19 Classic Headlines From the 1920’s You Can Use Today

The other day I found myself going through a box of magazines from the early 1920’s, including Success, Physical Culture and Hill’s Golden Rule looking for classic headline inspiration for a project I am working on.

magazine headlines

Some might think this is an odd strategy because how can anything from the 1920’s be appropriate and used today?

With certain articles and ads this line of thinking would be correct.  It doesn’t take long when perusing through an almost 100-year-old magazine to be astonished and even uncomfortable with some of the topics and advertisements that were commonplace back then.

But that’s not the point of this article.

Instead I was treasure hunting and looking for a gold nugget or two.

What I ultimately found were 19 headlines that I found interesting and eye-catching for one reason or another.

Some caught my eye because of the headline itself.

Others caught my eye because of the strategy behind the headline (e.g. a contest or test).

Regardless, I thought these headlines could easily be adapted and used in your marketing and advertising today.

Of course, they all need to be tweaked for your business and some need to be updated to today’s reality, but each of these classic headlines are easily modified and adaptable for use today.

In no order, here are the 19 classic headlines from the 1920’s I discovered:

  1. An Amazingly Easy Way to Earn $10,000 a Year – Let Me Show You How Free
  2. How to Get What You Want – A Remarkable System of Personal Efficiency
  3. Stop Wondering How I Teach Piano; I’ll Show You, FREE!
  4. Pick Out the 7 Best Words
  5. How I Saved My Hair the Tragedy of Baldness
  6. How Right or Wrong Thinking Measures Your Income
  7. My New Way of Selling
  8. Why Live an Inferior Life?
  9. Five-Minute Test Reveals Your Chances for Success
  10. Do You Do Any of These Embarrassing Things?
  11. I Guarantee You Results Worth $1,000 in One Year
  12. A Two Minute Test for Memory – Can You Pass It?
  13. The Magic of Charm
  14. What Are Your Chances of Business Success?
  15. Solving the “Mystery” of Disease
  16. Fear Is Your Worst Enemy
  17. They Called Me “Grouchy” Until I Learned Music
  18. 3 Priceless Secrets
  19. Six Vital Success Principles You Should Know – Their Use May Make Your Fortune

Being a marketing geek, I even scanned each of these classic headline articles/advertisements into a 19-page PDF file that I will share with any reader who leaves a comment below.  These are a great addition to your marketing swipe file.

Get These 19 Classic Headline Ads and Articles for Free!

To receive this PDF, take one or more of the headlines above and tweak for your business, products or services and put it in a comment below.

NOTE: I’am not interested in seeing generic comments (though they are appreciated).  The point of this is to get you to think about YOUR business.  This is intended to be a fun little marketing exercise, you might just get a winner for your next marketing campaign!

leave comment bel

About Mike Capuzzi

I'm a speaker, author and high impact marketing strategist for business owners and sharp, aggressive entrepreneurs looking to get to the next level in their business. I'm also the the inventor of the world-famous CopyDoodles. CopyDoodles are the world's largest library of handwritten fonts, hand-drawn doodles, comics and more designed to grab attention and boost your marketing results!

42 Comments

  1. Ben on October 18, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I did a headline for all of them (pretty easy to do!) but one of my favorites: How I Saved My Marriage from Sleeping in Separate Rooms. I can craft a message about how our sleep systems solve sleep issues that tend to drive couples to sleep in separate rooms. Thanks for posting, Mike! Good stuff.

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Nice job Ben!

    • Dom on October 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      I like it Ben

  2. Andrew Mazer on October 19, 2017 at 9:43 am

    An amazingly easy way to get your customers to advertise FOR you!

  3. Richard Parry on October 19, 2017 at 10:01 am

    For years now I have saved your emails and thank Craig Garber for 1st introducing me to you. I can clearly see the value of what you did here Mike and will use these as swipes as I write. I also love that you are from Pennsylvania as am I. (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Area) Hope to see you one day to make my business better as you have today.

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Thanks Richard. Half of my family is from Kingston area. Stay tuned for an opportunity to meet up soon!

  4. Caleb on October 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Great article Mike. Here are a few headlines I’ve adapted:

    An Amazingly Easy Way to Keep your windows clean, year round – Let Me Show you how for FREE!

    My New Way of Keeping Windows Amazingly Clean!

    3 Priceless Secrets For Keeping Your Windows Clean!

    Thanks,

    Caleb

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Nice job Caleb! Make sure you use them!

  5. Greg on October 19, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Hey Mike: I have a list of 100 headlines that I go to EVERY time I write sales copy. I just created 8 flyers for my members to attach to outgoing dry cleaning using that list. Thanks for this addition. The oldies are really goodies.

  6. Jon Keel on October 19, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Fear Is Your Worst Enemy In Business – thanks for the great information, Mike. I’ll add these to my swipe file of headlines. Keep up the good work.

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Jon – long time,no talk! Hope all is well! Thanks for playing along!

  7. Mike on October 19, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Great stuff Mike!!

  8. Gerry on October 19, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Hey Mike, great headlines, good job.

    A FREE 10 minute check up for your car – will your car pass?

  9. Jeffrey Campbell on October 19, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Appreciate you sharing this. I think many of these headlines can be used as is, without tweaking.

