In the world of selling online courses, there are very few people who can top Ramit Sethi.
A grizzled veteran who’s been running I Will Teach You To Be Rich for over 10 years, has been coached by billion dollar marketing legends like Jay Abraham, has been featured in just about every big business-related magazine, and has sold millions of dollars worth of online courses, Ramit is the real deal.
His sales pages almost always lead to 7 figure online course launches.
But like David Ogilvy said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar”
In other words, 80% of your success comes from having a compelling headline.
So that’s what we’re going to focus on today.
I’ll analyze 5 of Ramit Sethi’s best headlines based on information he’s shared publicly about his best-selling courses and I’ll break each down to its essence and teach you not only what he did, but why and how you can use the same principles to help you model after his attention grabbing headlines.
So lets get started…
Headline #1: Earn 1k On The Side
This entire headline is based off an OLD formula that’s been used in direct mail for the longest. It’s a variation of the “Finally!” formula with a couple of important tweaks to it.
Almost immediately, he tries to create the “illusion” of proof. There is nothing in that headline that backs up any of his claims, but the fact that he just says its proven and legitimate still helps his cause.
Because it’s a big objection that his ideal customers have. The don’t want anything shady, under-the-table, or anything else even remotely scammy. So coming out clearly stating that this is not any of that helps build confidence.
Next are 2 benefits.
What’s interesting here is which benefits he picked. The second benefit and claim, $1,000/month, is the real core promise of the entire product. So it’s obvious why that one is there.
The first benefit, however, is actually there to answer an objection. Most people who want to make money by starting a side business almost always say they never have any ideas. So this particular benefit is actually a “1st step benefit”.
In other words…
It’s the 1st outcome you want to finally overcome that mental hurdle and then the followup benefit is the final outcome that you want at the end of it al. This way, you show both extremes to relay the fact you understand and cover all the bases.
The last section intensifies the headline.
By specifically claiming it’s only going to take 5 hours a week. This also obviously implies that it’s not going to force you to work 80/hour workweeks.
This also allows for him to relay the fact that the whole process is simple and even easy, but without him to actually say those words. It’s implied and makes the core promise much stronger.
The Key Takeaways:
Step #1) Use objection answering benefits
Step #2) Make specific claims
Step #3) Imply proof and easiness of use
Step #4) Strengthen with benefits or without drawbacks
Finally… a [adjectives] [program/course/training…etc] to [1st step benefit] and [specific end benefit] – with [just X time needed]
Headline #2: Find Your Dream Job
This is an interesting one.
The very first thing I notice is that there is no specific claim here. Everything seems to be pretty vague, but with the core promise there. In fact, based on the wording, this market seems to be at a market sophistication level 2.
Because of that, it’s really straight-forward.
Ramit starts by introducing his course, follow that up with “one-of-a-kind” features, and have it all lead up to the core promise. They key here is to expand on what this course offers and make it sound superior to everything else out there.
It’s rare to find a course having to do with making money at such a low level of market sophistication. But I guess Ramit hit the jackpot here, making the whole headline situation much easier than in other money related markets.
He follows up the main headline with 2 more subheadlines.
The first subheadline answers a feature to answer an objection, makes a non-specific claim as an illusion of “proof”, and ends it with the core promise. In other words, the point was to answer an objection and continue pushing the awesomeness of his course.
The second subheadline focuses on eliminating drawbacks.
This quickly eliminates the obvious objections people have about not being able to get their dream job and further intensifies the entire headline/subheadline combo as a whole. This is a hallmark of a product being sold at a market sophistication level 2.
The Key Takeaways:
1) Make sure you know your markets sophistication level
2) With high awareness, you can just introduce the product from the get-go
3) Intensify your copy by jacking up your features while eliminating drawbacks
Introducing [Course Name], The First [Course/Training/System…etc] With [One-Of-A-Kind Features] To [Benefit]
Headline #3: Zero To Launch
When it comes to a “build a business” course, this particular headline has absolutely no mention of actual specific income. In fact, there’s really no straight-forward claim like you would normally see in most money related markets.
