Insights: The Secret to Writing Better Headlines.

Headlines are a quick and efficient way to explain something. Webpages almost always lead with them. Posters and billboards lack meaning without them. You probably clicked on this blog article because the headline appealed to you. Needless to say, they’re crazy important, and they’re a big part of our job as copywriters.

While headlines can be used differently depending on the medium, all of them concisely express an idea to provide information. Good headlines do more than that. They say things without needing to say them. They make us feel something. They have an insight.

What’s an insight?

An insight is oftentimes something relatable that speaks to your audience. A good headline combines an insight with the message it’s trying to communicate. For example, a headline for a 24 hour gym might use the insight that it’s hard to find the time to go workout to write a headline about no longer having an excuse. Insights are powerful because they communicate the unspoken to your reader. It demonstrates that you understand who they are without having to spell it out.

Good Insights are Emotionally Relatable

I like to think of insights as half-fact, half-emotion. Insights don’t have to be 100% factually true. They just need to balance something authentic with something your target can relate to emotionally. Take the example above, everyone can emotionally connect with the mental struggle of getting yourself to go to the gym. Sure, this example is fairly universal, but in most instances finding good insights require understanding your audience. For less obvious topics, go where they go. Read their Subreddits. Research and dig into comments. If it’s something you can physically go and do, have the experience. The more you can relate and find those hidden truths, the more insights you’ll come upon.

Combine Two Good Insights to Write One Great Headline

Once you’ve found a few insights that connect your messaging objective to your audience, it’s time to get creative. How can we blend the message we’re trying to communicate with the insight? Find interesting ways to communicate it. Sometimes, the best way to do this is to tie two insights together. For example, instead of writing a headline that shows we understand the emotional feeling that ‘going to the gym is hard’ write a headline that encourages them to stay on the couch, because a 24-hour gym will wait for their bingewatching to end.

Ultimately, getting to a great headline requires a lot of rewriting to polish your insights and messaging into something impactful. Insights give you a starting point that helps us figure out interesting and unique creative connections. Writing a killer headline is impossible without your unique creative perspective, but a few good insights are a great way to start getting those creative juices flowing.


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