The Ultimate Headline? (SUPERB Example)

I snapped this on my phone at the weekend:

The Ultimate Headline

Here’s why it’s superb marketing:

1) Social Proof + New
If everyone’s talking about something it MUST be worth knowing, right?


But this doesn’t just deliver a huge bolt of social proof, it also implies that this diet must be something new.

And that’s powerful because a common objection to most information products is the prospect thinking, “Mmm, I probably know this already – I’ll bet it’s just the same as XYZ.”

So by subtly implying the information is different/fresh/new we handle this objection right upfront.

2) Biggest Objections Answered
The sub-headline….

Objection Resolved

….pro-actively knocks the biggest objection to any diet right on the head, namely that you’ll have to severely restrict the foods you can consume.

Sub-headlines are an excellent place to deal with common objections after you’ve outlined the main benefits in the headline.

Here’s an example from one of my own products (WP Viral Payments):

benefit headline-objection subheadline

3) Benefit Based Hook
This is EXACTLY what people want: FAST benefits….

benefit based hookUsing a quantified benefit (7lb) in a specific amount of time (7 days) is classic copywriting – it worked in the 1950s, works now and it’ll work for years to come.

This particular hook is even more powerful because it’s concise (only 5 words), uses the “magic” number 7 and almost seems to rhyme.

4) The Image
copywriting-imageImages are great because:

(a) They hugely boost conversions

(b) They are so easy to use (I use and Snagit to edit them)

Of course the image here is targeting females. It’s attractive and (interestingly) graphically reinforces the earlier objection-resolution that you can still drink wine with this diet!

5) Timing
The weight loss niche is obviously hugely seasonal so it’s no surprise that this banner was published on January 2nd.


However, even if your niche isn’t naturally seasonal you can still tie promotions into times: “Summer Sale”, “Thanksgiving Discount”, even… “My Birthday Bonanza!”

How To Make Money With This…

2 ways..

1) Keep the above points in mind and use them as a little checklist when you’re creating promotions, headlines, squeeze/sales pages etc.

There probably isn’t any such thing as the “ultimate” headline because it depends on the context, which varies. However, if you just implement the points above you’ll almost always end up with a great headline instead.

2) Remember that marketing is literally all around us everyday.

There are so many little tips exactly like these you can pick up from TV ads, billboards, signs on the street or, as in this case, newspaper banners.

The trick is you need to “observe”, rather than just “see” ; -)

Did you find this helpful? Please Share and drop a comment below – I’d love to hear what you think. As usual, comments good/bad/ugly are very welcome! Cheers, Rob. 🙂

26 Responses to The Ultimate Headline? (SUPERB Example)

  1. Shirley January 5, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    Yup Rob – it’s great stuff….points well made – especially on the subject of weight loss. Appreciate it – as ever:-).

    • Rob January 5, 2016 at 11:44 am #

      Great stuff Shirley, glad you found it useful and thanks for taking the time to let me know! Cheers, Rob.

  2. Paul Hollins January 5, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    Great stuff Rob

    In fact, I know of 4 people who read the newspaper article and immediately ordered the dieting book (it’s the Sirt Diet).

    It just goes to show that a compelling headline backed up with some believable social proof really does generate the action you want the reader to take.

    Thanks for your spot-on analysis of why this type of headline works Rob.

    I’m now off to finish that chocolate & red wine from Christmas. 😉

    • Rob January 5, 2016 at 11:43 am #

      Fascinating Paul! I would love to know the numbers behind the whole campaign, I’ll bet they pulled in a fair chunk of change from this ad alone.

      Great to see you here on the blog Paul, enjoy the chocs & wine ; -)

  3. Trevor January 5, 2016 at 10:04 am #

    Hi Rob this is a good one the things is it caught your eye straight away and when I looked at it u see the wine in her hand so sort of brings you in

    • Rob January 5, 2016 at 11:41 am #

      Yes, it’s a very clever use of an image. Thanks for commenting Trevor 🙂

  4. John January 5, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Yes, we are suckers for an enticing headline Rob and it’s about this time every year that

    one of these gets those guilt feelings going, because of the Christmas binge and as you

    point out, people do relate to images more than the written word. That’s probably why I

    keep well clear of the gym at this time and of course if its displayed in a national, it must

    be good. The hook is certainly the tempter. Nice one.

