This week we’re going to be looking at what makes a great headline. And why sometimes, it can be your first and only impression on the reader.
To put this in context here’s a quick stat – it’s reported for 2021 that 80% of people will only read the headline.
This means that the majority of copy being pumped out by companies isn’t being read, at all.
Which means missed opportunities for the business, missed opportunities for the reader to connect with a brand they may actually end up loving (had they been enticed to read on) and a royal misuse of time for the writers too.
I’m sad about it, you’re sad. We’re all sad about it. But then what it the answer?
Well, the purpose of great copy is to get someone to read one sentence.
Then the next.
And the next.
Until they get to a CTA (call-to-action) that asks them to do something.
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Kinda like that.
Here are a few inside tricks for making irresistible headlines:
Scientific studies show that people will gravitate towards numbers when reading text.
Lists are great for catching attention but they also signpost what the reader can expect to learn about. Bitesize chunks of information.
Take this example:
“6 secrets for healthier, younger looking skin.”
“Six ways to keep skin healthier and younger.”
Your eye is immediately drawn to the number every time you glance.
Try scrolling right to the top of this article, then whizz through and see if your brain catches the numbers. Did you catch them?
2. Bold & Powerful Word Choices
Whip out the thesaurus it’s about to get sexy.
Writing copy is very different from say, a novel.
A novel lets the writer waffle on to their heart’s content whereas copy needs to be concise and purposeful.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little flagrant with your vocabulary.
Our brains connect to powerful descriptors, they stand out amongst a bulk of text and are better at connecting with our emotions.
“Quintessential seaside towns and mesmerising beaches make Falmouth the No.1 destination this year.”
You want to visit this place.
Now for something a little, naughtier:
“Falmouth’s stunning new burger joint will have you salivating at the hips”
Now, this is risky. But for the right brand and target audience this sort of thing can be a huge win.
3. Emotional Triggers
All great copy connects emotionally in some way but here I’m specifically talking about ads and copy that hit you right where it hurts.
They use negative (sometimes even offensive) language to provoke a response.
These types of headlines make you pause for a second, you’re compelled to read on whether you like them or not.
4. Be Specific, Offer Value
No one is going to read an email or an article for the sake of it.
We want to get something out of it and you need to make sure you’re offering that something upfront.
People want value, so give it to them.
Here’s a few examples of value-lead headlines:
“Double your productivity in 5 minutes or less.”
“10 minute exercises for shredded results.”
“Save hours of time with these 3 planning hacks.”
“Hurry! Only 48 hours to save up to 50% on our Autumn lines.”
“Need a break? Book yours now with a £1 deposit.”
“Need a pick me up? What your doctors won’t tell you about this wonder supplement.”
See how each one makes it clear what you’re going to get.
Offer value and entice the reader with impactful headlines.
Did You Make It This Far?
Man I hope so!
Thanks for reading and if I’ve given any value here then please like, comment and share this post.