In the world of copywriting, headlines can make it or break it when it comes to content production. Just think of the amount of information you see when scrolling through social media and google searches. What kinds of articles catch your attention and make you click on the links?
Headlines serve 3 key roles:
- Communicating the value of the content you’re offering
- Getting the readers’ attention
- Convincing them to take action
If you are a copywriter or simply working on a piece of content for your blog, you can follow a few specific rules to help your potential reader to click “read more”. The simplest way to do that is follow a few rules that are generally true for ‘effective’ headlines.
1. It names the benefit of reading this content
Numbers, secrets, strategies, and tricks. Example headlines can be “5 steps to success” or “A secret method to increase your revenue”
2. It names the prospect and selects the reader audience.
Beginners, marketers, doctors, YOU. A lot of brands make the mistake of talking about themselves – “We published…”, “We launched…”. Instead, try reversing the sentence to talk about the target audience. “Read about the launch”, “Download a guide for your success…”.
3. It uses vivid language.
Strong verbs, bright vocabulary choices. It paints a picture to an audience. Take out your thesaurus and start using verbs like “dreamy”, “exceptional”, “innovative”, “never seen before”.
4. It elicits emotion.
An emotion-filled headline can make readers feel scared (“Don’t miss this opportunity!”, inspired (“Become a better self”), and determined (“Get started now”).
Below are some example headlines that feature 2 or more of these components:
“Don’t miss out on these killer offers!” includes all 4 components: the benefit is an offer, the prospect is YOU, vivid language is the word “killer” and the intended emotion is scared to miss the offer or slightly rushed to check out the email)
“The Beginners guide to retargeting campaigns” features 2 of the 4 components and still works! 1) it names the benefit – you get to learn about retargeting campaigns and solve the issue of not knowing how to build one and 2) it names the prospect – a beginner at retargeting campaigns. . Even though this headline doesn’t elicit emotion or use vivid language, it still informs the user of the value of the content and identifies who should be reading it.
Now that you learned about the 4 components of amazing headlines, we challenge you to revisit and evaluate your headlines on social media, blog posts, and website copy and see how they can be improved. Share what you end up with in the comments!