Daniel Burstein

Effective Landing Pages: 30 powerful headlines that improved marketing results

August 8th, 2019

There are 21 psychological elements that power effective web design (see infographic). Of those elements, one of the first your customers will experience is the headline.

21 design elements

(You can download a PDF of this infographic here.)


A powerful headline is your make-or-break opportunity to connect with the customer and get them to engage with the rest of your page — and ultimately convert.

We’ll provide you oodles of examples of effective headlines in this MarketingSherpa blog post to help spark ideas as you brainstorm your own headlines. And you can delve deeper into all 21 of those psychological elements in the following videos from MarketingSherpa’s sister brand, MarketingExperiments:

The 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design (Part 1)

The 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design (Part 2)

The 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design (Part 3)

(This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.)


Now on to the examples …

Like with your own landing pages, in many of these examples the headline wasn’t the only factor that affected performance. However, a different headline is a pretty significant change on a website and is usually a major contributing factor to a change in performance. The best performing headlines below are bolded. The capitalization in these headlines represents the actual capitalization in the test.

Before: We’re here to help.
After: Simplifying Medicare for You
Results: 638% more leads

You can read more about the above headline in Landing Page Optimization: How Aetna’s HealthSpire startup generated 638% more leads for its call center

Before: About The GLS
After: Two Days of World-Class Leadership Training
Results: 16% increase in attendance

You can read more about the above headline in Customer-First Marketing: How The Global Leadership Summit grew attendance by 16% to 400,000

Before: Why trade Forex with ForexTrading.com?
After: Get your free, no risk, no obligation $100,000 Forex Trading Demo Account
Results: 99% increase in conversion

Before: Why do 10,000 Event Planners Choose RegOnline?
After: Let Your Events Manage Themselves
Results: 90% increase in conversion

Before: Why Try Britannica Online?
After: Get Unlimited Access to all 32 Volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica during your FREE TRIAL…
Results: 103% increase in conversion

You can read more about the above headlines in Do question headlines work?

Before: Exclusive Product And Event Information Delivered Right To Your Inbox!
After: Get The Ferguson Updates You Want, When You Want Them.
Results: 120% increase in form submissions

You can read more about the above headline in Email Marketing: Wholesale distributor updates email signup and preference center, increases form submissions 120%

Treatment 1: Set Up Your FREE Account Today and Start Earning Money!
Treatment 2: Get Paid to Take FREE Surveys
Treatment 3: Take Online Surveys From Home and Win Cash & Prizes
Treatment 4: Get Paid to Fill Out Online Surveys
Treatment 5: Surveys – Quick, Easy and FREE
Treatment 6: Join the [Company Name is anonymized] Community and Have Your Opinions Count
Treatment 7: Win Cash & Prizes for Online Surveys
Treatment 8: Get Rewarded for Your Opinion
Treatment 9: You’re Invited to Join the [Company Name is anonymized] Community and to Earn Rewards For Your Opinions
Treatment 10: Here’s Your First Survey, and an Invitation to Join Our Research Community
Results: Treatment 2 had the highest clickthrough rate at 28.76%.

Before: Have the [Newspaper Title is anonymized] waiting for you at your door
After: Save 50% on home delivery of the [newspaper title is anonymized]
Results: 24% increase in conversion

Before: Chronic Migraine Treatment: A Long-Term Solution
After: Get Relief for Your Weekly Migraines
Results: 331% increase in conversion

Before: Complete the form below to start receiving your AAF SmartBrief
After: Sign up for daily updates and analysis on top stories in the advertising industry, FREE.
Results: 816% increase in conversion

Before: Protect your family with affordable term life insurance.
After: Receive a No-obligation Quote or a FREE Life Insurance Guide
Results: 91% increase in guide downloads

Before: FREE Access to Over 7 million SEC Filings
After: FREE Access to Over 7 million Annual Reports
Results: 26% increase in leads

Before: We can help you lower your payments by up to 50%
After: Lower Your Payments by up to 50%
Results: 88% increase in conversion

Before: “YOU CAN’T be TOO careful.”
After: Our Travel Medical Insurance has provided peace of mind for over 35 years
Results: 330% increase in conversion

You can read more about the above headlines in How to Write Headlines That Convert: Key discoveries from a meta-analysis of 15 years of behavioral research.

Before: Universal Orlando Resort > 2-Park Bonus Ticket
After: Enjoy 14 Days of Unlimited Access to both Universal Studios® and Universal Islands of Adventure®
Results: 26% conversion rate increase

You can read more about the above headline in Landing Page Optimization: How an engaging headline and revamped layout led to a 26% conversion rate gain

Treatment 1: There are More Than 491,720 Registered Sex Offenders in the U.S…
Treatment 2: Does a sexual offender live in your neighborhood?
Treatment 3: Identify Sex Offenders Today – Be Aware, Be Alert & Be Safe
Treatment 4: Protect Your Children, Identify Sexual Offenders in Your Area
Treatment 5: Identify Registered Sex Offenders Living Near You
Treatment 6: Search the National Sex Offender Database
Results: Treatment 5 converted 34% better than the next best headline.

