“Polar Bear Testicles”
I gotta confess.
I just HAD to click open that email.
And that’s the secret of great headlines — whether on emails, webpages, blogposts, print ads, sales letters, or anything else.
They pull you into the message like iron filings to a magnet.
You can’t resist, because they speak to your wants or needs, or make an offer you can’t refuse, or tweak your curiosity (like Dan’s did).
But here’s an important point:
A headline is only as good as its payoff.
If it promises a solution to a problem, your body copy has got to deliver on that promise.
And if it teasingly refers to, say, polar bear tenders, you’d better have a valid reason for it.
Anything less just pisses off your audience.
So since Dan is both a master headline writer and a man of integrity, I knew there’d be a payoff to “Polar Bear Testicles.”
Sure enough, there was.
Turns out that Dan’s email was a warning against thinking “everything is of equal importance” in your business. His example: how CNN had given nearly equal weight to two recent news stories — one about a study of polar bear cojones, the other about kids achieving the worst SAT scores in 31 years.
My tip: when it comes to headlines, you can play tough but you’ve gotta play fair.