How to write killer B2B headlines

There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of headlines and why you should devote more time to writing and testing them. It’s standard marketing knowledge that while 80% of your audience will read your headline, only 20% will go on to read the rest of your content. This means that your headlines can make or break your marketing.

Instead of just providing you with general tips on writing headlines, I wanted to share some examples. I’ve pulled a few headlines from my swipe file and analyzed what makes them work. Without further ado, here they are:

How to Get $250,000 of Critical Market Data for Free with
Nothing More Than Your Computer, an Internet Connection,
and a Lazy Sunday Afternoon to Spare!

This headline came from Glenn Livingston’s chapter in 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More. Here are a few reasons why this headline is powerful:

11 Essential Elements of a Perfect Blog Design (a Data Driven Answer)

The Quick Sprout blog is a treasure trove of great headlines. Here’s why this one is helping Quick Sprout get hundreds of comments and social shares:

Sell more. Grow faster. Close anywhere.

This wonderfully concise headline comes from Here’s why it’s so compelling:

It’s Probably Your 2nd-Favorite
Thing To Do, And Now Science
Wants You To Do More Of It

I probably don’t need to tell you that this is an Upworthy headline. Love them or hate them, these headlines work. According to a study by Newswhip, Upworthy gets about 75,000 Facebook likes for each article. Meanwhile, the second “most-liked” site gets just under 10,000 likes per article.

Upworthy headlines work because they mess with your mind. They usually start by teasing you with something intriguing and then stating that you will have a huge emotional reaction when you click their links. For example, you might “blow your mind” or “get so angry” after watching an Upworthy video.

Curiosity is one of the most powerful human emotions. We don’t like to be left hanging, which is why we turn the pages in books, watch TV episodes that are “to be continued” and click Upworthy links.

But do these mind games work if you’re selling B2B products or services?

With Competitors Winning In The Cloud Market, No One Expected ABC Tech To Do This.  

When He Was Flooded With Help Desk Calls, This IT Manager Got Relief From A Surprising Place.  

If you’re going to try an Upworthy-style headline, proceed with caution. You must first know if your target audience will feel manipulated by such a headline. Will they delete your message? Will they think you’re having a brand identity crisis?

Since Upworthy videos are usually stories, perhaps a good place to test them would be with your case studies.

One thing you can learn from Upworthy is to always refine and test your headlines. Upworthy editors write 25 headlines for each article, and Upworthy then tests a few to see which one gets the most views and shares.

But Wait There’s More!

These are just a few techniques you can use to write killer B2B headlines. Take a look at some of your recent headlines and see if you can make them more powerful.

If you need help creating B2B copy that drives your readership, social shares and conversions, contact me at 647-342-4921 or