The average person is bombarded with dozens – if not hundreds – of marketing messages every day. It should come as no surprise that most of these messages are either ignored or discarded within seconds of being received.

How then does a marketer keep his message from this meeting this particular fate? – with a powerful and compelling headline, that’s how!

More of an art than a science, writing a powerful and compelling headline is rather tricky but there are some basics that everyone can understand. Here are just five of the most notable:


Always match the title to the article – For credibility’s sake, your headline must, must, must address the information contained in the article. You may get away with “bait and switch” tactics once or twice but after that your readers will be reluctant to open any more of your emails.

Use alliteration and assonance – Some headlines just roll off the tongue while others just lie there limply. The first characteristic resonates – literally as well as figuratively – with a reader. Read your headline out loud and if it doesn’t “sound right’ to you, it will probably not compel your potential reader either.

Use specific data, if possible – While not always necessary when selling to the retail public, a reputable number or other data in the headline can mean all the difference in whether a business person will engage with your message or not. It should be needless to say but… make sure the data is correct.

Detail a rationale A rationale is reason for being. As such, your email or post should include one. This means providing a tip, trick, secret or something similar to your reader. Entice them with the promise of an idea in the headline and then give them the bulk of the information in the email.

Appeal to your buyer persona – Always align to the pain points, challenges, or goals of your buyer persona or customer avatar. You may have the most interesting article in the world but if it is not realistically within the reader’s capabilities it is essentially worthless to them. Instead of laying out a plan for capturing their entire industry, detail how they can take one step in furtherance of their business goals.

For more help with writing compelling – and clickable! – headlines, please contact us at Touchline Marketing.  We can be found online at or you can reach us directly at 612-200-0865.