Instead, the whole point of this headline is to relay how his ideal customer really feels about his current situation in life. It’s an emotional appeal that ends in with a big promise without it feeling like a typical “build a business” course.
This is a type of headline that’s very difficult to swipe.
Because while it’s possible to break it down, the real details can only be figured out by knowing your ideal customer inside and out. Ramit knows this and it’s why he takes months to create a course. He won’t release one until he knows it’s the best course and he has all the information needed to make the best sales pitch for it.
The next subheadline does the same. It has nothing to do with making money or even building a business. It all has to do with the real desired benefit of his customers, including flexibility, confidence and freedom.
Those are the things that his customers really want.
Finally, he ends it with what seems to be a typical “Ramit Sethi practice” by positioning it as unique while combining proof elements at the same time. In this case, he uses his own sales data to claim his course is the only one like it out there.
1) Use emotion based, benefit driven, “core desire” copy to sell courses about normally “hard to believe” topics
2) Keep it simple. If you focus on the above, you’ll do fine.
3) Still introduce your course and position it as one of kind, by backing it up with really good sales data
Break The [Metaphor] [Eliminate 3 Things That Prevent Desired Benefit]
What If You Could [End Result] [Desired Benefit]?
Headline #4: Call To Action
Again, Ramit opts for a basic, but still effective headline.
Call to Action is a copywriting course. Like his other courses, the main benefit is to make money. However, it’s interesting to note that he says nothing about copywriting or other forms of copy like sales pages.
That’s because copywriting is something most business owners either have never heard about or don’t fully understand. To solve this problem, he focuses on the email and connects it to the money making opportunity.
This alone builds enough curiosity to keep you reading.
The real power of this headline is because it never tells you “Here’s how you can make money”. It shows how he did it and promises to show you why it worked for him.
Again, Ramit does a good job at avoid the upfront “get rich quick” sales message and instead focuses on why this particular email worked for him. It also helps a lot that he has a screenshot of the email right alongside the headline.
The subheadline then supports the main headline by positioning the “secret” into a system, which he just so happens to be selling on this very page.
1) Avoid upfront promise with your personal results
2) Imply benefits
3) Position implied “secret” as a system
4) Use an image to illustrate the headline
5) If necessary, use understandable “thing” to sell a more unaware topic
6) Creating curiosity is critical
Let Me Show You Why [X] [Achieves Desired Benefit]
In This [X], I’m Using A Strategy That [Desired Benefit]
Headline #5: 6-Figure Consulting System
Strangely enough, this is Ramit’s simplest headline so far.
I say strangely because being a coach/consultant is one of the more popular “get rich quick” schemes out there right now. Yet, he avoids all financial claims except for the core promise, which is being a 6-figure consultant.
The subheadline is slightly more descriptive.
Here, he starts with how much he personally earns in consulting fee’s and promises to reveal how he does it with all of the features that follows that claim.
Besides that, there’s actually not too much to say about this headline and subheadline combo.
The only thing I can add is that he inputs adjectives into his features like “street-tested” and “barrier busting” to add a little extra oomph to his copy, but that’s about it. It’s an important lesson, but it’s a minor one when it comes to headlines.
1) Just tell people whatever it is you’re offering them
2) Sell people how you did something, not how you (the customer) can do something
Learn The [Skill Level] [Strategies/Tactics…etc] And Actual [Systems, Process…etc] To Become A [Desired End Result]
Discover Exactly How I [Claim], Including [One-Af-A-Kind Features]
Yet, his headlines, while good, aren’t out of this world. They are basic, straightforward headlines that just sell the damn product. The real secret to his headlines are in positioning, research, and proof build up.
So while you do have to take into account the context, it just shows you can set your business up in a way that doesn’t require out-of-this-world sales copy and still make a lot of sales.