By Owen Fay . Posted on August 10, 2022

Strategic and targeted headlines can help marketers and businesses attract users to their landing pages, website, and content. These brief statements can tell an audience how certain benefits, offerings, or context applies to them and what they can expect to get by clicking on an ad or learning more.

Marketing professionals and business owners can employ strategic and targeted headlines to draw customers to their landing pages, websites, and content. These concise explanations can explain to an audience how specific benefits, services, or products apply to them and what they can gain by clicking on an advertisement or learning more.

Understanding the different types of headlines can help an organization identify the right one and create better ads. In this blog post, we’ll define an ad headline, provide you with a list of 20 headline types you might employ to engage your audience, and show you how you can create great copy with headline testing.

What is a Headline?

An ad headline is a group of words or sentences that promote a product or service. A headline is typically in large font and used to grab the attention of the reader. A lot of elements go into creating a powerful ad headline that you should keep in mind before launching a campaign.

Headlines are often the driving factor in turning a user into a lead and conversion, they need to be engaging and display value to the reader. You must create an advertising headline that can rapidly and effectively hold the reader’s attention. A great headline in advertising aims to promote your business and convince readers to continue reading the ad copy.

To grab the reader’s attention, we might employ various strategies. For marketers, imagery, ad copy, and CTAs are all very valuable, but the effectiveness of any content is often based on the quality of the headline and the kind of headline you apply.

20 Types of Ad Headlines

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough,” – Albert Einstein

In the same way, if people aren’t clicking on your headlines, they will likely not understand what your content or the ad is about. Creating catchy headlines that get the attention of the user will lead to conversions, clicks, and improved marketing effectiveness.

There are so many types of headlines available, and while not all of them will be successful or resonate with all audiences, looking at how others have created theirs might help you come up with effective copy of your own. Marketers have a variety of strategies at their disposal when creating the ideal headline, here are 20 types of headlines that you could use in your ads:

1. Direct Headlines

A direct headline clearly states the purpose of the ad and what is being offered. This usually comes in the form of a few short words like “Dog Food”, “payday Loans”, or “Mortgage Rates”. It usually summarizes the main point of the ad or offers. Users know exactly what they are going to get when a business uses direct headlines.

Direct headlines often get right to the point. It makes it very apparent what is being sold and the advertisement’s goal. This type of headline can be used by any business but might be most effective for B2B or more professional organizations that don’t want to use emotional or entertaining headlines.

2. Indirect Headlines

Indirect headlines take a subtle approach by hinting at the ad’s main point. It doesn’t state the key benefit but is meant to target curiosity and make users want to learn more.

Indirect headlines focus on the art of subtly, while direct headlines provide the reader with the information directly. The indirect approach maintains a sense of mystery that intrigues the user by only implying the ad’s or landing page’s main idea. Instead of providing answers, they raise new questions. Although the main advantage is not stated, it is intended to spark users’ interest and encourage them to learn more by engaging with the ad.

3. Pain Point Headlines

These headlines highlight the issue that consumers are attempting to resolve. Pain Point-focused headlines engage users by incorporating keywords and queries that they are searching for. The headline then explains a product or service that solves their issue or answers their questions.

Stress the Advantages of Resolving the Pain Point. Create a solution that is unique to the industry and present it in a way that addresses their particular issues. The goal of these headlines is to get clicks by showing the user that you can address their pain points

4. Announcement Headlines

The focus of announcement headlines is usually on a brand-new feature that a corporation is introducing or big business news. These kinds of headlines are frequently used by companies that have done a website or platform redesign, are launching a new concept or tool, or have accomplished something their audience will be excited about.

Its goal is the same as that of content marketing headlines: to spark interest while outlining the topic. Efficiency is the focus of these headlines, which convey breaking news or developments about a business in the most exciting way possible. Naturally, you can still use your imagination when coming up with a headline for an announcement to increase its impact.

5. How-To Headlines

These headlines teach the reader a way to learn a new skill or fix a problem. They are created by stating “how to” followed by the action or skill they want users to learn.

You can sum up the information in your advertisements or articles in this headline format. How-to headlines are also attached to a specific search query like “how to test ads?”. This shows the reader that you know how to accomplish what they are trying to do and have resources to help them learn how to do it.

