Writing headlines is hard.
A great headline can get you clicks, which can lead to higher conversions. But, you’ll come across more bad headlines than good – especially on social media. You have seconds to make an impression before people leave your website. So, we broke it down for you in this step-by-step guide of how to create attention-grabbing headlines.
How to Write the Perfect Headline
When writing copy, the headline matters a lot. Because they’re the first line your customers read, it’ll create the first impression that either draws them in or pushes them away. If your headlines don’t draw the attention of your readers, they probably won’t continue reading and they’ll go somewhere else.
Create headlines by thinking about the following rules of thumb often called the four U’s:
- Your headlines should be unique: Stand out from the crowd with copy that doesn’t come off as boring and robotic.
- Your headlines should be ultra-specific: Provide your readers with enough information to let them know if they’ll want to continue reading. You can use specific numbers and data in your headline to create a bigger impact.
- Your headlines should convey a sense of urgency: Compel your readers to keep reading so they don’t miss out.
- Your headlines should be useful: Communicate the value and benefit to your customers immediately. Focus on the value you bring to people and avoid using ‘salesy’ language because a hard sell is going to not motivate users to keep reading. Instead, focus on incorporating relevant keywords to help your Search
- Engine Optimization (SEO). (Don’t forget to deliver on your promise too or else you’ll come off as click-bait!)
Here are some examples that use the four U’s to create strong attention-driven headlines:
- 5 Data-Backed Strategies That Will Get You More Mailing List Subscribers
- 10 Simple Steps to Write a Small Business Plan for Beginners
- 7 Blogging Mistakes That Cost Me. How Many Are You Making?
- 5 Steps I Took to Write My First Book (And How You Can Do It in 4 Steps)
- How to Get 100,000 Readers For Your Blog
- How to Optimize Your Welcome Email to Make the First Sale
- 10 Effective Saving Tips For Those Who Want Extra Cash
- Top 10 Places to Find Winning Marketing Campaign Strategies
- 14 Secrets for Keeping Visitors on Your Website
3 Easy Headline Strategies
You may not be a copywriter, but writing a great headline doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Copywriters use these winning strategies when creating headlines that convert: social proof, a threat, or a gain headline.
1. Social Proof (Piggyback) Headlines
95% of people age 18-34 read reviews before they make their purchasing decisions. Consumers want to see that other people like that product or service before they spend their money. So, by putting social proof in your headlines, you can make it easier for them to make that decision.
Here are some great examples:
- 10,000 Digital Marketing Agencies Used This App to Optimize Operations
- Why Project Managers Are Obsessing Over This Project Management Tool
- $10k+ Drop Shippers Are Shipping This Automation Tool and Here’s Why!
- 5 Tips to Write Blog Introductions From a Copywriting Pro
2. Threat Headlines
A threat headline isn’t threatening your users but shows them how to avoid pain points by reading your content. Some examples would be:
- Read This Checklist Before Moving to a New Country
- The 10 Most Common Website Mistakes Made By Businesses
- 13 Things to Do so You Don’t Lose Your Customers
- 15 Facts About Digital Marketing That You Didn’t Know
3. Gain Headlines
The formula is pretty simple: benefit + promise: your gain headline. What is the benefit of clicking on the social post, and what’s the promise you’re making to them in return for clicking.
- 5 Skills You Need to Be More Emotionally Intelligent than the Average Three-Year-Old
- 15 Easy Dinner Ideas Using Ingredients You Already Have
- 10 Principles for Designing the Perfect Landing Page
- 5 Simple Ways You Can Optimize Your Website for More Leads
Simple Ways to Improve Your Headlines
Besides the obvious of making your headline stand out by being prominent with the right color, font, and graphics, there’s a lot of simple ways you can improve your headlines. Here’s just a few of them.
- Add the words “How to” to your title.
- Communicate a time frame for when people will receive the benefit they’re promised in your headline.
- Add fascination that’ll stop the scroll and have your reader’s saying, “That’s interesting.”
The headline alone can make or break your level of success when it comes to your content. It sets the tone for your copy. With an attention-grabbing headline, you can boost your traffic and ultimately your sales. With the wrong headline, you may be left wondering what went wrong.
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