Attention is the new currency.
It's the key to getting clicks. And if you're cranking out content, you know how important your headline is. So make sure you devote some time to it.
This applies to email marketing (subject line) as well as ads.
Keep in mind, when you're crafting your headline, make sure it doesn't tell the whole story.
Too often I've seen an ad on Facebook that stopped me in my tracks, but then I quickly moved on because the headline told me everything I need to know.
But, super important: remember to make sure that your content fulfills the promise your headline makes.
Nobody likes clickbait.
Here's a bonus: use lists. They are convenient, easy to digest, and it opens a curiosity loop in the reader's mind that can only be closed by reading the content.
Here are five more ways to write irresistible headlines:
1. Use people’s natural curiosity
Don’t merely try to provoke curiosity in a headline. Curiosity can be powerful, but only if it’s combined with self-interest and/or news.
A headline that’s merely clever may please the copywriter, but it won’t capture readers’ attention.
2. Rewrite a cliché for your purpose.
Using a cliché in a headline can be super effective because it uses language your prospect is used to hearing.
For example, one cliché that’s been proven to be effective is a play on “What your mother never told you.”
You can adapt this to “What your lawyer never told you,” “What your doctor never told you,” “What your accountant never told you” etc.
3. Add an element of tension.
This happens when parts of a headline look like they contradict each other.
Here’s a successful example of adding tension to a headline once used for an estate-planning book: What your lawyer never told you when you made out your will.
4. Raise questions people want answers to.
Here are some examples of “fascinations” (i.e., bullet points with accompanying page numbers where buyers will find the answers in the book) from some of co-author Brian Kurtz’ most successful direct marketing packages:
- How to know when a slot machine is about to pay off
- How to outwit a mugger in a self-service elevator
- What never to eat on an airplane
5. If you’re advertising in a local area, put the name of the city in your headline.
When people see they’ll be getting information on something local that could concern them, it gets their attention.