The Quick and Dirty “4P” Headline Formula You Can Use on Your Next Sales Page
You’d think copywriting would be easy.
“Write like you talk,” they say.
“Just pretend you’re sitting next to a buddy at the bar and describing the product to him.”
And those are great starts.
But the fact is—
The people who say those things already KNOW how to write copy. They’re already experts.
Even though what they’re saying sounds second nature to them, it might not resonate with someone who hasn’t been writing copy every day for months or years.
If you’re new to copywriting — or if you’ve been at it for a while and just want to write better copy, I’d say there are 3 things you should do:
Read good copy
Analyze that copy. Ask “why is the writer saying this?”
Write your own copy and try to emulate what you read in step 1. (Don’t plagiarize, tho. That ain’t cool.)
But what if you don’t have time to do all that?
What if you need to write a sales page or an email TODAY?
What if you don’t have a copy of Breakthrough Advertising on your desk to reference?
I leaned on them HEAVILY in my 29x29 project, where I wrote a different sales page every day for 29 days straight.
And during that project, I identified a few formulas of my own.
Today, I’m going to share one of them with you.
It’s an incredibly simple (nearly brainless) way to write sales page headlines.
So, if you’re on a time crunch or stuck in a writing rut, just pull out this formula to get started.
The 4P Headline Formula
The four P’s are:
Pain: The reader’s Pain point(s) that the product solves.
Product: The Product itself (can be either directly named or hinted at, as you’ll see.)
Promise: The Big Promise of the Product.
Possibility: The Possibility of a better future that the Product gives the reader.
Let’s get to the examples.
In the eyebrow (the part above the actual headline), we call out the audience and their Pain.
In the main headline, we present the Product and its big Promise.
In the subtitle, we present the Possibility for the reader.
You’ll also notice that the Product is not directly called out, just hinted at.
And that’s okay.
Do this correctly, and you’ll inspire some curiosity that motivates your reader to continue down the page.
In this one, we call out the Pain first (again).
Then, we name the Product and its Big Promise.
And then we highlight the Possibility.
To Use This Formula, Answer These 4 Questions
1. What Pain does your Product solve for your reader?
2. What is the Product?
3. What’s the Product’s big Promise?
4. What Possibility is now open to the reader after using your Product?
The One Thing You Should Know About This Formula
This formula is incredibly simple, which means that you should (hopefully) be able to use it on your next sales page.
But, there is a caveat.
Your reader must be at least Problem-Aware.
Meaning, he must at least recognize that he has a problem that can be solved.
Otherwise, your eyebrow and headline (which both hit the reader’s pain point) will not resonate with him and he’ll be less likely to read your page.
So, that’s it.
Go forth and write!