This post is a guest post by Nitin Aggarwal
Just about every site is now trying to collect readers’ e-mail addresses as a way of online direct marketing. This is obviously an important step but not enough brands recognize that it is just the first step. Once you have the e-mail address, you still have to get the subscriber to actually open your message.
This is where good copywriting skills come in. Headline writing is one of the most important skills to have on the web. Headlines are extremely crucial when it comes to creating pages, creating articles, promoting your work through social networks, and of course, e-mail marketing.
The Truth About Headlines and Reading Habits
People simply do not like to read anymore. This is understandable since most things on the web can be explained in a few headings, an infograph, or a video. This is apparent as more and more people are moving away from actual content in magazines and newspapers and flocking towards sites like Huffington Post and Drudge Report that feature mostly headlines.
If people are not interested in the content but interested in the headline, this means that your job is to tell them what they need to know right up front. You also want them to go further, though, so you want to make them feel like they have to click that link. You cannot be content if they just look at your headline like they do on Drudge Report, you want them to be interested enough to click the link.
Subscribers will open your e-mail if you are giving them a good idea of what they will find but also make them feel like they HAVE to find that information. It is the key to copywriting, tell them the important things up front and get them wanting more.
This is not just the way to get your newsletter opened, it is the way to reach users on Twitter, Digg, RSS, and any service where the only thing you can do is put a headline and a link.
Headlines That Work
Luckily, millions of marketers have spent thousands of years testing millions of headlines. I’ve done the research for you, you just need to follow the formats. Here are a few types of headlines that get clicks:
Deals – Americans, and frankly all kinds of people (No matter where they are from), love a good deal. We love to shop, we love to shop online, and we love to pay less than the next guy. Tell your subscribers about a great deal that relates to their interests and the chances are – they will open it.
(e.g.: 50% off All New Floor Tiles. 10% Savings on All Air Fresheners. Super Subscriber Discount: 25%+ Off on All CDs)
How To – We all love having things spelled out for us. Help your subscribers accomplish a goal they likely have with a great how to piece (that can also sell more products).
(e.g.: How to Lose 20 Pounds By Summer, How to Save Big on Real Estate, How to Make Big Bucks From Home)
Questions – Ask your subscribers a question everyone will answer “yes” to. This, of course, requires good research on your subscribers but it is a very effective headline.
(e.g.: Do You Spend Too Much on Car Insurance? Are You Tired of Credit Card Fees? Do You Need Some Time Off?)
Testimonials – These work really well if you have established some credibility with your readers. Telling them that a product has worked for you (a credible person they love to read) will definitely push them towards that product.
(e.g.: My Sales Are Up 200% Thanks To Bob’s Super System, I Lost 50 Pounds Using Bob’s Super System, etc.)
Headlines are a very important tool in online marketing. A good headline tailored to your subscribers will get those e-mails open.
It also helps a lot to build credibility with your subscribers. The more they trust you, the more impact your e-mails will have and the more likely they are to read it each time it arrives.
This article has been contributed by Nitin Aggarwal. His company Offshore Ally is a premier source of qualified and intelligent virtual assistants and link builders online. Nitin is passionate about technology and enjoys gaming. Connect with him via Twitter.