this same job. It's to get them to read the rest of you what you wrote. Okay, there is a quote, and I forget if it was Gary Halbert, or one of the other greats, but the headlines, one job is to get them to read the first sentence of your copy. The first sentences job is to get them to read the second sentence of your copy. So on and so forth. Okay, so I tell you this, because I want to take a little bit of the pressure off, we've spent the entire time this episode telling you how darn important headlines are, and they are, but they're not going to make the sale for you. So take that pressure off. Their job is to get eyeballs on your copy. Their job is to get viewers for your video. Their job is to get people taking the next step, which is reading the first sentence or clicking the play button. That's it. Okay. So, in order to create a good headline, there are four types of information you need. You need to know some demographics. You need to know who they are. You need some social information, things that you would know if they were friends. And we'll do another episode probably on all of this deep dive research. It's not sexy, but it's the results are.

Unknown Speaker 28:15
That's the thing, right?

Alyson Lex 28:17
Yes, all this stuff is not sexy. Research is not sexy. But when you do it, right, you get results that are okay, so demographic information, who they are social information are things that you would know if you were friends with them, what they like, what their hobbies are that kind of thing. Relations, relational or relationship information, have their relationship with you? Are they new to your world? Have they followed you for six years? Are they a current customer? Are they a lead? Do they follow you on Facebook? Do they comment on your live videos? What kind of relationship do you already have? It's important. And then four is the psychological information. This is the deep dive copy gold, that's really important to know what they worry about what keeps them up at night, what their dreams are, what they would, what problems they have, they would pay somebody to solve for them. That's a big one. That's Well, that's why it's called the copy gold. So the first three, you might be really tempted to go ahead and skip and just be like, Oh, well they want this. But when you know the first three, you can use language that reaches out to them. You can call them out by demographic information, where where appropriate. Mm hmm. You can you can really play on your relationship with them, you can do all of those things. Okay, so I want to give you a quick little formula. As far as getting started, it's a down and dirty formula to getting Started with headlines right away. Audience plus benefit, plus time minus objection.

Jennie Wright 30:12
Okay, you gotta break it down.

Alyson Lex 30:13
Okay. Audience, who are you talking to? coaches, authors and experts benefit? What do they get? If they take action on what you're selling? Or offering, right if it's a webinar, right. So let's say I'm doing a webinar on headlines, because I'm making this up as I go.

Jennie Wright 30:37
So meta

Alyson Lex 30:39
coaches, authors and experts. Discover always a good word, how to create winning headlines for your business. Right coaches, authors and experts discover how to create winning headlines for your business plus time. In 10 minutes or less. Without Oh, sorry, Objection, without selling yourself. I don't know I'm making this up. Right. Like it's still awesome. coaches, authors and experts discover how to create winning headlines for your business in 10 minutes or less without selling your soul. Now, it feels really long, especially because I just had to physically remember it to repeat it.

Jennie Wright 31:29
But it would convert, it's an Alyson Lex headline, hashtag will convert.

Alyson Lex 31:34
You don't need all four of those formula parts. You need three Think of it like a stool, a three legged stool stands up, a four legged stool stands up, a two legged stool falls over and a one legged stool is a pogo stick, okay, you need three or four elements. I just made that up. It was really funny. So let's say I don't want to call out an audience. Discover how to create high converting headlines for your business in 10 minutes or less without selling your soul is still a great headline. Let's say I don't want to include a time coaches authors. I keep hitting the microphone. coaches, authors and experts discover how to create a high converting headline for your business without selling your soul. Still a good headline? Yeah, you really do need the benefit. And in the example that I've just created, the objection is I'm deeming it important. So I'm leaving it in there in every example. But you could take it out, right? You always need the benefit. But the other three you can play with. I love that. So

Jennie Wright 32:52
audience plus benefit plus time minus objection. Yes. And benefit is the one that has to stay no matter what Yes, objection is really important as well. can be depend you can play with the time and you can play with the audience.

Alyson Lex 33:10
Yes, you can play with objection to, although I tend to put more weight on objection than I do on time or audience. So I do play with those more.

Jennie Wright 33:22
Why do you put more on objection?

Alyson Lex 33:24
Because removing an objection is pretty much like the one thing you do with sales copy.

