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  • Writer's pictureJean Railla

Headlines Are Your Friends

Headlines are essential tools for all marketing collateral — from fundraising campaigns to company websites to weekly promotional emails — and they work hard to tell your story and engage your consumers.

Headlines matter; a headline that is clear, concise and persuasive can make the difference between a user reading your content or having them scroll on by. (Eye-tracking studies show that users are not reading web pages; they are scanning. And they will leave a page within three seconds if they don't find anything relevant to focus on. )

10 Tried and True Headline Tips

1. Don’t forget the message that needs to be conveyed. Start with writing a headline that is as straightforward and clear as possible. Then you can get clever in subsequent versions.

2.  Never write just one headline—it’s a sure-fire way to shut down your creativity.  Write at least twenty and then choose the best

3.  Keep it brief:  10 words or less. 8 is better. 6 is best.

4. Don’t show and tell. You might be matching your words with a visual. Don’t say exactly what’s going on in the visual — let the visual speak for itself. Write something to complement it.

5. Stay positive. Negative messages in headlines turn readers off.

6. Don’t forget subheads. They’re there when you need them.

7. Don’t use more then one 3-syllable in a headline—simple is better.

8. If possible, try to weave in a few keywords into your headline. This can help with SEO.

9. Do not repeat a sentence that is in the paragraph below. It’s annoying.

10. When you have a draft of your headline, enter the phrase into a search engine and compare the results. Obviously you don’t want the same headline as one of your competitors.

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