Why do we need to write attention grabbing headlines?

In a world bombarded by an infinite number of distractions it has become increasingly hard to grab attention and ensure your message is heard. Copy writers spend hours upon hours coming up with compelling headlines to avoid being ignored.  And having your entire marketing message ignored is a sad, sad situation to be in.

So what sorts of headlines grab attention? It’s a fine art, but we’ve put together a list of different headline types that you can keep coming back to whenever you’re searching for the right headline to use.

These headlines are proven to work so stop the mediocre headlines and start writing some seriously compelling stuff.

Direct Benefit Headlines

One of the simplest ways to attract people’s attention is to directly tell them of the benefit they stand to gain. You don’t need to over-think it or try to be clever in any way, just spell the benefit out as it is.

Here are some quick examples:
70% off All Apple Products
The #1 Luxury Item to Own This Summer

Question Headlines

You need to phrase your headline in the form of a question. But most importantly, it must be a question that your readers would immediately want to know the answer to.

For example:
Where Can I Find the Best Food in Melbourne?
How Much Should I Pay For Website Customization?

How to Headlines

These headlines tell users what they stand to learn from you. Of course, this has to be something they would want to learn in the first place! You’ll realize that this post itself has a How To Headline.

Here are some another examples:
How to Instantly Get More Traffic to Your Website.
How to Make A Viral Video

Call to Action Headlines

These headlines don’t focus on a benefit; rather, they tell your reader to do something that will benefit them. This is particularly effective in attracting readers to sales and special promotions.

For example:
Call Now and Get an Additional Motorcycle for Free
Subscribe to 8 Days Magazine Today!

List Headlines

These are commonly used for blog posts, but they can be used for a lot of other things too. The idea is to spell out a list of sorts; this list could be made up of things like benefits, or reasons to do something, or ways to do something.

For example:
Six Great Reasons to Buy an iPhone 6.
Five Ways to Instantly Improve Your Marketing Message

Fear / Scarcity Headlines

There is a saying that people are in a constant balancing act between fear and greed. So while people respond to the idea of buying new things with exclusive discounts (a type of greed) they also respond to the fear of missing out or experiencing something undesirable.  These headlines grab attention and also drive action!

Some examples:
Last Call : Discounts only last the next 2 hours
This will cause us to fail

Which of these five headlines do you prefer? Are there any other types of headlines that you find effective?