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25 Quick Tips to Write Better Ad Headlines TODAY (+ 100 Most Successful Ad Headline Examples of All Time)


headline

 

You sit down to write, fingers hovering over keyboard, but the words just aren’t coming out.

The pressure’s on because you know that if you want to impress clients and drive sales, you need an attention-grabbing ad headline.

You’ve got the ideas, but translating them into a few powerful words feels impossible.

Sound familiar?

It’s frustrating.

But what if you could crack the code?

In this post, you'll discover a toolbox of 25 proven tips to create killer advertising headlines that stop readers in their tracks AND a sneak peek at the top 100 ad headlines of all time—examples from the most successful ads ever created.

Ready to transform your headlines and skyrocket your results?

Let’s get started.

 

What is an Advertisement Headline?

headline

An advertisement headline is the first line of text that grabs the reader’s attention in an ad.

It’s the hook that draws people in, the make-or-break element that determines whether your ad gets read or ignored.

Your ad headline has one primary purpose:

To get readers to read the first sentence of your body copy.

That’s it.

Joseph Sugarman, in his book "Adweek Copywriting Handbook," illustrated this point beautifully. He gathered a group of copywriters and asked them to list all the elements of an ad. They mentioned headlines, sub-heads, images, logos, and so on.

Sugarman then revealed a simple but powerful truth:

The singular purpose of every element in an ad is to get the reader to read the first sentence of the body copy.

Once they read that first sentence, its job is to get them to read the second sentence, and so on.

The headline is your foot in the door—it’s what sets the stage for everything that follows.

So, when crafting your advertisement’s headline, remember its ultimate goal.

Make it intriguing enough that your reader can’t help but move on to the next part of your ad.


100 Ad Headline Examples (From the Most Successful Advertisements of ALL TIME)

100

These headlines were the best of their time, taken from Victor O. Schwab's book, How to Write a Good Advertisement.

They have been recognized for their ability to captivate and convert readers, setting the standard for what a powerful advertising headline should be.

You can swipe these headlines for ideas, concepts and even fill-in-the-blank templates.

1. THE SECRET OF MAKING PEOPLE LIKE YOU

2. A LITTLE MISTAKE THAT COST A FARMER $3,000 A YEAR

3. ADVICE TO WIVES WHOSE HUSBANDS DON’T SAVE MONEY – BY A WIFE

4. THE CHILD WHO WON THE HEARTS OF ALL

5. ARE YOU EVER TONGUE-TIED AT A PARTY?

6. HOW A NEW DISCOVERY MADE A PLAIN GIRL BEAUTIFUL

7. HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE

8. THE LAST TWO HOURS ARE THE LONGEST – AND THOSE ARE THE TWO HOURS YOU SAVE

9. WHO ELSE WANTS A SCREEN STAR FIGURE?

10. DO YOU MAKE THESE MISTAKES IN ENGLISH?

11. WHY SOME FOODS EXPLODE IN YOUR STOMACH

12. HANDS THAT LOOK LOVELIER IN 24 HOURS OR YOUR MONEY BACK

13. WHY SOME PEOPLE ALMOST ALWAYS MAKE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET

14. YOU CAN LAUGH AT MONEY WORRIES – IF YOU FOLLOW THIS SIMPLE PLAN

15. WHEN DOCTORS “FEEL ROTTEN”, THIS IS WHAT THEY DO

16. IT SEEMS INCREDIBLE THAT YOU CAN OFFER THESE SIGNED ORIGINAL ETCHINGS – FOR ONLY $5 EACH

17. FIVE FAMILIAR SKIN TROUBLES – WHICH DO YOU WANT TO OVERCOME?

18. WHICH OF THESE $2.50 TO $5 BEST SELLERS DO YOU WANT – FOR ONLY $1 EACH

19. WHO EVER HEARD OF A WOMAN LOSING WEIGHT – AND ENJOYING 3 DELICIOUS MEALS AT THE SAME TIME?

20. HOW I IMPROVED MY MEMORY IN ONE EVENING

21. DISCOVER THE FORTUNE THAT LIES HIDDEN IN YOUR SALARY

22. DOCTORS PROVE TWO OUT OF THREE WOMEN CAN HAVE MORE BEAUTIFUL SKIN IN 14 DAYS

23. HOW I MADE A FORTUNE WITH A “FOOL IDEA”

24. HOW OFTEN DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF SAYING: “NO, I HAVEN’T READ IT, I’VE BEEN MEANING TO”

