For people who want to write better headlines but aren’t sure how…

Once upon a time, I tried to cook a batch of paella.  

It didn’t go well.  

The mussels were chewy. The chicken was dry. The rice was a sticky mess. So frustrating! 

I fancy myself a decent cook. But decent doesn’t cut it when you strive to master a complicated dish.  

Today, aspiring home chefs can turn to the internet for answers. Search YouTube for “How to Cook Paella,” and you’ll find hundreds of how-to videos.  

But back in the stone age, home chefs relied on cookbooks (gasp!) for guidance…  

…which makes me think of a great copywriter named Mel Martin… 

…who wrote a hugely profitable ad for a mail-order cookbook… 

…with a headline that marketers continue to study and swipe decades after Mel wrote it. 

Here’s that headline: “For people who are almost (but not quite) satisfied with their own cooking — and can’t figure out what’s missing”  

And here’s the ad…

There’s a ton of marketing genius in this ad. 

For you who want to write better headlines or subject lines or social media teasers…

…here’s one big takeaway:  

Describe the Person You’re Targeting 

Mel Martin’s headline worked because readers saw it, and thought, “Yep…that’s me.” 

The headline says, in effect: 

…I know you, frustrated home chef…

…I know what you’re going through…

…And, if you keep reading, I’ll show you what you’re missing. 

That’s irresistible, and that’s a formula that can work for any marketer. 

Meet prospects where they are. 

Show them you know them. 

Demonstrate you know what they’re going through.

If prospects read your copy and say, “Yep, that’s me…,” they’ll lean in and pay attention.


p.s. If you’d like to discover how to craft powerful stories that transform your marketing messages from “Yawn!” to “Yeah!” — I can help.  

For a very limited time, I’m reintroducing Free Story Assessments. Here’s how it works…  

Go here to request a 30-minute online appointment. We’ll email you within one business day to schedule a follow-up phone call. During that call, we’ll hear more from you about what’s working and what’s not with your marketing. Based on what you submit in this form and tell us on the phone call, we’ll offer our preliminary assessment about how to power up your story to grow your business.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.