25 Tips for Creating Ad Headlines

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interested in advertising a product, consider learning how to create effective ad headlines. Ad headlines are often the first opportunity to get the attention of potential customers. If your ad headline convinces people to look further into your business, you could make more sales. In this article, we discuss what an ad headline is and provide 25 ways to create good ad headlines.

What is an ad headline?

An ad headline is a group of a few words or sentences that promote a product or service. Ad headlines can be in print or digital form and typically emphasize a product's primary purpose or benefit to a consumer. Advertisers usually create ad headlines that are catchy and noticeable and combine them with images in order to convince people to buy their product. Sometimes, companies reuse one ad headline as a recognizable tagline for their brand. You can find ad headlines in the following types of advertisements:

  • Billboards

  • Websites

  • Magazines

  • Television commercials

  • Social media ads

  • Newspapers

  • Bus ads

Related: Types of Advertisements and What Makes Them Successful

25 ways to create good ad headlines

Crafting a powerful ad headline is crucial to reaching customers and increasing profits. The following are various strategies to create the perfect ad headline for your product:

Ask a question

Asking a question in your ad headline can directly address a passerby, catch their attention and ultimately lead them to your product. Use a question to get a customer to consider a problem, need or want they might have that your product can solve. You can ask something as simple as, "Hungry?" to remind a customer that they might want food and get them thinking about buying your food product.

Solve a problem

Use an ad headline to convey to viewers that your product can solve a problem they might be experiencing. Consider writing something like, "Having trouble sleeping? Try our Sleep Well mattresses." This ad headline example introduces a problem in the customer's mind—sleeping difficulties—and immediately solves the problem with the product and its brand name. It shows the customer that by buying the product, they can find a perfect solution for their issue and sleep better right away.

Call to action

The language in your ad headline can call the customer to action or get them to do something. Use action words such as "Visit our website" to guide the customer to learn more about your product and business. You can also suggest that consumers perform exciting actions by saying things like "Live life to the fullest" or "Seek adventure." This way, you can imply that by buying your product, a consumer can reach these lofty goals.

Related: 15 Power Words for Sales

Convey urgency

Tell the consumer that they need to buy your product immediately. Get them to understand with your ad headline that the sooner they buy your product, the sooner their life can improve. Make it easy, quick and convenient for customers to receive your product, and incentivize consumers for ordering it now. For example, your ad headline could read, "Call now, and we'll deliver for free!"

Appeal to emotion

Addressing a person's emotions can often help in convincing them to buy a product. Use the few words or sentences of your ad headline to generate happiness or sentimentality in a viewer so that they are more likely to remember your product. For example, if you're advertising baby clothes, you could use the expression "Bundle of joy" in your ad headline to prompt viewers to ponder the pride that a baby often brings to a parent.

Make a joke

One of the most powerful ways to get a consumer's attention is by making them laugh. If you can use humor in your ad headline, it can make your product more memorable and convince the customer that if they buy it they can experience cheer. By making a joke, a business also appears more relatable and personable to a consumer.

Respond to doubt

Predict the insecurities and worries of a consumer and convey in your ad headline that your product has the power to solve these. For example, if you're advertising makeup, address the consumer's possible worries about quality by ensuring your makeup is smooth and flawless.

Perhaps a consumer doubts the safety of a car. Mention in your ad headline that the safety features of your car could save a family's lives in the event of a car accident. This can provoke in viewers the feelings of calmness and security that they can feel if they buy your product.

Show a benefit

Express in your ad headline the special advantages that your product can provide for a customer's life. Your product could make a customer happier, healthier or more confident. For example, an ad headline that includes "Save time" shows a customer that buying a product makes their lives more convenient and efficient. You can also quantify the benefits that your product has on a customer to be more persuasive. Perhaps your internet services give customers internet that is four times faster than the average brand.