25. THOUSANDS HAVE THIS PRICELESS GIFT—BUT NEVER DISCOVER IT!

26. WHOSE AT FAULT WHEN CHILDREN DISBOBEY?

27. HOW A ‘FOOL STUNT’ MADE ME A STAR SALESMAN

28. HAVE YOU GOT THESE SYMPTOMS OF NERVE EXHAUSTION?

29. GUARANTEED TO GO THROUGH HEAVIEST TERRAIN OR WE PAY THE TOW!

30. HAVE YOU GOT A “WORRY” STORY?

31. HOW A NEW KIND OF CLAY IMPROVED MY COMPLEXION IN 30 MINUTES

32. 161 NEW WAYS TO A MAN’S HEART – IN THE FASCINATING BOOK FOR COOKS

33. PROFITS THAT LIE HIDDEN IN YOUR FARM

34. IS THE LIFE OF A CHILD WORTH $1 TO YOU?

35. EVERYWHERE WOMEN ARE RAVING ABOUT THIS AMAZING NEW SHAMPOO!

36. DO YOU DO ANY OF THESE TEN EMBARRASSING THINGS?

37. SIX TYPES OF INVESTORS – WHICH GROUP ARE YOU?

38. HOW TO TAKE OUT STAINS…USE (PRODUCT NAME) AND FOLLOW THESE EASY DIRECTIONS

39. TODAY…ADD $10,000 TO YOUR ESTATE – FOR THE PRICE OF A NEW HAT

40. DOES YOUR CHILD EVER EMBARRASS YOU?

41. IS YOUR HOME PICTURE-POOR?

42. HOW TO GIVE YOUR CHILDREN EXTRA IRON – THESE 3 DELICIOUS WAYS

43. TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WRITE – BUT CAN’T GET STARTED

44. THIS ALMOST-MAGICAL LAMP LIGHTS HIGHWAY TURNS BEFORE YOU MAKE THEM

45. THE CRIMES WE COMMIT AGAINST OUR STOMACHS

46. THE MAN WITH A ‘GRASSHOPPER MIND’

47. THEY LAUGHED WHEN I SAT DOWN AT THE PIANO – BUT WHEN I BEGAN TO PLAY!

48. THROW AWAY YOUR OARS!

49. HOW TO DO WONDERS WITH A LITTLE LAND!

50. WHO ELSE WANTS LIGHTER CAKE – IN HALF THE MIXING TIME?

51. LITTLE LEAKS THAT KEEP MEN POOR

52. PIERCED BY 301 NAILS…RETAINS FULL AIR PRESSURE

53. NO MORE BACK-BREAKING GARDEN CHORES FOR ME – YET OURS IS NOW THE SHOW PLACE OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

54. OFTEN A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE

55. HOW MUCH IS “WORKER TENSION” COSTING YOUR COMPANY?

56. TO MEN WHO WANT TO QUIT WORK SOMEDAY

57. HOW TO PAINT YOUR HOUSE TO SUIT YOURSELF

58. BUY NO DESK – UNTIL YOU’VE SEEN THIS SENSATION O F THE BUSINESS SHOW

59. CALL BACK THESE GREAT MOMENTS AT THE OPERA

60. “I LOST MY BULGES…AND SAVED MONEY TOO”

