Do you ever wander through a library aisle you would normally avoid?
Perhaps you’re a fiction reader who ambles into the autobiography section. Surprisingly, a cover grabs your attention and you check out a book you’ve never heard of.
What was it that caused you to act? Just one short glimpse at the title.
Fool-Proof Headline Formulas
Headlines matter. A lot.
Researchers estimate that in today’s content-saturated culture, only 8 out of 10 readers make it past the headline of most pieces. In 2016, an academic study of bit.ly links to BBC, CNN, Fox News, New York Times, and Huffington Post articles found that 59 percent of the links were never clicked.
And even if you do get readers past the front door, you still need to bring them to a point of purchase.
Which headlines best engage readers and maximize response? Here are three headline formulas to increase your conversions:
"The Best" List Headlines
Readers are selfish.
When they engage with content, they want something of value.
Think about it from your own perspective. What kind of “hacks” grab your attention? Weight loss? Easy savings? Life management tricks? Most people wish to avoid sifting through information, so “best” headlines offer fast and easy value.
Best list headlines use a formula like this: The __ Best Ways to Get ______
The trick to this headline is to be concrete in your wording and to ensure corresponding content backs up your claim. Here are three examples:
- The 20 Best Ways to Make Money on a Side Hustle
- The 12 Best Ways to Make the Most of Your Commute
- The 8 Best Ways to Give a Non-Threatening Sales Pitch
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is real. Just think of how tempting some phony clickbait ads can be!
FOMO headlines are a compelling motivator because they are time-sensitive and prompt vulnerability in the reader. As an entrepreneur, ask yourself these questions when crafting a threat-of-loss headline:
— What damage or cost can my service help people avoid?
— How will acting today save them money or inconvenience?
— If they forget to respond, who might they disappoint?
FOMO headlines use this formula: You’ll Be _______ if You _____________
- You’ll Kick Yourself if You Miss This Early Registration Discount
- Your Wife Will Be Stranded if You Cut Corners on Seasonal Auto Maintenance
- You’ll Lose $200 if You Delay Your Renewal
You can use threat-of-loss headlines for both serious and light-hearted topics, so have fun and be specific!
One of the best ways to grab readers is to engage curiosity to affect change.
People are painfully aware of their shortcomings, so arouse their need to educate themselves so they can avoid danger or uncertainty. Tell them how they’re wasting time, losing money, missing out on helpful technology, or unintentionally hurting someone.
Curiosity headlines use a formula like this: What You Don’t Know About _______ Can _______
- Here’s What You Don’t Know About Electric Cars That Could Bust Your Budget
- Here’s What You Don’t Know About SEO That Could Harm Your Business
- Here’s How Grain-Free Dog Food Can Increase Canine Heart Disease
Write Powerful Headlines They Won’t Ignore
Dull headlines tell consumers your content will be just as lifeless.
Do you want to elevate your headlines from mediocre to marvelous? Use the threat of loss, curiosity, or sneak peeks at the “best” options to boost curiosity, grab readers, and move people to purchase.