You’ve finished writing your blog or a lengthy email, and you sit and stare blankly at your computer for a few minutes wondering what your title or subject should be; you delete it a dozen times, grow frustrated and finally use the title you most likely inputted from the get-go, and it’s both uninspiring and vague. If you want to increase the likelihood of actually having your content read, then follow these 4 easy tips to help you create hard-hitting headlines:
- Keep it concise. If you’re composing an email, limit your subject line to less than 8 words, or less than 70 characters for blog titles. If your blog titles are any longer, they may get cut off in Tweets and dissuade people from retweeting your articles if they cannot add their own thoughts to the Tweet. Long subject lines make you seem scattered or unorganized, and the recipient will likely dread reading your email before even opening it. On the other hand, make sure you actually include a subject line or it may end up in the junk/spam folder!
- Get personal. Speaking from experience, I am more likely to read blogs with titles that contain the word “you” in them, for example: “7 Successful Tricks You Should Be Using on Facebook”, “3 Marketing Strategies You Should Invest In.” Every email or blog should serve a purpose. Readers or recipients want to know what’s in it for them. If they click on your content and there’s no value to it, chances are they’ll skip over anything else from you in the future.
- Don’t mislead your readers. There’s nothing worse than click-bait (when individuals click on a headline that seems intriguing, only to see that the actual content has nothing to do with the title), so don’t mislead your viewers! If you do use a click-bait title, you will just likely infuriate anyone who clicks on it, and you will likely lose trust among your readers/recipients. Make sure you’re as clear as possible and that your headline actually summarizes your content in a creative way.
- Spark curiosity. Writing a subject or headline in an intriguing manner, if done correctly, is not the same as click-bait. Use a headline that makes someone curious enough to click on your content…and be sure that whatever subject you do use aligns with your content. For example: “You’ll Never Guess What Made Me Millions” has the “classic click-bait” feel, but “10 Steps You Should Follow to Be Successful With Your Startup” is a lot more personal and compelling at the same time.
But how do you tell if your subject or headline is working? If you’re posting your blog on social media, test out a few different styles of headlines over the span of a few weeks and check which style/format is receiving the most engagement or the most views on your blogging platform. If you created an email marketing campaign, you can easily do the same; check out the number of successful deliveries, the open-rate, and the number of times it was opened. Good luck!