What do you think triggered your interest to click on this post? Would you have clicked on this post if the headline was, “Write headlines that convert?”
As I studied what the title of this article should be, I researched the emotional and intellectual impact the phrase would have overall. Here you are reading it, so I must have done something right.
Here’s a handful of important details we will be discussing in this post:
- What is a headline?
- Why is it important to ensure a headline connects on an emotional or intellectual level?
- How you can improve your headlines.
What is a headline?
In my professional opinion, I describe a headline as ‘text that is the first thing someone reads.” You, on the other hand, may prefer to think of it as big bold text on the front page of a newspaper or even a blog post you clicked on.
If you think about this, the first thing that someone reads can be the:
- subject line of your email
- title of your blog post
- text on a Google Ads link
- text on your Facebook Ads
- title of your YouTube Video
- title of a book
- title of a podcast episode
- title of your webinar
- text on your direct mail postcard
- title of your white paper or ebook
These are all examples of headlines and are the very first impression you are giving someone about the content that you produced. Regardless of how awesome (or lack of awesomeness) your content is, it will only get read (or viewed) if the headline is engaging enough to elicit that action. The headline is the deciding factor on whether your content will be read, or more importantly shared on various social media channels.
Let’s consider email open rates to further illustrate your headline’s significance:
The first reason someone will or will not open your email is based on the SENDER. That’s obvious, if you know the individual sending the email, you are more likely to open it (or not).
The second factor that drives whether someone opens your email is the SUBJECT LINE. Having a subject line that is between 6 and 10 words is optimal. That’s plenty of room to create an emotionally or intellectually impactful message that encourages the recipient to open the message.
Why is it important to ensure a headline connects on an emotional or intellectual level?
Advertising legend, David Ogilvy once stated: “On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.” With that number alone, you want to make sure that you are making an impact with your headline.
And to think this was years ago when he said this. Think about how you scroll through your newsfeed on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever your social platform of choice is. You are likely skimming 9 out of 10 headlines before clicking on that 10th headline to read or watch the content.
What was it about that 10th article that made you want to click it?
The headline was one of two things. It connected with you on either an emotional or intellectual level (or a combination of both). Just a friendly reminder here, but human-beings, people, citizens, educated individuals are reading your material. They all have feelings and we can all agree that most actions are based on an emotional trigger.
A study completed by CoSchedule.com identified a direct correlation between the emotional impact of a headline and the overall share rate of the content.
“Posts with a higher emotional value got more shares.” – source: https://coschedule.com/blog/emotional-headlines/
Now you might be asking about the intellectual side of this equation. Indeed, intelligence is emotional. Based on the Advanced Marketing Institute, and their Emotional Marketing Value equation as found within the Headline Analyzer, emotions are broken up into 3 distinct categories: Intellectual, Empathetic, and Spiritual.
I prefer to break it up into emotional or intellectual because empathetic and spiritual are both emotions that are personal and the intellectual level is defined by someone’s level of intelligence or interest on a specific topic. In addition, from a business perspective, we are usually looking at the intellectual level in order to identify the value-add content for our clients.
Intellectual headlines and content don’t need to be stuffy and boring. You can have some fun with the content you are creating and tie in the emotional factor. I like to call it ‘Intelligent Entertainment’. Seriously, creating content that is entertaining and informational will likely reap the best rewards for you in the long run!
How you can improve your headlines.
The easiest way to start improving your headlines is to start by brainstorming many options that could work and then leverage some of the tools and resources available online to help you refine and improve your headline.
These are some of the alternative options I was considering as the headline of this post:
- Headlines that create conversions
- How to write headlines that create conversions
- How to write headlines that convert
- Write headlines that convert
- Write emotional and intellectual headlines that convert
- Create headlines that convert with emotions and intelligence
- High converting emotional and intellectual headlines
- Emotional and intellectual headlines increase conversions
A short list of some of my favorite tools to use include:
- Emotional Headline Analyzer from Advanced Marketing Institute as mentioned above. This gives you a rating on a scale of 0 – 100%
- CoSchedule – Headline Analyzer. A different type of tool that looks at the word balance breaking it into 4 categories: common, uncommon, emotional, and power words.
- Buzzsumo – Find content that has a high rate of shares and engagement from across the world wide web. Type in a couple of words and see what is most popular. This helps to identify specific content to create.
- Answer the Public – Enter your keywords and content ideas will be tossed out at you by the very large handfuls
What are your opinions on headlines? I’d like to know if you’ve found any other fantastic tools and resources that have helped you create stronger, higher converting content!