Let's be honest. Financial content isn't exactly the most electrifying stuff in the world. At the same time, if you try too hard to make financial content exciting — "Ten Extreme Retirement Tips!!!" — you'll come across as amateurish. The trick, therefore, is to strike that balance between intriguing and professional. Here are some tips to do just that.* Exude expertise. People are entrusting their money with you, so come across as intelligent while not seeming arrogant. Better yet, support your headline with relevant news. For example, as this article notes, use of home-equity lines of credit grew amid a resurging housing market in 2014. A good title would be, "Three Things You Should Know Before Opening a Home-Equity Line."
* Educate your audience. An effective headline suggests that by clicking on the article, the viewer will read something illuminating and insightful. For example, "Five Questions You Need To Ask Your Retirement Advisor."
* Newsjack. Here you can talk to pocket-book issues based on current news. For example, "Gas Prices Remain Low — What Does This Mean for the Average Consumer?"
* Just state the fact. Sometimes financial news can be so jarring that people will click on the article regardless of if the headline suggests an opinion. For example, "Greece Bailout Talks Collapse — And There's No Hope In Sight." This headline refers to recent news that European and Greek finance ministers failed to find common ground surrounding the country's austerity program. The headline is grim, gripping, and entirely accurate. Now we admit, some of your buyer personas may not be too interested in global financial news, but others, like high-end clients with internationally-based investments, most certainly will.
* Stir it up. Here is where you may start getting slightly more opinionated. Experian found that thanks to the rebounding economy, student loans increased by 84 percent in 2014, surpassing home equity loans/lines of credit, credit card, and automotive debt. That's good for banks, good for colleges — but potentially bad for students who may be burdened with a lifetime of debt. Hence, "Student Loans Skyrocket in 2014 — Here's Why That's a Bad Thing."
* Ask a question. "Millennials Have Spoken. So What Do They Want in a New Home?" This headline alludes to a recent Zillow study, which found that millennials will become the largest group of homebuyers in 2015. In addition, a related study from the National Association of Homebuilders found that 75% of surveyed millenials want to live in smaller, single-family homes. An article of this nature underscores that certain articles can speak directly to your buyer personas.
What do you think? What makes an eye-catching headline for financial marketing? What other tips did we neglect to mention? Have certain types of headline-writing strategies yielded more clicks or greater user engagement?