Extra, Extra...Read All About It: 10 Secrets To Writing Better Headlines
Think about how many emails you receive in a week. That's a lot of emails!
Even in a single day, you are bombarded with emails all vying for your attention. All promising that only they can give you what you're looking for (even if you didn't know you wanted it).
How many do you actually open up and read?
Now ask yourself why you opened those specific emails.
Is it because you recognized the sender? For a good number of them, the answer is probably yes. But what about the random emails you opened? What made you decide they were worthy of a look?
Chances are it was a catchy headline.
You could make a strong argument that the headline is the single most important piece of your copy.
Without a catchy headline, the benefits of your product might never be seen.
So how do you create a headline that grabs attention? Let's look at 10 ways you can improve your headlines.
1. Ask a Question
People don't like seeing a question mark without knowing the answer. Instinctively we have to satisfy our need to know things. Often enough, a question will be all it takes to make your target audience click on your link to find out more.
2. Use Adjectives To Trigger Emotion
Would you be more interested in 5 tips for buying a new home or 6 CRUCIAL steps? Using an interesting or strong adjective in your headline triggers emotions. Those emotions create desire to learn more.
3. Create a Sense of Urgency
How often have you grabbed the last item on a shelf only because it was the last one?
If you can convey that time is running out, or that there are only a few items left, people will pay attention. No one likes to think they might miss out on something. But ONLY do this if you can honestly make the claim.
4. Outline the Benefit
Show the value or benefit of what you're offering and you're likely to get a greater response. If your headline can answer the question "what's in it for me?", chances are you will gain interest.
5. Use Numbers In Digit Form
Numbers and lists are appealing. Much like the headline of this blog, a number is a sure way to grab attention and interest. People want to know all the steps needed to educate themselves about your topic.
Using the digit rather than the word also creates more visual appeal. It forces the reader to pause an extra bit of time to take in what is being written.
6. Make A Valuable Promise, Then Deliver On It
This step goes along with delivering value or benefits, but takes it a step further. Let's say your headline promises a product that can make you look like a supermodel. That's a big promise, and one people would likely look at to see if it's too good to be true. If you can back up your promise with testimonials and statistics in the body of your copy, you've got a winner. But do NOT use this type of headline unless you can show information to support the claim.
7. Use As Few Words As Possible
Short and sweet. Getting the most impact in the fewest number of words is key to a strong headline. Search results and social media posts/ads have a limited amount of characters. Use them wisely.
8. Use Keywords
Search engines, social media hashtags, even emails all rely on SEO keywords and phrases to reach the right target audience. Using one or two of these words in your headline can help you reach a larger group of potential customers or readers. Take care not to use too many. You still want your headline to sound conversational.
9. Be Specific
Inboxes fill up with generic emails.
Social media feeds show endless products and services with vague descriptions.
To stand out and set yourself apart, get very specific. Do you sell motorcycles, or do you sell customized, vintage Harleys? By getting specific, the niche of customers you want to appeal to will find you easier and likely take notice.
10. Make Them Easy To Understand
Don't fill headlines with jargon or "big" words. Keep your wording simple. It's recommended to write at a 7th grade or under reading level. This makes your topic easy to understand and more approachable.
While these all will help you to improve your headlines, the biggest piece of advice is to write them. Write lots of headlines. Read them out loud, then write them again. The more you do it, the better you will get. With that improvement, you will see improved response rates, and increased sales.