A Step-by-Step Guide
Did you know that 269 billion emails are sent out every day? Which means that your customers are sorting through dozens, hundreds or even thousands of individual emails every 24 hours. How can you possibly compete for – let alone actually get – their attention?
It’s not an easy task, but here’s one of the secrets: start with a great headline or title.
Whether it’s an email campaign, blog or homepage, the title you use can determine if get noticed, and whether your content will fail or succeed.
So how do you go about creating an awesome headline? Start by considering these tips:
- Make it unique. Google your topic to see what’s already out there, and then determine what angle or approach will make yours stand out.
- Convey a sense of urgency. Create a fear of losing, being left behind or missing out.
- Be helpful. Know what problems or issues your audience face, and write headlines that hint at solutions.
- Be ultra specific. Broad topic headlines don’t show value. Narrow down your subject with details. Being too broad doesn’t show value. For example: “Best Marketing Plans” vs “Top 10 Marketing Plan Templates for Small Business”.
- Go for SEO-friendly. Titles are a key factor in ranking. Include popular keyword phrases that will attract your target market.
- Keep it simple. Stick to the basics, avoiding words or phrases that aren’t commonly used. Trying too hard to be clever just doesn’t work.
- Keep it short. Headlines should never exceed 62 characters, because search engines tend to ignore whatever words comes after that length.
- Use emotional words. All words are not created equal. Choose words that are likely to appeal to feelings and prompt change.
Real World Examples
Obviously there are lots of factors to consider when composing your headline. But what, specifically, really works? What can you do to increase the odds that your customer will want to know more?
- Write your headline as a question.
Ex: Ready for More Visitors To Your Website?
- Use data. Readers love research or poll results.
Ex: 13 Email Titles Tested and Guaranteed to Work Every Time
- Use numbers. Small and odd numbers perform better.
Ex: 9 Competitive Intelligence Tools We Use Everyday
- Include a hyphen or colon.
Ex: Breaking News: Free Tickets To the Indy 500 Now Available
Words to Use
Now, let’s take a look at specific words that we know work in headlines. If you are sharing content that gives rationale, consider these options:
But what about adjectives? These are highly effective and get results:
Writing powerful headlines might seem a little daunting at first, but once you know the basics and get a little experience under your belt, you’ll be a pro in no time.