Writing the Perfect Personal Ad Headline

By Jack Conway

Since the New Year started just 10 days ago, I think it's a good idea we revisit the 3 main parts of your personal ad: headline, personal profile, the close.

We'll start by showing you how a good headline makes all the difference in the world.

But before I show you how to write a good headline, let me give you a real-life example of what I mean.

Take big screen TVs, for instance.

If you were shopping for a big screen TV, and you came across these 2 advertisements for 2 HDTVs that were selling for the same price, which ad would grab your attention first?

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52-inch RCA HDTV looking for a nice family to entertain

I can be placed in the corner of a room or against the wall. On the weekends the kids can watch cartoons on my high resolution HDTV screen. It'll be great.

So learn more about me. I'm just looking for a nice family to please. Let me be your TV.

Or

I'll give you FREE seats to the Super Bowl when you bring me home!

That's right, go to the Super Bowl without leaving the comfort of your couch.

The resolution of my 52-inch RCA HDTV is so clear, you'll be able to read the lips of the quarterback calling the plays at the line of scrimmage!

I won't even tell you what you'll be able to see on the cheerleaders. You can find that out for yourself.

Your friends are going to love you!

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I know what you're thinking. What the hell does a big screen TV have to do with personal ad?

Believe it or not, a big screen television ad is no different than your online personal ad. It's all about the message, getting attention and making the sale.

And - this is very important - the ad can't be about 'me, me, me.' It has to be about 'you, you, you.'

That's why the second ad is so much better than the first.

Listen, there are many elements involved in writing an effective personal ad. But it's not rocket science. And once you've figured it out, you'll wonder why you didn't start writing personal ads like this, years ago.

So let's get started.

Here's how to write an ad that'll have women looking at you as if you were Brad Pitt

Let me ask you a question:

What's the most important part of your personal ad?

If you said the picture, you're half right.

You see, if you look like Brad Pitt, your picture will be the most important part of the ad. Because that - and that alone - will pull in more attention than you can handle.

However, none of us look like Brad Pitt.

But here's my point: YOU DON'T NEED TO!

Because a great headline can do the job of a great picture.

So the next most important part of your ad is the headline. And, if you follow my rules for writing personal ad headlines, I guarantee your ad will get as many responses as if you looked like Brad Pitt.

But only if you listen to what I have to say.

You see, we did a search of men's profiles at one of our favorite online dating sites. We plugged in our zip code, and hit 'search.'

Quite honesty, we were shocked by how bad these headlines were.

Below are the first 20 personal ads that popped up. We didn't alter the headlines one iota. Each overused word and boring phrase is the same as we saw it.

This is important, because these are the very first ads a woman will see when she does the same search.

First 20 Headlines:

Lloyd Dobler looking for Diane Court.

Please check out my resume.

Looking for a true lady.

MD guy looking

Laid Back Brotha

Why not

Likes: WINE... Dislikes: WHINING...

Teacher ready to educate

Bored With Bars

Gentleman seeks sweet and warm lady

Lost in Baltimore!

come a little closer and pinch me....

WHERE ARE YOU?????

Bad Boy who needs to be Tamed

Rochester Native Seeks Partner

Mexican musician

Tell me how you really feel

All the Dude wanted was his rug back

The Last Good Man

Ok, then

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To put it mildly, these headlines are God- awful.

Here's how not to fall in the same trap.

You have 3 seconds to get her attention with the headline: Write a headline that's unique, gets attention, and talks directly to the woman.

Always remember this: The headline is the most important element of your personal ad. It's your first written contact with a woman. So make it count.

And to prove how important the headline is, studies have shown you have three seconds to capture the attention of the woman with your headline. If it's boring, she won't click on it, and she'll move on to the next guy.

The headline from the aforementioned ad is an excellent example of what not to do. It isn't unique. In fact, it's boring and typical. It's also redundant. Of course you're looking for a woman. Otherwise, you wouldn't be on a dating site. So don't waste precious time and space stating the obvious.

The best approach is to use a headline that's intriguing and inviting, one that makes her think or answer a question.

A headline my members have had tremendous success with is:

'Have you ever been to X?'

Replace the X with the location of your choice, as in 'Have you ever been to Corbin's... it's a small French cafe overlooking the Potomac River?'

This will immediately get her excited and curious... 'Hmm, what's so special about Corbin's?' She'll click on your ad to find out what you're talking about.

Also, if you get to use the word 'you' in the headline, even better. Next to 'free' the word 'you' is the most effective word to use in an advertisement.

If you're having trouble with headlines, become a member of the Virtual Personal Ad Assistant. The V.P.A.A. contains over 50 attention grabbing headlines, and we're constantly adding dozens of new ones each month.

Next week I'll walk you through the 'lead', which is the first 3 sentences in your personal profile. These have to be hard-hitting and captivating.

I'll show you how to write these 3 sentences using my S.C.O.R.E. system.