How To Create Squeeze Page Headlines That Boost Your Opt In Rates (+10 Headline Ideas You Can Steal)

By Radhika Basuthakur
How To Create Squeeze Page Headlines That Boost Your Opt In Rates (+10 Headline Ideas You Can Steal)


Is your opt-in page getting you the leads you want for your affiliate marketing offers?

Are you giving something away for free but still unable to capture your audience's attention?

Well, your headline might be the problem. 

You don't need me to tell you that a web user has a very limited attention span. Even if you are giving something away for free on your website, a powerful, catchy headline that stands out is super important. Without it, you're unlikely to capture their attention -- and without their attention, you're not going to convert any leads. 

When it comes to your squeeze page or form, if you get the headline right, you immediately boost the effectiveness of your offer. But, when you get it wrong, you can say goodbye to your leads. 

What Makes a Good Headline for Opt-Ins?

Fact: A good headline should grab the user's attention.

This is true for all headlines, but even more so in the case of opt-in pages or lead generation forms, because without your user's attention, you won't be able to convince them to convert. 

So how do you create a headline that grabs attention? There are a lot of great formulas for headline writing: for web content, for blogs, for email subject lines, for social media, etc. While many of the principles are the same, the advice below is specific to writing an optimized headline for opt-in/squeeze pages and forms.

Your headline should:

  • Solve a problem.
  • Be very specific.
  • Appeal to the user's emotion.
  • Be useful.
  • Be formatted to stand out from other text on the page.

Of course, no headline can be all of the above. But if you aim to factor in at least one or two of these, your headline is definitely going to be more powerful. 

How to Create an Attention-Grabbing Headline 

1. Focus on One Thing Only

It's time to really think about what it is you're offering your audience. 

Think about it and then narrow it down to be really specific. The information you provide in your headline should tell your audience whether or not your offer is of value or interest to them. 

If your headline is vague and lacking any real focus about what your audience will gain from your offer, you're unlikely to get the results you want from your opt-in box.   

Jon Loomer's opt-in form is highly specific in nature. It invites users to sign up for a free workshop about a specific type of Facebook advertising copy. There's no confusion about expectations or what the offer actually includes. It's direct and focused. 

jon loomer

2. Offer Value

If you can clearly identify your audience's problem and sell the solution in your headline, you have a winner!

Get inside your audience's head and think about what it is that they really, really want. 

Your headline must immediately convey the usefulness and benefits of your offer to your audience. Otherwise, they are unlikely to continue reading. 

The headline on Quick Sprout's page, for example, immediately addresses an audience concern: getting traffic. Quick Sprout takes this concern, frames it into a question and then offers to send the user tips to make this traffic happen (in exchange for their email address). It's simple, it's specific, and it's definitely clear about what value it offers to its audience.

quick sprout

3. Use Proper Formatting

The way you format your headline has a huge impact on how it is received and how it performs with your audience. 

Needless to say, your headline should be formatted so it stands out from the rest of the text on the page. You can do this by making the text bigger, by making it bolder, or even by using a different type face. A different color also often does the trick. 

If your headline needs to be lengthier than usual, break it up with visual cues (e.g., punctuation) such as em-dashes or even ellipses. 

This opt-in form from Unbounce makes sure the headline stands out not only by making it bigger and bolder, but by placing it on a black background. It's definitely the first thing that catches your eye. 


4. Keep It Simple

A headline that works doesn't actually need to be something ground-breaking at all. In fact, when you keep it short and simple, you are more likely to succeed with it. Often, the real message gets lost in cleverness. 

Also, the length of the headline is also a factor worth considering. A shorter headline, one you can read at a glance, is usually more effective than a long-winded sentence. Most people scan online content, so a simpler, shorter headline will make sure your message is communicated more effectively. 

You don't always have to be creative or clever when straightforward will do just fine. 

Bidsketch's opt-in headline is incredibly simple. It conveys what the product does (creating proposals), while at the same time highlighting the simplicity of the process ("in minutes"). Without trying too hard, it offers a solution simply by talking about the usefulness of the product. There's nothing gimmicky about it. The simplicity is what works. 


5. Pair It With a Powerful Sub-Heading 

A good sub-heading can sometimes be just as powerful as your headline. Combine them to really pack a punch with your message.

Sub-headings work by backing up the interest that your headline piques. You can't possible say everything in a headline. Use the sub-heading to continue the though process and provide a bit more information (such as further benefits) about your offer.  

