‘How to write a headline that works’ – did we catch your attention?
First impressions are everything. A smile, a friendly ‘hello’ or even a sexy wink can make you like a person immediately. Really, it’s the same for a headline. Whether you are writing the title of a blog or a subject line for an email, you are competing in an extremely noisy arena, where content is being constantly churned out from all angles.
So how do you get people to read your content?
There are a variety of ways a headline can be eye catching. We wouldn’t recommend necessarily using all of our below tips in one headline, rather utilise the ones that suit your copy, what you have to offer (if applicable) and the tone of voice of your business.
- Get to-the-point
Don’t blabber on and on and on and on and on. “5 tips that you may or may not use depending on how much you deem them to be effective without the use of statistics but we’re pretty good at knowing what we’re talking about.”
You’ve instantly turned your reader off.
“5 tips to help you excel at swimming.” Great – if I am a novice swimmer and therefore most likely your target audience, I am going to read on. Why wouldn’t I?
Yep. People love numbers. It indicates the length of the post before the reader even opens it. If you say, “Here are 83 girls’ names to avoid”, then the reader knows it’s going to take them longer than two minutes to absorb the life-changing information inside.
We think that ‘7’ is a pretty good number, usually something a little less predictable than 5 or 10 and do try not to go over 10, people don’t like to make such a big commitment!
- Pick a beneficial adjective
This will encourage people to click into your post. Is it good? No, it’s fantastic. Might you need it? No, it’s essential to you….. do you see what we mean?
Here are a few you might like:
- Mind blowing
- Keep it short
But not vague: “5 tips that will change your life” is far too vague. Are you talking about life-saving CPR manoeuvres or are you teaching people how to save time cooking a roast dinner? Who would know?
Don’t overcomplicate things either. Simplicity is key. If your readers do not understand your headline, they won’t read on.
Be specific, keep it short and sweet and you won’t go far wrong.
- Don’t be predictable
There is nothing worse than reading a headline and already expecting to read the content underneath – it happens far more often than it should.
You want to wow your audience, engage and attract new customers. Being predictable isn’t going to get you there. ‘5% off your next order’ is standard. ‘Want to look fabulous for less?’ That could work. ‘Feel incredible, look sensational and be kind to your purse strings’, err, yes please!
- Be honest and sincere
Be you and stay true to your business. You’re a human speaking to another human so make sure your headline is relatable and has understanding. Without relevance you can’t be inspiring.
Research your ideal customer and write a headline to attract them– even create a visual if it makes writing easier. Portray your business honestly and create content that is meaningful and factual, don’t mislead your audience because it will put them off.
- Credibility is key
Your reader only wants to engage with content that they can trust and that has value – aren’t you the same? You might have started to think, how can I be unpredictable, simple, honest and attract attention? Well that’s the tricky part – but if you master this, you’re on your way to creating brilliant headlines.
The higher the credibility the better, so don’t overpromise. You’re not going to change someone’s life with some top tips for a roast dinner, but you can help your reader to put their feet up sooner so they can enjoy a glass of wine. Honest, simple and benefits driven – who says no to wine?
If you would like help with crafting your content, book your free marketing consultation today.