How to Create Catchy Headlines


How to create catchy headlines for donor information pieces:

You’ve got milliseconds to grab the attention of a potential donor and hook them into reading more and taking action. What works?  A great headline.

Headlines (and subheads) get read up to five times more than body copy so telling your story and asking for action needs to happen in the big type. Before you write a word, consider:

  • Great headlines are short. Aim for 7 words or less: Gala Glam with Chocolate and Champagne
  • Great headlines have impact. Capture the essence of your piece or your ask: Act now and save a child from abuse.
  • Great headlines speak to your audience. Dig for demographics, psychographics and preferences of your audience. Magazines, newsletters and websites have research that can offer insights. Writing for a group of concerned parents? Know their fears and craft a headline that hints at a solution. Want to get action from working mothers? Lead with an ask that is quick and easy since you know their lives are busy.
  • Great headlines love language. Use alliterations, strong statements, and clear value to attract eyes. Avoid unfamiliar words or awkward phrases. Note the difference: High Bidders Will Win Luncheon with Illustrious Guests. Lucky Ladies Will Lunch with the Stars.

Now that you’ve got the basics, use some tried-but-true inspirations to get things started. Start with a working headline and revisit it once the other content is finalized.

An offer                                    Free book with donation

Advice                                        5 Tips for Taming Toddler Tantrums

Expert involvement             Help us send recovery specialists to survivor camps

Gossip or news                       At last! Real hope for diabetes

A provocative question      It’s the end of the year. What have you accomplished?

Pique interest                          Important news that might surprise you about our students

Instant satisfaction             We’re planning our year – weigh in with your ideas


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