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A well-written headline has the power to increase conversion rates, marketing statistics show.

However, Optinmonster found that 59 percent of people will share an article without reading it first — and they may never come back to read it.

While experts say sharing is important, if no one is reading the article, it isn’t serving its intended purpose.

Forbes recently rounded up its Communications Council to discuss the members’ expert tips to creating headlines that are worth a click.

Here are five tips marketers can use to strengthen their own headline-writing techniques.

1. Rely on emotive language

Celeste Malia from Expert Marketing Advisors says emotive language invites the reader to take action.

Emotive language includes strong adjectives or verbs that cause the reader to feel something.

2. Write the same headline a dozen ways

Writing a dozen different headlines and viewing them all together can help writers see which one stands out, according to brand strategist Brandi Holder.

Content writers also can ask their team which one piques the most interest.

3. Deliver what the headline promises

“Bait-and-switch” headlines hurt performance and won’t move people through funnels, says Corey Morris, chief strategy officer at Voltage.

Experts say misleading headlines can be frustrating to readers, and if it doesn’t adequately answer their questions, they’ll leave the page.

4. Use a quote from the article

Sometimes an interesting, short quote pulled from someone in the article is a sufficient attention-grabber, says Laurie Wang of Legal Aid Alberta.

It also can help the writer effectively describe something in the story or identify an issue in more unique or intriguing terms, experts say.

5. Learn from other effective headlines

There’s nothing wrong with learning from the successes of others, experts say. 

Pulling inspiration from headlines in emails or in top web results can help content marketers see what is working and apply it to their own topics.

According to Optinmonster, 36 percent of readers prefer list-based headlines.

Neil Patel also says that integrating specific numbers and data into headlines can make the content more enticing to readers, and results in more shares.

Including the following words, or “rationales,” according to Patel, can offer more incentive for people to click:

  • Tips
  • Reasons
  • Tricks
  • Ways
  • Facts

Above all, experts say being as clear and specific as possible will get readers to click much more than confusing, wordy headlines that aren’t serving the ultimate purpose: answering a reader’s question.

Operating with confidence and authority in headlines can show readers it is a trustworthy source of information, experts say.

About Marissa Beste
Marissa Beste is a freelance writer with a background in journalism, technology, marketing, and horticulture. She has worked in print and digital media, ecommerce, and direct care, with roots in the greenhouse industry. Marissa digs into all types of content for Kaleidico with a focus on marketing and mortgages.

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