6. Question Headline

A question headline asks the reader a question with the intention of providing the answer when they click or want to learn more.

They occasionally overlap with “how-to” and “why” headlines, but they stick to the same rule: address the query your title raises. Consumers frequently find these aspects of a company’s products or brand to be helpful and are likely to click on these headlines when their question aligns with the copy.

7. Command Headline

Command headlines instruct readers by outlining what they should do or what they can learn from clicking on an ad. These headlines are frequently used when you want to explain to the user clearly and provide obvious actions users should take.

The majority of command headlines begin with a powerful action verb. Command headlines use the following structure: The desired action + the action verb. An example of this could be, “Lower your insurance rate here!” Compared to other headlines, this strategy often has a traditional ad-like appearance, and while they are clearly ads, it is nonetheless very powerful.

8. Reasons Headline

This headline explains to the reader why particular events take place. “Why” headlines lead to content that discusses the reasons for something, and they can highlight an explanation or opinion piece, just as “how-to” headlines lead to writing that explains how to accomplish something.

Since lists are simpler to skim through than other writing formats, people frequently prefer them to other writing formats when using this style of headline. These often lead to pages or content like “10 reasons you need a chatbot for your business”. They can effectively get clicks, address user issues, and help people engage with your content.

9. Emotional Headlines

Emotional headlines target positive or negative reactions to encourage users to engage with the ad.

Evoking emotions is always effective in advertising, you want the audience to feel a certain way about the ad and business. The headline’s approach emphasizes creating a desired emotional response while sparking interest in the organization.

Your visitor experiences self-satisfaction when you pair a benefit with an emotionally charged headline, increasing the likelihood that they will convert, click through, or make a purchase.

10. Wordplay headlines

Wordplay, often known as a play on words, is the skillful and humorous use of words and their connotations, they make use of literary devices and strategies.

A wordplay headline uses a creative format to get a reaction from users. They are typically used by less professional or serious organizations that want to be funny, cute, or amusing.

A wordplay headline makes inventive use of words and language, usually in the form of a joke or an ironic statement. Businesses frequently use these headlines to make a less significant topic humorous.

11. Brand Name Headlines

Most advertisers include the brand name in an ad headline, and these headlines use recognizable brand names to attract users and benefit from known brand names.

This can be advantageous for start-up companies that are attempting to compete in a market with an established corporation. It’s usually a smart strategy to use well-known people or brand names to draw attention to your material immediately. Smaller firms or corporations can start developing brand awareness with their consumers or clientele by using this strategy.

12. “Best” Headline

These headlines can be used to attract users who are looking for top-rated products or services. Such as “The Best Auto Rates of 2022”.

Users who are looking for highly regarded products or services can be attracted by the use of these headlines. Just a few words are used to describe a product’s functions, advantages, reasons to purchase it, etc., and these headlines typically follow the format: “Best” + the company or their offering.

13. Two-Part Headline

A two-part headline uses punctuation like a colon, dash, or parenthesis to combine ideas. They combine two offerings, ideas, concepts, or features to show more value.

Normally, both parts of the headlines can stand alone, but when combined, they have a higher possibility of drawing a customer’s attention. The simplicity of this headline and the way it addresses two particular customer concerns make it all the more effective.

14. Relational Headlines

Relational headlines employ second-person language to relate the subject of an advertisement to the reader. The user is more likely to engage and learn how this advertisement can benefit them if the topic is related to them.

They will use “you” or “your” to connect the reader with the ad, such as “The New Management System YOUR Business Needs”. This is an excellent method to relate an unknown concept or feature to the user, making it engaging.

15. Location-Specific Headlines

Location-specific headlines are used by regional businesses or organizations trying to target a specific area or region. They focus on something people in a particular area have in common.

You might assume that using headlines like this will restrict your readership. They also do but in a really smart way, if you are a business that isn’t nationwide or cannot serve outside of your region, they help to target the audience you can help.

Typically, small businesses with a brick-and-mortar location or regional services use this headline to show viewers that they can provide their products and services to them.

16. Numeric Headlines

Numerical headlines include some statistics or numbers in the copy. They are attached to a list of products or services that users can benefit from, including pricing, or lead with a statistic that will intrigue the user.

