Titles or headlines are a lot like promises, which you make to your readers. If you deliver on the promise of your headline, your readers will thank you. If you don’t, you will leave readers feeling ripped-off and cheated. Getting your balance right is what this brief post is all about.
Headlines have amazing influence
Your headlines are the most important part of your blog posts, (marketing emails, articles or newsletters etc.) That’s because no matter how wonderful your content is, or how amazing your special offer may be, people won’t even read it, unless the headline has grabbed their attention!
With headlines playing such an important role in content marketing and Internet marketing, it’s little wonder the Internet is packed with information on how to write great headlines. As a result, there are some amazing sounding links being shared on social networks and showing up in your feedreader. However, when you then click those links, land on their site and read what they have to say, it is often a major disappointment.
In the race to get as many people as possible to click links or open emails, something extremely important is often forgotten: The need to deliver on the promise you made with your headline!
Headlines must deliver
A great headline will get people to click your links, but unless the content they find delivers what you have told them to expect, they will leave just as quickly as they arrived. A headline is important, but it can’t do everything. It’s job is to capture people’s attention and get them to take the next step, which is to read the first line of your actual content.
For example, if you write a headline, which says; “6 ways to double your subscriber list”, the content needs to deliver on that promise. It needs to show your readers 6 ways to increase their subscriber count by 100%. If it just gives people a boring, generic list that clearly won’t double their numbers, you will simply piss people off.
Of course, when people land on a page or open a marketing email, only to find the headline suckered them, you will also have eroded their trust; at least to a degree. This will stop people returning to your site or opening future communications from you, because they are less likely to believe your headline promise the next time. This will seriously damage your repeat traffic numbers and can cause people to stop sharing your content on social networks.
Headlines and content: The right balance
The most successful marketing and the most successful websites / blogs, always do their best to deliver on their headline’s promise. As a result, we trust them to come up with the goods, so when they capture our attention, we are massively more inclined to click their links and start reading. That’s the balance we all need to aim for.
To focus on getting traffic to a site or emails opened, without converting that interest in some way, is a complete waste of time!