Characteristics of the Best Headlines: How to Create Titles that Convert

This article is going to make you lots of money and impress everyone you know.

Well, it could. We hope it will! Notice how that first sentence made you respond, however?

Conversions are the holy grail of eCommerce. Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. 69% of marketers state converting customers is their main priority, as well.

Outstanding headlines are the first step toward creating conversions. We’re going to help you learn how to come up with the best headlines for your business.

People will be diving for their mouses to click your links before it’s all sound and done.

How To Write The Best Headlines for ACTUAL Conversions

Internet marketing is a business, a science, and an art form. On one hand, that makes it tricky to master. On the other, since it is a science, there are formulas for you to think about to guide your process.

Gather Inspiration

The beautiful thing about digital marketing is you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Whatever you’re trying to do, someone’s done it before. Probably lots of brilliant someones, actually.

When you’re starting to dream up your click-worthy headlines, read other headlines! Read as many examples of outstanding headlines as you can find. You’ll find plenty of mediocre ones in the process along the way. Pay attention to those as well.

Print magazine headlines are a great place to start. First off, many magazines have much higher budgets than your average website or even newspapers, at this point. The cost of printing means they’re less likely to rush through mediocre copy, as well.

As a general rule, magazine copywriting is the best of the best. Read as many as you can get your hands on, particularly in your industry, and take lots of notes!

Speaking of which…

Start A Swipe File

A swipe file is a tool that marketers and copywriters use to keep track of the inspiring headlines they see for later reference. It’s basically a manila folder full of excellent headlines they hope to swipe.

Things have evolved a lot since the 1950s, so don’t feel the need to keep actual hard copies (although that’s not a bad idea, either.) Instead, you can use digital tools like Evernote to create a virtual swipe file that’s accessible to all of your devices.

Some generous marketers even share their hard work. There are several swipe file archives around the Internet that will give you a head start that Madison Avenue could have only dreamed about in the ’50s!

Know Your Audience

When it comes to marketing, there’s no time to mess around. Not only is firing random headlines off into the ether unproductive, but it can also harm your reputation. No one likes to feel unappreciated or that you don’t care about their needs.

Creating buyer personas is more important for writing killer headlines than any other kind of writing. You need to know your customers down to a cellular level.

What problems do they have? What are their daily routines?

Even these two simple questions can guide your copywriting endeavors, helping you pick the right language to get those clicks (and sales).

Get To The Point

Now that the planning and plotting are out of the way, you’re ready to start crafting your own headlines. There’s no time to waste when it comes to writing a headline that sells.

Tell your customers exactly what it is you’re trying to say. There will be plenty of time to get clever down the road.

In journalism, this is called ‘burying the lede’. If you’re writing a story about someone’s roller skates getting eaten by an alligator, would you waste two paragraphs talking about the weather? Not at first you wouldn’t.

Little details can be added later, to help tell your story, but you need to get right to the point and let your customers know why they should be doing business with you.

State The Benefits

One common mistake a lot of writers make is making it all about themselves. Sure, we get it, you’re proud of your big vocabulary and are looking for reassurance about the thousands of hours spent agonizing over grammatical minutiae.

In copywriting, more than any other kind of writing, it’s all about the customers and clients. A good copywriter barely exists at all.

Or, rather, you don’t even realize they’re there. But you’re still buying the products they’re selling, regardless.

Once you’ve written your hooky headline, the next block of text should really focus on outlining the benefits for the customers. Align these points with the pain points and stressors you identified when constructing your buyer personas.

“How To”

DIY is big business these days, especially on the Internet. Tutorial-style headlines are some of the most popular, engaging headlines around, especially on the Internet, due to this fact.

How To headlines are also a fast-track to finding a certain kind of customer or client. Here’s a point on the Venn Diagram where copywriting and inbound marketing can intersect.

It’s also a way to help steer customers through the stages of the buyer’s cycle, which is incredibly useful for getting actual conversions.

Ask A Question

People are curious creatures. Curiosity is one of the defining traits of what makes us Human beings. It’s also incredibly difficult to disregard a direct question.

Think about a headline like “Do You Want To Save Money?” There’s not a lot of people who are going to answer “No” to that question. In these belt-tightening times, there’s going to be a strong pull to at least click the link and see what it says. Because: curiosity.

Question headlines can be very effective in securing conversions when paired with a high-quality follow-up.

Get Personal

Since you’ve gone to the trouble of creating buyer personas and getting to know your customers, you’re more able to speak to their particular needs. It’s also a way to separate the right customers, which is another essential component of actually making sales.

It also speaks to the fact that copywriting isn’t restricted to web content, either. If you have a mailing list, you can personalize content to an almost frightening degree. If you know who someone is, what they want, and are able to give it to them for a good deal, why wouldn’t they do business with you?

Above all else, remember to be ethical when crafting your headlines. The day of the outrage-inducing Clickbait headline is retreating in the rearview. The era of unfocused, snake-oil marketing is over.

If you have excellent products described in a thoughtful, interesting, informed, and entertaining way, you will make sales! How’s that for a headline?

Looking For More Ways To Build Your eBusiness?

There’s a lot to know when it comes to digital entrepreneurship. You often feel like you have to know it all and do it all yourself, as well, especially when you’re first starting out.

Whether you’re looking to craft the best headlines or learn how to reach the front page of Google, having an SEO expert in your corner is like having a trusted mentor who understands all the nuts and bolts, so you don’t have to.

Get in touch for an SEO consultation today!

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