The Gravitational Pull of a Captivating Title

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How likely is it that you’d purchase a book based on its title?

Let’s back up for a second.

What are the chances of said title attracting your attention in the first place?

Marketing’s all about convincing targeted customers to recognize the satisfaction in the product or service that is being offered to them. The marketer has to be able to create a good first impression that will influence the emotions of a prospective customer.

This is where titles come into play. A title is often the first thing anyone will see, be it a company’s landing page, the name of a quiz, or even the moniker written on an employee’s name badge.

Unlike conventional methods of marketing where products are chosen by potential customers from the store shelves based on their preference from a variety of similar products, online marketing relies on even more limited sources to perform the same task.

The title, to anything really, is your first shot at capturing anyone’s attention. The precious seconds that it takes for someone to read a title is your moment to shine.

If you want to make the best out of this window of opportunity, there are several things that you have to consider when constructing a captivating title.

But that’s why I’m here.

Enticing The Palate With Words

In order for anything of yours to get the attention of a targeted customer, it’s imperative that you choose your words carefully. Words have a deeper impact than you think.

Using the wrong words could potentially drive people away from whatever it is that you want them to pay attention to. Using the right words however, can have the opposite effect where you draw so much attention, that you don’t know what to do with yourself.

We want to perform the latter. We want to attract as much attention as possible, because as marketers, the more leads that we can generate, the better right? Your title has to be the right combination of words, and there isn’t a secret shortcut that will help you generate the best title.

There are however, some guidelines you can follow when coming up with a title:

  • Summarize a main idea – Your title could essentially give away whatever it is that you want people to look into with as little words as possible. That is what a title is for, isn’t it?

  • Have a concise statement or main idea – In other words: be relevant! Don’t come up with a title that has absolutely nothing to do with whatever it is that you’re trying to promote just to get people to look at you. We don’t want to lie to prospective customers.

  • Think twice about using colloquialisms – Not everyone might not what you’re talking about, but at the same time, there might be a good amount of people that will be attracted to your title because of your use of modern-day jargon. Use it at your own discretion.

  • Avoid redundancies – Things like “actual fact” are highly redundant. A fact is by definition, something that has already been confirmed to have happened. I don’t think I need to say anymore about this; just promise me you won’t do it. It’ll do more harm than good, trust me.

  • Only include words that attract, not repel – Whatever title you come up with, say it out-loud in your head. How does it sound? Does it sound like something someone would take interest in? Does it pique your curiosity? Do several test runs of mock titles to get a feel of what sounds good, and what doesn’t. Trial and error is your friend.

Once you’ve considered these suggestions, formulating a title should be a little easier. You now know what to do and what not to do. All you have to do now is come up with an idea in the form of words that will attract your target audience.

Let Your Title Speak For You

If a title had a mouth and a voice, what would it say? “Hey! Read this! It’s important to you!” Or maybe “If you don’t read this now, you’ll regret it later.” Or how about “Aren’t you curious? Maybe just a little bit?” Or what about “Hey, let’s get this on!”

That’s the job of a title right: to get your attention? A title is the key to attracting people’s interest to encourage them to follow through. It’s the foundation you build your words on.

If you’re expecting people to become paying customers just because you sit something in front of them; you’re wrong. Closing the deal doesn’t come at the end of a demonstration, it starts at the beginning. The first few words your title utters will be its “Hey, can I interest you in what I have to say?” Make it count.

A Title is Like a Message in a Bottle

Literally. It’s like we’re crying out for help from a deserted island; but not really. Don’t be afraid to shout, holler, yell, cry or sing with your title. If your title sounds like you’re talking directly to someone, they may become interested.

What comes after interest? Engagement. That’s when you make your actual sales pitch.

It’s like making eye contact with someone and going “Psst.” If your title resonates with someone after making eye contact and hearing you, they’ll look at you and be like “Who, me?” Slowly but surely, they’ll come around, walk up to you and say “Okay, what is it that you have to tell me?”

Once you have your audience’s attention, you’re set. Their time now belongs to you. You can then use that time to convey to them whatever it is that you want to convey. Oh, your company offers a really effective lead generation tool? Sign me up. Oh, you’re selling a concoction that will restore happy, healthy hair? Give it to me.

Your title, if well-produced, does half the work for you. It brings in potential customers while you seal the deal with your business proposition. This is exactly what we’ve been talking about; the gravitational pull of a captivating title.

Let’s go back to our title being a message in a bottle analogy. Imagine yourself walking on the shoreline of a beach. You see something sparkling in the distance, the bright rays of the sun reflecting off the surface of what appears to be glass.

As you get closer to it, you see a handwritten note trapped in a bottle fastened with a cork. Your first instinct is to pick up the bottle, remove the letter from within and read it, right?

Now think about how the bottle pulled you towards it. It caught your attention didn’t it? The bottle is your title, and the note inside is whatever it is you want your audience to learn about. Now imagine thousands of these bottles floating ashore.

How many of them will be opened up and read? What sets your bottle apart from the sea of everyone else’s bottles reaching the shores?

The answer is simple: it’s your title.

So make sure the light reflects just right off the glass of your bottle.

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JP Misenas

JP Misenas is the content marketing director and audio/visual technician/engineer of Interact, a place for creating entertaining and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. He writes about innovative ways to connect with customers and to build professional long-lasting relationships with them.

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