It’s been said that creators of the best copywriting headlines spend 50% of their time on this vital part of every ad, and the rest of their time on the ad itself.

The success of every ad depends on the headline, so paying attention to headline copywriting tips is just as important as developing the skill to write the main text. But great headlines don’t just happen—they require knowledge, testing, and experimentation to land on the most engaging ones.

Here are a few rules of thumb for how to write a headline that will have a great effect:

1. Understand the Product and the Target

Understanding your target audience and what your product can do for them is the best way to start. At the most basic level, this requires knowledge about the gender and age of your customers. The kind of language that appeals to them is also important for the types of copywriting headlines that will be most effective.

For example, let’s say that you run an online personal grooming products store for men. But, through analysis, you discover that your customers are mostly women who are shopping for their husbands and boyfriends. In this case, you would gear your headline towards language that appeals to women. You would therefore write up something like “Save X% on Shaving Gifts for Your Guy” instead of “Get a Great Shave on the Go.”

Similar insight into product benefits can also lead you to that perfect headline. For instance, once upon a time, ads about shoes mentioned how comfortable, durable, and supportive they were. Then came “Just Do It”, and consumers began to see Nike as the sign of an athletic, go-getting personality and lifestyle.

2. Get Inspired by Other’s Headlines

Another way to “warm up” your creative side before writing an ad is to read some great headlines—particularly on magazine covers. The most successful magazines give us great examples of winning types of headlines in copywriting. After all, nobody opens a magazine until they read the cover, and it is a major secret to their success.

You can also look at copywriting headline examples from your own industry to see what type of language is in style and what kind of keywords are being used.

3. Write the Ad Copy First

It is often easier to write out all of the ad copy before the headline. This allows you to get the main ideas in your mind before getting to the headline, which is, in a way, a sort of summary of the ad text, or a highlight of its most important messages.

4. Do 1 of These 4 Things

When creating the text, remember that the best headline copy attracts attention because it:

  • Make a promise, preferably by mentioning a specific goal
  • State a fact by using figures
  • Ask a question – mainly, what’s in it for me?
  • Create an image

So keep one of these objectives in mind when doing the actual writing.

Another important tip, this time about length: there’s no hard and fast rule for optimal word count, but it seems to depend on the platform. Be sure to check that out.

5. Create Headline Variations

After scripting the first headline, it’s time to expand to several versions. Try writing a headline for each of the four objectives mentioned above, or experiment with different wording, punctuation, and phrasing. You can even create one version that’s wacky – it could just be the most eye-catching.

Then, read them out loud and get your team (if you have one) to review and give their opinion on which is the best (this is also important for avoiding silly mistakes!)Test and Repeat

Once you’ve got the headline that ranked first in the above process, post it; analyze the response; rewrite (or use one of the other initial versions); and repost. Continue this process until you get the best engagement rate. And be patient!

Don’t forget that you can also apply A/B testing tools that are available from various digital marketing platforms.

6. Use a Headline Copy Generator!

There is, however, a super simple way to reduce the lengthy process of copywriting the best headlines.

Artificial intelligence is an effective method for rapidly creating, testing, and rewriting various types of copywriting headlines to ensure optimal performance. Anyword’s AI copywriting platform takes a small amount of input, like a website link, keywords, or text that you create. Within moments, Anyword generates a wide range of headline variations. These versions are graded according to a predictive performance score and histograms that provide audience segmentation according to age and gender. In this way, the headlines are evaluated before they are even posted so that the whole process of testing can be greatly shortened. 

What you get is a copywriting headline generator that is fast and can produce results that are often better than the typical, painstaking process. So why go through all the manual labor when you don’t have to? Try AI, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t sooner.

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