You can read more about the above headlines in Optimizing Headlines & Subject Lines.

Treatment 1: Minor Changes, Major Lifts: Three case studies, three discoveries, 166% increase
Treatment 2: Minor Changes, Major Lifts: How button and form optimization increased conversion 166%
Results: 92% increase

You can read more about the above headline in Headline Writing: How a junior marketer beat the CEO’s headline by 92%

Treatment 1: Dental Plans for $8.33 a month. Acceptance Guaranteed.
Treatment 2: Over 55,000 Dental Care Providers. Acceptance Guaranteed.
Treatment 3: Dental Care Coverage. Best Price Guaranteed.
Treatment 4: Low Cost Dental Care for the Uninsured.
Treatment 5: Best Price Dental Care – Without Insurance.
Results: Treatment 1 increased conversion 72.76% over the control.

Treatment 1: You Are Master and Commander of a Billion Documents
Treatment 2: Cost Effective Litigation Management Solutions
Treatment 3: We Sell Unfair Advantages. Interested?
Results: Treatment 1 performed 42% better than the next best headline.

Treatment 1: An essential resource when corporate clients tell you they have 2,000,000 documents to be reviewed.
Treatment 2: Say Yes when a client asks you to review FIVE MILLION separate documents.
Treatment 3: Say Yes when a client asks you to review FIVE MILLION separate documents. And smile.
Results: Treatment 2 out-pulled the next best headline by 28%.

You can read more about the above headlines in Site Headlines Tested: How optimizing your headlines can improve your website’s conversion rate by 73% or more.

Before: Simple Fix for Blown Head Gaskets
After: Repairs Blown Head Gaskets in Just One Hour
Results: 58% increase in conversions

You can read more about the above headlines in Rapidly Maximizing Conversion: How one company quickly achieved a 58.1% lift with a radical redesign

Treatment 1: President Obama a skeet shooter?
Treatment 2:  White House offers proof that Obama shoots a gun
Results: 102% increase

Treatment 1: Mo. Powerball winner turns in ticket
Treatment 2: Winning Mo. Powerball ticket turned in
Results: 26% increase

Treatment 1: SJC adds protection for youth defendants’ cases
Treatment 2: Dismissal of Lynn teen’s murder conviction upheld
Results: 60% increase

Treatment 1: Mayor Menino declares flu health emergency in Boston
Treatment 2: Health emergency declared in Boston after hundreds fall ill
Results: 46% increase

You can learn more about the story behind these headline tests by watching Anatomy of a Business Transformation: A practitioner’s perspective about how The Boston Globe’s culture of testing spread to the newsroom for 100% lifts in clickthrough.

Before: Engage [Company name has been anonymized] for your physician social media strategy
After: [Company name has been anonymized] Give You Immediate Access to Over 120,000 Doctors
Results: 104% increase in clickthrough rate

You can learn more about the above headlines in Email Messaging Test: 104% increase in conversion from rented list.

Treatment 1: Relief From Back Pain
Treatment 2:
Same-day Back Pain Relief
Treatment 3:
Avoid open back surgery
47% more conversions

You can learn more about the above headlines in Test Your Marketing Intuition: Which PPC ad produced more conversions?

Before: Home Delivery + Web + Mobile + Tablet = One Exceptional Offer
After: Get Free Unlimited Online Access to [newspaper name is anonymized]
Results: 181% increase in conversion

You can learn more about the above headlines in Email Marketing: Promotional vs. letter-style test increases conversion 181%.

Before: Where should I email you when I am about to [specific action is anonymized]?
After: I’ll send you an alert each time I am about to [specific action is anonymized]
Results: 36% relative increase in emails captured

Before: It’s never been easier to be on Broadway!
After: Send or Just Preview Your News Release in Minutes
Results: 112% increase in subscriptions

You can learn more about the above headlines in Research-based Subscription Swipe File: 26 valid marketing experiments to give you ideas for your next A/B test.

You can follow Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute, on Twitter @DanielBurstein.

You might also like …

MECLABS Institute Value Proposition Development on-demand certification course – Learn how to express the value proposition across all elements (images, copy, headlines, etc.) of a webpage

The Zen of Headline Writing: Learn the easiest way for any marketer to drive a conversion increase

Blandvertising: How you can overcome writing headlines and copy that don’t say anything

Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.

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