Excellent piece on how to write good headlines to draw readers of your newsletter to your site.

A recent iMedia cover story on behavioral targeting has this headline: “Why Your Creative Needs to Catch-Up.”

This is a good, challenging title. It’s going to attract some readers, but not others, because not everyone wants a challenge.

The word “Why” is, in western culture, a defensible word. This means people being asked “Why…?” feel they need to defend themselves. All you need do is look at someone and say “why” with no inflection and their blood pressure goes up, their pulse quickens, their breathing shallows out and their irises go wide.

The physiologic responses are fascinating and are flight or fight based, not good when you want someone to accept information you’re providing them or inviting them to explore your content further.

So, while “Why Your Creative Needs to Catch-Up” is good, “Your Creative Needs to Catch-Up Because…” is better because the “Because” is a promise that the answer is coming. The reader doesn’t really need to respond. There’s no reason to defend, thus energy spent unintentionally raising blood pressure, et cetera, can be spent intentionally exploring the content.

You can even up the ante by adding “(Five Experts Speak)” or something similar. “Your Creative Needs to Catch-Up (Five Experts Speak)”. Understand your audience and you’ll know whether “Your Creative Needs to Catch-Up Because…” or “Your Creative Needs to Catch-Up (Five Experts Speak)” will drive your numbers heavenward.

Source: iMedia Connection: Headlines That Attract Attention