7 can’t-miss tactics for reader-grabbing headlines

Make specific promises, use numerals, ask questions, and put ‘impact’ words at the beginning.

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Scan. Dismiss. Scan. Dismiss. Scan. Click!

That’s what your audience is doing today. That’s what we’re all doing today. In inboxes, on social media and on blogs, we scan headlines, dismissing most and clicking a scant few.

Winning that click depends, more than anything else, on the headline. We are all judged instantly and ruthlessly by that high-profile sliver of words.

To help you win more clicks and hook readers right off the bat, here’s advice for crafting scintillating headlines.

1. Make a (specific) promise.

Before any of us click anything, we do a split-second cost-benefit calculation.

Does the benefit of clicking (the value of the content) exceed the cost (two seconds of my time)?

The job of the headline is to tout the benefit and to ensure the visitor that it’s worth it—and to do so in less than a second.

The more specific the benefit, the more likely the visitor is to click. Great headlines make specific promises.

Ask yourself as if you’re the reader, “What’s in it for me?” The answer should jump off the page. If it doesn’t, you’re about to fail.

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