They should do at least one of those things well.
Your headline is the first and maybe the only thing a prospective reader will see. It has to be good, compelling, interesting, make them curious or hungry.
Copyblogger.com is one of the most widely read marketing blogs on the planet. Here are some interesting statistics from them.
“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.”
If you want your content to be read by the 2, you’ll have to get good at headline creation.
There are many reasons a headline works or doesn’t and over time you can learn what works for your content and what doesn’t by testing. Today I want to run through the three basic types of headline and which one you want to work with.
The world seems divided in the category of headlines and subject lines. First up, click bait; It sounds like this, “Christie Brinkley almost ruined my marriage.” That would probably get me a bunch of opens as a subject line and I could tell a good story, but I have no way to tie that to marketing.
Click bait. Best reserved for sensationalist online media.
Next up, trying too hard and sounding spammy. Like this: “The ultimate, top 7 things you need to create massive amounts of new clients and money.” Aren’t we tired of this kind of hype-y, same old, say nothing, crap? These should remain in the domain of the online marketer who cares about leads over connection.
Headlines are an invitation to start or continue connection.
Finally, we come to the holy grail of headlines. It speaks to a real need, offering a real solution, and it’s clever enough to tease or tempt a person to want what’s on the other side.
Witness: “Headline creation can be a struggle unless you know the 4 questions solution that makes it easy.” Are you tempted to find out what they are?
How about this teaser, “How Christie Brinkley helped me write today’s blog post in 3 easy lessons.”? I’m teasing you by using a celebrity name, but tying it to something people struggle with; coming up with subjects for blog posts. Would you click through or read the post?
Here’s an important piece of the title/subject line creation formula: know who you are speaking to. My audience skews older and will definitely know who CB is. A younger audience might not, or might not care.
Right now I’m creating a free report titled: “End the headline creation nightmare with the 4-question solution to creating headlines.” I’ll send you a note next week when it’s ready in case it’s something you can use.
In the meantime remember, click bait might get you opens but it won’t build a loyal following. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sassy, sensational — if what you have to offer truly is — or clever if that’s who you are. Always be you!