Are You Packing A Punch When Writing Headlines?
Did you know that a headline can make or break your copy? If you don’t have a headline that makes a great first impression your message will be easily lost in the massive ocean of online content.
Online visitors click through web pages at lightning speed, stopping on average for only 4 seconds per page. So if your headline doesn’t catch, captivate, and convince your audience, you can kiss them goodbye.
A punchy headline basically has two vital functions:
1. It has to Grab Your Reader’s Attention.
People are stuck in their own heads – busy with their own thoughts and problems. Your headline needs to pull them out of their heads and into your copy. It should communicate the overall message without giving away what is about to follow in the body text.
2. It needs to Spark Curiosity.
A great headline hooks the reader and reels them straight into the body text. By igniting your reader’s curiosity you will entice them to find out more.
Professional copywriters continually scour magazines and newspapers for ideas as part of their research. Would you believe that some also gain inspiration from the trashy type tabloids that thrive on sensationalism? Headlines that scream “Prom Queen Abducted by Two Headed Alien” and “Elvis Spotted Moonlighting as Taxi Driver.” We have all spotted them.
Of course these headlines are ridiculous. But smart copywriters realize these types of headlines do a great job of demanding our attention and tempting our curiosity. Now I’m not suggesting you write a crazy headline like those, but I do want to make the point that grabbing attention and creating curiosity are important to a achieving a punchy headline.
It pays also to note that human beings are driven by emotions – that’s a fact. Clever headlines communicate to their audience on a very personal level. They can touch a specific emotion or condition the audience immediately relates to, instantly creating a connection.
There are many ways that professional copywriters approach writing a successful headline. What type of headline has been successful in grabbing your attention?