2 min read

Pushing and pulling with headlines

Push vs pull headlines can make all the difference to your marketing asset's performance.

David Ogilvy said "when you've written your headline, you've spent 80c of your dollar".

4 of every 5 people will read your headline, but won't read your asset.

So what makes a great headline that gets people to read?

One of the key considerations is whether your headline is pushing or pulling.  

Here's what I mean.  

  • Push headline are pattern interrupts.
  • Pull headlines are magnetic promises.  

When someone's scrolling social media, they want to see images of their friends or funny tweets.  

They don't care about your widget. So you have to push your way into their thought processes to grab attention.

The masters of this are the native ad folk you'll find on tabloid news sites (often quite clickbaity).

You'll also find them on great Tweet threads to hook attention.  

What these headlines do is summaraise a benefit and open a curiosity loop only clicking will close.  

Pull headlines are there to pull in people who are searching for your solution.

They work best on search platforms like Google / YouTube.  

The trick is to serve the benefit and search term back to the user, showing you have the answer they're looking for.  

Bonus points if you add some form of differentiator that shows how your solution is...

  • Faster
  • Easier
  • Cheaper

... than others.

When creating headlines, consider whether you're pulling people looking for an answer, or pushing into the attention of those who don't care.  

When you know that, you can write more effective headlines.

And if you want the templates I use for both, sign up for the upcoming marketing template packs below.

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Speak soon,
Pete