A Good Headline Can Have More Than 7 Words

Share this article:
Deborah S. Ramstorf offers helpful copywriting rules in her article "Know the Mechanics of Good Copy" (April 26). However, I disagree with her rule that a good headline contains a maximum of seven words.


As a veteran copywriter and copywriter coach, I know there is no maximum number of words for a good headline. A good headline is one that does the job of pulling the prospect in. A great headline does so with longevity and consistency.


Consider the classic headline, "They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano, But When I Started to Play!" This headline is more than twice as long as the stated seven-word maximum, yet its power is unfailing. Seventy-five years after originally penned by John Caples, modern marketers still "repurpose" the headline for their own use.


Only yesterday one of my students expressed frustration at all the conflicting information she was finding on the subject of writing copy. Copywriting is complex, and though we learn much from testing, copywriting takes as much from art as it does from science. Therefore, we must be careful when we present copywriting in black and white terms.


Chris Marlow, Superior Sales Copy, Rancho Mirage, CA,


chris@chrismarlow.com



Share this article:
close

Next Article in Opinions

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Opinions

The Challenge of Changeable Customers

The Challenge of Changeable Customers

When it comes to behavioral targeting, I'm never surprised by the ads I'm served on my personal Mac.

Spoiled for Choice: Answers

Spoiled for Choice: Answers

Sterling Worldwide is hiring a new VP of sales and marketing. Should the CRM expert or the data person get the job? See what our readers has to say.

Peering Into the Marketing Future

Peering Into the Marketing Future

You've heard it many times before: The only constant is change. Not really. Sometimes, the only constant is stubborn resistance. This year we'll see a mix of both.