3 Mistakes Writers Make When Writing Headlines
We got your attention! I mean that’s why you clicked through to read this article, right? Let’s be honest, marketing isn’t rocket science. It’s brain science. We explain that with our opinion that Interruptive Advertising Does Not Have to Fail.
Here it is, the secret to enhancing your marketing campaigns and increasing results.
Interrupt + Engage + Educate + Offer = RESULTS
We call this the Persuasion Equation and headlines are the first step.
I know, interrupt is such a harsh word. Some might even say clickbait, but you’re gonna have to deal with it. There has been a surge in content on the web over the past few years and guess what – it’ll continue to grow. Writing a subpar headline will only make your content drown in the sea of common content. Now that you’ve accepted the reality, here are three mistakes to avoid when writing a headline, email subject or any first impression with your audience. Do it right and you’ll break away from the clutter.
Not the Right Time, or the Right Place
As a marketer, it’s your job to know your target audience. When I say know, I’m not talking about your general demographic that states women who are between the age of 28 and 36 who earn $40,000 - $65,000 every year. I’m looking beyond that, way beyond… More mature than a consumer persona. I’m talking about a customer journey map.
The Customer Journey Map is literally your “map” to writing effective headlines. This strategy visualizes the consumers thought process and actions as they progress from awareness, consideration and purchase phases… Or whatever categories populate your journey map. Point being, my headline (or subject line for the email marketers) should be targeted toward my target audience. A novel idea, we know. Here are a few examples to prove our point… And inspire you. Let’s use an example of something everyone buys, clothes.
Awareness: Is it okay to wear white after Labor Day?
Consideration: How you can look classy wearing shorts this summer
Purchase: Swimsuits 25% Off
Lacks Emotion and Urgency
Honestly, emotion and urgency might even deserve their own categories. However, there is crossover between the two, so I coupled them together. I’ll save the separate chapters for a later post… or book.
For now, they are a couple and here’s why. If advertising is based on psychology, then marketing is based on emotion. Buyers tend to make decisions based their feelings. Now elicit an emotion with urgency and you create The Fear of Missing Out.
FedEx uses this in their tagline Absolutely, Positively Overnight confronting the emotion and fear of missing a deadline, but this example can be easily modified into headlines.
Procrastinator Rejoice! One more day to guarantee delivery before Christmas.
Here’s another one.
Free shipping ends tomorrow.
Doesn’t Catch Their Attention
As I mentioned, there has been a surge of content recently. Social Media, Blogs, YouTube and the internet in general have made it possible for ANYONE to publish content. The days of forking out cash for television or print advertising have shifted grassroots content creation – something AWESOME in my opinion. However, it’s hard to standout in this sea of content. As mentioned before, it’s your job as a marketer to know your target audience. Now, write your headlines in a way that strikes their pain points. It’s simple really, think about what keeps them up at night and use that to catch their attention. Here’s some inspiration using buying or refinancing a home.
Learn About Our Interest Rates
Simply boring… Rather than that, try this…
Do you have a “Worry” mortgage?
Sounds better, right? It also embraces emotion, avoiding two of the common errors. Here's one more for inspiration using a similar technique.
Better interest rates available
5 ways even good mortgages cost too much
Other Headline Tips
There’s far more to headlines than I covered in this post. Don’t worry, here’s FREE eBook to help you craft the perfect headline. It goes well beyond these common mistakes and provides tips on power words, power phrases and more tips on how to avoid these common headline mistakes.
My final tip is test your headlines and subject lines. This isn't a new concept people. I hear A/B testing in many conversations, however I feel like it's a strategy that is talked about more often than it's practiced. So walk the walk here people, data will help you make informed decisions and know whether or not you're breaking through to your audience.