Sylvan Franchise Blog

Secrets to Write Headlines that People Read and Click

Posted by Susan Gunelius on Mar 7, 2016

An email or blog post is only as successful as the number of people who actually click on the headline and read it. The same is true for Facebook updates, tweets, and other social media posts.

If your headline doesn’t instantly catch people’s attention and pique their interests, then there is little chance for them to read your content, act on it, or share it. In other words, you’ve wasted your time creating content that might be amazing but does nothing for your franchise because no one cares about it.

With a bit of thought, you can transform your headlines into messages that make people feel something. Once you’ve tapped into their emotions, they’re far more likely to click, read, act, and share.

Here are five common tricks that copywriters use to create clickable headlines. Think about these as you write your next headline and you should see both click-throughs and shares increase.

1. Create a sense of urgency.

If you want people to click on your headlines, give them a time limit. Use words like “act now” and “before it’s too late” to create a sense of urgency. You want them to think that if they delay, they’re going to miss out on something great.

For example, if you’re sending an email promotion, don’t use a headline that says “Sign up for our class.” Instead, write “Space is filling fast! Sign up for our class before it’s full!”

2. Tap into fear.

There are many words that you can add to your headlines to tap into your audience’s fears. Words like “destroy,” “ ruin,” “mistake,” and “wrong” can turn a boring headline into one that people feel like they need to click on immediately.

For example, you could change “5 Tips to Improve Your Kids Grades” into “5 Mistakes You’re Making that Hurt Your Kids Grades Instead of Helping.”

3. Make it special.

Offer something exclusive in your headlines and people are far more likely to read and click them. You can do this by offering things like discounts or content only to specific audiences.

For example, you can send an exclusive email message or offer a discount only to Facebook fans. Make sure your headline states the offer is exclusive to that audience!

You can get even more creative with this concept by making people feel like they’re “in the know” when they read your content. For example, change a headline that says “How to Prepare Your Child for a Test” to “Secrets to Helping Your Child Study and Ace His Next Test.” Notice how I used the word “secrets” in the headline for this article?

4. Surprise people.

People have expectations, whether they realize it or not. When you surprise them, you stop them in their tracks and they want to understand why their expectations were wrong. Using words like “surprising,” “unexpected,” “impossible,” and “odd” in your headlines can do the trick.

For example, don’t use a headline that says, “A Unique Study Habit” when you could use one that says “The Most Surprising Study Habit You Need to Try Now.” Which one would you click on?

5. Make it easy.

People are busy. We need help, but the help has to be quick and easy. Add words like “quick” and “easy” to your headlines so people know they’re going to get useful information without having to set aside an hour of their valuable time to do it.

For example, instead of a headline that says “10 Ways to Help Your Kids Study” use “10 Easy Ways to Help Your Kids Study.” It’s such a small change, but it makes a big difference!

Writing headlines is difficult. You have to pack a lot into a very small number or words, but if you use these tricks, you’ll see clicks and shares increase, which will lead to increased word-of-mouth marketing and sales for your franchise.