Don’t let the subject line of your next marketing email, or the headline of your next blog post, be an afterthought!
Both of these are the first thing your reader sees. In many cases, the headline or subject line will make or break whether they even make it to the content you’ve worked so hard to craft and perfect.
So what are some keys to more effective blog headlines? Here are a few that we’ve seen have the most direct impact.
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Goes without saying, but we’ve all seen irrelevant headlines. No bait and switch, please. Know your content, know your audience, and be direct.
If you’re a brand-name blogger like Seth Godin, you can get away with more obtuse subject lines because people are going to read it anyway. But for the rest of us, something specific is far more important.
Precision is one thing, but you don’t need to give everything away in the subject line. You don’t have room, for one, but also you want to compel a reason to click.
It’s statistically proven that “top seven tips” always outperforms “top tips”. It’s precise, which implies there’s some science or discipline behind the list.
Use keywords early
The search engines like it. Don’t write awkward subject lines just to get your keywords up front, but look for rational ways to make it happen.
Use two parts
For example, “Content marketing: Six ways to increase engagement” or “Your presentation sucks: Why prospects ignore you, and how to get their attention back”. It’s like two headlines in one, and it works harder for you to earn the click.
Address the reader directly
Don’t write in terms of we and I, unless it’s warranted. As much as possible, address the reader directly with “you” statements. Talk to them as if you were right in front of them. Make the headline personal.