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Korrespondenz auf Englisch - Überschriften mit Pfiff

Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, Modern English: Lebendige Korrespondenz, Überschriften mit Pfiff

How often have you decided to read some¬thing based on the title, and then been disappointed? It happens all the time. How often have you overlooked an article that was exactly what you needed because its title didn’t attract you? You’ll never know.

The title, otherwise known as the headline, is the key to the whole process. You glance over the titles, decide what to read, and then put your toe into the first sentence. Titles are powerful. Titles control your outcome. You should know how to write a good one.

The basic rules

Studies focusing on the impact of words, formatting, length, and other factors on Web users have led to the development of a number of rules. You may have noticed Web sites using them:

1. Stick to one line

Humans tend to avoid reading titles that are more than one line long. Not only might your readers not read your article, they might not even read your title.

2. Use at most 5-7 words

Studies have shown that the complexity of headlines having more than seven words makes them more difficult to process. This causes some readers to skip them because of their length. With other readers, the message may not ‘click’. The shorter the message, the greater the chance that it will instantly and deeply hit home, strike a chord, or make the reader curious. Exception: ‘How to’ titles may be a bit longer.

3. Do not use any punctuation

Where length increases the text complexity of the title, punctuation increases its visual complexity. You need fear no rule of grammar that requires you to use punctuation in titles. If you punctuate, you increase the chance that your headline will not be read. Isn’t getting your message read more important than any rule of grammar?

4. Don’t scream

CLICK HERE NOW. Such titles feel like yelling. Even worse: CLICK HERE NOW!
Titles in all caps not only have the feeling of screaming, they are also more difficult to read. ‘Click here now’ goes through the eyes and to the brain faster, which is what you want. The exclamation mark is also something to eliminate. If you wish to create urgency, choose your words carefully. All the exclamation marks in the world can’t compensate for lifeless or empty-sounding words.

5. Use a font people are used to seeing and reading

Those decorative fonts people think add verve to their titles? They just make them more difficult to read. Page layout and graphic design are the best tools for adding style to your message. If you use fonts people are not used to processing, your messages become more difficult to read and may be skipped. Also keep in mind that serious messages are rarely formatted with decorative fonts. Stick to standard serif and sans serif fonts.

Create a strong message

Now that your title has passed the above tests, it’s ready for use, right? Probably not. The effectiveness of different titles has been tested by corporations and ad agencies for centuries. They know what works and what doesn’t, and this doesn’t seem to have changed. Perhaps it’s because all humans are built the same way. If you follow these guidelines, it will increase the effectiveness of your titles.
You might ask: but if I do the same thing people have been doing for centuries, won’t my title be unoriginal?

The answer: Of course, and that’s exactly what you want. You want your headline to be strong. When the headline is the gateway to your message, would you rather use an original title technique with unproven effectiveness, or an unoriginal technique with proven effectiveness?
Here are a few rules of strength:

1. ‘Sell’ the reader into reading the text that follows

That’s where you can be original and creative. That’s where you make your offer irresistible. However, because 80% of all readers only skim titles, titles must also convey the complete message in a short, concise way. The best headlines convey the core of your message and attract readers to read at the same time.
Here are a few other important rules:

2. Make sure the title leads into the text, and that the text immediately confirms that it will deliver on what the title promised

If it doesn’t, the reader may jump ship after the first sentences.

3. Select the audience

If your title will be seen by many who may not be interested in your offer, saying something like ‘for women over 65’ elimi¬nates potential communication with people who won’t buy anyway. It also ensures ‘women over 65’ feel more like they are being personally addressed.

4. Be sure each word in your title is short, simple, colourful, powerful, and specific, and tell readers what they get

Words that have six letters or less are short and clear. Using common words instead of buzzwords and jargon is more likely to be understood quickly by more people. Colourful and powerful words (which are sometimes longer than six letters) add energy to the title and make it feel unique. Specific words allow you to select your audience and accurately describe benefits that attract the reader.
Examples using colourful words:
Create better titles -> Make titles sizzle
Get creative -> Ignite your creativity
Improve your revenue by 300% in thirty days -> Boost your sales 300% in one month

5. Brutally shorten titles

The first trick is to test removing each word. If the title still works without it, drop it. Next, use a thesaurus to find shorter, simpler, more colourful, or more powerful synonyms for your words. Challenge yourself to create an effective title that has five or fewer words.

6. Use a proven technique

These are:
• Start with ‘How to…’
• Ask a question
• Make it clear what you are giving away or offering as a discount, and specify a deadline
• Start with a verb and use ‘command mode’


You’ll find a summary of these title rules on page 10. Cut it out and keep it at your desk!

Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, Modern English: Lebendige Korrespondenz, Überschriften mit Pfiff

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