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 senior marketing specialist, renowned copywriter, and digital marketing expert. For the better part of 30 years, he's produced countless successful marketing communications and profitable campaigns that generated in excess of $300 million in sales. He's broken many industry sales records, including being instrumental behind the first ever “million-dollar day” online marketing campaign in 2004. He's worked with thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs around the world in a wide variety of industries on building their businesses, improving their marketing, and increasing their profits. He's a published author and often speaks at industry events. To connect with him, visit his LinkedIn profile where he is most active.