10 Emotion-Based Headlines that Work

Emotional benefits are critical to persuasive copy, but how do you naturally incorporate them into your writing?

It’s one thing to talk about general concepts like “connection” or “fear,” and another to convey these ideas.

The 10 examples of emotional triggers below have been used in countless promotions, because they speak to underlying desires and fears that nearly all of us have.

I’ve paired each benefit with a sample headline to give you an idea of how the benefit might be used in context. Feel free to tweak, bend, or use them as jumping-off points for your own angle.

These aren’t the only effective emotional benefits by any means, but they include some of the most widely successful.

1. Learn How to Stand Up to Your Boss (and Force Him to See What You’re Really Worth)

Emotional benefit: feeling assertive and confident

2. Your Grandkids Will Be Struggling to Keep Up with You

Emotional benefit: feeling vital and energetic

3. You’ve Worked Hard All Week — Now Indulge Yourself

Emotional benefit: feeling pampered, justified entitlement

4. A Limited Number of Spaces Are Still Available for Founders’ Circle Membership

Emotional benefit: sense of belonging, exclusivity

5. Are You Working Harder than Ever, but Still Worried about Downsizing and Layoffs?

Emotional benefit: feeling in control of one’s own destiny

6. The 20-Minute Read that Will Make You a Financial Genius

Emotional benefit: feeling wealthy and powerful (also feeling smart)

7. How to Take Command of Any Meeting

Emotional benefit: feeling respected

8. The SecureWidget Alert System Keeps Tireless Watch Over Your Family

Emotional benefit: feeling safe

9. Is Your Child Emotionally Intelligent? Take This Test and Find Out

Emotional benefit: feeling like a good parent

10. How to Survive (and Yes, Even Thrive) in a Recession

Emotional benefit: feeling financially secure (note that this is subtly different from feeling wealthy and powerful)

A powerful one-two punch

You might notice that there’s a lot of potential for overlap. A headline can speak to “feeling in control of one’s own destiny” at the same time it helps your reader “feel like a good parent.”

In your copy, take the time to address each benefit fully. Hit the one you think is most important first, then move on to the next.

You’ll create a powerful one-two punch to the gut — and when you’re putting together persuasive copy, that’s a great thing.

Read next: How to Write Killer Email Subject Lines for Sales