Jennie Wright 33:34
Exactly. It removes it removes a barrier to them saying yes, yes. Because as soon as you say, coaches, you know, coaches authors, and I think it was, yeah, you made coaches, authors and experts, right, discover how to create winning headlines for your business. Thank you, um, in 10 minutes or less, without selling your soul, right. So a lot of people that are trying to create headlines are trying to create a title or something along those lines, they're going to struggle with feeling. I don't want to sound like you know, Joe Schmo from the used car sales law, or, you know, I don't want to sound click Beatty, like they do from thing you know, blah, blah, blah. So, the coming overcoming objections is a huge, huge selling a way to sell. Because if you can overcome objections, and you and I, we use this a lot in other areas, we play with objections and so many different areas in growing people's businesses. If you can overcome them, right in the headline, it's going to make it so much easier for them to have more buy into the rest of the copy. Because already mentally, that barrier is gone. And if you can do that, Oh heck yes, they're going to be like way more engaged with the content because they're not going to have that little niggly thought in their mind but I you know, I don't want to sound spammy, Allison. But you've already said that I won't sound spammy. So I guess I should listen, I guess you should tune in.

Alyson Lex 35:10
I love that. And you've given me a really good transition to my next point, which is, pardon me all about the subhead. But before I do that, I want to mention that I have six more headline formulas that I've put together in a free download called the 32nd headline generator. And that is available on our notes page at System to slash forward slash five numeral five. So System to forward slash five. Go ahead and grab the notes from today's episode, and my 32nd headline generator that will walk you through six more formulas to create a good headline the subhead the subhead comes after the headline. Okay, so if we're visualizing our sales page, closing our eyes and visualizing your headline is the nice big text at the top. Your subhead is the medium sized text in between the headline and the regular size text. Okay, and the subheads job is to further explain the big promise the benefit that you made, that you told them they're going to get? Or further explain how you're removing that objection. Okay, and so a subhead for my mystical webinar training that we've seen online created on this episode would be something like, you don't have to be a used car salesman to get attention on your offers. In this webinar, I'll show you how to write authentically and still convert. There we go. Right, let's see, I backed it up. And I actually did both. I overcame the objection again, I further overcame it. And then I gave a, like a backup promise, yeah, you'll discover how to write authentically and still convert. And so when you write a good subhead, it needs to relate to your headline. But it should also help you begin to transition to the rest of your copy. Remember, the job of your headline is to get them to read the next line of copy, which in this case is the subhead which means the job of your subhead is to get them to read the next line of your copy. So you just want to kind of keep that momentum going that you've created from the sub from the headline, love it. Alright, so

Jennie Wright 38:00
I need to ask you, yeah, long headlines, or short headlines,

Alyson Lex 38:08
which is the best, which works? This is gonna sound like a total cop out. Are you ready for my cop out? I'm ready for you. Which one works for your audience? And I feel like I give that answer so often, when it comes to really anything copier marketing related, because there is so much that's subjective. And this is where knowing a bit about your audience socially, and relationally, we'll help. And demographically,

Jennie Wright 38:42
we know my audience likes longer headlines.

Alyson Lex 38:47
We've tried short headlines, they don't work, they don't work. And so that's testing that we've done. Yeah. But there are some conclusions that you can make, even if you've never tested. Sure. All right. Let's say your audience is hyper busy moms with five kids under 10. I mean, I'm just making it up. But let's say that's, do you think they're going to read a 40 word headline? No, they don't have time for that.

Jennie Wright 39:16
No, they want answers.

Alyson Lex 39:18
So you know, they might respond to a headline that just says, Get your sanity back. Hmm, today. forwards, get your sanity back today. And that kind of breaks my headline formula, but I'm an expert copywriter, so I'm allowed. But instead of attention busy and overwhelmed, moms have five kids under 10 blocks. You know what I mean? Like they're not, they're not paying attention to that. Now get your sanity back today. I remember one of the one of the sales pieces that I wrote really more toward the beginning of my career. The headline, we actually had a pre head. So it was smaller text, bigger text, smaller text, regular text, it was crazy. But the pre head was, you know, if you're feeling XYZ ABC, bla bla bla bla bla bla, and frankly, dot dot dot and then in really big text, it was just overwhelmed. And that was the attention grabber. Mm hmm. Because that's how the people were feeling. So that's technically a one word headline. Yep. I've also had success with 20 word headlines. Yes. Because they're for different audiences. Correct. So you need to know what your audience is going to respond to, so that you can create your headline appropriately. That's my non answer

