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Four Tips for a Terrific Headline

August 1, 2012  

"It's time to master the headline, to get it right where the copy counts most by paying attention to those critical words that appear at the top of your email messages," writes Marco Marini at Email Critic.

Headlines also appear at the top of your landing pages—and regardless of their location, their main purpose is to whet a reader's appetite for more information.

So how do you create a headline that really draws 'em in? Marini offers ideas like these:

Take off your editor's hat while you brainstorm. Write whatever comes to mind, however outlandish, without pausing to judge its quality. That will come later. Right now, you want to get lots and lots of ideas onto the page; most will be spectacularly bad, but a few will be spectacularly good!

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  • by Efrem Wed Aug 1, 2012 via web

    I would have loved to have seen Marco suggest avoiding spam-laden subject lines. That is probably one of the single most important things to consider, if not the most important thing to consider when crafting a message.

    Things that read like late-night infomercials are a huge turn off for a lot of folks plus they can get your message bounced faster than a rubber check at a bank.

  • by Patrick Zuluaga [PMZ Marketing] Mon Aug 6, 2012 via web

    One way of increasing your success with your headline is to provide a supporting sub-headline. An example could be a testimonial.

  • by JoAnne Stapf Tue Aug 7, 2012 via web

    Would love for companies to show samples of successful subject lines used, please share. One we used was "Safety meets Innovation"

  • by J Myers Wed Aug 8, 2012 via web

    I can't believe i had to go thru a sign up to read this. It's only 8 words longer than the tease

  • by WriterRoxanne Thu Aug 9, 2012 via web

    @J Myers...yeah, but you DID sign up to read it...ask yourself "why"... could it, perhaps, have had something to do with the headline? :-)

  • by Efrem Thu Aug 9, 2012 via web


    A good subject line in an email will draw a reader into the *email* but doesn't necessarily mean that the reader will click a "Read More" button.

    Interesting copy in the body of an email may compel a reader to click a "Read More" button--but that has nothing to do with the snappy subject line.

    You can have the snappiest, most compelling subject line in the world (in an email) but if the content in the body of the email is bad or poorly written and the reader aborts, is that a successful email or campaign? No, it's the equivalent of a dog and pony show: it works only for those who are focused on getting bodies through the door, or in the scenario above, clicks to sign up.

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