    • Rob January 5, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts John. I went to the gym for many years when I lived in London – this was the worst time of year with all the newcomers…most will be gone by Easter though of course! Cheers, Rob.

  5. Neil Griffin January 5, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    Really great example Rob – Thanks!

    • Rob January 5, 2016 at 11:36 am #

      My pleasure Neil 🙂

  6. Lorna Miles January 5, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

    You are right, Rob, this ticks all the boxes! Grey London agency lists The Times as one of their clients, but I don’t know if this one is theirs. Thanks for your very concise analysis.

    • Rob January 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

      Glad you found it useful Lorna and thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

      Cheers, Rob.

  7. Leslie Dahl January 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    Great lesson on simple but highly effective marketing tips, Professor. Thanks

    • Rob January 6, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      Thanks Leslie 🙂 Cheers, Rob.

  8. Roy Grogan January 5, 2016 at 11:53 pm #

    Great Article Rob… drawing attention to the obvious which we tend to gloss over when reading media articles. However if one has the “periscope up” and is “tuned in” i.e., to “now where can I get a great headline” either for an email “Subject” introduction or an article on a particular niche subject… Look No Further Than The Daily Newspaper, Magazines, Public Display Advertising, Railway Stations, Signage outside schools, Online/Offline promotions… etc., .After all they are the experts and are paid top $$$$’s.

    Even if one only takes a couple of words out of the “headline” and envelopes other words around same to create what one is endeavoring to convey in the Subject Title or Article Heading/Content… Keep the “Periscope Up” — Write them down immediately… And more importantly, create a Rolodex of these headings for future reference – You won’t regret doing so!

    “Learning is a Treasure that will Follow its Owner Everywhere”.

    • Rob January 6, 2016 at 8:42 am #

      Fantastic points Roy!

      This is exactly the lesson here. Looking at the world through “producer eyes” instead of just “customer eyes”.

      Thanks very much for taking the time to comment.

      Cheers, Rob.

  9. marke January 6, 2016 at 3:22 am #

    Great headline IF the claims can be proven.

    • Rob January 6, 2016 at 7:42 am #

      Given this was in a national newspaper I suppose it was approved by their legal department.

      Good point Marke, thank you 🙂


  10. Jeff Laming January 6, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    Thanks Rob.


    • Rob January 6, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

      Pleasure Jeff 🙂

  11. David Withington January 6, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    What a great example Rob. As you say, marketing is all around us. I think I’ll be keeping an eye on newspaper headlines a bit more now. Thanks for sharing and for your helpful comments.

    • Rob January 6, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

      Brilliant David – Obviously I hope this post helps people but if you do that you’ll learn a lot more over time. And the best part is it’s entirely free of course!

      Cheers, Rob.

  12. Helen Lindop January 20, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    I’ve learned a lot from just sitting back and watching the weight-loss marketers this January. Even though I’m not in the health or fitness niches myself, there are great examples of social proof, specific results, answered objections etc everywhere. I love the way the technology has changed, but as you say the copywriting techniques are just the same as in the ’50’s.

    • Rob January 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

      Yes, it’s a great time of year for that Helen! Thanks for your comment and great to see you here on the blog 🙂 Cheers, Rob.

  13. Clay Ryan, Brain Coach January 20, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    An excellent piece, Rob. Short, to the point, with annotated graphics to illustrate the principles.

    How can we do the same in our businesses? That would make for a good post. Perhaps, I will work on that and send it to you. Hmmm….

    Succinctly, this post is a concise version of something Neil Patel might create, yet it doesn’t ramble. Although I’m more long-winded and fast-reading the most, content such as this is appreciated.

    Keep up the great sharing.

    Gaining Higher Ground seems to be based on the principles of higher values.

    Thank you.

    Clay Ryan

    • Rob January 20, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

      Thank you Clay, you are very kind. Glad you enjoyed it and found it useful 🙂

      All the best, Rob.

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