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How to Create a Headline Your Customers Can’t Ignore

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Why’d you click on this article?

The headline.

You were attracted by the idea of “creating a headline your customers can’t ignore.”

There’s power in a strong headline.

Strong headlines create action.

As world-famous copywriter and advertiser, David Ogilvy, said “five times as many people read the headline as they do the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you’ve already spent eighty cents of your dollar.”

The headline is the sales pitch for your content. Sell your prospects on a headline and they’ll gladly listen to the rest of your message.

With that said, here’s How to Create a Headline Your Customers Can’t Ignore.

Look at other strong headlines for inspiration

Look at the the headline of this article:

“How to Create a Headline Your Customers Can’t Ignore.”

Right away, this headline...

  1. Hooks the reader with a clear value proposition (read [this] and learn how to do [that]).

  2. Speaks directly to the reader by using the pronoun “your”.

  3. Explains that the reader should care about the content because it will explain how business owners can grab-hold of their customer’s attention.

  4. States—in no uncertain terms—exactly what the article will cover (how to write a great headline)...there’s nothing hidden or ambiguous about it.

That’s a headline that’s worth paying attention to.

Ask yourself some important questions

Before you actually sit down to write anything, ask yourself two questions...

  1. Why should my audience care about my message?

  2. What kind of headline would capture my interest?

Asking yourself these questions will lead to more nuanced questions like:

  • What value am I delivering to my audience?

  • What am I giving my audience in exchange for their time?

  • What catches my eye in a headline and persuades me to click?

Which will lead to the insights you need to write a truly compelling headline.

Keep some hard and fast rules top of mind

  • Rule #1 - If writing a list-based headline, use odd numbers (ex. 7 habits of highly productive people), and always use the number instead of the word (7 vs Seven).

  • Rule #2 - Use a hyphen or colon if appropriate as the use of these punctuation marks in a headline increases the click-through rate by 9% on average.

  • Rule #3 - Negative superlatives (never, worst, avoid, etc.) perform 30% better than positive superlatives on average.

  • Rule #4 - The most effective headlines are six words long.

  • Rule #5 - All content is ruled by the 80/20 rule—8 out of 10 people will read your headline start to finish, but only 2 out of 10 will actually view your content.

Always remember “The Four U’s”

According to The Four U’s, your headlines should be:

  • Unique

  • Ultra-specific

  • Urgent

  • Useful

Take advantage of proven headline formulas

  • Formula #1 - Number + Adjective + Noun + Keyword + Promise

    • Ex. 6 Simple Formulas to Write a Catchy Headline in 2 Minutes

  • Formula #2 - How to + Action + Keyword + Promise

    • How to Write a Catchy Headline to Any Blog Post

  • Formula #3 - Definition + Guide to + Action + Keyword + Promise

    • An Easy Guide to Writing a Catchy Headline in Under 2 Minutes

You can access even more proven headline formulas here.

Be patient, be patient, be patient

Write 25 headlines.

Then test them.

Then write 25 more.

Great content labeled with a poor headline won’t get viewed, and content that isn’t getting viewed is a waste of time and money.

So, when you’re creating headlines take your time.

Remember the 80/20 rule, and spend 80% of your time thinking about a truly dynamite headline.

PS…if you can, overpromise and overdeliver in your headline

When you overpromise in the headline and then overdeliver in your content, you become a magician in the eyes of your audience, worthy of immediate trust and authority.

Look at this headline: How I Paid Off $77,000 In Debt In One Year And 10 Months by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.

Now go read the article...we’ll wait...

Not only does the author write a compelling headline, she goes on to deliver a detailed account of her journey from DEEP debt to ZERO debt in less than two years.

She creates unrealistic expectations with her headline, but then she actually delivers on those expectations!

If you want help creating compelling headlines or content that readers can’t get enough of
give us a call at 866.622.5648 or message us directly for more information.