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The Blog

How to Write an Eye-Catching Headline

Modern Marketing

November 1, 2019

The right words can move mountains.. or at least garner a link click.

Whether you’re writing a blog title or an email subject line, the main goal is to get readers to take some sort of action.

If we’re spending so much time writing content, we want it to be seen and read! photo-1502740479091-635887520276.jpg

How do we cut through the noise and pull the eyeballs our way?

We need to perform CPR on our content!

  1. Clarity
  2. Personality
  3. Resonance

The message has to be clear and direct by getting straight to the point. It must be human and relatable, while giving readers the opportunity to build trust. Finally, the words need to connect with the right people. We want our readers to think, “Wow, they are in my head! That’s exactly what I need.”

Now that we’ve revived our content with CPR, we take the next step into structure. The following three headline types are proven to increase open rates through their engaging, timely and actionable words.

1. Social Proof Headlines – AKA the ‘referral’ headline

“Why thousands of Albertans will gather in Fort McMurray on July 1st”

“See the face cream that blew up the internet”

2. Threat Headlines – AKA the “fear” headline

“The big lie hiding in your apartment rental contract”

“Warning: Don’t buy another ounce of dog food until you read this”

3. Gain Headlines – AKA the “promise” headline

“Get ready for quiet, well behaved kids”

“In 10 minutes and you will be a master at tuning your guitar”

One size doesn’t fit all, unfortunately. Although the general structure of the headline is similar, the content in a blog headline vs. an email newsletter subject line can be quite different.

Email subject lines:

  • Write in title case
  • Use words that increase opens (like “you and yours”)
  • Don’t use spammy words (like “free, win or buy”)
  • Include a number in your subject line
  • Keep your character count to ~20
  • Word count should be between 3 and 5
  • Try using emojis! (note: some email marketing systems don’t acknowledge them, so they are replaced by question marks)

Blog headlines:

  • The best headlines are typically around 55 characters long
  • Keep your headline to 6 words
  • Use words that evoke an emotional response
  • Include at least one power word that will command your reader’s attention
  • Using a standard sentence structure will result in more activity

Bonus:

Below are the tools we use to find out what people are searching for, and how to improve our headlines.

CoSchedule has a variety of tools made for marketers and their content. The email subject line tester and the headline analyzer give you specific feedback and direct instructions on how to help your headlines drive traffic.

Typing the word “taxes” into the main field on Answer the Public’s homepage generated the graph attached.

Simply put, the image shows what queries are being searched the most on Google and Bing. Split up by questions (as seen in this image), prepositions, comparisons, alphabeticals and related, this generated content can be exported into a cvs file for further use.

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