How to write headings and subject lines that are seriously compelling

By Sophia Skinbjerg |

With more and more pressure on marketers to scale their content efforts, those responsible for creating the copy need to be able to write headings and subject lines that are seriously compelling. But it’s not always easy creating copy that encourages people to either open a mailing or continue to scroll past the initial headline.

So how can you make this process easier whilst also shortening the process so that you’re not spending your entire morning on one headline? Well, a recent infographic produced by Copypress covers a lot of what I consider to be the fundamentals. Let’s briefly look at some of the key takeaways from the infographic.


Key takeaways that you can start using this second:

Copypress outline a 5-step process that really anybody can start following right away – which is what I love about this infographic in the first place. We’re all about making things easier even if you’re not a well-versed marketer.


Start with the basics

Like everything, you should learn to walk before you run. To write headings and subject lines that are compelling follows the same life principle. You need to get an idea of how to convey meaning to your audience before you start writing copy at ultra speed. The infographic outlines two different strategies; The Five W’s and H, and Neil Patel’s Four U Structure. If you’ve tried one more than the other, why not test the other method and see if there are any changes to your engagement?


Use common tools and formulas to write headings and subject lines

The infographic outlines a basic SVO structure that you can try but there are some more advanced structures, for example, those outlined by content creators at Buffer. I’ve covered this structure over on our blog post “Crafting an email subject line that sells”.


Brainstorm compelling hooks

The infographic outlines how to best brainstorm and use a hook in combination wth your branding guidelines and most importantly, your audience. The use of a ‘hook’ is something drilled into journalism and public relations students from the day they start university but if you’re not formally educated in these fields then the idea of a hook is likely to be a foreign concept. You might even feel that it’s misleading to use a hook. However, I can assure you that if a hook is written in a correct (and ethical) manner, you are going to get much more compelling headings and subject lines.

Related: How to write call-to-actions that are irresistible.


Research existing content before writing

Building an email marketing platform means that we see a lot of people struggling to find content to include in their email campaigns and newsletters. But what’s great about this infographic is that they highlight what a select few already know; that it’s ok not to be original!

Content creators create more than 2 million blog posts every single day so the chance of being ranked number 1 organically is incredibly slim. However, by riding in the slipstream of already ranked content you have a very real chance of gaining visibility alongside their content. Just take sure that you’re not blatantly plagiarizing another persons work.


Adjust your headline before purchasing

A tip that the infographic gives is to write your headings and subject lines before you start writing and once again after you are done. This is something I do in every single one of my posts because what I initially set out to write isn’t always what ends up not the page. This might be due to a number of reasons; research proves contradictory to my initial idea, there’s too much of the same content already, or someone has already said it better than me. But the process has given birth to a new content which needs a new heading or subject line. And that’s okay – I simply adjust before publishing.



This awesome infographic was originally found on Marketingprofs right here.

Take your marketing to the next level