*Into your mind creep magic words like the fog on cats feet*

Hey you,

It’s Lewis aka Nerd #2.

Got something awesome for you today.

These are the marketing legend Ted Nicholas’s favorite 27 headline words that he says he’s invested $100 MILLION dollars of his own money into testing with his own ads and have proven to work.

Just in case you’ve forgotten what a bad muthafucka Ted is, in this snippet from his web site he explains why he’s earned the right to beat on his chest…

From: Ted Nicholas
Tuesday — 8:14 a.m.

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the most valuable website on the internet!

Says who?

Perhaps the best proof are the words of today’s most successful marketers online and offline (see their testimonials throughout this site; you’ll recognize many of them.)

My track record is another proof. I’ve produced over 5.9 billion dollars in sales in my own companies and those of my clients around the world.

Now, I’ve seen variations on lists of “Power words” from everyone from John Caples, to Clayton Make peace, to John Carlton but I like what Ted brings to the table here in that these are the specific words he put out into the real world and they allowed him to stomp some serious $5.9 billion dollar ass.

You’re gonna love seeing how easy these words can be adapted to headlines for your specific projects.

Here’s his list along with a headline example of how it could be used…

1. ANNOUNCING: “Announcing a new way to sell hot dogs to the rushed people on the streets of New York city”

2. SECRETS OF: “Secrets Of World Famous Dog Trainer Revealed At Intimate Seminar In California”

3. NEW: “New Method of Getting Rid Of Cottage Cheese Legs Proves To Be Effective”

4. NOW: “Now Is The Time To Think Hard About How You’ve Been Marketing Your Products And Services”

5. AMAZING: “Amazing Sex Position Produces Genuine “O Face” Results For Frustrated House Wives”

6. FACTS YOU: “Facts You Should Know About Facebook Marketing”

7. BREAKTHROUGH: “Breakthrough Potty Training System Produces Successful Results”

8. AT LAST: “At Last There Is An Answer To Saggy Boobs”

9. ADVICE TO: “Advice To Secretaries Who Want To Expand Their Opportunities”

10. THE TRUTH OF: “The Truth Of What It Takes To Meet Women Will Shock You”

11. PROTECT: “Protect Your Income From Uncle Sam”

12. LIFE: “Your Life Will Be Enhanced When You Get Fit While You Sit”

13. HERE: “Here’s A Way To Way To Be More Attractive To Men Without Other Women Calling You A Slut”

14. DISCOVER: “Discover How You Can Double Your Dating Pleasure”

15. DO YOU: “Do You Make These Mistakes In Advertising?” which is a variation on a headline that ran for 30 years “Do You Make These Mistakes In English?”

16. BARGAINS: “Bargains On Smart Phones”

17. YES: “Yes, Lewis I Can’t Wait For You To Show Me How To Karate Chop The Balls Off Of Any Intruder In My Home!!!”

Ted believes this is one of the most under used words in copy. You want people to say yes to you and this is a way to say it for them. People want to do what you want them to if it’s a perfect fit so help them along.

18. LOVE: “You’ll Love The Way You Smell When You Wear This Perfume”

19. HATE: “You’ll Hate Yourself For Not Becoming A Multi-Orgasmic Man”

20. HOW MUCH: “How Much Is A Great First Impression Worth?”

21. HOW WOULD: “How Would You Solve The Problem Of Having Too Much Month Left At The End Of The Money?”

22. THIS: “This Is The Solution To Your Man Boobs aka Moobs”

23. ONLY: “Only Way Left For The Little Guy To Get Laid”

24. SALE: “Sale On Kung Fu Supreme Ass Kicking System”

25. FREE: “Free Lap Dances”

We all like free. It’s a normal human thing to like a free gift. Especially when it’s something you’re accustomed to paying for.

26. YOU: “You, A Sex God? Yes.”

This English rule you were taught in school, of using “I” and “Me”, makes you wrong for using this word as much as you should in your writing. One thing you need to do is take anything you’ve written and circle all the “I” and “Me” words and change them to “you” or “your”. Just using this one idea out of this whole list will help you sell more of your shit than any other word.

27. HOW TO: “How To Know Whether A Man Could Be Abusive Or Not Just Through His Handwriting”

This one almost never fails and should be relied on if you have no other ideas. At the time Ted was talking about this in his seminar, there were 7,000 books in the library of congress that were “How-To” books.

The reason this is so is because they sell. Your job is to sell. This is why you should always be testing “How-To” against any of the other snazzy ideas you come up with. Being turned off by the commonality & simplicity of this headline would be a GIGANTIC mistake.


So there you have it.

Ted Nicholas’s 27 favorite headline words that he’s spent over $100 million dollars of his own money testing in his marketing.

I had to adapt all of these headlines myself, (obviously Ted wasn’t writing headlines like “Amazing Sex Position Produces Genuine “O Face” Results For Frustrated House Wives”) and I was surprised at how these words made it easy to get pretty much every one of these to fall under Ted’s “17 word or less in a headline” rule. And the ones that didn’t, only went over by a couple.

As I’m sure you already know, Ted believes that no headline should be longer than 17 words.

His experience tells him that anything more than that makes it confusing and more often than not, leads to breaking the law of keeping the headline to one single thought. 

Now this doesn’t include your eyebrow or your sub headline. I think this is a good guideline, especially for beginners, to make sure you aren’t saying a mouthful. 17 or under keeps it both simple and direct and with the right words you can pack a punch without telling your entire story in the headline.

The late and legendary David Sandler of Sandler Sales Systems Training also taught a similar ideology to nose to nose, toes to toes salespeople.

He knew salesman had no process of moving prospects through a sequence of emotions and so they get in front of a prospect and just blurt out a “I know your gonna reject me, so let’s get it over quick,” half ass pitch and hope for the best. He called it, “Spilling your candy in the lobby.”

Never did like that metaphor.

Can’t remember the whole story behind this example and it doesn’t matter because one liners like this shouldn’t need the whole story. They should resonate with your target audience right away. A story should be a bonus. I got the point from his further teaching but not from the metaphor.

One example of a thought that immediately helped me see why generating curiosity is the main purpose of your headline was Bryan Franklin’s statement of…

“Lingerie is sexy because of what it conceals, not what it reveals.”

There was no story that accompanied this line when he said it. And yet, it stands on it’s own. Just like your headline should.

If you want to read a fun story about how Dan Kennedy learned this “Curiosity” lesson from a red headed stripper when he was a teen, go see it here.

Now go forth and print out those 27 words and keep them handy where you can see them whenever you have to write anything. Yep, anything. While you may not need a headline when you’re writing a facebook message, an email reply, a love letter, or something like that, you do need a powerful opening sentence and these words can help you there too.

May your opening act blow people’s socks off.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne aka Note Taking Nerd #2