Jennie Wright 40:48
is actually a good answer. It's a really good answer. I've always said that your audience, your calm, you know, the the grouping of your audience, it doesn't matter how many followers you have, it doesn't matter if your email list is like your mom and your sister and your best friend. Or if it's 10,000 people, or your following doesn't matter. They're a living organism, they literally they're like those birds that go through the sky. Like as a, like one group, they just, you know, and they have a life of their own. And they respond to things differently. Like my, I know, I know, my people, my people open their emails at a certain time, they check their social feeds at a certain time, they prefer headlines of a certain sort from me, right? You know, and, and it all, it all has been trial and error. Like I've tried various things. I've tried various things, and you and I have, you've written emails for my people, you know, for my following. And I've written I've written content that you've ended up using for your following as well, because that's just kind of how we share. And we've discovered, you know, how these people respond. And it's pretty amazing to go through that. And you'll go through that, that kind of, you know, you can call it split testing, if you want, but that research and that development on how your audience is going to react to you so

Alyson Lex 42:06
and what's more important is, how they react now, is not going to be how your audience reacts a year from now. Because your audience will just like you said, it's a living breathing organism. So it's gonna grow change, you're gonna change. Yep, it's

Jennie Wright 42:24
that's just how it works constantly, constantly in the this is the fun part, when we've had conversations with clients, and they're like, Oh, yeah, I sent an email nine months ago. And it was like, amazing, and the best response ever. And they actually reset that email slightly, you know, slightly change up the copy a little bit resend it. And nobody responded to it. So you know, no, opens, no clicks, no, all those wonderful things. And they're like, whoa, whoa, why didn't it work? Like, well, the audience that you had a year ago or nine months ago is not the audience that you have now. Right? Different, they've evolved in their journey, you've evolved in your journey, you've attracted new people, some people have left, and to have the expectation that what worked a year ago or two years ago, as a headline, or a sub headline, or pre header, any of those things is, you know, just kind of being a little bit naive, you got to really understand that your list and your following and all those kinds of different things change. So social, the copy, right, which is why everybody needs the resource. So System to, forward slash the numeral five, so System to, forward slash five, get the headline generator, I have it. I've been using it since Allison first created it. It's phenomenal. And it's literally one of the reasons why my headlines are better. But again, I always run with

Alyson Lex 43:41
the headline generator is not meant to be like, drop it in and go. It's really a good starting point. And one thing that drives me crazy, is a lot of people who say, and this is why I didn't answer your question straight out with a number or a shorter, long answer. Because there is no one thing that works globally across the board. to answer any question like that, or say, this is the exact headline you should use without having that interaction with you and your customers and things like that. That would be irresponsible of me. Correct. So what I'm saying is use it as a really good starting point, edit as you need to, hey, I don't think I need that element. I'm going to cut it out, or Hey, my audience won't respond to that. I'm going to delete it, or they would love this word. Instead, do that edit everything that people create for you templates, or examples or swipe, use it and edit it with what you know about your people, because that's the important part. Correct. Another thing that I would love for you to do and we'll link to this on the notes page is a headline analyzer. And funnily enough, Jenny introduced it to me, because I always just went with my gut. And so Jenny, tell them what this thing is. So the headline

Jennie Wright 45:05
analyzer is, up until a couple months ago, the page looked like it was developed in like 1994. It was really, really bad looking. But it functions well. So this headline analyzer, and Alison I'm, if I've touched my keyboard, we're going to hear me clickety clack hitting so I can't grab it. But if you just go to Google and you type in headline analyzer, it actually says something something Institute like something Marketing Institute link to it on the show notes. We'll link to it in the show notes. And what you do is you and we do this religiously now we will write our headlines using Alison's method, okay, are using her system. And then we'll copy and paste it into the headline analyzer. The headline analyzer will actually tell you if it's, you know, if your headlines speaks to more people, like people who have more empathy, or speaks to people who have more, like, you know, it's a, what do you call it?

