When Headlines/Subject-Lines Don’t Feel True

A quote from Harry Dry (before you write your next headline/email subject line/etc.)

“Good copy is falsifiable.” 

A clear message tells the reader “this is provable, if you want to prove it for yourself.” 

A marketing example (which Dry uses) – let’s say you’re selling an energy drink. Ask yourself which of these feels true:

A drink to unlock your brain’s superpowers. 


One capsule equals six hours of focus. 

You can’t prove the first one. You can prove the second. It, therefore, feels more trustworthy and keeps more of the fleeting attention it grabs. 

A (work) email subject line example – let’s say you’re gearing people up for a strategy meeting and want to get everyone’s brain on the same page:

How we’ll conquer the world 


3 company changing decisions we’re making FRIDAY

The first one makes me feel like I have better things to do. The second makes me feel like I have to pay attention. 

Every communication counts. You don’t need to be hyperbolic. Keeping it falsifiable is an excellent starting principle. 

Bonus: Pick something falsifiable to whatever is true-blue to you. Avoiding hyperbole is also about not becoming Buzzfeed in your work emails. Then – always –  get a little creative with it. Like Digger did to Madonna here:

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