Offer a deal

Offering a good deal, sale or discount for your product in your ad headline can attract more customers. People often love finding a deal, so make sure your offer is better than what your competitors provide. If you offer "50% off your first order," people are more likely to want to buy your product because they can get more value for their hard-earned dollars.

Highlight what's unique

Show your unique selling proposition or what is special about your product compared to your competitors. Tell the customer why they should buy from your brand rather than a different one. If your product is eco-friendly, you could emphasize in your ad headline that your company helps to protect the environment. For example, some companies campaign by planting a tree every time a customer buys one of their products.

Include numbers

Include numerical evidence to convince customers that you have based your product on research and facts. If you include numbers and statistics, people may trust your product more to get them actual results. In addition, even just the presence of numbers can help put your product in context. For example, if your company offers 24/7 services, that would be a significant factor to mention in your ad headline.

Be enticing

Use a captivating phrase in your ad headline to encourage consumers to click your link. This could be something like "You never knew these five things were affecting your health." Consumers may read that and want to learn the specifics of this important information. Engaging with consumers this way can bring more traffic to your website and increase the likelihood of a sale.

Use words carefully

Since ad headlines are short and to the point, make sure every word has value. Write words that are as descriptive as possible. For example, you could advertise that your pizza is "Wood-fired with locally sourced ingredients" to convey to the consumer your pizza's freshness and delicious taste.

Use keywords

Study the keywords that customers are searching regarding your type of product and use them in your ad headline. Including keywords, especially in digital or online advertising, can help your product and website be more accessible to consumers. Employ search engine optimization (SEO) methods to expand your customer base.

Read more: Guide: What Is SEO?

Refer to trends

Mention current trends in your ad headlines such as song lyrics or a meme to show that your company is modern and cool. Stay up to date on pop culture and social media to be knowledgeable about new slang and understand what topics everyone is talking about in the current moment.

Spell everything correctly

Make sure your ad headlines are error-free so that customers know that your business is thoughtful and legitimate. Complete grammar and spellcheck before publishing your ad headlines and make sure your sentences flow well together.

Use customer reviews

Customer reviews can be powerful sources to use in ad headlines. They show other potential customers a real and relatable voice that is promoting your product and saying it worked for them. You can also use celebrity testimonials to show consumers that someone they love used and enjoyed your product.

Learn the industry

Research your industry and see how top industry leaders are advertising. Study successful ad headlines and other marketing techniques to improve your own.

Link to your website

Include contact information for your business in your ad headline so that viewers know how to buy the product. Include the name of your brand and a website, email, phone number or social media handle. When advertising across digital media, feature buttons like call-to-action buttons guide a consumer to a landing page where they can buy your product.

Explain the components

Explain how your product works in your ad headline, especially if it is complex or technological. Educating customers on the functionality of your product ensures customers can feel more comfortable and confident buying it.

Read more: How To Sell Anyone Your Product

Address your local community

If you're advertising a service that you primarily provide locally, give a shout-out to your local audience in your ad headline. You could also name your city or neighborhood if the location where you make your product has to do with its quality. For example, if you grow peaches in Georgia, a place known for its delicious peaches, you could mention that in your ad headline to convince customers to buy them.

Keep it simple

Sometimes the most powerful ad headlines are the most simple. Your ad headline should be clear and concise to get your point across, quickly get the attention of the consumer and express your brand to them. For example, a health foods company could use a simple headline like "Nourishment" to show the consumer that their products can improve health.

Be honest

Be honest about the features of your product and what you are offering. Make sure that anything you say in your ad headline is something you can actually provide to customers. Being honest and transparent about your products can ensure your company maintains an excellent reputation.

Practice empathy

Empathy is an understanding of another person's experience, especially if it is different from your own. Practice empathy in your ad headline by considering people's different perspectives and addressing them. If you market your product to a diversity of people, you can expand your customer base.

Make a promise you'll keep

A powerful method for an ad headline is making a promise that you can deliver to your customers. If you commit to the well-being of your customers and show them you mean what you say, you can build trust and attract customer loyalty to your brand.

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