Are You Getting Embarrassing Click Through Rates? 5 Strategies to Make You a Headline Superstar!

Create Urgency to Encourage Them to Take Action Today


When Marcus Taylor, founder of Venture Harbour, launched a Groupon-like site for musicians, he put a lot of his savings on the line, so the launch had to be a success. Therefore, he optimized every piece of the campaign he could, and managed to increase conversions by 332% using urgency and scarcity.

In the case study he shared on ConversionXL, he explained that, specifically, increasing urgency raised his conversion rates from approximately 3.5% to approximately 10%.

Thanks to that, Taylor kept improving his conversion rate optimization (CRO) skills and managed to increase PPC ad conversion rates by adding words like “now” and “today” to regular headlines, like “19 Simple Tips to Reduce Your Website’s Bounce Rate”.

In the example he gives, the “regular” headline – “19 Simple Tips to Reduce Your Website’s Bounce Rate” – received a 0.77% CTR (click through rate), and a similar, not that urgent headline received no CTR at all: “19 Simple Tips to Reduce Your Website’s Bounce Rate This Month”.

But when “This Month” was exchanged with “Today”, the CTR went up to 3.94%!

Taylor points out that different types of urgency strategies work well in different situations, so there are no clear rules here. In one test, “now” worked better than “today”, and in another – “today” brought in more clicks than “now”.

The point is to imply believable urgency, or at the very least to leverage it to create curiosity.

That’s what Allsopp’s headline does. We’ve all seen a million posts covering outrageous online success stories. Case studies are ultra-efficient, because they let your readers go through the journey of a peer – from the challenges they experience now themselves to the success they want to experience – and see what to do and not to do based on a real life story.

Therefore, writing case study focused headlines is your bonus tip today.

But why does Allsopp’s case study headline stand out more than others?

Because he added urgency that created curiosity. Why in the world would online success be time sensitive? As an online business owner, you certainly don’t want to miss out on a possible opportunity, so you click through to find out what’s so urgent.

Build Emotional Value into Your Headlines, So They Can’t Resist to Click Through and Read

As Taylor points out in the ConversionXL case study, what matters most about creating urgency is how relevant your offer or headline is to your readers.

But what matters to your audience? What motivates them to take action?

According to fMRI neuro-imagery research, emotions move humans to take actions. We make decisions based on feelings first, and then rationalize them to ourselves to justify our choices.

In other words, when people tell Facebook they rather see headlines that help them “decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through,” they’re not only talking about rational ROI for their time. They’re mostly talking about emotional impact.

That’s why it’s not surprising that CoSchedule’s research discovered that headlines with a high volume of emotional words pretty much guarantee a click.

In fact, in CoSchedule’s research, articles that received a significantly high amount of shares often had headlines with a 30-40% rate of emotional words.

According to Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Headline Analyzer, if you want to write headlines like a professional copywriter, that’s the minimum to inspire to. “The most gifted copywriters will have 50-75% EMV words in headlines,” explains Advanced Marketing Institute.

How Could Increased Click Through Rates Help Your Business?

Leave a comment and let us know which headline strategies you’ve already tried, and which ones you you can’t wait to try. Oh, and check this out:


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  1. As a guy in the native ad space, headlines make or break everything we do. Every character, every piece of punctuation, every capitalization changes the outcome and therefore financial output of whatever we do. This is a great article, and though the data is dated, many of the old tricks work. I would add that in the native ad space, where ad collateral is usually an image and a headline together, the best images are facial and upper shoulders, powerful expressions, and headlines that describe the collateral, eg adding [Pics} or {slideshow], and should be between 65 and 90 characters long.

    Great article, Ayelet!


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Written by Ayelet Weisz

Ayelet Weisz is a copywriter who starts every day by dancing, before going on to help companies from four continents increase ROI and make a difference with content.