Recently I dug into all the research I could find about headlines for a Mozinar on The Science of Writing Must-Click Headlines on Social Media.
(P.S. We have another webinar coming up soon with the awesome folks from Twitter for Small Business—check it out!)
What was especially interesting was to dig into the psychology behind some well known headline formulas to begin to understand what makes them so irresistibly clickable. Here’s an overview of what I discovered—8 winning headline formulas and the psychology behind them.
Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, list surprise as one of the six principles of ideas that are really sticky. According to their research, presenting something unexpected—breaking a pattern—will help you capture attention. This works in two parts: surprise captures our attention, and then interest holds it.
Surprising headlines are winning headlines because our brains love novelty. The brain’s pleasure centers are more “turned on” when we experience unpredictable pleasant things, compared to expected pleasant events. Continue reading…