AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThis Headline will Make You Millions

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This Headline will Make You Millions

We are in the age of “quick-glance journalism.” People will only view a website for a few seconds, 2 seconds for an email subject line, and a micro-second for a post. And just like the magazines at the grocery store check out, your headlines need to instantly entice and push impulse buying or idea on headlines

This is a screen grab from a Business Insider page at the end of an article. These are all promoted stories or ads, but they are good examples of how headlines are changing in advertising and in other content. You may read them and not like the tone, but they are part of a new age of results-driven content. Writing headlines is not for the weak of heart. In today’s instant-results feedback, you know if your headlines are effective or not.

One of the senior editors at Business Insider says that the headline is written to get clicks or shares. If the headline isn’t working, they change it. At the same time, they work hard to make sure the headlines get clicks but are not “annoying.” It is a fine line to walk.

We know numbers work well (7 habits of the ultra-wealthy) and the negative headline (You doctor does not want you to read this article), but the proof is not in the eye of the editor or beholder, it is the metrics. If your website headline is not getting click-throughs, change it. If no one is visiting a page on your site, change the conversation. I’m assuming the content is highly relevant—if so, change the headline and watch your success, and conversions, soar into the millions. It is also good to make sure the headline actually relates to the article it is promoting.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.