The Secrets of Writing a “Grab ‘Em By The Shirt Collar” Headline


That’s the sound of a dynamite blast. You can bet anyone within earshot is going to stop what they’re doing and give their full attention to the source of the blast… right?

You bet. And that’s why you need to create sales letter headlines and email subjects that go POW! These are headlines that stop your readers in their tracks and get them paying 100% attention to your copy.

how to write attention grabbing headline

So how do you create a headline that goes POW!? Like this:

  • Pique Their Curiosity
  • Offer a Benefit
  • Win Them Over

Let’s take a look at each of these steps more closely…

Pique Their Curiosity

Imagine if you’re just sitting in your living room relaxing, and suddenly an unexpected dynamite blast goes off. What’s the first thing you would do?

Chances are, you’d turn to the nearest person and say, “What the heck was that?” Then you’d run to the window or even run outside to satisfy your curiosity.

Same thing goes for your “POW!” headline. If you can pique someone’s curiosity, then you’ll have their undivided attention for a few moments.

Here are three ways to do this:

  1. Promise a benefit, but don’t tell people HOW they’ll get that benefit. E.G., “How to Lose All the Weight You Want Without Exercise or Hunger Pangs.”
  2. Use the word “secret.” E.G., “The Secrets of Retiring at Age 40.”
  3. Let them know others know something that they don’t know. “Here’s What Your Car Dealer Doesn’t Want You to Know!”

Next up in the POW! formula…

Offer a Big Benefit

Whenever someone lands on your headline, they’re going to wonder, “What’s in it for me?” A great headline will promise them a big benefit.

For example, “How to Lose Weight Quickly, Safely and Easily!”
One more: “How to Housetrain Your Puppy In Just Three Days!”

TIP: People not only like getting solutions to their problems, they like fast and easy solutions. That’s why the first example promises a quick and easy solution, while the second example is all about speed.

And now the last part of the POW! formula for writing headlines…

Win Them Over

Piquing curiosity is good. Offering a benefit is good. But if you really want to win over your readers, you need to combine these two tactics into one powerful headline.

Let me give you some examples of combining benefits while arousing curiosity:

  • Here’s How to Get Your Hands On An In-Demand Product – Without Writing It, Buying It, Or Outsourcing It!
    Note: Everyone wants an in-demand product – that’s the benefit. The part that arouses curiosity is how someone gets a product like that without creating it, buying it or outsourcing it.

  • Do You Have This Miracle Fat-Blasting Herb In Your Cupboard?
    Note: The benefit is that it blasts fat. The headline arouses curiosity by making people wonder what herb the headline refers to.

  • How a Small-Town Waitress Quit Her Job and Made $100,000 This Year – And How You Can Too!
    Note: The “story” part of the headline arouses curiosity, while the “how you can too” part promises the benefit.

Now It’s Your Turn…

Now that you know the attention-getting POW! formula for writing a headline, it’s your turn to give it a whirl. So just remember:

  • Pique Their Curiosity
  • Offer a Benefit
  • Win Them Over

Set aside a few moments right now and brainstorm a dozen headlines for your next email or sales letter using POW! You might be amazed at the headlines you create!