First, a simple test to prove a point. Before reading another word, pick up a magazine and flip through it. What’s the first ad that caught your eye? What’s the headline? And how many pages did you have to flip through before you were stopped in your tracks by an ad?
Many times writers are so fixated on getting the message right that they forget about the headline. But if the headline doesn’t have that stop-them-in-their-tracks wow factor, you’ve already lost your audience.
As readers, we scan headlines before deciding to read content. If your headline isn’t powerful, your copy, no matter how great, might as well say “blah, blah, blah” because no one is going to read it. An effective headline doesn’t just pique your readers’ curiosity; it hooks them, compelling them to read more.
So here are three techniques to help you create powerful headlines for your communications:
Headlines don’t have to be complicated. If you have something special to offer, say so: Sign up and earn $100.
Make a statement
Always popular. Typically creative and catchy. Usually just a couple of short words in punchy sentence form: Earn. Reap. Play.
Use the news
If you’re introducing something new or improved, tell it in your headline: We’ve always helped you rock. Now we help you roll.