3 WAYS TO WRITE CAPTIVATING AND ENGAGING HEADLINES
You know the company Ronseal?
They have a slogan that says:
“Does exactly what it says on the tin”
When it comes to writing headlines for your:
landing pages and
You wanna make sure that it delivers the goods.
When the reader scrolls below the fold... that your copy satisfies them so they’re not disappointed and regret clicking on the post.
Your copy and the headline need to marry up.
Your headline needs to do exactly what it says...
Give the 12 ways…
The 1 thing that your reader wants to know…
Whatever it is ~
As online business owners, we want to operate from a place of integrity and stand in our truth. And that means not succumbing to the temptation to use clickbait marketing.
Have you ever gone online and ~ for the love of God ~ an hour later you find yourself looking at something completely random?
I mean, what the hell! Why am I reading some random article about Giselle and why she broke up with Leonardo DiCaprio!?
And yet, somehow, in the middle of the night, there I am… scroll scroll scroll...
I know you're judging me… Don’t judge me, I know you’ve done it too!
Here’s what happened though ~
I fell down a rabbit hole and clicked my way through a sequence of headlines.
Now, did the gossip posts add much value to my life?... Mmm...probably not.
But they did do something really well - something that we as online content creators need to do too
And that is…
To write awesome headlines that grab your readers attention and entice them to keep reading.
If writing engaging headlines for your website, blogs, landing pages or sales pages is something you’d love to get a handle on... then this week's post is for you because I’m sharing 3 ways to do precisely that.
So what are headlines?
Well, good headlines are:
attention-grabbing and highly-engaging words that entice the reader to keep reading.
According to the Father of Advertising, David Ogilvy ~
"On average, five times as many people read the headline as they do the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
And that’s why your headlines are so important.
They need to:
Capture the imagination of your reader
and trigger an emotion to pique their interest.
If it doesn’t then the chances are they won’t keep reading.
Here’s a copywriting tip for you:
Brainstorm ideas for headlines after you’ve written your blog post or landing page copy.
Don’t settle on the first idea you come up with.
Trust me ~ you will surprise yourself if you let your creative juices flow.
And yes, I can hear your pretty cogs turning…
And you’re thinking, “Wait! What, Nat, Are you saying, I should write my headlines after I’ve written the body copy?”
YES, you should!
I write or rework my headlines after I’ve written the copy all the time.
So, here’s a reminder for your notes:
“Headlines are the first thing your readers see but the last thing you should write”
OK, let’s dive into the 3 ways you can write awesome headlines that engage and captivate your readers.
1. Use Hooks
In marketing and copywriting circles ~
A hook is something that triggers an emotion in the reader.
Now this emotion can be positive or negative. It can move them towards something they want or away from something they don’t want.
I read somewhere that 4 of the most powerful human emotions are:
Nostalgia - those feelings of the good ol’ days
Pride of Knowledge
And pleasure from other people’s misfortune.
I know, that last one sounds pretty savage but we’ve all done it…
Here’s a headline I saw recently:
“Fans sympathise with Will Smith after latest revelation from wife Jada about their sex life”
Headlines like these, make the reader curious…
“What did she say?”
“What’s their sex life like?
“Is Will bad in bed?”
“What are the fans saying?”
Yes, it’s salacious and laced in gossip...
But it taps into the inner working of the human brain -
The desire for more, in this case, to know the titillating details that the headline promises.
It hooks us and piques our interest which leads us nicely into number 2.
2. Use Open Loops
An open loop is when an idea or thought stimulates the brain to find out more or discover a solution.
This marketing strategy is designed to pique the reader's curiosity.
So, if your headline opens a loop then the body copy, i.e. your blog post, sales or landing page should close that loop
An effective way to write an open loop is to be specific.
For example, headlines that say things like:
“5 Ways to…”
Or "The 1 thing you must do to…”
Headlines like these...
Increase the chances of someone clicking because they are clear and direct.
Now the best way to ensure you are clear and direct is to know who you are speaking to.
3. Speak to your target audience
Effective headlines call out the reader.
You can say, “you”...
Or you can tap into their identity. For example, “dog owner”, “nature-lover”, “singer” or “creative entrepreneur”.
Let’s look at this headline from HuffPost:
“8 Key Differences between Gen Z and Millenials”.
It’s a great example of how they hook the reader with feelings of nostalgia and pride of knowledge.
It creates an open loop because it piques our interest and creates a desire to learn more.
And it lasers in on their target audience: Gen Z and Millennials.
Which tells everybody else to skip this post because it’s not for them.
Calling out your target audience is incredibly effective because we like to see ourselves in the content we consume.
That’s why quizzes and personality tests are so successful. We want to know which Friends character we’re most like or which Hogwarts House would we be in.
So don’t be afraid to call out your target audience.
The most important thing when it comes to writing awesome headlines is to keep it clear and simple. This isn’t the place for clever and cute.
Be bold, be direct. Here are some examples:
13 ways to become irresistible...in life and work
Finally, I’m sharing the secret to my__________
Learn the best way to_________
Here it is! My 5 step formula to__________
This 1 thing was a gamechanger.
11 new recipes to crush it this holiday season
3 ways to tell he’s just not into you
5 common mistakes people make buying a house. And how to avoid them.
Before I jump off, a quick word on integrity.
If you’re reading this then...
I’m guessing your heart is in the right place. You want to add true value, make money and an impact doing work that lights you up.
So, I want you to see your headlines as a promise you make to a friend and the body copy as the delivering on that promise.
Always honour your promise. No click-baiting or crappy content.
Be the person that always delivers the goods, creates and shares with integrity.
Alright, and there you have it!
3 Ways To Write Tasty Headlines That Leave Your Readers Hungry For More
And now, I would love to hear from you!
Did you like this video? Was it helpful in any way? What was the main takeaway for you?
I would love to know.
Jump into the comments and share your thoughts there.