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Strategies for Writing Headlines that Demand Attention

Use a Headline That Ignites Curiosity!

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience, with the email subject line as its crowning glory. A well-crafted subject line will increase open rates, boost engagement, and improve conversions. In a study by Marketo, it was found that the magic number for an email subject line is 41 characters, roughly equivalent to 7 words.

Image Source: Marko

Headline Examples

“Work can Wait – These Sales are THAT Good” (41 characters)

“Make a Meatless Loaf Even Meat Lovers Will Love” (47 characters)

“7 Habits That’ll Make You the Leader Your Colleagues Aspire to Be” (65 characters)

Which of the above grabs your attention the best? What’s the corresponding character count? See the difference?

The beauty of adhering to this character length is twofold. First, it ensures that your subject line is fully visible in your customer’s email inbox. 

Secondly, it is concise enough to be quickly absorbed while scrolling through an inbox yet long enough to convey meaningful information.

Preview Text: The Unsung Hero

While we focus on crafting the perfect subject line, the preview text often gets overlooked. The snippet that appears after the subject line in a client’s inbox provides a secondary hook to engage the reader. Well-written preview text complements your subject line and sets the tone for the email’s content. Think of it as a movie trailer—it gives a glimpse of what to expect, thereby heightening interest and curiosity.

Social Media Headlines – The Other Half of the Equation

With the increasing consumption of social media content, the value of a compelling headline extends beyond your email campaigns. In fact, a good headline is perhaps even more vital in the context of social media, where the competition for attention is fierce, and scrolling is endless.

The Science Behind Social Media Headlines

A captivating social media headline triggers an emotional response, whether it’s curiosity, joy, or surprise. It compels the reader to hit “more” to read the full post, leading to higher engagement rates.  When you combine that with visually appealing images or video content, you’re sitting on a goldmine!

Similarities and Differences

Both email subject lines and social media headlines aim to grab attention, spark interest, and encourage further action. However, while email subject lines have the luxury of accompanying preview text to support them, social media headlines often stand alone, making them all the more critical.

Tips for Crafting Irresistible Email and Social Media Titles

Be Concise: The idea is to convey a compelling message in as few words as possible.
Be Clear: Your headline should be easily understood.
Be Relevant: Make sure your headline accurately reflects the content it precedes.
Be Action-Oriented: Use verbs encouraging action, like ‘Discover,’ ‘Learn,’ or ‘Get.’
Be Emotional: A touch of emotion can go a long way in making your headlines more engaging.

Final Thoughts

The power of well-chosen words extends across various platforms and communication methods. The principles of an effective email subject line can often be applied to social media headlines, albeit with some adjustments to suit the specific medium.

In this age of information overload, your ability to grab attention in a split second is not just a skill; it’s a necessity. Don’t miss that measurement of time. A Split-Second to make a person stop and pay attention.

Whether you’re drafting an email campaign or crafting your next viral social media post, remember that your first few words set the tone for everything that follows. Choose them wisely.

Free Resource: Copy and paste the following email subject line examples for a quick access list on your computer.  Refer to this list when you’re stuck on the perfect email subject line.

B2B Email Subject Line Examples

  • Quick question [Name]
  • Have you heard?
  • Feeling [insert emotion]? Let me help
  • Ever Had This Problem? Tell me about it
  • Hoping to help
  • We have [insert fact] in common …
  • Your consulting webinar begins in 1 hour!
  • Question about [goal]
  • [Mutual connection] recommended I get in touch
  • Hi [name], [question]?
  • Did you get what you were looking for?
  • A [benefit] for [prospect’s company]
  • X tips/ideas for [pain point]
  • A 3-step plan for your busy week
  • Know this about [topic of interest]?
  • Am I assuming correctly?
  • Before you write another blog post, read this.

Great follow-up email subject lines

  1. [Name], I thought you might like these blogs
  2. Here’s that info I promised you
  3. Our next step outline

Email script example below:
I’d love your [feedback or takeaway] from our meeting
I thought about what you said
Here’s something I think you will like.

Resource: There is a free resource you can use to help you with email subject lines. If you have not heard about, check it out!


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