For example, Chris Ducker's pop-up opt-in box does a great job using the sub-heading to further explain his business bootcamp offer.

chris ducker

10 Headline Ideas to Get You Started

Stuck for ideas and not even sure where to start? 

Here are 10 headline suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing. 

You can reword these ideas to generate your own headlines for your opt-in boxes. Or, you can use them as inspiration when writing your own from scratch.

Simply replace the X's with the words of your choice to create a headline appropriate for your offer. I've got a few examples under each idea to give you an idea of how it would work. 

1. A Simple X-Step Strategy to Reduce XXXX 

Some examples headlines you could create: 

  • A simple 4-step strategy to reduce your blood pressure.
  • A simple 5-step strategy to reduce your refund rate.
  • A simple 3-step strategy to reduce your weight. 

2. Free Report Reveals: What You Must ALWAYS Do to XXXX (Don't Do This and XXXX)

Some examples headlines you could create: 

  • Free Report Reveals: What you must ALWAYS do to ensure men call you back after the first date (Don't do this and you'll always be left wondering "why didn't he call?")
  • Free Report Reveals: What you must ALWAYS do to gain muscle mass quicker. (Don't do this and you'll be spending all your time at the gym with no results)
  • Free Report Reveals:  What you must ALWAYS do for better conversion rates. (Don't do this and you'll be wasting your advertising dollars)

3. Can You be Sure that XXXX? Take Our X-Minute XXXX Test Right Now to Discover the Truth!

Some examples headlines you could create:

  • Can you be sure that your partner loves you as much as you love them? Take our 3-minute love-meter test right now to discover the truth!

  • Can you be sure that you made the right career choice? Take our 5-minute career counselor test right now to discover the truth! 

  • Can you be sure your website is search engine-friendly? Take our 6-minute website SEO health test right now to discover the truth! 

4. NEWSFLASH: Free Report Uncovers a Cunning Trick to XXXX

Some examples headlines you could create:

  • NEWSFLASH: Free report uncovers a cunning trick to stopping dog obedience problems for good!

  • NEWSFLASH: Free report uncovers a cunning trick to curing your insomnia and helping you sleep better!

  • NEWSFLASH: Free report uncovers a cunning trick to solving your child's attention issues for good!

5. Free Report Reveals: X Strange But True Secrets to XXXX

Some examples headlines you could create:

  • Free Report Reveals: 9 strange but true secrets to increasing your vocal range.

  • Free Report Reveals: 15 strange but true secrets to a happier marriage.

  • Free Report Reveals: 3 strange but true secrets to getting rid of your fear of heights. 

6. A Brand New Way to Learn XXXX

Some examples headlines you could create: 

  • A brand new way to learn to play your favorite songs on the guitar.

  • A brand new way to learn how to knit your first sweater. 

  • A brand new way to learn to code. 

7. X Sneaky But Legal Ways that You Can XXXX

Some examples headlines you could create: 

  • 12 sneaky but legal ways that you can save money on your taxes.
  • 15 sneaky but legal ways that you can increase your click-through rates.
  • 3 sneaky but legal ways that you can make an income on eBay. 

8. X-Minute Video Reveals Exactly What to do When XXXX

Some examples headlines you could create:

  • 5-minute video reveals exactly what to do when you want to win back the love of your ex.
  • 7-minute video reveals exactly what to do when you have a panic attack.
  • 4-minute video reveals exactly what to when you have to do your makeup in a hurry. 

9. Free X-Part Mini Course Reveals: The Astonishing Secrets of How to XXXX (Apply These Methods and XXXX)

Some examples headlines you could create:

  • Free 6-part mini course reveals: The astonishing secrets of how to plan a blockbuster wedding on a shoestring budget (apply these methods and your friends will swear you hired a professional wedding planner!)

  • Free 10-part mini course reveals: The astonishing secrets of how to save $20,000 in less than a year (apply these methods and you'll never have to worry about money again!)

  • Free 6-part mini course reveals: The astonishing secrets of how to pick up girls, anywhere (apply these methods and you'll always have a date on Saturday night!)

10. If You are Struggling to XXXX, Watch this X-Minute Video on XXXX Right Now!

<>Some examples headlines you could create:

  • If you are struggling to reduce stubborn belly fat, watch this 5-minute video on how to lose weight -- even if you have a slow metabolism -- right now!

  • If you are struggling to make ends meet, watch this 6-minute video on how to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle, right now! 

  • If you are struggling with disciplining your kids, watch this 4-minute video on how to punish your kids without being a meanie right now! 

