The Science Behind the Perfect Headline

The Science Behind the Perfect Headline

David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, understood the importance of a great headline. He once said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” With the shear number of ads we encounter throughout the day, our minds are wired to filter out the noise. Whether by tuning into a different radio station, changing the channel or flipping the page, we actively try to avoid the sale. Ogilvy believed that, “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” Copywriting is a lot like fishing; you have to hook ‘em before you can reel ‘em in.

Find Your Voice

Copywriters speak in a targeted vernacular. We adjust our messaging to fit a specific target audience because millennials just don’t respond to the same messaging as baby-boomers.

Keep it Simple

When writing ad copy, it’s perfectly fine to think outside the box. However, if your headline becomes so convoluted that it fails to effectively communicate your message, then you’ve failed. Never sacrifice clarity for cleverness.

Use Keywords

In today’s age, we’re more connected than ever. When writing for traditional media, keywords serve as triggers to focus the readers’ thinking. In digital media, keywords are a great tool for search engine optimization (SEO) to help your readers find you online.

Inspire Your Readers

In many instances, a headline alone doesn’t sell. Great headlines will inspire your reader to seek more information. Often times, that information will be available immediately below in the body copy. If not, show them where to find it.

Personalize the Message

Don’t treat your reader like they’re just another face in the crowd. Speak to them, not at them. You want to make them feel like they’re important, not just a number.

The list of dos and don’ts for writing a great headline could go on and on. By establishing your voice, keeping it clear and concise, utilizing keywords, inspiring your readers and personalizing the message, you will have the best chance of getting your audience from pitch to purchase.

Wesley Chaderton | Jr. Copywriter


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The Science Behind the Perfect Headline

Veronique James


Veronique founded The James Agency (TJA) in 2005 with the goal of creating an agency focused on open communication and transparency with clients and employees. Today, the award-winning, integrated agency specializes in consumer advertising, public relations and digital and continues to exemplify Veronique’s original vision.

Veronique and her team collaborate to produce creatively-fueled, results-driven campaigns that help clients achieve their goals and positively impact their bottom line. Under Veronique’s direction, TJA has been honored with numerous industry and culture awards, including being named to the Inc. 5000 and Entrepreneur Top Company Cultures lists.

Actively involved in the community, Veronique is currently a member of Entrepreneur’s Organization, Arizona Chapter. She served as the organization’s third female president in 2017/2018. She has received numerous accolades for her leadership, entrepreneurship and community involvement.

Veronique is originally from Southern California and graduated with a BFA in Visual Communication from the University of Arizona.

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