If you struggle to create catchy headlines that grab the attention of your audience, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of pressure involved in crafting a headline. Especially when you consider this…
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy
On a daily basis, we’re exposed to so much content, it’s hard to know where to direct our attention.
Luckily, there are a few tricks that make it easy for you to stick out amongst the noise.
- Exploit the Power of Trigger Words like “Why”, “What” or “How”
Trigger words, such as “why”, “what” or “how” prompt interest in your reader. They also make it easy for you to write your headline, because you can easily outline the major benefit with a single statement. An easy formula to follow with these words is: How a [target market] does [action] in [time frame] Example: How a Busy Single Father Cooks Gourmet Meals in Less than 15 Minutes
- Use Numbers or Statistics to Quickly Grab their Attention.
Despite a generalized dislike for math class (amongst most people anyway), people love numbers. It draws their attention easily. This is why they’re a simple way to craft a compelling headline. People also love reading lists because of their efficiency in relaying information. This is a really good starting point for you to begin writing your headline. Examples: 7 Sneaky Ways You Can _________ 14 Easy Tricks That Will ________ 9 Secrets Your _______ Doesn’t Want You to Know
- Adjectives are Your Friend.
Adjectives are the key to giving your headline some oomph, and peaking the interest of your reader. Take the first example I gave you and let’s compare… How a Single Father Cooks Meals in Less than 15 Minutes vs. How a Busy Single Father Cooks Gourmet Meals in Less than 15 Minutes Even though we only added 2 words, the second headline has a much bigger impact. It gives the reader a much clearer description of what the headline is about and how it’s going to benefit them. Keep in mind, you don’t want to turn your headline into an adjective zoo either. The trick is choosing the right word, rather than jam packing a bunch of descriptors.
- Never Expect Your Readers to “Just Get It” … Be Specific!
People often skim the headlines. If your headline doesn’t tell them everything they need to know, there’s a good chance they’re bypassing your article. A good rule to follow is this: if your headline doesn’t tell the reader 1) what the article is about and 2) how reading it will benefit them in some way… then you need to rewrite it. Remember, most of us work on short clocks. With so many things tugging at our attention all day long, we’re only going to make time for what seems relevant to us.
- Make a promise (and stick to it!)
Your headline should always promise the reader something. You want them to feel as though your article will enrich their lives in some way. This is an easy way to guarantee you’ll get eyes on your copy. Of course, make sure you deliver on that promise. It’s not uncommon for writers to dress up a headline to increase readership, and then fall flat on the promise. Do not do this! Never underestimate a consumer’s ability to sniff out bullshit. Their radar is already fired up as soon as they sign onto the Internet. When you’re in sales, your credibility is everything. A “juicy” headline that you can’t deliver on isn’t worth risking your reputation. That said, I promise if you follow these guidelines, you can put together a headline that will draw your customers in. So what is the magic formula? This is a super simple formula that you can use to craft a headline for just about any topic. [Number or Trigger Word] + [Adjective] + [Keyword] + [Promise] Let’s see that in action with our previous example: [How a] + [Busy] + [Single Father Cooks Gourmet Meals] + [in Less than 15 Minutes] Or you can swap the trigger word for a number, like this:  + [Quick] + [Workouts that Will] + [Shrink the Muffin Top Before Your Wedding Day] By following this simple formula, you can easily write eye-catching headlines without stressing yourself out.
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