How to Create Compelling Headlines

How to Create Compelling Headlines

Carlos del Rio (Unbounce)

So, what really does constitute a good headline? According to Carlos Del Rio former Director of Conversion, Analysis and Data Strategy at, the answer is simple – some sort of value. What is it that the visitor is going to get on your site that they are not going to get someplace else? You should craft your headline with that issue in mind. Is it going to be a story they never heard before stumbling on your page, or is it a better price for the goods and services they are looking for? Is it better customer service you are promising to deliver?

Three Sides to a Coin

Your headlines need to be really attractive. They need to evoke that feeling that makes one feel like, ‘yes, this is what I want!’ The secret here is that if they feel like they are headed in the right direction, they’ll be very patient with you. Let’s take an example that was used in the Unbounce webinar.

There are two slides featuring black and white images. One image is a man’s, and the other a woman’s. Both are looking directly at the viewer and it is a case of which is more effective at portraying the intended message. This is where testing comes in handy. One of the images (on the left) shows a man smiling, peacefully done. The other on the right takes a more business-like look – a professional lady. Now these are the two issues to think about when you’re communicating. There is certainly a big difference and the effect on the viewer isn’t guaranteed to be the same.

The thing you should think about when including such images on any of your pages is the kind of feeling you want people to have when they are thinking about your brand and products. Would you want them to feel that you’re cool and professional (like the lady in our example) or you want them to get the feeling that you’re warm and approachable (like the gentleman on the left). Herein lies the secret: whenever you’re including such images, you need to make sure their eyes are pointing toward the action.

Avoiding Distractions

When images are directly looking at the viewers, people are wont to think about the person rather than about your products and services. As such, whenever you’re using people as your major image elements, make sure that you’re establishing that line directly proportional to their eyes – with their bodies that is. Additionally, ensure that they’re facing the object you want the viewer to take an action upon.

By doing this, you are having them visualize themselves holding the product, for example. Think about which approach might be the right answer for your particular clients. And test them against each other to know which converts better. Test products in action or the result of a service versus a product by itself or representation of the service.

Click here to view the presentation in its entirety.

Originally published July 03, 2014 - Updated July 17, 2014
Dennis van der Heijden
Co-founder and CEO of, Dennis is a passionate community builder and out of the box thinker. He spends his time innovating to make Convert Experiences better. Learn about his journey as an entrepreneur and leader on the SaaS Club podcast.
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