Today’s Headlines Appealing to Greed and Fear


In the school of headline writing you could find examples of widely read headlines via the top online newsmakers.

Great headlines are KEY to getting copy on a page read, even for a few seconds.

For example, I have the New York Times set as one of my default tabs in Firefox. Notice the daily Most Emailed/Most Blogged listing for headlines that get in front of readers. Given the current economic turbulence many of them are fear-based, others are greed-based, two of the major ingredients in a worthy headline.


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2 Comments on “Today’s Headlines Appealing to Greed and Fear”

  1. manofgod777 Says:

    An excellent Copywriting school is AWAI
    (American Writers And Artists)
    and they teach the same thing about core-emotion
    being a hot-button. They listed the 7 (sins) as

    being emotional hot-button topics


    As well, people do not like to be “sold” but tell or show them a compelling stort that provides a problem
    where the solution is the product/service, and they will make up their own mind, without even perceiving
    a “pitch.”

    This is why story-based copy will forever outsell
    competitors, 10 to 1.

    Good Post.! Stephen Monday


    • jrotman Says:

      Yes, I believe John Caples counted these emotional hot buttons as the keys to selling back in his famous tome, Tested Advertising Methods. Great book, btw. AND he definitely shepherded the “story” tradition that you mention. His “They laughed when I sat down at the piano….” ad (written in 1926 and told in story form) is famous and should be read by all web copywriters that specialize in sales or conversion copy. Talk about appealing to the primitive brain–humankind has been transfixed by stories since we learned to grunt around the firepit. You should also read Neuromarketing: Is There a ‘Buy’ Button in the Brain? by Renvoise and Morin.


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