Friday, October 21, 2016

How to Write Attention-Catching Titles

This Is Not the Target Market
This Is Not the Target Market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A great email title should jump off the page, grab a hold of your reader's attention and almost force them into opening the email. A poor title on the other hand will easily be skimmed over and lost. 

How do you write a title that grabs attention? Here are a few tips.

=> Use Action and Power Words

The more vibrant and energized your words, the more people are going to be drawn to them.

Take the first sentence of this article for example. If it had just said "A good title should catch attention," how much blander would it be? Phrases like "jump off the page," "grab a hold of" and "force them into opening" are a few examples of action words.

As you get more experience with writing copy and with writing emails, you'll start to get more of a sense of what power words you like to use. Vary it up so your readers don't get bored of them, but keep all your titles dynamic and powerful.

=> Say Something Surprising or Shocking



A shocking title tends to do better than a predictable title.

Here are a few examples:

* Diet

Example: "How to lose weight quickly"
Better: "How I Lost 23lbs by Eating More Cheese"

* Finance

Example: Is Microsoft a Good Buy?
Better: The Only Time You'll Lose Your Shirt on Microsoft is ...

* Relationships

Example: How to Get a Girlfriend
Better: What Sandy (my date) Told Mary After I Left

These are just a few examples of headlines that invoke curiosity. They're counter-intuitive and hint at an entertaining article inside.

=> Imply a Benefit in the Title



Someone who's reading just the title of your email should get a good idea of what the email is about. 

Copywriters often make the mistake of writing shocking or controversial titles that don't tell the reader anything about what's inside the email. Sure, you might catch their attention for a second, but they probably won't open the email because there's no implied benefit for them.

The benefit can be directly stated, or it can be subtly hinted at. The most important thing is that someone in your target market would get the sense that their lives might improve if they read what you have to say.

=> Be Different Than Your Competitors



Subscribe to all your competitor's email lists. Even if you don't send it to your personal account, at least set up a different email account just to get your competition's emails.

Always, always, always set yourself apart from your competition. If you realize that you're starting to sound like your competitors ("Make money!" "Lose weight!" etc.) then it's probably time to take a different angle.

Even if the product you're ultimately selling promises the same benefits as your competitors, that doesn't mean you have to sound the same.

Learn to differentiate yourself. Learn to imply a benefit in the title. Learn to use shock to your advantage. Learn to use power words. Apply these techniques and your open rates will soar.