A Serial Killer's Headline Get's A-Lister's Attention

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“You might want to change this headline just a bit so people don’t think you’re sponsoring a Serial Killer’s Convention.” — Ray Edwards

Today is day 5 in my month of Headline “Muscle Memory” study.

I’ve been going through “The Copywriting Academy” again. This is a fantastic copywriting course by A-list copywriter, Ray Edwards. The quote above is from a live coaching call I listened to this morning.

Ray had just read through the copy of one of his students. The copy was pitching helpful services for event planners. Ray was so convinced by the copy he said at the end, “wow, I really want to get this. This copy is so good I can’t tell if you sent it in because you wanted me to critique it or if you wanted to pitch me.”

How Do You Know If Your Copy Is Any Good?

That’s the best way to tell if your copy works. Read it to someone. If they say, “wow, you’re such a good writer, that’s a great ad,” you know you’ve failed. If they say, “wow, where can I get that?” You win!

One of the only critiques Ray gave was to alter the headline a bit. He suggested making it a bit more specific. The original headline said: “Why Do You Perform Autopsies On Your Attendees?”

Ray suggested… “Why Do You Perform After-Event Autopsies On Your Seminar Attendees?”

He knew what the writer was getting at. But suggested a slight clarification. He wanted to make sure some people wouldn’t think he was pitching a Serial Killer’s Convention… haha!

Copywriting Academy — Headlines

In Ray’s Copywriting Academy he has a great module about headlines. He goes into a lot of detail. For full access you’ll have to get his program, which I highly recommend. Here’s a link:


I’ll share his 5 ways of thinking about headlines. These guidelines are helping me get in the right frame of mind before writing.

A great headline does the following…

  1. Grabs Attention

    • Either make a claim/promise, evoke an emotional response, or stir up curiosity

    • Examples

      • “Can You Really Be Younger Next Year?”

      • “Which Of These Five Mistake Do You Make on Your Blog?”

  2. Screens and Qualifies Readers

    • Choose words that single out the exact audience you’re trying to reach.

    • Examples

      • “Why New Authors Fail, and What to Do about It”

      • “Top 10 iPad Apps for Entrepreneurs”

  3. Draws Readers into the Body Copy

    • You’re not selling your entire offer in the headline. You’re selling them on reading the rest of the copy/message.

    • Example

      • “How to Write a Book in Seven Days”

      • “Does God Want You to Be Rich?”

  4. Communicate the “Big Idea”

    • What is the 1 big message of your offer, and how can you get that message in your headline?

    • Example

      • “Triple Your Productivity Instantly”

      • “The Customer Is Not Always Right”

  5. Establishes Credibility

    • If you have an authority card to play, play it in the headline.

    • Example

      • “Ph.D. Psychologist Reveals Secret Of Self-Discipline”

      • “Harvard Study Shows Three Common Traits Of Successful People”

Good stuff, right?!

He goes on to share several templates and a 15 minute lesson on what he calls “Emotional Quotient Headlines.” These are a bit dangerous because they can blow up in your face. But used correctly, they are SUPER successful.

I don’t want to give away Ray’s content without his permission. So to find out what he’s talking about with his “Emotional Quotient Headlines,” you’ll have to get his course. Here’s the link one more time:


That’s all for today.

May your copy ever be melodic and harmonious!