61. WHY (BRAND NAME) BULBS GIVE MORE LIGHT THIS YEAR

62. RIGHT AND WRONG FARMING METHODS – AND LITTLE POINTERS THAT WILL INCREASE YOUR PROFITS

63. NEW CAKE IMPROVER GETS YOU COMPLIMENTS GALORE!

64. IMAGINE ME…HOLDING AN AUDIENCE SPELLBOUND FOR 30 MINUTES

65. THIS IS MARIE ANTOINETTE – RIDING TO HER DEATH

66. DID YOU EVER SEE A “TELEGRAM” FROM YOUR HEART?

67. NOW ANY AUTO REPAIR JOB CAN BE ‘DUCK SOUP’ FOR YOU

68. NEW SHAMPOO LEAVES YOUR HAIR SMOOTHER – EASIER TO MANAGE

69. IT’S A SHAME FOR YOU NOT TO MAKE GOOD MONEY – WHEN THESE MEN DO IT SO EASILY

70. YOU NEVER SAW SUCH LETTERS AS HARRY AND I GOT ABOUT OUR PEARS

71. THOUSANDS NOW PLAY WHO NEVER THOUGHT THEY COULD

72. GREAT NEW DISCOVERY KILLS KITCHEN ODOURS QUICK! – MAKES INDOOR AIR “COUNTRY FRESH”

73. MAKE THIS 1-MINUTE TEST – OF AN AMAZING NEW KIND OF SHAVING CREAM

74. ANNOUNCING…THE NEW EDITION OF THE ENCYCLOPEDIA THAT MAKES IT FUN TO LEARN THINGS

75. AGAIN SHE ORDERS…”A CHICKEN SALAD, PLEASE”

76. FOR THE WOMAN WHO IS OLDER THAN SHE LOOKS

77. WHERE YOU CAN GO IN A GOOD USED CAR

78. CHECK THE KIND OF BODY YOU WANT

79. “YOU KILL THAT STORE – OR I’LL RUN YOU OUT OF THE STATE!”

80. HERE’S A QUICK WAY TO BREAK UP A COLD

81. THERE’S ANOTHER WOMEN WAITING FOR EVERY MAN – AND SHE’S TOO SMART TO HAVE “MORNING MOUTH”

82. THIS PEN “BURPS” BEFORE IT DRINKS – BUT NEVER AFTERWARDS!

83. IF YOU WERE GIVEN $200,000 TO SPEND – ISN’T THIS THE KIND OF (TYPE OF PRODUCT, BUT NOT BRAND NAME) YOU WOULD BUILD?

84. “LAST FRIDAY…WAS I SCARED! – MY BOSS ALMOST FIRED ME!”

85. 76 REASONS WHY IT WOULD HAVE PAID YOU TO ANSWER OUR AD A FEW MONTHS AGO

86. SUPPOSE THIS HAPPENED ON YOUR WEDDING DAY!

87. DON’T LET ATHLETES FOOT “LAY YOU UP”

88. ARE THEY BEING PROMOTED RIGHT OVER YOUR HEAD?

89. ARE WE A NATION OF LOW-BROWS?

90. A WONDERFUL TWO YEARS TRIP AT FULL PAY – BUT ONLY MEN WITH IMAGINATION CAN TAKE IT

91. WHAT EVERYBODY OUGHT TO KNOW…ABOUT THIS STOCK AND BOND BUSINESS

92. MONEY-SAVING BARGAINS FROM AMERICA’S OLDEST DIAMOND DISCOUNT STORE

93. FORMER BARBER EARNS $8,000 IN FOUR MONTHS AS A REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST

94. FREE BOOK – TELLS YOU TWELVE SECRETS OF BETTER LAWN CARE

95. GREATEST GOLD-MINE OF EASY “THINGS TO MAKE” EVER CRAMMED INTO ONE BIG BOOK

96. $80,000 IN PRIZES! HELP US FIND THE NAME FOR THESE NEW KITCHENS

97. NOW! OWN FLORIDA LAND THIS EASY WAY…$10 DOWN AND $10 A MONTH

98. TAKE ANY THREE OF THESE KITCHEN APPLIANCES – FOR ONLY $8.95 (VALUED UP TO $15.45)

99. SAVE TWENTY CENTS OFF TWO CANS OF CRANBERRY SAUCE – LIMITED OFFER

100. ONE PLACE SETTING FREE FOR EVERY THREE YOU BUY!

 

25 Headline Tips to Improve Your Advertisements Overnight

Ready to take your ad headlines to the next level?

Here are 25 actionable tips that can help you write attention-grabbing headlines that drive results.

Each tip is designed to improve your headlines quickly and effectively.

1. Focus on Benefits

Start with the most compelling benefit your product or service offers.

Readers are more likely to engage if they immediately see what’s in it for them. Instead of focusing on features, highlight how your offering will improve their lives or solve their problems.

Example:

Instead of saying, “Our software has advanced data analytics,” try “Unlock hidden insights with advanced data analytics.”

This shift in focus makes your headline more enticing and reader-centric.

 

2. Use Numbers

numbers

Numbers make headlines more believable and easier to understand.

So, incorporate numbers in your ad headlines to catch your reader’s eye and add a sense of precision and value.

Example:

 “5 Ways to Boost Your Sales” or “10 Tips for Writing Better Headlines” immediately tell the reader what to expect and promise actionable content.

Numbers also help break down information into digestible chunks, making your ad appear more approachable and organized. Try using odd numbers, as studies show they tend to be more effective at grabbing attention.