Before you get started, it's important to remember that not all of these are going to work for your site. Different headlines work for different sites and demographics. Some of the above headlines are quite long, so you can, and should, break them up as a headline and a sub-headline so they work better. 

The key is to write, test, see what works, and do it all over again. Keep testing till you can settle on a formula that works for your audience.

There you go, now that you have some tips and headline ideas - are you ready to write/ rewrite the headlines for your opt in pages?

Do you have a headline suggestion we missed? Got more questions about writing headlines for opt in forms? Leave us a comment! We'd love to hear from you. 

Muhammad Hafidz Yeo 13 years ago
Dear Mark,

These headlines are great in capturing attention but how to get them interested to read in the first place. Isn't it logical to get their interest, capture their attention, create the desire and ask for the order eventually? This is the sales process that I have used and it alwayss work well in my marketing career. Hope you would come up with more valuable tips in the neaar future. Congratulations as your wife is expecting again. Best wishes. HAFIDZ from Singapore.
Linda 13 years ago
Thanks for the great info! I have been working on a free report, and this article is loaded with attention getting tips!!
Mike 13 years ago
Awesome post Mark! It is to swipe them? LOL anyway will use them on my campaign!
Danielle Brown 13 years ago
Hi Mark

Just what I needed Thank you, good methods I will definitely use this.

JC Dean 13 years ago
I will defiantly book mark this for future reference.
Mike McLoughlin 13 years ago
Great stuff Mark - especially like the way you work in numbers into most of the headlines. people like "hard facts" like numbers, % etc

Richard 13 years ago
Always good timing with your posts Mark, I realize what you say using "free" the word "free" sounds so indignant really "ho hum" ..I gotta change an optin box like right now. Geez I have to pay more attention to the swipe files , congrats on your new expectant child ..bloody ripper. ..Go the warriors!
More up and coming supporters and players for the team is a always a good thing ..right!
KarleensMiniStunBaton 13 years ago
Thanks, Mark, for more great info and helpful tips. I can see that I do need to change the wording on my sign up box. It will be interesting to see if it makes a difference because I hardly get anyone to sign up for it as it reads right now. Thanks.
Ray Burton 13 years ago
The headline is the doorway to your treasures. The words are the key that will see it opened.
Joan Stalker 13 years ago
Thanks for the always useful info, Mark, which I'll definitely put to good use. Great news about baby #2. I'm so thrilled for you and Michelle.
dan 13 years ago
Hi Mark,
The way you communicate truths leaves me curious. You really hit the nail on this. My headlines need re-work. Thanks for your permanent positive influence. One question, how do use these types of headlines for preview sites/articles

congrats on your soon coming baby. Roll on bro you deserve the best.
Thanks for sharing.

Nick Johnson 13 years ago
Thanks for the swipe file ;-)
Hilton 13 years ago
Hi Mark,
I have been searching for this type of tool, just downloaded, will comment later on performance,
Speak soon
Kim 13 years ago
Thanks for the helpful tips!
Jon 13 years ago
Great information for a newbie like myself, one to bookmark.
Patrick Sekhoto 13 years ago
Hi: Mark
Thanks for sharing, it is true that when you want high Opt-in rates for your
conversions, you must give people a reason to join. By creating and using some great headlines like this will make your optin stand out from the rest. I will definitely Book Mark this to also try and draw some Inspiration from it!
Michelle 13 years ago
Thanks for the great info! It sure helped me out on my opt mail. thanks a lot!
Elene 13 years ago
Headlines with tired buzzwords like "astonishing secrets" and "what you must ALWAYS do" totally turn me off! I would never click on stuff like that. In fact, I'd be unlikely to visit a webpage that used that kind of overblown language in the first place, because I'd expect them to be dishonest.
Frank Vue 13 years ago
This is good stuff!

Click here to lose weight fast... kidding.
Suzana Correa 13 years ago
I agree with Elene and Muhamad. We need new, more creative stuff... I'm not sure sensationalizing stuff works anymore...
Mark Ling 13 years ago
@Elene and @Scorrea You need to remember that YOU are not necessarily the market. The market is the highest % of visitors who will take action and subscribe and/or buy from you. You can't know for sure until you run split tests of your headlines. Some niches, that appeal to a more educated audience, like software, and also niches that are used to overhyped selling, often respond to 'toned down' headlines more than ones that are too hyped. However many niches respond much better to the type of headline that grabs your attention. Particularly when people are passionate about the topic, they want to feel the excitement.

