Powerful Headlines to Grab the Most Readers with Your Press Release
October 3, 2012
The headline is the first thing readers see and the most important driver to your press release. You have a few words to make the maximum possible impact. If it is exciting or enticing it will bring the readers in and give you a great chance of getting your message across to the widest possible receptive audience. If it is bland, unengaging or plain boring then people will just skim over and move onto the next item they have to read.
There are various types of headline and style you can employ. Depending on your release, you can pick the most appropriate but all have their uses at appropriate times.
1) Direct – “Car for Sale”
This might seem obvious but some people like the direct approach. People looking to buy cars or who are unhappy with their current vehicle will see this and think: “just what I was thinking!”
2) News – “2013 Model Car debuts next month”
Authoritative and straightforward – it’s new information and tells the reader so with a hint of intrigue to encourage them to read on and find out more.
3) How to – “How to get the best deal on a used Car”
How to is a powerful inducement to read as the promise of new knowledge and ideas is strong for everyone. How to is one of the most popular search terms online – it encourages readers because they are more receptive to helpful messages
4) Question – “Is your current vehicle reliable?”
A question gets the reader thinking about their own situation and possibilities. They may be intrigued or curious enough to read on, just from simply posing the question.
5) Command – “Come to John’s Used Cars Today!”
A directive is powerful – if you’ve ever been walking in the park and somebody shouts out “Come Here!” after their dog, chances are you’ll hear and turn around yourself! It’s the most simple and effective tool to grab attention instantly.
6) List – “5 Features to look for in your new car”
Lists are very popular with readers as they quantify results for them, or on their behalf. You are providing the options for them and running through the pros and cons
7) Testimonial – “I Got a Great Deal on my new Car!”
A testimonial, an authentic or fictional statement about the value of a product or service, is a proven, effective strategy. People are drawn to anecdotal evidence—especially if it is accompanied with pictures, quotes or a video. If you use testimonials that can be stood up readers stand the test of trust, even readers who practice critical thinking will find them appealing.
8) Teaser – “The Most Important Purchase You’ll Make This Year”
Take care with this approach, because you can easily overextend yourself. Their most important purchase of the year may be a car but a house? a family wedding? College funds? Be prepared to back your headline up. If you can back up the tease—then by all means use it. But be careful: One unsubstantiated or underwhelming teaser headline can drive a reader away forever.
You’ll notice that none of the headlines here are over 10 words. Many effective headlines are half as long, or even shorter. Make sure your headlines are no longer than they need to be.
Copy and paste your final draft headline into Google. If it comes up already, consider altering one or more words or starting over again. There’s nothing wrong with using an existing headline—there are only so many ways to string together a handful of words about a topic—but you may not want your article to be associated with the content beneath that existing one, especially if it’s of inferior quality. .