We’ve all been there:
Doomscrolling through our newsfeeds, we spot a headline that screams at us with the question, “Is this true??” Only to click through and find out… it’s not.
You, my friend, have just been Betteridge’d!
Enter Betteridge’s Law of Headlines.
Coined by British journalist Ian Betteridge, it states that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word ‘no.'” It’s a cheeky nod to the tendency of some writers to use question-based headlines as clickbait, without delivering on the goods.
And friends, if you have to follow any rule for writing your headlines, follow this one.
Here are a couple of reasons.
As a copywriter or marketer it’s your duty to create headlines that accurately reflect your content.
Betteridge’s Law is a powerful reminder to avoid the dark arts of clickbait and focus on crafting compelling, honest headlines that draw readers in for all the right reasons.
- Clickbait: “Can This Miracle Cream Erase Wrinkles Overnight?”
- Authentic: “Discover the Science Behind Our Wrinkle-Fighting Formula”
Ask better, deeper questions
While Betteridge’s Law suggests that question-based headlines often lead to disappointment, you can still engage your audience by using open-ended questions strategically.
Ask questions that encourage readers to dive deeper into your content or reflect on their own experiences.
- Less Effective: “Is Your Marketing Strategy Doomed to Fail?”
- More Engaging: “What’s Holding Your Marketing Strategy Back?”
In the world of conversion copywriting, clarity is king.
Betteridge’s Law serves as a powerful reminder that your headlines and copy should be clear, concise, and easily understood at a glance.
Relying too heavily on question-based headlines or using them as clickbait can weaken the walls of trust between you and your audience. By understanding Betteridge’s Law, you can make smarter headline choices that preserve your credibility and strengthen your brand voice.
Balance intrigue and information
Your mission is to capture your audience’s attention while also providing valuable insights. Betteridge’s Law empowers you to strike the perfect balance between piquing curiosity and delivering the goods, ensuring your content truly connects with your audience.
- Too Intriguing: “Will This Secret Technique Skyrocket Your Sales?”
- Balanced: “Unlock 5 Proven Strategies to Boost Your Sales Today”
When you ground your headlines in Betteridge’s Law, you can craft conversion copy that’s engaging, authentic, and truly resonates with your audience.
Without scammy tactics.
Your words have the power to transform lives—use them wisely!
Need help crafting yours? Get in touch.
Quote and reflection of the day:
“Value resides not in the thing itself, but in the minds of those who value it.”
- Rory Sutherland, Alchemy
Whatever you deem worthy is a byproduct of how you shaped your thinking around it. You can change your view of the world, of your priorities and of the qualities you value, by simply curating your thoughts.