12 headline strategies for getting unstuck

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Guest blog post by Stephen Bramfitt, Adobe Creative Director

When you’re looking for fresh angles to solve a headline challenge, consider these possibilities. Most of these examples are from Adobe Marketing Cloud emails.*

1. State the benefit in a memorable way.

Flaunt your digital assets.

Predict the next big thing.

Working together has never worked better.

2. State the benefit and its negative corollary.

More value for customers. Less stress for you.

Make your shots steady. Even if you’re hands aren’t.

3. Use a powerful verb that multiplies the meaning.

Bend the web to your imagination.

Ace website testing.

4. Play with contrasting units of scale/measurement.

Inspire big loyalty with small data.

Make a lasting impression. In eight seconds or less.

Ten demos. Tons of insight.

5. Use parallel structure.

Connect the dots. Connect the customers.

More mobile. More opportunities.

Top-of-the-line tools. Bottom-line savings.

Do your best work in your best time.

6. Add a new twist to a familiar expression — use this sparingly.

Find the needle in the metrics haystack.

Find a method to social marketing madness.

Still new. Already improved.

7. Play with parts to whole/whole to parts.

Thousands of form factors. One perfect fit.

8. Use an aspirational call to action.

Fire up your personalization power tools (Home Depot)

Move beyond the A/B test.

Exceed expectations. Even your own.

9. Ask a question and answer it (with a twist) — use this sparingly.

Remember life before Adobe Target? Neither do we.

What’s better than a corner office? No office at all.

10. Play with your words (without resorting to puns).

Resize. Reshape. Remarkable.

11. Use alliteration.

Content that clicks.

Succeed at any screen size.

Put more muscle behind your media.

12. The hard but great one: Express an original thought in a unique way that encapsulates both the product benefit and the emotional benefit

Being liked is serious business. (Adobe Social)

Great minds like a think. (The Economist magazine)

The reason the patent office has been so busy lately. (Apple iPhone)

General precepts:

  • Short is better than long
  • Keep it simple
  • Be conversational, as if you’re speaking to an intelligent friend
  • Be honest and informative
  • Use the active voice
  • Avoid snark, cheek, boasting, and insincerity
  • Use superlatives sparingly
  • Forget all the guidelines and precepts if the idea is great

Some inspirational links:

http://www.commarts.com/creative

http://www.oneclub.org/#pane=awards

http://www.luerzerarchive.net/content/overview/type/inspiration

http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter

http://www.goodcopybadcopy.co.uk

http://www.jeffsextonwrites.com

http://www.abccopywriting.com/blog

http://bestcopyads.wordpress.com

http://contentverve.com/online-copywriting-case-studies-with-examples/

http://copybot.wordpress.com

 

*We’re proud to have written more than a few of these headlines for Stephen and our team of Adobe friends :)

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