How To Craft Headlines That Make People Click

How To Craft Headlines That Make People ClickHailed as the “Father of Advertising,” marketing executive David Ogilvy said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

This expert at all things marketing, also said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

These are both nice quotes, but what exactly do they mean for you? What these tidbits tell us is that in order to even get someone interested in your copy, you first have to pique their interest with the headline.

In other words, to earn the click to your landing page and increase your conversion rate optimization, you have to start with the headline.

Now, let’s talk about how to craft headlines that make people click.

Craft a Unique Headline

Since the job of your headline is to get your first sentence read, it must be unique. If your headline is powerful enough to get the first sentence read, it’s often enough to elicit the much-desired click.

Crafting creative, unique headlines can be risky, but in the risk comes the reward. You want to stand out from the crowd, and this is one way to do it.

Use Numbers in Your Headline

With nearly 80% of readers never making it past the headline, you’ve got to use formulas that work. One study suggests that using numbers in your headlines makes them the best performers.

Why do numbers work? They give people a goal and something to strive for. Consider these two headlines: “7 Easy Ways to Lose Baby Weight in One Month” and “How to Lose Weight.” Immediately you can see the headline with the number is going to get more clicks because it gives the visitor something tangible right up front.

You can go one step further with these tips for using numbers in your headlines:

  • Use odd numbers – they are seen as more believable than even numbers.
  • Everyone loves the number 7. Try testing two headlines – one with a 7 and one with a 9. See what happens.
  • Use digits, don’t write it out. This is different than copy rules which ask writers to write the digit for numbers over ten and spell it out for numbers under 10.

Convey a Sense of Urgency

Consumers are more apt to click and take an action if they feel a sense of urgency. This is one reason flash sales work so well.

Consider taking a tip from the flash sale and use your headlines to create a sense of urgency. You want to convince the customer that they’ll miss out if they don’t read more and click.

To increase the likelihood of the landing page conversion, the urgency must be real and true. This is not the place to fake it.

Keep the Headline Short

What is the perfect length of a headline?

One study found the ideal length of a headline is six works. That can often be difficult to accomplish, so most copy experts agree that you should pay special attention to the first three words and the last three words of your headline.

When crafty a headline, every word counts, so unnecessary fluff is just that – fluff.

Consider this traditional formula for headlines: number or trigger word, plus adjective, plus keyword, plus the promise.

So, your first word would be a number (think digit) or a trigger word which is a word like how, why, what or when. Then, you want to give the reader a unique, attention-grabbing adjective and keyword. Lastly, you want to give them the promise.

Let’s break down the sentence we used earlier: “7 Easy Ways to Lose Baby Weight in One Month.” The number seven is the number word; easy is the adjective; lose baby weight is the keyword; and losing it in one month is the promise.

You can use this formula to draft your first headline ideas. Feel free to get creative, and remember, unique is best.

Know Your Target Market

Our last tip involves writing headlines for your target customer. It pays to know what has the greatest potential of grabbing your audience.

For example, if you are trying to get teenage boys to click, you probably wouldn’t use the “7 Easy Ways to Lose Baby Weight in One Month.” You might use a headline like this: “7 Gut-Busting Ways to Get Stronger Abs in Thirty Days.”

You’ve now got two headlines, and they each fit a different audience – new moms and teenage boys. You’ve crafted two descriptive headlines that solve each demographic group’s problem. You’ve given them a ready solution and met their needs and in turn, convinced them to click.

Final Thoughts

Headlines matter. They matter a lot.

Let’s consider one last David Ogilvy quote, “I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.”

When crafting headlines, which are critical to the success of your landing page, you’ve got to use the language of your audience. Meet their needs. Speak to them.
Consider that the success of your copy and your message depends on your headline. It’s the job of your headline to convince people to read your copy and click to make the conversion you desire.

The job of your headline is simply to sell your product. David Ogilvy believed in this so strongly that he once said you’ve wasted 90% of your money if your headline doesn’t convert.

Lastly, write a unique, specific, targeted headline that conveys a sense of urgency and is useful to your audience, and you’ve won half the battle when it comes to making people click.

Now that you know how to craft headlines that make people click, take a look at some of your landing pages and work on those headlines!

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by crafting powerful headlines? If so, we can promise you we’ll do just that. With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: chluna via / CC BY-SA

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One thought on “How To Craft Headlines That Make People Click

  1. The problem with clickbait-y headlines nowadays is I think you need to be more subtle than you used to. People are starting to catch on to the clickbait tactics everyone uses, and some are even repulsed by them, so going for the “Top 7 Ways To Make Money Fast (You Won’t Believe #4!)” might not work as well as it used to.

    … Oh who am I kidding? If your clickbait is good enough, people won’t be able to help but to fall for it, even if they recognize it’s bait. Like an irresistible juicy worm on a hook.

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