How to craft high converting headlines that can apply to any industry…
Did you know that you only have 0 to 8 seconds to grab your audience's attention?
This is a tricky topic that very few have mastered. Most of us get lazy in this department and sometimes try to look and see what others are doing. I work on it on a daily basis trying to think of better headlines and how to improve my writing skills.
Below are some reasons why you need to give this area more of your attention and what to look out for.
There is no escaping it, if you don't write a compelling headline to convince them to keep reading, the majority of these visitors leave and worse yet, you may never see them again. That opportunity is lost because your headline was not good enough.
Be it email, a sales letter, a paid advertisement, a squeeze page or a landing page, headlines are the single most important part to focus on first and foremost. This is because the headline is your first and only opportunity to capture your target market's attention.
Before you can convert a potential customer to a sure sale, you must first master the art of writing headlines that presents an instant, immediate and compelling enough impression. The best headlines are those that grasp your page visitor by the lapels, shake them up and refuse to let go.
These headlines basically have four common traits.
1. High converting headlines are very clear
High converting headlines are very, very clear. If you want to hook audiences by their lapels, there's no room for ambiguity. This is the first and most important quality of any great headline.
The clearer the headline, the more appealing it will be to page visitors. You want your readers to immediately understand what you are trying to convey. Ambiguous and confusing headlines are only going to push away readers in droves.
But how exactly do you write clear and compelling headlines? It's all about being as specific and clear as you possibly can.
Remember, the people who are landing on your pages or are seeing your ads are looking for solutions and answers. The last thing they want to do is to spend more time trying to figure out what is meant by an ambiguous or uncertain headline. If you're offering solutions, give it to them on a silver platter. Spoon feed them if you must because that's how you hook an audience to keep reading.
An example of a clear headline may go like this, “How to Use Twitter and Double Your Click-Through Rates in 21 Days.” As you can see, the headline's promised benefit is crystal clear. Audiences who are hoping to learn how to use Twitter to increase their click-through rates are more than likely going to read further.
2. High converting headlines have two essential parts
The most successful and high converting headlines have two essential parts – the headline and the sub-headline or the “sub-head.”
To boost the chances of your audience staying and reading further along, your headline needs a backup. Sub headlines do the job. You can think of this pair as an act in two parts. The headline is the beginning and the sub-headline is the ending. Or the headline is the bait that gets the prospect in the door and the sub-heading hooks them in so they will keep reading.
A clear and concise headline is critical, but not enough to fully engage the reader. It needs help – in the form of a great, informative sub-head that boosts the clarity the reader gets from the headline.
The sub-head serve as a reaffirmation to the reason why your reader landed in your page and why they would to keep reading. It should set the stage for the story your content is about to tell them.
Businesses, magazines and Google searches use this perfect combination of headline and sub-headline. For example this site is called “OnlineBIZ Express”. The purpose is to help the audience know how to choose and setup an online business that works for them fast. the Tagline is “Your Online Business Quick Start Guide”.
If you have magazines lying around, check the cover and you'll see microcopies right below the catchy titles. Then there's Google's meta description which serves as a sneak peak to what the content is all about.
The point is clear, great headlines do not come alone. They come with great sub-heads and together they boost your headline’s chances of converting customers.
3. High converting headlines include numbers
Research suggests that headlines with numbers result in astronomical click-through rates compared to questions, how to, normal and reader addressing headlines. This is because numbers more than words express a different level of certainty.
Considering the way our minds are wired, numbers subconsciously tell the readers that if they keep reading they'll discover a solution that is clear and based on substance and fact.
Since no one is attracted to ambiguity and unclear solutions, readers are likely to click through headlines with numbers giving you higher chances to convince them that your offered solution is their best choice right now.
The numbers you can include in your headlines may come in the following forms: percentages, the amount of things on lists, time measurements, and so on such as the examples below:
- “Enjoy a 3-Day Free Trial for New Subscribers Today”
- “10 Classic Strategies to Fire up Your Email Marketing Plan”
- “Boost Sales by 30% in 30 Days Using This One Simple Trick”
Generally, the number will be in the main headline rather than the sub-head. But the information in the sub-head should support whatever number you include in the headline.
4. High converting headlines are time-based
According to statistics, 95% of visitors who land on your page are generally not ready to buy. To use your headline as an effective tool to convert their no's to a yes, you need to inject and convey a sense of urgency. At the same time, you don't want to pressure them to jump right on ahead if they're not ready. Balance is the key when creating compelling, time-based headlines that guide readers to take the action.
To convey a sense of urgency, you can imply on your sub-headline, for example, that the signup process is going to be quick and easy and that your product is simple and user-friendly.
Take it from this example. The headline may go like this, “Enjoy and Start your 30-day Free Trial Today” and you can imply a quick and simple sign-up process by backing it up with a sub-headline that goes like this, “Sign up and get started in less than 60 seconds.”
With a sense of urgency injected into the picture, conversion rates are bound to get a significant boost especially on landing and order pages.
These four qualities of high converting headlines are so widely used that headlines without them are only going to look off-putting not to mention that they will also usually fail to convert. In order to maximize your results and avoid wasting your energy, focus on what has been tried and tested.
Research and other successful marketers have studied what works and what doesn’t. If you follow their lead and incorporate the aforementioned characteristics to your headlines, it wouldn’t take long until you see significant increases in your click-through rates and conversions.
This is true regardless of which industry or what type of marketing channel you may be using.
No matter how strong your headline is and your content, unless you have a highly converting offer, a solution that you can offer to your readers and followers, your marketing efforts will be wasted.
To your success!