Authors and publishers know that to get their press releases read by the media they need a catchy or alluring subject line for the email carrying that press release.
So how do you craft the perfect headline or subject line that makes others want to read the rest of what you wrote? Follow these 15 steps.
It needs to be short, especially a subject line for an email, so use few words.
Take into consideration who is receiving the email – write for your targeted audience. An email to the media is not the same as an email to a friend or potential customer.
Forget what you know about the English language when it comes to writing headline copy – abbreviations and slang are in; lack of punctuation and syntax go out the window.
You can make a statement, a prediction, raise a question, state a statistic, report news or use any number of vehicles to get one’s attention. Write a headline for each one and compare them.
The statement is something bold: President Obama Must Resign, says economist.
The question makes you ponder: Should President Obama resign? asks economist.
The statistic paints a picture: 62% say Obama should resign.
News hits hard: Obama Is One Bad Bill Away From Resigning.
Predictions have lots of latitude: Obama Could Resign Tomorrow.
Do not state something basic such as “Pitch idea” or “New Book” unless it’s followed by more info, such as: Economist’s New Book Details Obama Missteps; Calls for Resignation.
Using humor or the outrageous could work but only if the subject matter or reader lends itself to that.
Referencing something in the news is always helpful: King of Pop is Gone, but Branding Expert Details How He’ll Live On
Borrow popular language from other genres: A cookbook can be referenced using sports lingo: “Chef Nancy’s Chocolate Mousse Is A Home Run!” or sports can be discussed using business terms: “Pro Athletes Bankrupt Their Sport says steroid author.”
Link your headline to things that matter most: love, death, health, wealth, fun, beauty, art, nature, education, children.
Nothing works better than prefacing your story idea with one word: EXCLUSIVE – let someone have the first crack at a story and let them know they have a limited window of time to respond.
Reprinted from “Rick Frishman‘s Author101 Newsletter”
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