7 simple tips for writing better headlines and subject lines

If your headline or email subject line is bad, the rest of what you write doesn’t matter.

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Writing better email subject lines and headlines

If no one is willing to take the time out of their busy day to click your link or open your email, the time and effort you spent on the longer email or story is utterly invisible.

Earning that click can feel overwhelming, but there are a few easy tips that can boost your open and clickthrough rates if you’re willing to take the time to be as thoughtful with your headline as you are every other line in your story.

Keisha-Gaye Anderson, former VP of communications for The Jed Foundation, laid out seven ways to tune up your headlines and get folks reading.

Passive voice sounds weak, flabby and uninteresting. Simply by flipping a sentence around, you can inject life into a story. For instance:

The first sentence doesn’t offer much for a reader to latch onto. It’s vague and just floats by. But the second sentence has active verbs and details that are more likely to draw someone in.

Everyone is busy. Before we take the time to commit to reading something, we want to know what’s in it for us. For instance, this story’s headline told you exactly what you’d get upon opening it: a list of ways to write better headlines. That’s conveying a benefit that solves a problem (i.e., weak headlines). Ensure your piece tells people what they’ll gain if they click or open.

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