The Single Most Effective Headline Formula That Works Every Time Guaranteed

The Single Most Effective Headline Formula That Works Every Time Guaranteed by Charles Sledge

Alright so pardon the click bait title but I have a point to make with it. If just to show how these things can be abused. While click bait certainly is annoying it works a hell of a lot better than vague or misleading titles. That kind that may be clever or make you “sound smart” whatever that means. Click bait is certainly not the worse choice you can have for a headline. Hell there are those who use click bait headlines who make millions however it is not the most effective way to do something, especially when done by amateurs.

This formula I am about to give you can be used to write some great headlines but it can also be abused like the headline above. Beats the hell out of vague or “artistic” headlines but still a bit over the top. You want to draw people in not have them role their eyes. The number one thing I see wrong with headlines (that follow a formula) is being over the top. You want to draw eyes but do so by being relevant and having a good benefit. Imagine the difference between driving around a pink Cadillac or a Lamborghini. They both draw attention and are better than driving around a quiet four door sedan but one is obviously superior to the other. So here is the formula.

Step # 1 – Pick A Number (But Not Any Number)

Top ten best, the single best, 7 ways to. You get the idea. Use a number of some type. Remember “the singles best” or something to that extent still counts as a number. Some popular ones are “the single, 3, 5, 7, 10, 101” are good places to start. 101 ways to do this or that. 7 ways to be a this or that. Etc. For some reason 3, 5, and 7 work better than even numbers like 2, 4, or 6. Not sure why this is but it’s what I’ve found. This changes when you get to ten of course and then 101 is better than 100 or 99. Just pick a number that’s step one.

Step #2 – Pick An Adjective (Without Sounding Like A Used Car Salesman)

Alright this is where my biggest pet peeve comes in. Remember the pink Cadillac? Amazing, awesome, best ever, etc. I’m not saying these words can’t be used but above all else go for accuracy. What is unique or different about the information you are about to give or the product you are trying to sell? Use that. Don’t go for broad words that many copywriters will tell you to use. Be unique. Don’t be over the top with your adjective. Instead be honest but in the best way possible. Is it the quickest? The smartest way? What is unique about it and amazing, best ever, world famous are a little hackneyed. Be unique otherwise you’ll be another “world famous” that prospects eyes will glaze over.

Step #3 – Target Keyword

This is pretty self-explanatory, what is your target keyword? For example for this article it is headline or even headline formula could work as well. If you writing about widgets you probably want to put that in the headline. If you’re writing about a certain exercise program or book then you’ll want to put that in the headline. Whatever it is that your article is focusing. The main concept, product, or whatever. Make sure this is in your headline as this is one of the biggest reasons someone will click/look at it.

Step #4 – Rationale

People but through emotions but then justify with logic. While emotions are definitely more important it is important to give someone a rationale for doing something no matter how weak it may be. Remember that experimenter with the copy paper? Asking someone to cut in front of them because you have to copy paper (not shit) got almost just a good as response as having a valid reason for cutting in front. Point is providing a rationale no matter how weak helps people tremendously in getting them to do what you want them to.

Step #5 – Promise

Ah now here is the most important part of the entire headline. What is the prospect going to get by clicking on it or reading on? This answers the what’s in it for them question. The benefit that they will get by continuing to read the copy. This is the most important part of the headline your promise as to what they will get out of the article or product or whatever the headline is for. Give them compelling reasons to continue reading. Things that they are desperately going to want. Things that when they see it they think “I gotta have that!” whatever it may be.


The formula is.

Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise.

When used properly it can give you some great headlines and is a great reference tool for getting traffic to your article, site, sales page, or anything else. Headlines are the most important part of an ad or article because if the headline doesn’t get attention it doesn’t matter how great the article is or how helpful it will be because it will never get read. So use this formula to get attention, get results, and get paid!

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it.

-Charles Sledge

Charles Sledge