When you want to tone down a headline, a great way to do it is to just use numbers and benefits.


* 7 Simple but highly effective ways to reduce stretchmarks

* Free 17-page report reveals how to cure common dog behavioral problems quickly (including digging, barking, chewing and more)

* Sign up below and receive a complimentary mini ebook on 'The 6 most effective treatments for grey hair'

Even a flatter headline, which often does well too, will virtually always outpull a 'sign up to receive the xyz newsletter' type optin box.

All the best,
Suzana Correa 13 years ago
Got it. Thanks for your reply Mark!
Louise Lewis 13 years ago
Seriously, if you had written and were now advertising a comprehensive A-Z Guide to Copy writing what would your headline be? Considering the audience, wouldn't this be the ultimate challenge? I challenge you!
Mark Ling 13 years ago
@Louise Lewis

If I had written a comprehensive A-Z guide to copywriting, I'd probably start the funnel by getting people to opt in to claim a free report on split tests they can run to boost their sales by 100% or more.

Something like this:

17 Split tests to boost your sales by 100% or more (Note: This Free 22 Page Report is only available for a limited time)

Then when it came to the salescopy for the product itself, I'd split test between short clean video salescopy, long form salescopy and an expandable short copy. For headlines I'd test between plain and simple headline vs an edgier headline.

Preheadline: Attention website owners and aspiring copywriters...

You're about to discover how to skyrocket your website conversion rates by 267% and more!... Introducing The Ultimate Salesletter Writing Kit


Prehead: Attention website owners and aspiring copywriters...

You're about to discover my sneaky yet ethical psychological tactics for writing copy that makes your prospects hungry to get their hands on your product. Imagine boosting your sales conversions by 267% or more!


Do you struggle to convert your visitors to sales? Want to double or even quadruple your conversion rates? If this is you then read on...

Hope that helps :)


Valerie Smith 13 years ago
Thanks Mark - Great headline information not only for opt-in headlines but also to use when writing articles. Coming up with a good headlines when article writing can be a challenge but what you have given us here will help me tremendously, I'm sure.
Mark Ling 13 years ago
@Valerie For articles don't get to 'sensational' keep it keyword rich, short and interesting enough that people will want to read it

e.g. if you have an article targetting the keyword phrase lose stubborn belly fat, a possible article title would be:

7 ways to lose stubborn belly fat fast

For article title's I would not go more than 8 words and possibly even less so that it is more dense in your keywords that you are trying to rank for.

I wouldn't use a title like this:

You're about to discover 7 great ways to lose stubborn belly fat fast!

In this case your keyword phrase 'lose stubborn belly fat' takes up less than 50% of the actual article title, which isn't great from an SEO standpoint, not to mention that if you try to make every single article on your website stand out, then it has the effect of making nothing stand out, including your important sales pages and opt in pages. I hope this makes sense. All the best, Mark
Mark Ling 13 years ago
@Valerie To clarify, use shorter headlines for article titles, use longer benefit driven exciting headlines for free report optins and for sales page copy.
Search Ranking Pro 13 years ago
Great insight on headlines, Mark! I agree that it's a definite must to be as clear and concise as possible; all the while remaining catchy. Short, sweet benefits. It's the only way to grab the attention of savvy web browsers.

I myself use a SEO plugin called Keyword Winner to help optimize headlines for my WordPress blog. Keyword Winner has helped me achieve first page rankings for multiple keywords and phrases, however, your input here has definitely enlightened me. You're a true SEO Professional who obviously practices what you preach. Your words of wisdom are much appreciated. Thank you!
Nick Worton 13 years ago
Hi Mark,

Just got your last mail, haven't been here for awhile. Must start checking back here more regularly; great info.

On the subject of headlines, I was introduced to a new tool the other day. It's free and you can check it out here:

Highest score I have got so far is 130%, but apparently 180% has been achieved.

Just wondering what you think about EMV in headlines?

All the best,
Janice Womack 13 years ago

Your post are so good. I have spent a lot of money in getting advice from a lot of people and have got more from you than anyone.

Thanks for all your help.
karishma 9 years ago
Thanks for making this really crystalclear.
Jenny 8 years ago
Really appreciate your tips, Mark, I am a 'newbie' so your comments are most helpful. Thank you Jenny
OliviaU 8 years ago
So the company I work for has their main site and then a blog connected to it. Would a slide in ad for the blog work and how many is too many?
Zeshi 5 years ago
Thanks for sharing a best ideas :)