The art of writing attractive headlines is imperative for many different areas of marketing: blog post titles, email subject lines, PPC advertisements, and more. Research has found that 8 out of 10 people will read a headline for an article, but only 2 of those will go on to read the rest of the content. That is why an appealing headline is so important – without it, your content will go unread. Unopened emails and unclicked PPC campaigns are a waste of your time and money. So before you start sending out your content marketing campaigns to your audience, work on creating the best headline possible.
Of course, any advice you find on writing killer headlines should be adaptive, as each campaign will be different. But try a few of these ideas to get you started:
1. If you have a killer offer, just say it. There’s no need to write “around the bush” with your promotion or special deals. Instead, just be straight forward with your audience.
– “Limited Time 40% Discount on XYZ”
– “Enter to Win Free Hosting for a Year”
However, don’t try to pass off your everyday products the same way. An example of this would be “Web Maintenance for $45 an hour!” If that’s always the cost of web maintenance, writing a headline like this would only trick your audience into believing that a better deal than usual was available.
2. Use how-to posts. Headlines that make specific promises tend to get a lot of clicks. With a “how to” headline, readers know exactly what they are getting in the content.
– “How to Pick the Right TV for your House”
– “How to Write a Blog Post that Attracts New Clients”
3. Use numbered posts. List posts also attract a high click-rate because of the specific promises being made.
– “7 Tips to Building a Money-Making Blog”
– “5 Reasons Daenerys Would Massacre Katniss in a Fight”
4. Create in the reader a sense of missing out. Headlines like this compel the reader to click just to figure out what they are missing out on.
– “Why These 5 Popular Marketing Strategies are Actually Destroying Your Blog”
– “Why Justin Bieber’s Latest Crime Might Finally Land him in Prison”
5. Convey benefits instead of features. Focus very clearly on how reading your blog post or email will benefit the reader in some way.
– Instead of saying “Why SEO is Important,” say “Critical SEO Strategies That Will Vault you to the Number 1 Spot.”
In this example, it’s very clear that using these SEO strategies will help you rank better, rather than vaguely saying “it’s important.”
6. Use sexy buzzwords. It’s odd to use “sexy” when you’re talking about words, but it’s true! There are verbs and adjectives that are exceptionally descriptive or attention grabbing. You need to find those words and implement them in your headline.
– Critical, brand-new, exciting, killer, explode, skyrocket, time-saving, crappy, world-class, overcome, popular, secret, guaranteed, magnetic, fool-proof, etc.
Being able to write killer headlines will take some practice, and might involve some A/B testing to find what works best for your audience. Keep that in mind as you hone your headline-writing skills.
What headline did you use for you best-performing blog post?
Clark, Brian. “How to Write Magnetic Headlines.” http://www.copyblogger.com/magnetic-headlines/. (13 March 2014).