Although newspapers continue to be on the decline, headlines are more important than ever. Potential audiences are inundated with information and distractions, so eye-popping headlines are the first step to attracting your reader. The difference between a good headline and a bad headline can mean an open rate increase of 20% to 500%. Want to increase the chances of your content going viral? A stellar headline can boost your chances. Here’s three ways to up your game:
Let Your Brand Personality Shine
One of the only ways to be “heard” above the news, Internet and email noise is to have a unique voice. Make sure you know what characteristics define your business brand, and let those show through in your content and especially in your headline. If it suits your business, try using first person to write your content and make the headline feel more like an in-person conversation starter than an email subject. For example, if you are sending an email about an upcoming event on Friday, instead of using “Networking Event This Friday at 7:00pm” try something more conversational like “A Date With All Your Soon-to-Be Friends – Friday @ 7pm.”
Make it Snappy
Short and to the point is always a good way to be effective, but don’t stop there when it comes to your headlines. Using numbers in a headline attracts attention and helps potential readers know exactly what they will be getting. Plus, they are easy for the eye to pick out. Even once you have a short headline with an attention-getting number, make sure you are using high-impact words. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” gets a lot more interesting when it becomes “50 Ways To Ditch the Bed-Hog.”
Engage with a Question or How-to
To get your reader involved even before they open your email or start reading your article, simply ask a question that engages them. The question has to elicit an “I want to know more” response, so be sure the topic is of interest to your target audience. Examples might be:
- Are you overpaying your taxes?
- Is your social media strategy working?
- Can you avoid these website mistakes?
Another way to involve the reader is using how-to headlines. This type of headline indicates that something valuable is contained within your content. Again, the subject matter needs to be of interest to your target audience, and even better if it incorporates trending topics. Be sure to conduct some research to check out the hot and now trends (sorry, it is a little late for a how-to on the Harlem Shake).