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Jeffrey – how would you tweak one or two for your CPA biz?

  10. Betty Cope on October 19, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I used Mike’s Copy Doodles for my flyers when I was actively selling real estate. It made a difference in my marketing response.
    Thanks Mike!

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks Betty! Appreciate the note!

  11. Doug Brown on October 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Nice collection of headlines and interesting how much of what they were selling could still apply today. I’m equally intrigued by the “leave a comment to obtain the PDF” technique of gathering leads – what might we offer for my (dentist-oriented) business that could generate the same interest? No answers yet, but I’m thinking!

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Hey Doug – I am not doing lead capture here, though I have in the past. The point of this article was simply to get my readers thinking about their business.

  12. Brian Bergh on October 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Great lesson, Mike. Always valuable to go back in time to discover the roots of success.

    They called me a “Sourpuss” until I learned to smile.

    The magic of a smile.

    Even “why live an inferior life” tied in with a beautiful smile focus.

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Love them Brian and great to hear from you!

  13. David Frees on October 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Mike: Thanks as always! Here’s mine
    Six Vital Estate Planning Principles You Should Know – Use Them To Turn Your Fortune Into A Real Legacy!

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Nice job (as usual) Dave!

  14. James Daniel on October 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    A Two-Minute Sales Test – Will Your Top Rep Get It Right?

  15. Alistair on October 19, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks Mike. Always good food for though and action. I copied the 19 headlines into word and then generated multiple headlines under each headline. The more I worked this the more ideas started to flow. For example- They Called Me “Grouchy” Until I Learned Music, could be –
    They Called Me “Broke” Until I Learned How To Generate Real Profits
    They Called Me “Broke” Until I Learned How To Plan
    They Called Me “Broke” Until I Learned How To Magnetically Attract New Customers
    They Called Me “Broke” Until I Learned How To Get Customers To Respond To My Ads
    They Called Me “Broke” Until I Learned How To Mastermind

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 19, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Awesome Alistair!!!

  16. Doug Herbert on October 19, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Those are really cool headlines, Mike. Thanks for sharing them. Here are two headlines I could use from those you listed:

    Six Vital Success Principles Concrete Contractors Should Know – Their Use May Make You A Fortune

    Solving the “Mystery” of Highly Profitable Contractors

  17. Tom on October 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Mike,
    Thanks for sharing the Golden nuggets from your research.
    Also, interesting to learn of and see the snaphot of Hill’s Golden Rule.

    Here are my adapted headlines

    What Are Your Chances of Success After Buying A Business…
    A Five Minute Test For New Entreprenuers – Can You Pass?

    What Are The Chances of Success Selling Your Business…
    A Five Minute Test For Owners – Will Your Business Pass?

  18. Elizabeth Reekie on October 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    An Amazingly Easy Way to advertise your business – Let Me Show You How

  19. Davidka on October 19, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Rewrite:

    “Do you make these mistakes in job interviews?”

  20. Ian on October 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Here are a few adaptations that may be worthy???

    An Amazingly Easy Way to Stop Losing Hair – Let Me Show You How Free
    How to Get The Hair that You Want – A Remarkable System for your Self Esteem
    Stop Wondering How I Do Great Hair; I’ll Show You, FREE!
    Six Steps to Remarkable Hair!

    All of these and more I shall try …

    Another oldie but goldie is:

    “Give me $99 and have a fantastic haircut or don’t give me $99 and don’t have a fantastic haircut!”

    or

    “Give me $50 and stop going bald or don’t give me $50 and keep going bald!”

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 20, 2017 at 6:34 am

      Very nice Ian! They are very good!

  21. Jeff on October 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I plan to Use :”Pick Out The Three Best Words for your Prospecting Email”

  22. Jon Toy on October 19, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Nice article Mike, thanks for sharing
    thought of this one for the season:

    When you show up using one of our boxes – you make your competition look like the old lady that hands out crackers on Halloween night!

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 20, 2017 at 6:35 am

      Go Jon!

  23. Gene Riordan on October 20, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Good variety of attention getting headlines. I’ll try tweaking each one for my business coaching and the Optimist Club and see which ones look good, then I’ll try them out in Facebook.

  24. David on October 20, 2017 at 3:12 am

    How to Get What You Want – A Life Changing System of Influence and Persuasion

  25. Corey Jahnke on October 21, 2017 at 10:40 am

    These are great! I’ve been wanting to use Typeforms to create an interactive market research tool and at least 4 of these headlines would be easily adaptable to that project!! Thanks Mike for all that you and your team do to make me successful!!

  26. Rebecca Foresee on October 22, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Mike – These are a nice collection of headlines! I was doing some digging myself the other day and came across the Christmas Wish Book. I’d give you the link, but you might think it’s spam. Check it out under wishbookweb. Your search engine should take you right to it. There’s a program that is cataloging the past issues. I’m not affiliated with the program. If you want some more fun, take a gander at the project, say for the year you were born – and see what was hot and how they sold it. The voice used was very telling of politics and world issues. Fun!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 22, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Rebecca – will check out.

  27. Rick Zeitler on November 27, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    3 mind blowing secrets about Liability Insurance!

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