8 simple, yet powerful types of headlines

From the journalistic to the how-to (and, of course, the list), here are headline styles you should adopt.

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Think of it as a virtual handshake. If your headline is the text equivalent of a cold, dead fish, you’ll make a poor first impression. Or think of it as analogous to a cover letter or a request for a date. You only get one chance to introduce yourself—make it good.

Various types of headlines exist, and some are more suitable than others for various types of content. Here are eight categories appropriate for selling something, whether it’s a product or an idea, along with a sample headline of that type:

1. Direct: “Lawn Mowers on Sale”

Such an approach may seem dull, but consider that no single reader personality prevails; some people like an unadorned statement. Many people looking for lawn mowers on sale will be gratified to see the headline “Lawn Mowers on Sale” and think, “Ah, just what I was thinking.”

2. News: “Remote-Control Lawn Mower to Debut in April”

A journalistic headline conveys authority and is straightforward without being plain.

3. How-to: “How to Select the Best Lawn Mower for Your Yard”

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