How to Write Snazzy Headlines: Three Articles to Inspire You
Four Tips for a Terrific Headline"Its time to master the headline, to get itright where the copy counts most bypaying attention to those critical wordsthat appear at the top of your emailmessages," writes Marco Marini at EmailCritic.Headlines also appear at the top of yourlanding pages—and regardless of their
location, their main purpose is to whet a readers appetite for moreinformation.So how do you create a headline that really draws em in? Marini offersideas like these:Take off your editors hat while you brainstorm. Write whatever comesto mind, however outlandish, without pausing to judge its quality. Thatwill come later. Right now, you want to get lots and lots of ideas ontothe page; most will be spectacularly bad, but a few will be spectacularlygood!
Refine your chosen headline. The one you choose might not be exactlyright, but with a tweak here or there, it could be perfect. Also, when youhave the space, consider a sub-headline that adds to the intrigue.Speak like your customers speak. "A catchy headline using insider lingomight be off-putting to the customer who doesnt get it," Marini notes.So ditch words used by industry veterans and replace them withcommon language used by your customers.
Test, test, and test again. That headline might seem brilliant toeveryone on your staff, but you should still test it against an alternative.The Po!nt: Magnetize it. Take the time to craft a headline that grabsyour readers attention and holds it.
Is Your Headline Working For orAgainst You?In a recent post on her blog, ResultsRevolution, Marianna Hayes writes abouther pet peeve—blaming media choices fora failed marketing campaign. Deciding thatyour direct mail or print ads didnt workcan be a costly mistake, for instance, whena more likely explanation is that you chose
the wrong message for your audience.Or perhaps the problem is as simple as a boring, ineffective headline.You might even have forgotten to include one at all! Explains Hayes, thepresident of HALO Business Advisors, "Your business name in boldacross the top of an ad does not count as a headline."Her advice for getting your readers attention:Get right to the point. Brief, punchy headlines work best, and keepingverbiage to a minimum reduces your margin of error.
Make it active. Energize your headline with vivid, action verbs.Grab readers attention. Hayes recommends copy that asks a personal,poignant or catchy question. She also believes in visual appeal and oftenreverses white type on a black background.The Po!nt: "Dont expect the headline to sell for you," writes Hayes."But on the flip side, dont expect the reader to stop without a show-stopping headline."
Active Headlines Get More Attention Fact No.1 That We All Know: Providing free content such as whitepapers or research reports can be a great B2B lead generator.Fact No.2 That We All Know: B2B marketers inboxes are overloadedwith daily free-content offers.
So, whats a content provider to do to stand out in the crowd?According to Susan Fantle at the B2BMarketingSmarts blog, a whole lotis riding on your headlines. Readers will want to download content, shesays, "[o]nly if the headline catches their eye and their imagination."She offers a few examples ofwhat not to do when naming awhitepaper or report: "Unified Communications and Process Automation
Combine to Maximize ROI" "Cover Your Assets with Desktop Managed Services"While earnestly trying to convey information, these headlines "provideno intrigue, no big promise, no revelations, no specifics," Fantle argues.To be effective, a headline needs to instantly communicate what thepiece contains, she says, in a way that will make the reader want to seemore right away.She then presents some winners. Among them: 4 Things Your Anti-Virus Should Do, but Doesnt
How to Defend Your Network Against New Hacker Tactics 20 Questions for Smart Business DecisionsThe key here? "Active"language and a concretemessage about what thereader will learn. "Withjust a few active words,your content can movepast sounding like another
ho-hum white paper and become information your prospectivecustomer sees as a must read," she concludes.The Po!nt: Decide what youre really offering, and say it. When writingyour next whitepaper or research report, "pay as much attention toyour title as you do your content," Fantle advises. "It will make adifference."