Ready for some really sad news?
Your headline efforts are completely worthless. Every wasted minute you spend trying to game the system with a great headline is pointless, because it just won’t help you stand out. It’s an exercise in futility.
(There’s a Borg joke here, I’m sure of it. I just … can’t … find it.)
Before we jump into whether or not headline analyzers are worth anything, though, let’s get you caught up on the first few posts in this series. If you haven’t read them yet, hop on over and give them a skim:
All caught up? Great. Now let’s talk about headline analyzers … and why they totally don’t work.
But for reals. Try this on for size:
Google “best headlines ever.”
Read through them.
Check out the swipe files of copywriting greats. Smile and nod and briefly consider suicide because you will never be as good as them, no matter how much coffee you drink and how many open-source courses you take.
Now put them into headline analyzers like Coschedule.
WATCH GHASTLY, BARF-INDUCING SCORES APPEAR.
Check it. Here’s a headline I adore from a roundup of the best headlines ever:
If you guessed that the CoSchedule robots were SUPER not impressed, gold star:
What about one of the all-time copywriting greats, Eugene Schwarz?
FAIL. Algorithm says all those people were wrong in loving him … for decades.
On a more personal level, I really like Amy Harrison. She’s funny, she’s smart and her posts have actual content worth consuming. And her headlines get my attention; even when they aren’t particularly amaaaazing, they still look important. Consider this post:
It’s warm and personal. It’s about my craft. I’d never before considered the path of least resistance, and clearly I need to.
Plus, armadillos, amiright?
It so doesn’t matter.
Is your brain exploding yet? The “best” headlines of all time don’t pass headline tests! What does that tell you?
The solution should be obvious: Just write a good headline. A fun one. A readable one. One people want to open. Headline analyzers can’t tell you what this is, so you have to do it yourself. Make sure it:
Other than that, have at it. I have never seen a rule that couldn’t be broken to good effect, so go break some.
The number of emails in the world is … overwhelming.
Inboxes are overflowing: 20 percent of users have more than 10,000 emails in their inbox.
The solution? Well, it’s the same as it’s been this whole article, and this whole month and whole year and whole decade:
Just be real. Talk. Make people laugh. Tell a story.
A story about that one time.
That one time you went to a music festival.
And saw those people on a hill. Being … uninhibited.
And it made you realize, hey, you wish you had some sandals like that. Even if you’d probably wear them with, uh, clothes on. NOW INSERT YOUR DAMN PITCH FOR SANDALS HERE.
An email is really no harder than that.
And ads? Sure, they seem overwhelming and hard. But there’s no stat, no gimmick and no formula you have to follow.
This ad is ingenious, and no formula or statistic could possibly account for it:
Do you need to be clever to write a good ad? Sure. But if you aren’t, you shouldn’t be a copywriter anyway. So stop relying on headline analyzers (which – need I say it again – don’t. work.) – and start focusing on great copy and great relationships.
Now stay tuned for the last post in our series: knowing when not to ignore the stats and actually pay attention. There aren’t many times this is true, but there are a few. So check it out.
(Prefer to go a bit more basic? Check out all the free resources in the library by clicking on that link below. You’ll learn how to write better emails, hone your voice, set up your business and more … all in quick, easy, downloadable tutorials and worksheets. Get more than a dozen resources today, and become the writer you know you can be.)
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