Headlines for Printers: 7 Tips and Formulas for Writing Effective Headlines (Plus Free Download!)

When you need to grab the attention of your print buyer, you need a great headline.

Whether your message is making its way to your audience through email, web copy, or direct mail, a great headline will snag the interest of your reader enough for them to want to read more. Here are a few tips to ensure you hit the mark with your headline every time.

7 Tips and Formulas for Writing Effective Headlines


1. Write for the Need

Instead of trying to communicate value when writing your headline, go for the print buyer’s need.

All of your print buyers are in need of something, and your product or service will solve that need. If you keep your focus on addressing the need, your headlines will practically write themselves. Remember, great headlines tell you the end result in a way that you want to see or read more about.

2. Be Clear and Concise

Headlines are not the place to show off your fantastic wit.

While some might get your cute idiom or play on words, more often than not, they can miss the mark for those who don’t get it. Be sure your headline is clear, concise, and highlights the “Big Benefit” they’ll receive if they choose to continue reading. Try to stick to headlines that are ten words or less, and that clearly define how the reader will benefit.

3. Pay Attention to Word Choice

Do you know what sets great speeches of the past apart from not-so-great ones?

The best speeches are high in verbs (action) and low in adjectives (descriptions). In other words, use headlines that skip the flowery talk and instead inspire action. Here’s an example:

  • Instead of this: “Better rates, fewer fees, and great service.” (All nouns and adjectives)
  • Inspire action like this: “Earn more, save more, get more.” (Verbs)

4. Mind Your Pronouns

Pronouns can have a powerful impact on the effectiveness of your headlines.

For best results, keep your headlines in second person. This means use words like you, your, and yours, instead of speaking about yourself or your company (I, we, our). It might seem like a subtle change, but it can make all the difference in your print buyer being able to relate to your headline. Here’s an example:

  • Instead of: “Our team has 75 years of combined mortgage experience.”
  • Use: “Eradicate stress with a worry-free home loan.”


5. Spark Curiosity with Your Headlines

According to a recent article from BuzzSumo, curiosity plays a considerable part in the success of social media headlines.

Phrases such as “what happened next,” “are freaking out,” or “talking about” seem to be particularly popular.

Readers are often curious about what is being talked about by people, what the top items are in a league table, or what is being said by people on Twitter about a topic or event. This type of content appeals to a reader’s sense of curiosity.

To use a curiosity headline, use the following formula: What You Don’t Know About _______ Can _______

Example: What You Don’t Know About Branding Could Harm Your Business Reputation

6. FOMO Headlines

Triggering a person’s FOMO (or Fear of Missing Out) is another popular headline formula that will grab the attention of your print buyers.

You’ll see this play out in a formula similar to: You’ll Be _______ if You _____________

Example: You’ll Kick Yourself if You Miss This Direct Mail Discount

7. The Best List Headlines

All of us are seeking ways to be the best and do the best, and that’s why this formula works well for almost any audience.

Best list headlines use a formula like this: The __ Best Ways to Get ______

Example: The 10 Best Reasons to Send a Direct Mail Newsletter

Headlines and Marketing Slogans For Printers

Need some additional inspiration to write your best print-related headline or slogan? Download the “The Ultimate List of 100 Marketing Slogans For Your Print Business” below, and you’ll be on your way to turning heads!

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