Why are headlines important?
Headlines are the most important part of your marketing copy – it is the headline or subject line that will get your e-mail opened or entice the reader to continue reading.
You have a fraction of a second before the reader hits the delete button or throws your leaflet in the bin – it is a split second decision – should I continue reading or not?
This has always been true in marketing – whether it is an advert, leaflet, sales letter, website or e-mail – the main aim of your headline is to stop your message immediately ending up in the bin whether it is real or virtual!
On average, 80% of audience will read your headline but only 20% will read the rest – this is particularly true of e-mail where people will just go through their inbox reading subject lines and deleting messages they have not got time to read. So, now we know about the why, let's look at the ‘how' of writing a headline that is as strong and powerful as possible.
10 quick tips for creating attention-grabbing headlines:
- Use keywords in your headline (good for SEO, allow the reader to quickly identify the subject)
- Look at the classic headline writing formula of: Number or Trigger Word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise (e.g. 10 quick tips for writing powerful headlines to increase sales)
- Use interesting adjectives – avoid ‘nice' or other bland words – use ‘sparkly' words such as powerful, incredible or essential.
- Always remember the marketing holy grail – ‘Wiifm' (What's in it for me) and tell the customer how reading the message will change their lives.
- Use intellectual words if it is a product or service that requires careful consideration but remember, even rational purchases (such as buying a new car) are highly emotional decisions.
- ‘How to' blog posts are some of the most successful – but there are lots of other options (just try Googling ‘headline formula' for some great ideas and resources).
- Ask a question or issue a challenge – these headlines immediately engage the reader and make them think.
- Boost your headlines with proven words such as quick, easy, new, find, proven, guaranteed.
- Make it unique, useful, specific to the user and benefits driven.
- Ask some colleagues what they think – write a few alternatives and test it out.
These are just a few quick tips to help you create powerful headlines.
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Mark Woodroof is a qualified marketing coach who was awarded a BA(Hons) in Business and a Diploma in Marketing (from the Chartered Institute of Marketing) in the early 1990's and has spent the last 20 years working with private and public sector organisations.
During that time, Mark has worked with hundreds of business owners helping them to grow their businesses, launch new products and services, set up and manage their own marketing plans, websites and digital marketing strategies.
Today, he specialises in Digital Marketing, Social Media, WordPress Development and marketing automation systems such as ActiveCampaign & Infusionsoft.
Mark's areas of expertise include:
- Marketing Strategy & Planning
- Software Development Project Management (Microsoft.Net & Laravel)
- Customer Relationship Management Systems (Infusionsoft, Zoho & Insightly)
- Web Design & Development
- Digital Marketing Campaign Development
- Mailing List Services (eg AWeber, Mailchimp)
- Traffic Generation Strategies & Tactics
- Sales Funnels, Squeeze Pages & Online Conversion
- Customer Value Optimization
- BA(Hons) Business Studies (University of Portsmouth)
- Diploma in Marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing)
- Level 5 in Coaching and Mentoring (Chartered Management Institute)
- DigitalMarketer Certifications:
- Certified Content Marketing Specialist
- Certified Customer Acquisition Specialist
- Certified Customer Value Optimization Specialists