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Weapons Grade Titles

By September 30, 2018No Comments
Weapons Grade Titles

In the age of marketing noise and information overwhelm, the average reader has the attention span of a gnat. Cute titles, catchy titles, even accurate titles representing the most important articles of our century, simply don’t get enough clicks to survive, let alone thrive in the current digital economy.

As a result, effective publishers are forced to create titles that command attention, evoke hyper-curiosity, and get the click—or die.

As a publishers, we’re fighting for the reader’s time, attention and consideration all the while our competition is actively trying to take our reader away (AKA: kill our business).

Am I being too dramatic?

I don’t know, how important is publishing survival?

The current minimally viable title can either compete with outright clickbait or it can be very difficult, if not impossible to get a return on your content investments.

How effective should a title be? One that pulls a 3% or better overall click through rate(CTR) in email newsletters or untargeted display campaigns is approaching weapons-grade. The upper bounds of potential is a 5% overall CTR; however, we have campaigns that we’ve massaged over time to produce over a 10% CTR.

Attributes of Weapons Grade Titles:

  • They keep working, anytime, anywhere and almost never fail.
  • They are designed to stand out in a crowded inbox or on a busy page.
  • They get 3% or better overall clicks from newsletters or display traffic.
  • They dilute your competitor’s chance of getting the click.
  • They challenge readers’ beliefs and evoke hyper-curiosity.
  • They may contain one or two specifics but always leave out one key element.
  • They may allude to big problems or bizarre solutions.
  • They often express negatives related to others, but not to the readers themselves.
  • They may allude to a hero or a villain.
  • They NEVER misrepresent the content.
  • They represent valuable relevant content that is worth the reader’s time.

When writing about topics that are incredibly hot on their own, they may only need one or two specifics to set them apart. (7 ways to fix your ______ problem in 1 day)

A Few Examples of Titles that Pull 3-6% CTR in Email Newsletters:

  • 7 Habits of Chronically Unhappy People
  • Maybe the Best Advice You’ll Ever Get
  • The Unhealthy Fish We Love to Eat
  • This Presses Your Happy Button
  • The Common Disease Your Doctor Can’t Diagnose
  • When Grandma Kills Someone Driving–Who’s Responsible?
  • Stuck at a Weight Plateau? This Might Help…
  • How to Say No–3 Easy Ways
  • Don’t Make These 6 Relationship Mistakes
  • Screen Time and Macular Degeneration: The Hidden Connection…
  • 10 Skin Conditions That Can Confuse Doctors…
  • Hillary Confessed! And It Was All Caught On Tape…
  • Ground Beef Warning (Confirmed)
  • Most “School Shootings” Didn’t Really Happen
  • It’s Like A Powerwash For Your Insides
  • Prevent Wrinkles By Eating This…
  • Who’s Dumb Idea Was This?
  • The Pros and Cons of Colonoscopies

Hope you found this information valuable!

~John Valenty