Anyone in marketing knows the importance of copywriting. Crafting blog titles, ad copy and social media updates that get readers to click and (ultimately) convert is a large part of daily marketing life. Contest names and social media posts promoting those offers are no different, so we compiled these suggestions for your next campaign.
There are endless articles and studies online on the subject of headline writing and the psychology behind formulas that get people to convert. So many in fact that you could easily spend all day studying other marketer’s tests and conversion data. I won’t go too deep into the science of it all, but instead, we’ll just cover some fundamentals and what works.
First, let’s talk about my own test. So far, it’s been successful. You’re reading this article right now, after all. Unfortunately, in this case, you’ve been tricked (sorry about that). There’s no numbered list here, and numbered lists about how to achieve your desired result don’t usually apply to contests or promotions.
“Unfortunately, in this case, you’ve been tricked (sorry about that).”
All that said, this CXL blog goes in-depth on the psychology of numbers in headlines, cites other studies on how odd numbers perform better and talks optimal wordcount in the headlines. The blog may not be about tweets, Facebook posts, or contest titles, but still a fascinating read.
For the title of this blog, I employed a combination of methods – It begins with an odd number (’cause your brain likes it) – It includes “desired results” (conversions and improving your own skills) – and it even has 15 words (close to the suggestion of 5-9 or 16-18). By employing these proven techniques, I got a click from my target demographic (that’s you).
“It begins with an odd number (’cause your brain likes it) – It includes ‘desired results’ (conversions and improving your own skills) – and it even has 15 words (close to the suggestion of 5-9 or 16-18).”
In the title of your offer or the social posts promoting it, you can still use the number method by combining it with another age-old marketing trick – creating urgency. “Only 9 more prizes to give away. Don’t miss your chance to be a Winner!” This would be a great social media post or updated copy on your Sweepstakes to maintain momentum during the offer. It has that odd number, and also creates urgency with the words “Only 9 left” and “Don’t miss your chance.” This one also has 15 words – I swear, I didn’t do that intentionally, it just “sounded” right.
Another popular technique is using “Social Proof.” You see it in your newsfeed and in affiliate ads on websites, all the time: “[Celebrity] lost 100 lbs. using [whatever we’re selling]. You can too!” Depending on the offer, you could utilize this method to get users to enter your promotion. A cosmetics company could use “Enter to win our exclusive Hollywood palette and do your makeup like Beyonce.” or “Everyone is doing cat-eyes! Enter to win lessons from a professional makeup-artist.”
There are actually several formulas and techniques that are usually applied to headlines for articles, but you could quickly adapt them for offer titles and short posts. This article from Native Ad Buzz is a comprehensive list of 5 formulaic categories with lots of great examples in each. Most of these cases can be tweaked to fit your promotion – “Free cupcakes can’t last forever!” (Urgency) “Subscribe to our newsletter and learn the secret to perfect Cupcakes.” (Call to action to achieve the desired result) “Here’s a quick way to get free cupcakes – Enter now!” (Fast solution to desired result + call to action) *someone please send me cupcakes*.
There’s no doubt that a well-crafted post, title, or headline can improve clicks and conversion, so take some of these proven methods into consideration when planning your next campaign. If you have questions or just want to bounce some copywriting ideas off of us, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy wordsmithing!