Reel your audience in with powerful headline and intros

27 May 2021

By Chrissie Davis

Ah, a great start… you’re here so our own hook must have done the trick.

You’ve just experienced the power of a compelling headline and why it determines the effectiveness of an entire piece of communication.

The content or writing within your communications plays such an important part – it has to be engaging enough to persuade readers to go from one sentence to the next. So, if people stop reading at the headline or the intro your chances of success are minimal. Your headline prompts people to read the intro. The intro drives people to read the rest of your content.

Take a quick look at how we recently helped DMGT create a hook.

 

Before and after the Eximia treatment

DMGT had created their Sharesave content, but wanted us to help develop their Sharesave theme, headline and introduction.

Our aim was to get their employees to engage with the share plan content and find out more, so we took a simple branded concept and introduced a twist.

And, here’s what we did…

Tips for writing your own effective headlines and introductions

If you’d like to sprinkle some Eximia magic on your headlines and intros, read on for our hints and tips to crafting that perfect hook.

 

Writing magnetic headlines for share plan communication campaigns:

1. Use specific numbers and data in your headlines. We’ve shown you an example of how to do this as part of our hook to this article. Also, weirdly, odd numbers are more appealing to the brain than even numbers. Who knew?!

2. Use a unique rationale. The word ‘rationale’ means “an underlying reason why something should be done.” Your rationales could include: tips, lessons, tricks, ways, facts, secrets. For example, you could create a piece of content that introduces your share plan as part of an article/blog/video on ‘Effective ways to make your money go further’.

3. Use simple but powerful language. The language you choose impacts the click-worthiness of your headline. When using uninspiring words, or unknown by most (think jargon), your potential readers aren’t going to read on. Perhaps the legal formal name of your share plan isn’t the most compelling of starts!

4. Ask an engaging question. Questions, especially peculiar ones, are a great way to grab attention. You should leave your audience wanting more by creating a so-called curiosity gap. Why? Because our instinct will always be to uncover the answer, which can’t be done unless they read on. Here’s an example: When was the last time you tried saving before spending each month?

5. Create a sense of urgency. FOMO (fear of missing out) is the real deal, and it works when you’re writing headlines. You can create a sense of urgency by using expiry dates and specific words. For example – Only 1 more day to join our share plan. Don’t miss out!

There’s a lot of information out there on how to write compelling headlines, but what about introductions? Here’s our top 5 tips.

 

Writing compelling introductions for share plan communication campaigns:

1. Keep the first sentence short. Punchy, readable and digestible first sentences encourage your reader to keep following.

2. Say something unexpected. Find that hook we talked about. Turn what can be a dry subject into something attention-grabbing. Use language and tone that your audience may not be expecting.

3. Keep it brief. Readers have short attention spans. The quicker you can get your audience to the meaty part of the content, the better.

4. Use the word ‘you’ at least once. ‘You’ is one of the most powerful words you can use. It tells your audience that you have them in your mind. You empathise with them, and you care about them. It’s a simple way to establish a connection.

5. Use pain points. If you can pull a pain point into your introduction, you’re onto a winner. Communicate your awareness of their problems or challenges in your introduction, and you’re more likely to gain a sympathetic reader. Here’s an example – with so many expenses you have to budget for, it’s no surprise saving for your future can be pushed to the back of your mind. What if we told you there was an easy way to save…

 

There you have it. We hope our tips inspire you to review your share plan content and challenge your team to come up with a hook that’s fit for your business and colleagues.

To make an impact and increase share plan success, the change really can be as easy and small as updating the first image, headline and intro your colleagues see.

If you feel inspired but need help crafting compelling headlines, introductions and branding for your share scheme communications, please get in touch. The Eximia treatment worked for DMGT – it can work for you too.

Chrissie Davis

Founder and Chartered Secretary

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