 

3. Ask Questions

question

Engage your readers by asking a question that addresses their needs or concerns. Questions naturally pique curiosity and invite the reader to seek the answer in your ad.

Example:

“Tired of Struggling to Write Great Headlines?”

“Want to Boost Your Sales Overnight?”

This approach creates an immediate connection by acknowledging the reader’s problem and hinting at a solution.

 

4. Be Specific

Specificity sells.

Vague headlines fail to attract attention because they lack clarity and promise. Instead of using general statements, provide concrete details that make your offer compelling.

Example:

Rather than saying “Improve Your Health,” you could say “Lose 10 Pounds in 30 Days.”

Specific headlines convey clear benefits and set precise expectations, making them more appealing and trustworthy to readers.

 

5. Use Power Words

power

Using power words in your ad headlines evoke strong emotions and prompt action. Words like “amazing,” “proven,” “instant,” “guaranteed,” and “free” can significantly boost your headline's impact. These words tap into the reader’s desires and fears, making your headline more persuasive and compelling.

Example:

“Discover Proven Techniques to Double Your Sales”

Power words add urgency and excitement, compelling readers to keep reading and engage with your ad.

 

6. Create Urgency

Craft your ad headlines to convey a sense of urgency, encouraging readers to act immediately.

Use phrases that suggest limited availability or time-sensitive offers, such as “Limited Time Offer,” “Only a Few Left,” or “Act Now Before It’s Gone.”

Example:

“50% Off Today Only”

“Join Now—Spaces Are Filling Fast!”

This urgency pushes readers to prioritize your ad and take swift action, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

 

7. Keep it Short

short

Aim for concise ad headlines to maximize their impact.

Short headlines are easier to read and understand quickly, making them more effective at grabbing attention. Ideally, keep your headlines under 10 words.

Example:

“Boost Your Sales Today” or “Get Fit Fast” are brief yet powerful.

They convey the message quickly and clearly, which is crucial in capturing the reader’s attention in a split second.

 

8. Use Quotation Marks

Add quotation marks in your ad headlines to add a sense of credibility and authority. Quotes can make your headline stand out and seem more trustworthy, as they often imply a testimonial or direct speech.

Example:

“The Best Decision I Ever Made”

This technique can draw readers in by suggesting that the headline contains a direct and impactful statement or claim.

 

9. Make a Promise

In your ad headline, clearly state a promise or benefit to your reader.

This gives them a compelling reason to continue reading. Your promise should be specific and desirable, addressing a problem or need your audience has.

Example:

“Double Your Leads in 30 Days”

This headline makes a direct promise that appeals to the reader’s desires, motivating them to engage further with your content.

 

10. Highlight a Problem

man

Start your ad headline by identifying a common problem your audience faces. This immediately grabs their attention because it resonates with their experience and sets up your ad as a potential solution.

Example:

“Struggling to Write Engaging Headlines?”

By addressing a pain point, you make your headline relatable and prompt readers to seek out the solution you’re offering in your ad copy.

 

11. Pique Curiosity

Write your ad headline to pique curiosity and make readers eager to learn more. Use open-ended statements or intriguing questions that leave them wanting answers.

Example:

“What Successful Entrepreneurs Won’t Tell You”

This headline creates a sense of mystery, prompting readers to click and read further to satisfy their curiosity.

 

12. Use Contrast

Leverage contrast in your ad headlines to highlight the transformation your product or service offers. By showing a clear “before and after” scenario, you can make the benefits more striking and appealing.

Example:

 “How to Turn Your Messy Home into an Organized Oasis.”

This technique emphasizes the positive change your audience can expect, making the headline more compelling and motivating readers to learn how they can achieve similar results.

 

13. Highlight Mistakes to Avoid

warning

Write your ad headlines to point out common mistakes your audience might be making. This not only grabs their attention but also positions your ad as a helpful resource.

Example:

 “Are You Making These Common Copywriting Mistakes?”

Highlighting mistakes creates a sense of urgency and offers a solution, encouraging readers to engage further with your content to avoid these pitfalls.

 

14. Use "Why" Headlines

Start your ad headline with "Why" to instantly engage readers and make them curious about the explanation that follows. This approach creates a need for understanding and encourages them to read further.

Example:

“Why Most Ads Fail (And How to Make Yours Succeed)”

A "Why" headline promises valuable insights and reasons, drawing readers in to find out more.

 

15. News Headline

Incorporate a news-style approach in your ad headline to convey timeliness and relevance.

