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Post Headline Blunders

Ever find yourself struggling for a good headline for your latest post?  I recently came across a post for INC. magazines online edition that listed the Top Ten Email Subject lines.  In the article the author John Brandon suggested that you use these headline phrases:

1. “Good news…”

Everyone likes to read about good news. Why not let your recipient know you are the bearer of it right away? As they say in journalism, don’t bury the lead.

2. “I have an answer for you…”

Go ahead and lead with a confirmation that you have found the answer. Maybe it dates back to our days in grade school, but we all perk up a bit when someone has answers.

3. “I’ll be honest with you…”

This phrase implies that you are going to get right to the point and won’t hold anything back. It’s helpful because too much opening chatter can confuse people.

4. “We have lift off…”

Apart from the fact that I like any space-related terminology, this opening phrase is positive and is a good precursor to any explanation about a project or business endeavor.

5. “Urgent…”

It’s an old-school tactic, and make sure what you are about to say is actually a pressing matter, but leading with the word “urgent” can nudge someone into paying attention.

6. “Let me start with an apology…”

This one works on me because it’s probably going to be a little juicy. It also lets the recipient know the message is not about his or her screw-up. It’s about yours.

7. “Your day is about to improve…”

I’m guessing there are hundreds of ways to relay positive information, and this is one of my favorites. Work can be tedious, so if a message promises to improve it, that’s a good thing.

8. “I’ve completed my research for you…”

If you use this phrase, I’ll pay attention because I know the e-mail is going to give me good information, it will probably get right to the point, and it will be helpful.

9. “The rumors are true…”

You might think, what rumors? But that’s a good thing. You are hinting that something special and worthwhile has spread around and now you are confirming it.

10. “Just getting back to you…”

It’s a simple technique and maybe overused, but it works. My first thought is, getting back to me about what? Oh–that thing I was really waiting to hear about!

The article states that when the message starts off with an interesting phrase it usually means the rest of the email is worth reading all the way to the end.  Sound familiar?

For me the interesting thing about this list of suggested phrases are the structure and the context of the phrase.  A couple of key persuasion strategies are being used.

  1. Most people are completion oriented. The phrases are generally “half finished”.  The reader who is completion oriented is forced to read the message to complete the phrase.
  2. I, Me, We, Admissions.  A key strategy for all bloggers personal and corporate is the connected voice, not a corporation spouting off at you.  The bulk of the suggested phrases are PERSONAL and IMPERFECT.  This immediately builds rapport, the key step before any persuasion is possible.

So next time you’re struggling for a Cool or Catchy title to your next Post.  Take a look at the list and leverage these two persuasion strategies.

WP Blog Support Experts are here to help if you have questions about the right way to post to your Blog or just need help getting to do what you want it to!

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