Learn the Biggest Secret for Writing Headlines that Will Immediately Catch Kim Kardashian's Eye
Or the eye of other customers!
Probably neither of us really want to attract Ms. Kardashian, but we do want to craft headlines that encourage further reading. Here’s how we decided to go with this one:
Our prospective customers are all too busy and distracted to read everything being hurled at them, which is why it’s more important than ever to write headlines that grab attention. Whether it’s a blog post or an email subject line, we need to put effort into crafting a click-worthy headline. For fun, follow along on how we wound up with the headline we used above.
This headline basically explains what we planned to write about. After running it through a headline analysis tool at ShareThrough we see it’s only barely better than average at engaging readers.
The Sprocket Websites team has read plenty of research on best practices over the years and we learned that headlines with “How To” or with a number in them increase engagement, so we tried again using that formula.
While the tool showed improvement, it wasn’t much and we wanted to do better. Marketing research shows that personalization or a human touch helps, so we added a body part.
The Engagement score jumped nicely, but we lost some points on Impression. In addition to the human touch, another proven technique is to use a brand name or celebrity name, so we tried that as well.
Not only did that improve the Engagement score, it also bumped up the Impression number. Since that worked so well, we decided to try combining both techniques.
Better and better! While this headline earned much higher numbers than our first attempt, we wondered what it would take to score 100s across the board. Other tried and true techniques include timeliness and a sense of urgency, so we added a word to fit that requirement.
We’re logging continued improvement, but our headline isn’t at that all-100s mark yet. So we tapped into more strategies to encourage readers, including words that imply exclusivity, suggest abundance, and show action. Of course, every time we add a word the headline gets longer, but that’s okay since studies show that long headlines are also more attractive than short ones.
Of course, this headline is a bit non-sensical. Does it harm the relationship with your reader to write odd headlines for serious articles? And where do search terms fit into this exercise? These are important questions to ask and we’ll talk more about that next time.
Until then, if playing around with headlines is not your favorite thing to do, consider handing that task over to our Sprocket Websites team. We can write posts for you or edit your rough drafts for better engagement for your emails, your social media, and your website. Just give us a call to learn how we can help.