This makes your headline feel current and important, which can captivate readers who want to stay informed.

Example:

“BREAKING: New Study Reveals the Secret to Higher Conversions”

A news headline can give your ad a sense of urgency and immediacy, compelling readers to pay attention and learn more.

 

16. Emotional Headline

emotions

Craft your ad headline to evoke strong emotions in your readers. Emotional triggers can be incredibly powerful, making your headline memorable and compelling.

Example:

“Feel Confident in Your Own Skin Again.”

By appealing to emotions like happiness, fear, or confidence, you can create a deeper connection with your audience, encouraging them to read on and engage with your ad.

 

17. Highlight Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Incorporate your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in your ad headline to clearly differentiate your product or service from the competition. Your USP is what makes you stand out and should be communicated directly in the headline.

Example:

“The Only Copywriting Course with One-on-One Mentorship”

Highlighting your USP in the headline immediately shows readers why they should choose you over others.

 

18. Flag Down Your Audience

Directly address your target audience in your ad headline to capture their attention immediately. This approach makes readers feel seen and understood, increasing the likelihood that they will engage with your content.

Example:

“Freelance Copywriters: Want to Double Your Income This Month?”

By calling out your specific audience, you ensure that the right people take notice and feel compelled to read further.

 

19. Use Announcement Headlines

Write your ad headline to sound like a significant announcement. This style creates a sense of importance and urgency, making readers feel like they need to pay attention.

Example:

“Introducing Our New Breakthrough Product!”

Announcement headlines convey excitement and urgency, prompting readers to read further to get the full details.

 

20. Use Testimonial Headlines

testimonial

Leverage customer testimonials in your ad headline to build trust and credibility instantly. Quotes from satisfied customers can make your product or service more appealing by providing social proof.

Example:

 “'I Doubled My Sales in Just One Month with This Tool! – John Doe”

Testimonial headlines give potential customers confidence by showcasing real success stories, making them more likely to engage with your ad.

 

21. Use "How To" Headlines

Start your ad headline with "How To" to immediately convey a clear and actionable benefit. This format promises the reader practical information or a solution to a problem, making it highly engaging.

Example:

 “How to Double Your Email Open Rates.”

How-to headlines appeal to the reader's desire to learn and improve, encouraging them to read on for valuable insights and tips.

 

22. "If...Then" Headlines

Create headlines that use the "If...Then" structure to present a problem and an immediate solution. This format grabs attention by addressing a specific need or desire.

Example:

“If You’re Struggling with Time Management, Then Follow These Tips.”

These headlines promise a clear benefit tied directly to a common issue, making them highly compelling.

 

23. Use Command Headlines

Create ad headlines that start with a strong command to prompt immediate action from your readers. This direct approach can be very effective in grabbing attention and encouraging engagement.

Example:

 “Discover the Secrets to Effective Marketing Now.”

Command headlines are straightforward and powerful, making it clear what you want the reader to do next.

 

24. Tease a Story

story

Engage your readers with a headline that hints at an interesting story. Storytelling is a powerful way to draw people in because it promises a narrative and emotional connection.

Example:

“How a Simple Idea Turned into a Million-Dollar Business”

Story headlines captivate readers by suggesting a beginning, middle, and end, making them want to read on to find out the full story.

 

25. Highlight an Irresistible Offer

Create a headline that showcases an irresistible offer to entice your readers immediately. Highlighting a strong deal or exclusive benefit can be a powerful motivator.

Example:

“Get 50% Off Today Only”

An irresistible offer grabs attention by promising significant value, encouraging readers to take action quickly to take advantage of the deal.

 

Conclusion

Feel more confident about writing winning headlines?

If not, apply any of these tips and your confidence will shoot through the sun after the praise your next project receives.

Want daily copywriting secrets to boost your income? Enter your email below:

 

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GET PAID LIKE A KING TO WRITE FOR BRANDS YOU LOVE - TODAY!

The "King of Copy" is Giving Away Tips for Becoming a Top Paid Copywriter Right Now

Enter your email below to open Jeremy's daily email tips and a FREE audio training straight out of his exclusive paid membership – Copy Kings

GET PAID LIKE A KING TO WRITE FOR BRANDS YOU LOVE - TODAY!

The "King of Copy" is Giving Away Tips for Becoming a Top Paid Copywriter Right Now

Enter your email below to open Jeremy's daily email tips and a FREE audio training straight out of his exclusive paid membership – Copy Kings