I develop and produce a lot of blogs and newsletters for my clients, and the final step is identifying a potential subject line and reviewing it with my clients. Their responses are almost always a variation on “I don’t know. Does it matter?” Well, yes. Your headline/subject line is everything.
It doesn’t matter how earnest and inspiring your message—if no one reads it, you’ve just wasted your time. Everyone’s competing for eyeballs these days, so you need to be clever to get the attention of your audience and make them want to stop and read your message. Your headline is a teaser, whether you like it or not. One more thing—now that 60+% of users are reading just about everything on their phones, headlines need to be kept within 50 characters.
Follow these easy guidelines when writing headlines. Think HELPFUL
- H is for helpful. The first rule of content marketing is to deliver value to your audience—the best way to achieve this is by being helpful. Think: How to . . .
- E is for emotion. Think about achieving pleasure and avoiding pain. Connect with your audience on some level.
- A is for ask. Ask a question to which your audience wants to know the answer.
- D is for Do’s and Don’ts. Delivering clearly defined tactics is an excellent strategy. What to do when . . . or 5 Reasons you don’t want to ignore subject lines!
- L is for list. The promise of easy-to-absorb answers neatly laid out for us is very compelling. 6 reasons why subject lines are critical to blog success.
- I is for inspire. Address the desires of your audience. Create a visual or a promise.
- N is for nightmare. Speak to a problem that keeps your audience up at night.
- E is for empathy. Become a friend. Show that you understand your audience’s problems and that you care.
- S is for success. Think about the end-result which is, of course, success. 9 Headlines That Will Boost Leads.