They say there’s never a second chance to make a first impression, and for once, they might be right. When you’re writing a headline, you’re not just putting together a series of words – you’re enticing your audience to read what you have to say.
Something to consider: while 80 percent of people will read headlines, only 20 percent will go on to read the rest of what you have to say. Hook them in the beginning and you’ve got them through to the end. A great headline is the way to open up a productive dialogue with the people who you want to reach most.
1. Make it powerful. You want your headline to be powerful enough to get your first sentence read. Toward that end, it pays to focus on crafting a headline that will capture your customers and make them want to read the rest.
2. Make it memorable. People just don’t remember calls to action that are dull, bland or boring – and can you blame them? Differentiate yourself from the competition by taking the time to come up with a unique message that will stick with your audience.
3. Specificity is your friend. While you don’t need to bore down into every detail that your customer needs to know – what you’re trying to do is get them to read on so that they can learn about these – you do need to provide enough relevant details for him or her to understand that they need to read on because what you’re talking about applies to them.
4. Urgency is key if you’re looking to get your message across. Make sure that your headlines convey some sort of carrot to your customer – if they can’t understand that there is a benefit to them, your chances of hooking them have just sunk.
5. Is it useful? Finally, your headline must be useful to the person who is reading it. You want to let them know that there’s something in it for them and that continuing to read on can make a positive difference in their lives. Don’t hold back here. Get them hook, line and sinker.
For more resources, check out The Ideal Length for Every Type of Content and 7 Steps to Getting More Traction With Your Blog. Also, if you haven’t already signed up to receive my Content Strategy Grid, you can do so here!
P.S. Looking to learn a comprehensive and intentional approach to social media? Click here for more info about #GetSocialSmart – my 6-week online social media coaching program.