Getting people to see your headline is one thing, getting them to read your content is another
Whether you’re writing an email subject line, social media post, or advertisement, you need to have a powerful headline that will grab the attention of your readers, so they will engage with your content and message.
But where do you start?
Here are my 5 tips for creating compelling headlines.
1. Call out your audience
Whoever you’re targeting with your message, if you reference them in your headline they’ll know that your content is specifically for them. For example “Cycling enthusiasts. Did you know…?” or “Just for plumbers…” etc. The more niche you can be, the more powerfully you will connect with that audience.
2. We love numbers
Our eyes are naturally drawn to numbers, so use this to your advantage by including data, or statistics in your headline. For example “For the next 24 hours…” or “78% of cyclists think…” or “the 5-Day diet” etc.
3. The element of surprise
Don’t be bland with your headlines. Tell your audience something they don’t already know, or offer a contentious opinion, maybe include some intrigue. Remember the point of your headline is to attract their attention and get them to invest the time in reading your content – so make it really interesting!
4. Be negative!
The fact is that as human beings we’re hard-wired to avoid danger, which is why you see so many negatively oriented headlines like “Top 5 things to avoid…” or “Remove the risk of…” So think about how you can help your audiences avoid the challenges and frustrations they face in relation to your product or service, and use those in your headlines. It may sound negative, but it’s guaranteed to attract more attention.
5. Use a subheading
You can be as punchy, brief, or contentious as you like with your headline as it’s all about getting attention. But in order to hold that attention, you need to qualify and substantiate your headline. This is where you need a subheading or introductory statement or sentence that qualifies your message. Your subheading gives you an opportunity to build on your headline, but also engage your reader further and convince them to invest more time in reading your full message.
Now, if you were to add some, or all of these tips together in a single headline, you might come up with something like… “78% of cyclists can now to avoid serious crashes. Here’s how…”
Try combining some of these tips and techniques for yourself and see what powerful headlines you can create.
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