Are your open rates decreasing? Are you getting less clickthroughs and engagement with your email marketing campaigns, and can’t seem to figure out why? The problem might just lie within your Subject Lines or Headlines. Creating headlines that are boring or uninteresting will destroy all of the other hard work out have done.

Did you know that headlines could make the difference between getting your emails read and having them ignored? And this problem isn’t only with email subject lines; it also applies to blog headlines, landing page headlines, as well as Facebook/Google ads, etc.

In our latest webinar, we unveil the secret behind captivating audiences with your headlines. This one-hour session proved to be engaging and informative, you can view the replay here:

Creating Headlines That Work

Let’s Start With The Basics

What motivates human behavior? What makes someone take an action, whether it is “Googling” your company name, subscribing to your newsletter, or opening your email?

There are seven main motivators for human behavior:

  • Gain or greed
  • Love
  • Self-interest
  • Self-preservation
  • Pride
  • Duty
  • Fear/uncertainty/doubt.

If you can tap into these basic emotions with your headlines, you will see a dramatic increase in open-rates and engagement.

Spark Your Audience With 8 Powerful Triggers

The subject line/headline is your opportunity to grab your audience’s attention! It’s arguably the most important aspect of your blog post/email/landing page copy/etc. and yet, most people spend the least amount of time creating it.

Here are a few triggers that will ignite that spark in any digital passerby:

  1. Self-Interest – improve life or circumstance
  2. Curiosity – Specific, yet vague
  3. Offer – Give something, offer something
  4. Urgency / Scarcity – Limited time or number
  5. Humanity – Thank you, holiday greetings
  6. News – Happenings of import
  7. Social Proof – X is working for Y, results
  8. Story – Here’s what happened when…

When creating headlines that are effective, make sure you’ve got a trigger!

Rewards Your Readers Will Reap

What does your article/email provide to your reader? You will want to reference that up front. Not only can it intrigue the reader, it might sell him/her right away about your product or service. Whether it is a guarantee, instant gratification, a new/improved or alternative solution, or a special “secret” formula, mentioning that information in the headline can help to better target your audience, and put the right information in front of the right leads.

Don’t Fall Into Headline Traps

As avid blog subscribers, we notice when companies/copywriters hit the mark with their headlines and when they miss. We’ve compiled a list of things to avoid when creating headlines:

  • Company names & logos
  • Weak openings
    • Lacking energy or zest!
    • A plain Jane statement
    • In the wrong order (put good stuff first)
  • Creating confusion by attempting to be clever
  • Vague, general descriptions that could easily be tied to other products, services, or companies (like your competitors).

As long as you avoid these common mistakes, and try to use this list as a guide of how your headlines should be constructed you are halfway there! Now, all you have to do is brainstorm (try to use another person to bounce ideas off of) and then choose the best headline.

Check out our cheat sheet on the sidebar if you would like a short how-to guide for creating great headlines that not only increase your open rates, but also drastically improve your marketing results.


Great Headlines Instantly – by Robert Boduch
Headline analyzer:
Emotional headlines info: