11 Tips to Help You Discover Your Headline’s Holy Grail

Your ‘Holy Grail’ when it comes to your sales message or your email subject line is your ability to get your message read.

Once you have discovered your holy grail, this becomes your hook for your headline which is simply a unique piece of your sales story which arouses burning curiosity and FORCES your reader to read your copy.

It is your slant, your uniqueness, which no-one else has.

You will instinctively know when you find your ‘Holy Grail’ and then you set about crafting this into a big hook.

You search for some detail of your product which others have paid no attention to.

And this is another reason why you need to research your topic. Do your due diligence and it opens so many doors for you.

Except this time, you are looking for the “human” connection.

When you find your hook, do you know the best place in your copy to use it?

It is in your Headline!

Here Are 11 Tips to Help You Discover Your Headline’s Holy Grail:

1. Your Guarantee.

A guarantee can be your hook. It will need to be sensational, every outrageous. If it’s so different, so unusual, it could be your hook. As long as your product and or service doesn’t suck, your guarantee will not bit you on your ass because 99.2% of people are honest and will not ask you for a refund when they know they never got off their ass in the first place.

2. Testimonials from your satisfied customers.

For example, a 65 year-old fat golfer, who won a tournament beating good opposition – including several pro golfers.

Obviously, the hook here is “65 year-old, fat amateur golfer, who hadn’t even seen his toes in years . . . out drove, out teed and out played golf pros to wins tournament.”

3. Create a celebrity.

Get a well-known celebrity to endorse your product and work this into your hook. Just look at any major products such as nike who have a celebrity endorsing them or the perfumes which have the Hollywood Celebrities or models under contract or when Michael Jackson was signed to Pepsi.

Celebrities work – no exceptions!

4. Competitive Analysis.

Create a spreadsheet and list all your competitors’ points. Price, guarantee, major benefit, etc. And then look for ways to be better than them. You may find your ‘Holy Grail’ and hook right here – at the very least you will uncover better content for your copy.

5. Do the opposite.

If you find a competitor which has a really compelling hook. They may be bigger than you and you can’t hope to compete with them . . . however what you can do is maybe think of a hook which is the opposite of what they do. Or maybe something similar but with a different slant.

6. Book titles.

Visit your local Barnes and Noble or Borders. Look at the book titles. Especially the well-known ones. You may be able to adapt one of them. Some obvious ones come to mind, but do some research of your own.

There are also some terrific titles in the Public Domain.

Here are a few examples:

Think and Grow Rich (1937 version is in the Public Domain)
Eat and Grow Thin (a book title from the public domain)
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Scientific Advertising (Public Domain)
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Who Moved My Cheese

7. Song titles.

Same here. Let some famous songs inspire you to come up with a great hook.

One which comes to mind is the Beatles song: “Let It Be.” Other song titles are:

Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Pennies From Heaven
Over the Rainbow
Sound of Silence
Love is All Around
Simply Irresistible

8. Movie titles.

Eugene Schwartz (legendary copywriter) reckoned you should see every top box office movie to put you into the mindset of your prospects.

Here are a few movie titles for you to consider:

Fatal Attraction
Superman.
Nightmare on Elm Street
The Seven Year Itch
Rebel Without a Cause
The Da Vinci Code
Walk The Line
Cinderella Man

And be careful about the demographics of your prospects.

9. News Stands.

This is great for finding your hook. Grab a copy of National Enquirer. See which headlines they are using.

Get a copy of the magazines which cover your niche. See what headlines are in use. For sure, they will be tried and tested.

Golf Digest is a particularly good example.

Study some of the articles.

10. Television Shows.

Another way to try and “brainstorm” your hook. Do this and you will uncover your Headline’s Holy Grail.

Here are 7 examples:

Big Brother
American Idol
The Apprentice
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Twilight Zone
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Deal Or No Deal

11. Random Words.

Use random words to fire your imagination.

Get topical words to create strong images in your mind.

Here are just a few:

Navy Seals
Bazooka
Scorpion
Cobra
Taipan
Panther
Crocodile

I have used:

“The Crocodile Dundee of Advertising – Delivers The Biggest Advertising Knife so you can slash your competitors in half and leave them feeling like a one legged duck swimming in a crocodile infested creek!”

Mark Joyner, in his book “The Irresistible Offer” refers to finding your “touchstone.” And one of the ways he does this is by coming up with random words and finding ways to answer the following questions:

i. What are you trying to sell me?
ii. How much does it cost?
iii. What’s in it for me?
iv. Why should I believe you?

What you must NOT do is try to fool your reader. Your holy grail and your hook must be honest and sincere. And believable. Even if it’s “almost” unbelievable.

If you look hard enough you will find it.

And don’t forget about the Internet as well.

You can visit news websites to check out the hottest stories too which can give you ideas for a hook or for an angle for your copy, an articles etc.

You too can discover your Holy Grail! Happy Hunting.

‘Dedicated to kicking your ass until you succeed.

‘Trevor ‘Toe Cracker’ Crook
PS.
You are the best person in the world to create the words which sell you and your products and services. Don’t let lame copy cost you sales.

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5 Responses to 11 Tips to Help You Discover Your Headline’s Holy Grail

  • Clint says:

    True. A rock solid guarantee separates you from the pack. In my humble opinion is one of the harder aspects of copywriting to master.

    Here is a guarantee I created;

    “I make people money and a lot of it… You make 3 times what you pay me or it’s FREE! No results No Fee Guaranteed”

    It’s really killer and it rhymes — bonus. Guarantees churn my crank, it’s one of my favourite parts of any sales material to read. In my mind the guarantee is what stands between sale or no sale. Many people by on guarantee alone, including myself.

    Trevor recommends writing at least 50 headlines before choosing one. I think to create a really killer guarantee it should have as much blood & sweat too.

    What do you think?

    • Brizeth says:

      Hello Angela. I just read your blog post on the five ways to earn money with your writing. I also litnesed to your podcast on getting instant buyers. I was going to tell you that the rates your friends were making were way higher than what I have seen. But that may be because I have been looking for jobs on the freelance outsourcing sites. And you are right. When you are looking for jobs, the pay is lower. There are so many people who want you to write a high quality article for $1. Well, I refuse to do it. I don’t care if they do order 200 articles. I would exhaust myself and make a very poor hourly rate. I’d be better off working at McDonald’s. I do have a blog and a separate online portfolio. But I have not put out the hire me sign on my blog. I have charged $10 and $15 per article or email, which is chicken feed compared to the rates your friends are making. But at this point, I am not sure what rates to post.I really did enjoy your podcast. I’m going to try to find time in the next few days to come back and listen to the rest of them. Thanks.Kelli Workman

    • Praba says:

      you want something that in the book seillng industry is called “remainders” basically left over books, tapes and Cd’s that did not sell. when you say copy writing, do you mean ad writing? copyrighting things you write is now so easy u don’t need a book on it. just contact the copyright office, a small brochure or web page they have will tell you all you need to know about that. ad writing, if that is what you want, is subjective, the books tell you to do it such and such, but they don’t work. study ads you see that run and run, nobody keeps running ads that don’t produce sales. creating ebooks is up to you, seillng them on line there are many roads to travel. you can try to do it yourself, or find an Ebook publisher, or combinations of things. where to get ideas .all around you. really there is no idea that somebody hasn’t had already. you just have to put your spin on it. Next question? Can you write? can you show a story with words? if you can, i would consider partnering with you, i have the ideas, but my writing talent is lacking at this point. Was this answer helpful?

    • Manuel says:

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  • sunny beach says:

    Is this just for spammers?

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