Alyson Lex 46:00
Gosh, if it's more practical, practical,

Jennie Wright 46:03
yeah, so breaks it down and gives us your it gives it a score, the higher the score, the better converting the headline. And when Alison and I were working, and actually, with my partner, as well, we were working on the headline for a challenge that I was running in December, we use the headline generator, and I think the three of us were on a call at the time, and we just kept writing headlines, and then copying and pasting into the headline analyzer, and looking for the best score. And we were able to get a score to the score of like 44, off this headline analyzer. And so the goal is to create headlines that are actually going to convert, and this resource is just a resource, it helps you refine the process. And so I think we went through 30 different headlines until we were happy, probably more

Alyson Lex 46:52
than that, probably more than that. And I mean, it literally, it

Jennie Wright 46:54
was changing one word here and there, and, and we just kept recording it on a page and stuff. So if you've got a headline, and you're like, Gee, I wonder if this is any good. Well, try running it through the headline analyzer and seeing what the score is, and then trying to play with it. You know, a lot of the stuff that we've been talking about today, and this is a really long episode, which is awesome. And I hope you're still with us that this is all trial and error, you're going to change it up, and you're going to improve and do all these wonderful things. So the next part, obviously, Allison's going to talk about and that has to do with cosmetics. And no, we're not talking about makeup. Yeah.

Alyson Lex 47:31
So really quickly with cosmetics, I just wanted to mention that not all of the words in your headline are going to have the same importance. And so what you really want to do is I know I said, like your headlines, your target text and then your subhead, your small medium text and your paragraphs or your small text, but it's okay to have one or two words in your headline that are bold, or italicized, or a different color or underline, or a little bit bigger, or whatever you need to do in order to give them a little bit more weight. Mm hmm.

Jennie Wright 48:06
And you use one specific technique, a lot that I love the without, yes.

Alyson Lex 48:14
Everybody loves the without. So when I write the word without this is I got this right from Bill Glazer in like 2007. I've been using it for that many years. It's lowercase with connected to a completely uppercase out. So lowercase w lowercase I lowercase t, lowercase H, uppercase O, uppercase u, uppercase T. And what that does, I really hope I spelled that word, right. But what that is it draws attention to the fact that I'm now overcoming an objection. Yes. Yeah, it really, really works. It's a it's a pattern interrupt, because it wasn't used to seeing without written that way, but it just interrupts that pattern. So just really consider whether all the words in your headline have the same importance. They don't all need to be capitalized as the first initial letter. It does not need to be written in sentence case, take all of the grammar rules that Jenny's probably internally cringing about right now and throw them from your fourth storey window and let them fly. Because I promise it's going to be really difficult. I am a reformed English major as well. Yep. And a reformed education major. So you know, I was thought this was so important. It's, we want to write like we speak.

Jennie Wright 49:35
That's the main that's the honestly. That's like the hashtag, keyword everything for this episode. You

Alyson Lex 49:43
have to write like you speak. Like you speak.

Jennie Wright 49:46
Wow. That's amazing. Thank you. Oh, my God, this was so good. I hope that everybody's enjoyed this one. This has been a longer one, but it's important one if you if you can master headlines and trust me, it's an ongoing thing if you can really get a handle on writing really good headlines, you're going to get more eyeballs on your coffee, you're going to get more people paying attention. You're going to get more readers, more viewers, more everything, and that includes more sales. So, thank you. This is awesome. Thanks for listening, everybody. We will be back with another big question next time on the System to THRIVE.

Unknown Speaker 50:19
I'm Jennie Wright.

Alyson Lex 50:20
I'm Alyson Lex.

Jennie Wright 50:22
Thanks so much. We'll

Unknown Speaker 50:23
talk to you soon.

Alyson Lex 50:24

Jennie Wright 50:27
Thanks again for watching or listening to this podcast. We hope we've answered some of your big questions today. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast anywhere you're listening and leave us a review.

Alyson Lex 50:37
Also, make sure you've checked out the thrive collaborative podcast community, our Facebook group for listeners and entrepreneurs find us on Facebook or online at System to



Episode 122 – The 10 Questions We Get (All the time) About Sales Copy and Copywriting – Answered

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