7 Headline Formulas that Convert and Sell

The average consumer is inundated with marketing messages every day. Ads, articles, podcasts, products (that we almost never need), and much more.

The key difference between a promotion that disappoints and a promotion that sells is the headline.

In this article, I’ll talk about the 7 most important headline formulas that you should implement today. Implementing these formulas will for sure improve your conversion rates and will make the customer feel less drowned in the pool of shitty headlines.

Headline Formula 1 – Include numbers

Since you’re here, you probably clicked through this blog post because something attracted you to it.

In this article’s headline, I have used numbers. Numbers tell your customer exactly what they should expect.

Imagine if the headline was called “Headline Formulas that Convert and Sell”. The first thoughts in anyone’s mind (at least mine), would be:

  • how much time will I spend on this article?
  • is this article going to give me exactly what I’m looking for?
  • is this article just a bunch of tips that the author has thrown in?
  • how many headlines are there???

Headlines that include numbers have enormous click-through rates.

Headline Formulas - Article Headlines that Convert
Source: Buzzfeed

Let’s take the above poorly-screenshotted image from Buzzfeed. They are GREAT at using headlines to attract readers and increase the click-through rates. And what do they do best? They include numbers. Specific numbers.

Headline Formula 2 – “How To”

How to Create Headline Formulas that Convert

The above is a subheading that I chose as an example, versus the current headline “7 Headline Formulas that Convert and Sell”.

Using “how to” in the headline appeals to all of us trying to get better at something. Once we know someone has the answer, we dive straight into it. Maybe you just want to make more of your friends laugh:

Article Headline Formulas that Convert - How To
Source: Google

Headline Formula 3 – AIDA

If you work in marketing, you’ve probably heard about AIDA.

AIDA stands for:

  • attention;
  • interest;
  • desire;
  • action.

It primarily instructs the marketer on how to best attract the attention of the customer. By using this formula, you should catch the attention of the reader instantly. Once you do that, you need to keep them interested. Once you get to the “D”, the customer should desire whatever you have to offer, and ultimately take the action of buying it.

Let me give you an example, specifically on this article.

A – Do your sales skills suck? Do you wish that you were better at writing copy?

I – With a specific headline formula set up, you could increase your click-through rates, have more people seeing your articles, and even get more people to subscribe.

D – You spend tons of time writing those articles, with around 10 articles published per week. Your click-through rate is 1%, and in the SEO world, that’s too low to keep going without changing something. To increase those clicks to your website, you need to make your headlines more engaging.

A – I have 7 headline formulas that can improve your click-through rates. Just head over to my article and you will have all the info you need.

Headline Formula 4 – Negative OR Positive?

We don’t like using negative feelings in our copy, right?

However, studies have shown that using negative words can improve the click-through rate.

Audience aversion to positive superlatives may simply be a product of overuse, or it could be because readers are skeptical of sources’ motives for endorsement. On the flip side, sources of negative information may be more likely to be perceived as impartial and authentic. Whereas positive superlatives may have become clichéd through overuse, negative superlatives may be more unexpected and intriguing.


In other words, people are suspicious in front of an overly-positive information. They tend to ask questions, doubt it, and forget about it quickly.

When you present them the issue or the negative side of a topic, they tend to listen more to the information and make their own conclusions.

Headline Formula 5 – Short and Simple

You definitely don’t want to overcomplicate the first sentence people see when they stumble upon your article or product.

Your headline needs to be short and simple. For example, meta titles fit best between 55 and 65 characters. That’s more than enough for a user to decide whether or not they should click on the search result.

Jakob Nielsen has found that people mostly read the first and last three word in a sentence, so use your headlines wisely!

Headline Formula 6 – Highlight the Benefits

This is closely tied to what we’ve talked about before – the AIDA formula, the numbers and the “how to”.

It takes a great deal of skill to combine all of these into one short headline. However, the benefits don’t need to be mentioned like a loooong shopping list.

Let’s see some examples:

  1. Selling a winter jacket? Try this: Waterproof Winter Jacket with Faux Fur.
  2. Selling a Paid Ads service? Try this: Backed-by-data Paid Ads using AI.

Always talk about the benefits to the consumer, rather than the features of your product. More often than not, they don’t give a dime on those features, but they do want their problems solved.

Headline Formula 7 – Great for Ads

Once you’ve got all your headline formulas and are ready to roll, there comes a time when you should think about ads. Would you ever want to run ads to this awesome piece of article you wrote?

Besides having a good product and the right audience, almost all ads platforms favor headlines that match the advertised product.

More specifically, Google gives you a quality score, and one of the things they analyze is your ad headline. If your headline overpromises and the product underdelivers, that’s when you get into trouble.


Now that you’ve got your headlines on point, it might be time to improve your sales copy and create headlines that can almost guarantee a spot for passage indexing.

When all is said and done, it’s clear that a strong headline can make or break your marketing efforts.

It’s the first thing your people see. It’s the first step into their decision making. It might also be your first step in acquiring that sale.

Maria Cristina M.
Maria Cristina M.

Maria-Cristina is a Digital Psychologist with 5 years of experience in SEO and conversion rate optimization. She holds an MA thesis on the effects of emotions in written and video content. She loves to spend time near the ocean and watch horror movies.

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