Whether it's a blog post, a landing page or email marketing, your headline is the first element your prospects see. One of the most important elements of any marketing copy, a good headline is one of the bookends of your content. The other is your call-to-action.
Many inbound marketing experts believe that your headline is the most important element of your marketing copy. After all, it's the first thing that any visitor will read and act upon. In general, you have just a few seconds to capture the interest of your reader. A weak headline can have them bouncing off of your website, skipping your blog or leaving your email unopened, no matter how great your offer, never to return.
Your headline can offer competitive differentiation, amuse or entertain your visitors, or provide the overview of your content that can immediately let readers know that you have a solution to their pain points or needs.
It's been said that writing the headline is the hardest part of marketing. Let's explore several different approaches to writing headlines that sell. One of the best ways to learn is to examine other writer's work that is effective. These examples and tips can help you to become a better writer, and make your headlines draw in readers, convert more lead's and build both trust and thought leadership.
Creating “Magnetic” Headlines That Draw In Your Readers
Let's start by checking out an interesting statistic....
On average, 8 of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will move on to read your copy.
This is a great example of the power of crafting magnetic headlines. The fact is your title will often determine the effectiveness of your entire copy. Compelling copy starts with your headline. It needs to get your readers interested enough to read through your copy to arrive at your call-to-action.If people stop at your headline, you may as well save your time and not write the content!
When it's time to write your headlines, these formulas are a great place to start. They can at the very least, give you a jumping off point to write a headline that will keep your reader's on the page!
1. Keep It Simple, Be Direct
Being direct seems like a lost art. No clever wordplay, no jokes, straight to the point. The direct headline does exactly that. It works well for offers, recognized brands and products or services that are familiar to readers. For example:
- Name Brand Yoga Pants, 30% off
- The Ultimate Low-Risk Investment
- Get A FREE Subscription To …
2. State The Benefit Upfront
One of the best techniques you should explore is to transform the benefit of your offer into a headline. Put your strongest selling point front and center. It will help you attract your target audience and can help get the to act.
Plus, if they don't get beyond your headline, at least readers know your strongest selling point right up front. If you have trouble writing this type of headline, think more about the benefits of your product or service.
3. The “How-To” Headline
The “How-To” headline appeals to us on an instinctual level. We all have something we'd like to improve, our health, home, relationships etc. The secret is to focus on a specific need or want and then promise to fulfill that need or want..... and then deliver! Be careful, your How-To headline must focus on the benefit or result, not the process. To write a How To headline, start with “How” or “How To” then go ahead and state your benefit. For example:
- How To Make Money Online Writing
- How To Quit Smoking in 30 Days
4. Ask a Provocative Question
Asking a question engages your reader directly. But, your question can't be random or clever. It must directly relate to the major benefit of your product or service. You must lead your reader to answer your question with a “yes,” or at least pique their interest so they want to learn more.
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5. Offer Relevant, Useful Information
Most people have access to plenty of information, in fact their drowning in it. What your readers want is a sense of power over their world, order and predictability in their lives. That why hacks, tips, tricks, shortcuts, and systems that promise to help us gain control are sought after and acted upon. Consider headlines like:
- 20 Steps You Can Take To A Healthier Lifestyle
- Get The Best Kept Investment Secrets for FREE
These are just five examples of strong headline building concepts. The bottom line is that you need to really understand your product, service, business or brand and the benefits offered. Once you can state how your product or service can address and offer solutions to your prospects pain points, or meet their needs, you then need to translate that concept into a clear, simple headline that will engage with your readers, and keep them on the page until your strong CTA creates action.
Here are three real-world examples to get you started.
Here are a few headlines that offer examples of the tips listed above in action. One of the best ways to understand what works, is to review the work of the experts. These examples are all effective headlines that you can learn from!
Avocode – Simple and Direct
Avocode is a beta testing service that allows developers to gather information from a PSD file without photoshop. Their website headline “Share and inspect Photoshop and Sketch designs in a heartbeat” is simple, direct,explains what they do and is honest.
Oscar – The Benefits Front and Center
Oscar is a health insurance company that offers easy to understand health plans at a reasonable price. On their Website, Oscar introduces itself “ Hi we're Oscar” and then states the benefits front and center, “Health insurance that's easy.” Doesn't get much more direct than that. The next section offers readers three easy to read bullets that clearly state their mission.
Conference Badge – “Name Badges. Easy and Fast.”
This headline hits on several of the aspects of a good headline. It's simple and direct “Names Badges. Easy and Fast.” states the benefits upfront, and keeps you on the page where you can find useful information on the product. A three bagger!
What You Can Learn From Headlines
Like any skill, writing effective headlines that engage readers and keep them on the page takes time and practice. The three about are examples of effective headlines that hit the mark. Remember, keep headlines simple, let the facts speak, put the user in control and entice them to explore and make it personal. By offering honest information, and keeping your headlines informative, to the point and believable, you can engage with visitors and keep them reading until your well-written CTA closes the conversion!