I think you will agree with me when I say that your goal as a blogger or writer is to craft captivating or irresistible headlines. These are headlines that stir up your readers’ curiosity, and make them want to read your blog post.
How to write irresistible headlines
Here are 5 quick tips to help you write irresistible headlines – amazing, captivating, creative and compelling headlines…faster.
#1. Create a virtual infinite irresistible headlines swipe file.
Yes, there’s a swipe file made up of tested and proven headlines written by some of the best paid copywriters in the world. And best thing about it? It’s free. It’s even at your fingertips. Just google Cosmopolitan magazine covers, Reader’s Digest magazine covers, Psychology Today magazine covers, Money magazine covers or Elle magazine covers; click on ‘image’ and you will have access to some of the best and most irresistible headlines ever crafted. These headlines are so good, they make us instantly want to pick up and buy these magazines on impulse.
As a copywriter, this is my virtual headline swipe copy file which I visit whenever I need inspiration for irresistible headlines. However, I don’t just copy and paste them. I use them as idea starters. I copy them with taste. And that’s what I recommend you do!
Here’s an example from Reader’s Digest:
Here’s another example from Cosmo:
And here’s one from Money:
#2. Write, write and write some more!
Why? Because practice makes perfect. The more headline practice you undertake, the better and more adroit you would become at writing irresistible headlines. Write 10-20 headlines per blog post. This practice will help to develop your writing muscles.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
#3. Use power words in both your headlines and subheads.
These are action words which trigger our emotions. When used properly, they can transform a headline from mediocre to irresistible. One word or phrase can excite your readers. Or make them curious, scared, furious or even arouse them. Then they stop. They act. They read on. They click. They do whatever you want them to do in your CTA. The right action word can instantly punch up any headline or marketing copy. Every word in your headline should have an assignment. Hear writing legend, Isaac Asimov: “If the phrase is not affecting the reader, what’s it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse.” Make your words work hard!
If the phrase is not affecting the reader, what’s it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse.Isaac Asimov
While power words in your headlines will get your readers to stop, and read the opening sentence, they do a different job in the subhead. Here their role is to make the reader stop and read the content, instead of just scanning through it. Click on the link below for examples of power words, which are grouped into the following categories: Anger| Curious | Inspirational | Fear | Energy.
In my experience as a copywriter, the 3 most powerful and emotional laden words in sales and marketing are ‘you’, ‘free’ and ‘guarantee’. Find a way to incorporate any of them into your headlines.
#4. Split test your headlines.
One great tool for testing your headlines is Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer, which will give you a rating for each headline that you type into it. The rating is based on the type of headline, the mix of words, the length, and more.
You can use it to test your headlines after you’ve already written them, or you can type them in as you brainstorm to see which are effective and which you can throw out. CoSchedule keeps a list of your headlines on the screen, so you don’t need to worry about losing them.
Here’s an example of how this works:
#5. Use the emotional marketing value (EMV) headline analyzer.
The EMV is a score that looks to assess how a group of words follows the emotional harmonics (underlying harmonics in language that are always interpreted with the same “emotional” reactions), and how likely they are to elicit an emotional response from a reader. The EMV headline analyzer is a free tool based on research that is made available by the Advanced Marketing Institute.
The EMV headline analyzer is easy to use. Simply copy and paste your headline into the box and it will give you a calculated score of your headline’s EMV Score. Here is the result for the headline for this blog post:
The Analyzer also provides an explanation of each score. Here’s the explanation for the headline used in this blog post:
This score indicates that your headline has a total of 40.00% Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Words. To put that in perspective, the English language contains approximately 20% EMV words. And for comparison, most professional copywriters’ headlines will have 30%-40% EMV Words in their headlines, while the most gifted copywriters will have 50%-75% EMV words in headlines. A perfect score would be 100%, but that is rare unless your headline is less than five words.”
Scores are also classified by three emotional types – intellectual, empathetic, and spiritual. The institute provides some details on each of these emotional types.
As an example, the emotional classification for this headline was spiritual and intellectual – a perfect fit for Astute Copy Blogging, as we are looking to promote products that both appeal to people at a deep emotional level and also requires reasoning and/or careful evaluation.