Consider incorporating a number or statistic in your headline when you need to make a powerful statement. A headline like “Spend 25% Less” or “Starting at $10 a Month”. Numeric headlines show proof or explain something clearly to the reader, giving them a reason to learn more.

17. Testimonial Headline

These headlines begin with a quote from a company or customer. This gives the user an objective and opinionated statement from someone that has used the product in the past. This shows proof that others have found value in the business.

This headline type may appear on an ad or landing page, where it might function as the page’s title for testimonials. This provides visitors with an unbiased, expert opinion from a user of a company’s products.

18. Alternative Headlines

Alternative headlines highlight the advantages of your company’s products compared to those of a competitor. Users may be shown a fantastic substitute for an already familiar service.

You can quickly explain your unique selling proposition (USP) and what you do for potential clients by comparing yourself to the goods or services they may already be utilizing. This goal is to show users that you offer the same or better benefits of a resource they already use. Focus on how you are better than the alternative to get more clicks and conversions through this type of ad.

19. Do this Now Headline

These headlines emphasize your product’s or service’s call to action and what the user must do to take advantage of it. It could be something like “Shop Now” or “Get qualified in 5 minutes”.

A call-to-action (CTA) is always important in any headline, but this one specifically focuses on it. It clearly states what users have to do to achieve their goals or what steps they have to take to solve a problem.

20. Clickbait Headlines

The only goal of clickbait headlines is to generate as many clicks as possible by using some cliffhanger or giving users just a little bit of context. Although a clickbait headline might technically get more clicks, they are associated with low-quality ads due to their negative connotations over the years.

The majority of clickbait headlines make a strong emotional appeal to entice readers to click and share them, and occasionally they don’t correspond to the material that actually follows. They often promise or exclaim something that isn’t true or can’t actually be achieved.

While these headlines might seem like a good option, many experts and professionals suggest never using them because they can hurt the brand’s reputation and push users to never engage with the ads again.

How to Optimize Headlines

We have outlined 20 of the most effective types of marketing headlines and when you might be able to use them to improve your ads. But how can you ensure your headlines engage users and lead to conversions? Headline testing and the headlines optimizer from Poll the People is the best way to find winning headlines. With feedback from your target users, you can find what works, what doesn’t, and ways to optimize your ads.

Our platform is an easy-to-use market research tool used to test digital assets like ads, copy, designs, and more. We help marketers in any industry become superheroes by eliminating roadblocks, driving conversions, and improving marketing effectiveness. You can create optimized, user-validated headlines by utilizing the combined power of human intelligence and our AI-backed tools.

Using our Google headline optimizer, all you need is a keyword to find a headline that drives conversions and gets you more site traffic. Our tool uses AI to generate a number of headlines that you can then test with our dedicated user panel to get feedback from your target audience and find ways to improve copy. Test design is easy with our expert-built templates, audience targeting, and segmentation, letting you create an effective test in minutes.

Our Ask Me Anything and Insights features make analysis simple. We give you an auto-generated research report giving you all the information you need to make a data-backed decision on your headlines. The Ask Me Anything features lets you ask AI questions about the feedback and data, eliminating the need to sift through hundreds of responses. Poll the People lets you take any type of headline and create ad copy that engages users, matches their intent, and drives conversions.


It’s essential to adapt these headline formulas for your ad campaigns instead of sticking to one type of headline, it will allow you to individualize the copy for your audience and what they need. Use the headlines as a starting point, let your knowledge of your audience guide where you take it from there, and A/B test the headlines to find what works best.

If you want to find the best headlines for your business, a user-testing platform like Poll the People is a great way to do it. With a dedicated user panel, multiple expert-built templates, feedback in under an hour, and a pricing plan to fit any business, it is the best platform for testing your headlines. Our platform also has the free Headline Optimizer Tool, with just a keyword, our enterprise-level AI-backed software will instantly generate powerful headlines that get more clicks.

One Last Thing ..

Are you struggling to write compelling headlines that capture your audience’s attention? “Poll the People,” our market research platform, can help. Our live case study showcases how OpenAI tools can be used to analyze different types of headlines and provide insights into which ones resonate best with your target audience. With our platform, you can craft headlines that are more likely to engage your audience and ultimately drive conversions. Check out our demo and see the results for yourself by clicking the button below!

Owen Fay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: