Good Headlines – Collect Them When You See Them

While on a recent flight, I perused through the airline’s magazine and came across a display ad which contained a good headline that caught my eye and one I wanted to share with my readers to model after.


Stauer is a company that creates “classical style” advertisements worthy of study by all marketers. Typically their ads are very good examples of direct response copywriting and design. This particular ad contains a bunch of smart things and you should click on the image above to see and study the larger version.

As I was skimming the magazine, this ad’s headline practically forced me to read the ad because it was so contradictory to what I was expecting.


How many ads have you seen that start off by telling you that you cannot buy the product contained within it?

Talk about “takeaway selling.”

I can see many types of business owners who can take this good headline format and swipe it for their business in a variety of different ways…

  • This Book is NOT for Sale… It’s yours for Free when you opt-in below
  • This Software is NOT for Sale… It’s yours for Free when you invest in this home-study course
  • This <insert your lead-magnet or bonus product here> is NOT for Sale… It’s yours for Free <when you do this>

Smart marketers are always looking out for marketing ideas and examples they can swipe and use in their business. On page 25 of my High Impact Marketing Manifesto I suggest everybody turns their “marketing radar” to ON so they can be constantly looking for ideas and opportunities to use in their marketing.

My radar was on when I saw this advertisement and I will be using his headline in a campaign I will be running soon.

Speaking of good headlines, there are many headline swipe files available online, if you do a Google search.

One of the best books that contain a number of good headlines is copywriter David Garfinkel’s Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich: Create Winning Ads, Web Pages, Sales Letters and More available on Amazon. I have a copy and so should you.

Another good headline resource comes from Victor Schwab, who wrote the classic book, How to Write a Good Advertisement (another book you should buy and study).


Back in 1958, Vic ran a two-page newspaper advertisement to promote his ad agency. In the ad, Vic shared 100 “good headlines” and described why they were so profitable.

The ad was HUGE and contained more than 7,500 words, but don’t let this deter you.  You should definitely read through this ad too, as it contains many useful marketing and copywriting nuggets. Victor Scwab’s 100 Good Headlines ad deserves a place in your marketing library.

You can download a PDF of the original advertisement plus a Word document of the 100 headlines in the ad by clicking here.


Going back to the Stauer headline, I want to see how you can take this headline format and use it in your business. Craft a similar-style headline and put it into a comment below and I will pick two winners whose headline is best in my opinion. Each winner will receive a free copy of Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform.

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Alyson Lex on November 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Love this, Mike! I love looking at direct response ads (my husband thinks I’m crazy when I rip pages out of my magazines and put them in my filing cabinet!)

    Here’s my version:
    You Can’t Pay Me For My Best Copy Tips… Because I’m Giving Them To You For FREE!
    No, seriously, I’m not going to charge you a penny for the 10 best lessons I’ve learned to make your copy more profitable… all you have to do is enter your e-mail address below!

    (This was fun!)

    • Mike Capuzzi on November 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Alyson – NICE!!!!

      • Alyson Lex on November 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

        Thanks! I can’t wait to see what others come up with. This kind of exercise is so valuable… especially now that I have an idea for a brand-new lead magnet along with the headline to promote it! 🙂

  2. Tim Turner on November 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

    This software is NOT for sale…
    It’s yours for FREE*
    No kidding. Only Torrid Tech can give you Retirement Planning software this good for NOTHING.

  3. mONT on November 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    You COULDN’T PAY ME to bring my magic show to your school family night..It’s FREE to your school. No kidding—Mont Magic will provide 45 minutes of fun, laughter and magic for your school family night. It will increase family attendance, giving families a positive and fun view of your school and staff.

  4. Dave Harrington on November 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm


    I’ve been paying attention to the Stauer ads for many, many years…

    They must work well for them… since they keep running them… right?

    Here are a couple of variations of their headline, applied to a trades-only, landscape industry trade show I provide the marketing for each year…

    “You can’t buy tickets to GreenTrade Expo 2015…
    But you can get yours FREE by registering online TODAY!”

    “Tickets to GreenTrade Expo 2015 are NOT for sale…
    …You can get yours FREE when you register online NOW…”

    “GreenTrade Expo 2015 tickets are NOT for sale…
    …But you can get yours FREE when you register online TODAY!”

    Hope all’s well with you, Becky, and your kids,


    Dave Harrington

    • Mike Capuzzi on November 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Dave – long time,no talk. The Stauer ads must do well for them. Love your variations! Nice job!

  5. Doc Carney on November 13, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Mike I missed seeing you in St. Louis. Jim was there, Dan was there and Dave was there, but no Mike Capuzzi. Just to let you know you were missed.

    “This easy to implement, 8 page Tell All Report that guarantees you’ll make thousands of dollars EXTRA every month is Not for Sale, & Can’t Be Borrowed”…

    … because today and today only, it’s yours for FREE…

    … just by picking up your phone and calling me at 951-760-0798 before midnight tonight.

    A little longer, but it does what I want it to do Mike!

    P.S. It’s true too Mike. I found this marketing book, and I had it for a year. Then I opened it, read the first 8 pages, read the prayer, and within 10 days I had an extra $10,000 dollars in my bank account and it hasn’t stopped since. .

    • Mike Capuzzi on November 14, 2014 at 6:14 am

      Thanks Doc! Appreciate the note.

  6. Randy Owens on November 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    This year don’t pay to have your taxes just “done”
    It could actually end up being Free for you.
    No Kidding! Compared to the part timers and big faceless national chains, we can often find ways to save you much more in taxes than our fee. It could actually be better than free.

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