Did you know that on average, eighty percent of readers only read the headline and not the text? That gives you only two options, either try to get your message across in your title and headings or write a really enticing headline that keeps people reading. Either way, the success of your book, paper, or content will depend a great deal on the headline.
Professional copywriters go to great lengths to write great titles and headlines. A rule of thumb is to write 50 or more headlines before deciding on the one you’re going to use. Pay attention to the sound and rhythm of your headline by reading it out loud. As in copywriting, a title should focus on the reader. The words “you” and “your” are two of the most powerful words to use in a headline or title.
Two more characteristics of a good headline are specificity and the promise of a benefit. This is often done as a list of tips, for example: “5 Ways to Get More Leads”.
Many copywriters rely on headline formulas that have been used for decades. But it’s better to understand the underlying principles of what makes headlines work (hint: the last three tips below are some of the underlying principles).
Writing a great headline can take as much time as writing a page of copy. Straight informative headlines can be simple and direct, but any promotional or offer copy (that is, needing a response) will need to work hard to pull the reader in. Use these tips to help you create more engaging and successful headlines:
- Study successful headlines. Go to your favorite websites and look for good headlines to use as examples.
- Write several headlines, at least ten. Make sure your headline is a good match for your article or copy.
- Remember to focus on the reader, be specific, and promise a benefit.
Though analytic testing can be done to test headlines for response, it’s time consuming. For immediate feedback, run your titles through the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, or simply ask people for their feedback on different titles.