When you write a book or an article, you tend to come up with a title that basically summarizes or emphasizes the main point of the story. This is called the lede.
As a reader, you prefer titles to headlines because you can tell, in a split second, if the article is of interest to you, and if it's worth reading or not.
However, you're not your reader. And you're not offering news or information. Your selling products and services, or at least an idea.
So, people shouldn't scour your headline to determine what to read. You want them to make that decision whilst reading the copy.
Therefore, when writing headlines, don't think about some all-encompassing title, summary, or synopsis, or even something general or basic. Think of your headline as giving a taste, a tiny nibble, of a bigger treat that's found inside your copy.
Use intrigue, fascination, curiosity, controversy, scarcity, urgency, mystery, even incomplete ideas in your headlines. Force the reader into your copy so they can satisfy their curiosity or complete the idea you started.
Michel Fortin is a certified digital marketing expert and renowned copywriter who specializes in a unique combination of SEO, CRO, and UX to improve traffic, leads, and revenue for his clients. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless wins, generating in excess of $300 million in sales and results that have broken many industry records. He has worked with thousands of businesses ranging from individual entrepreneurs to enterprise-level multinational companies. He's the author of two top-selling books and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.