How to Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

Recent studies have revealed that of the 100% of people who read your headlines, only 20% will go on to read the copy. Words can be powerful, and in marketing they can be real money makers. Having a great headline isn’t so simple as putting a few words together, and only 80% of people will notice it. It takes a good understanding of your consumer as well as some creativity and a basic knowledge of psychology. Not everyone is going to find your headline compelling, so it’s up to you to make it more interesting. Yes, just like anything else, you can improve your copywriting skills. It’s important to know that when it comes to writing attention-grabbing headlines, you can take multiple approaches. You can make it useful, specific, create a sense of urgency or curiosity. There are many routes you can go. Below, we listed a few examples.

Leverage Urgency & Scarcity

When you create a sense of urgency, you are causing a physiological reaction that causes the reader to feel they must consume the information or product immediately. The word “now” is versatile and is a great way to grab someone’s attention. By stressing the passage of time, you will create that sense of urgency. Another commonly used tactic is to tap into the reader’s fear of being an outcast and crave for validation. See the examples we listed below:

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Get Specific

Headlines should be specific enough to get the attention of the company’s target customers. The goal should be to provide enough information to let your customers know what it’s about and if it will be of interest to them. When speaking psychologically, being specific creates a more vivid experience, making the reader feel more transparency. The use of numbers and descriptive adjectives can be really helpful in striking emotion because it’s concise yet powerful. Take a look below:

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Tell a Story

People love storytelling, and a good story headline will drum up some curiosity. If you can properly condense a story into an attention-grabbing headline, you’ll have a much better chance of engaging the reader. Stories can be really compelling and make the reader feel convinced to make a purchase after reading. However, if you can’t add some spice to your headline and get to the point, you will lose most of your audience before they even get to reading. Here are some examples:

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Be Helpful

If you know your customers well enough, you can find that pain point and offer them a solution. When structuring this type of headline, you’ll want to follow the problem/solution structure, starting with the problem relevant to your audience followed by the solution. This works well because it creates emotion in your audience and shows that your brand is here to help. Take a look at these headlines:

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Whether your end goal is to educate, pitch, or sell, headlines play a major role in your online marketing efforts because that’s what readers use to make a snap judgment about your content. Although you have less than 8 seconds to grab their attention, that’s still plenty of time for a good headline to be noticed. Not everyone is great at copywriting, but anyone can improve their skills at it. Headlines that effectively grab one’s attention require a good understanding of your audience and who you’re talking to. It’s about understanding how certain words and sentence structuring affect emotion and how your reader processes information. Here’s the good news,  you don’t always have to play a guessing game with your customers if you know where to find valuable insights. We see firsthand what works and what doesn’t. If you work to improve the content headlines, your online traffic will improve and you will see results.We hope you use these tactics to help make your headlines more effective and inspire your audience to take the next step and convert. 

At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have watched marketing evolve from traditional to digital. Whether you need a website refresh, more attractive email, or a quality online presence, we can do it all. When we take on a client, we put in 110% and treat every brand as if it’s our own. We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!