Do You Know The 4 “U”s To Writing An Engaging Headline?

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Do You Know The 4 “U”s To Writing An Engaging Headline?

the 4 "U"s formulaThis method consists of only four simple but effective techniques that you can implement to create an alluring headline. It’s called the 4 “U”s formula, developed by business coach and entrepreneur Michael Masterson. They are Useful, Unique, Ultra-specific and Urgent.


This is the backbone of the headline. It is the subject matter of your article, blog newsletter or email. It describes to the reader what your content is about, painting the overall picture. This is what you are offering, whether it is a solution, benefit or the “how to”.


To make your headline unique, add an element from your content that directly pertains to the usefulness of your topic; something that he or she is unaware of that will peek their interest.


Here is the place for inserting facts and data. Numbers are a powerful tool in persuasion; with them you can inform your readers of the numerical value of what you are offering. That doesn’t necessarily mean you must use numbers specifically or monetarily. The words “doubles”, “reduces”, or “a week” all refer to numbers, but in a verbal way.


The time factor comes into play with urgency. Putting a deadline in your headline such as, “Act Now” or “For A Limited Time” compels the reader to take action now. If he or she knows that what your telling them won’t be around forever, they will be more inclined to open your email or newsletter. Using phrases with words indicating that something good or bad may happen, or how they may lose or gain something may also prompt a favorable reaction.

Below is a fundamental example of the 4 “U”s  formula:

Useful: “How To Lose Weight” (what you will learn)

Unique: “How To Lose Belly Fat”  (what type of weight)

Ultra-specific: “5 Easy Ways To Lose Belly Fat” (how you will lose the weight)

Urgent: “5 Easy Ways To Lose Belly Fat in Four Weeks” (how fast you can lose the weight)

Also, phrasing your headline in the form of a question is an effective tactic. “Do Know The 5 Easy Ways To Lose Belly Fat in Four Weeks?”

Note: It is not required or possible to incorporate all of the “U”s into every headline. But, Useful and Ultra-specific should always be present. The more the better.

“The headlines that work best are those that promise the reader a benefit” ~ David Ogilvy “The Father of Advertising”

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