The headline is the first thing that catches a reader’s eye. Nobody (except for judges in advertising competitions) will read your entire post or ad unless the headline does its job. Here are seven headline tips and formulas that make creating headlines easy.
1. Start with a number
People love lists. They promise knowledge, quick help, and understanding of complex problems — in a format that’s easy to read and digest.
2. Ask readers if they make common mistakes
A headline asking if readers made “these common mistakes in English” was a bit direct mail hit long ago. Ask your readers if they make these common design mistakes, or web development errors.
3. Offer a quiz
It’s fun to test your knowledge, especially if it’s a contest. Have your readers see how well they do on common (or uncommon tests of grammar, design, or photography tricks.
4. Make a big promise
Offer to get rid of [horrible problem] once and for all. Or, a quick, easy way to do something hard.: Get a web site that’s impressive and easy!
5. Offer inside information or big savings
Everything you need to know to get cheaper software, or how to (do something that’s usually expensive) on a budget.
6. Make a big list
This is particularly effective in magazine articles or blog posts you want bookmarked or reread. List 21 design tools under $21, or 27 free marketing ideas.
7. List the best (or the worst) examples
“The best software under $50,” or “The worst marketing email. Ever.”
What are your best sources of inspiration for headlines? Share them in the comments.
And how many of the headline formulas did I use in this post?
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