Be careful with attention-grabbing headline words

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

If you pay attention to the gurus, you know that using attention-grabbing headlines and subject lines will get you more readers.

People will be coerced into opening your emails and will click to read your blog posts.

Because we all receive far too many emails in a day to read them all, we all face tough competition for readership.

Some of the bloggers here on Active Rain are masters at writing creative headlines that make the rest of us so curious that we have to look. I admire their imagination and creativity.

For those of us who aren’t so creative, there are other tactics. For instance, we can write “How to …” articles and lists of “X ways to…” Beginning a headline with “Why…” is also a curiosity grabber.

Those are what we might call the “White Hat” attention grabbers. They’re usually truthful. The information to follow actually does keep the promise made by the headline.

And then there are the others…

Faced with tough competition for readers, many are turning to subject line words that pack more punch.

Those are words like: amazed couple reading email

  •          Secret
  •          New
  •          Exclusive
  •          Breakthrough
  •          Amazing
  •          Shocking
  •          Startling
  •          Guaranteed
  •          Bombshell
  •          Jaw dropping

They would be fine, but for one thing. Much of the time, they’re not true.

The articles that follow attention-grabbing headlines / subject lines using these words are often a tired rehash of old information. Or – in some cases, they have nothing at all to do with the headline.

In fact, that happens so often that most of the time I delete those messages without reading them. In other words, their effect on me is opposite from the intent. I expect that I’m not the only one with that reaction.

So be careful.

If you really do have something shocking, startling, or amazing to reveal, do shout it from your headline. Then pay attention to your open rates to judge whether or not to continue using these words.

You don't want your own readership to suffer as a result of other people writing misleading headlines - but it could.

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Rainer
17,385
Donna Elliott
REMAX equity group, Vancouver, WA - Vancouver, WA
Realtor - Certified Residential Specialist - Vanco

Yikes!  I just used "jaw dropping" headline for a $50k price reduction.  I better go back to the drawing board!

Jun 24, 2019 08:26 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Donna Elliott If that really was a jaw dropping reduction, which it well could be, I don't think you need to worry. Now if you wrote that about a $2,000 reducion on a $2 million home, then that's a different story.

Jun 24, 2019 08:46 PM #48
Rainer
472,889
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Great post, I absolutely agree. In fact, when I discover that the headline doesn't pertain to the content, I black list the source and never get another message.

Many advertisers use their sponsor's source to commit fraud, so, if the sponsors don't police what their advertisers are promoting, they don't deserve to get my attention. Too bad, most sponsors don't monitor their advertiser's ads and retain their viewership. Perhaps, they'll have an opportunity to read your post. 

Jun 24, 2019 11:45 PM #49
Rainmaker
295,581
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

On-Point-Post!!! One expression that gets me in MLS listings is "Beautifully Maintained". I arrive at the property to find shag carpet, 1970 appliances, fresh paint three years ago....  

Jun 25, 2019 04:03 AM #50
Rainer
412,339
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

You made a great point and are correct.  The attention grabbers sometimes do not have the content I expect.

Jun 25, 2019 04:11 AM #51
Rainmaker
1,492,840
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good morning Marte Cliff, I came back to your post as it is feature worthy. 

  

Jun 25, 2019 06:11 AM #52
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kimo Jarrett I should start doing that, rather than just deleting their messages.

Dave Rosenmarkle Perhaps "Beautifully maintained" means "It's old, but they've kept it clean."

Rose Mary Justice It seems pointless to me, since it is NOT the way to win friends and influence people.

Jun 25, 2019 07:27 AM #53
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thank you Beth Atalay - I appreciate that.

Jun 25, 2019 07:28 AM #54
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Interesting - I get an email from Realty Times each day. It offers a selection of articles that quite often are lame, but now and then have something new to add.

This morning they offered an article on prospecting, and since I write about that and offer sets of prospecting letters, I thought I'd take a look.

But... when I click the link it takes me to a page offering a selection of articles - none of which is about prospecting.

Jun 25, 2019 07:39 AM #55
Rainmaker
3,099,187
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Marte, Once again a great blog that more people should see.  Can I reblog it sometime?

 

Jun 25, 2019 08:44 AM #57
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thank you Will Hamm. I appreciate your kind words. And yes, you are always welcome to reblog anything I post. I'm flattered that you'd want to do so.

Jun 25, 2019 09:52 AM #58
Rainmaker
518,702
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Thanks for your post here about articles and using interesting headlines and keywords. 

Jun 25, 2019 10:24 AM #59
Rainmaker
448,443
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Great post ... I have taken note and will be careful not to use the words that actually do not draw but detract from attention grabbing.

Jun 25, 2019 01:02 PM #60
Rainer
214,518
Greg Mona
Faira Homes Corp - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate in the 21st Century!

Spot on as usual Marte Cliff! As some have mentioned previously, I'll receive several "Last Chance!" or "You must act now!" headlined email messages, only to receive the same message again and again. I just shake my head as I hit delete. Look, with very rare exception, there is nothing new, earth-shattering, shocking, etc. that hasn't already been written or talked about many times over. The trick is to repackage it so it does come across as fresh and interesting. The way to do that is to choose a headline that is compelling but not over the top. I know; easier said than done!

Jun 25, 2019 04:44 PM #61
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

And thanks for stopping by to read, Harrison K. Long.

Diana Dahlberg It's a shame that words that would have worked in the past probably won't now, just because so many people have used them when they weren't true.

 

 

Jun 25, 2019 04:48 PM #62
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Greg Mona I know - who do they think they're fooling?

I guess nobody ever said effective marketing was easy. A bit of time and thought are requirements.

Jun 25, 2019 04:50 PM #63
Rainmaker
3,268,499
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Marte - Authenticty matters.  Relevancy too. Information. The ability to attract eyes and hold attention.  All of these things matter but the purpose of a blog or any form of communication involves intent.

Jun 27, 2019 10:42 AM #64
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Yes it does, Michael Jacobs, and we don't want anyone to ever believe our intent was to deceive. 

Jun 27, 2019 11:20 AM #65
Rainer
94,967
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

when it is really attention grabbing, I often discount it before opening it, and then just click and dscard.

Jul 11, 2019 07:53 AM #66
Rainmaker
1,521,510
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Brian DeYoung I do the same. I get emails telling me something is "jaw dropping" at least twice a day lately - and I delete them immediately.

Jul 11, 2019 08:52 AM #67
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