Substack Newsletters January 13, 2021

Let's talk about Titles 😅

Joseph Echavarria @josephech

Last night I was clicking through my old Youtube videos checking to see how the changes to my titles performed and it made me think about my newsletter.

I've started adding emojis to my titles and they've performed slightly better but I haven't really put much thought into it. I typically just create a witty title that touches upon that week's topic but I think they can be better.

How are you optimizing your titles to get the most opens/engagements?

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    I also use emojis when I send the email version of my newsletter, but only 1 per title to keep it reasonable. Right now I think it still makes the titles stand out from the crowd but sooner or later everyone's going to be doing it and the power fades away.

    My titles are quite simple anyway, that's a stylistic choice I've made:

    Other than that, I try to think what kind of titles I would like to click myself. Giving value right away. Not purely clickbait. Simple, but still intriguing. Preferably catching attention in a matter of seconds.

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      Timo, I love the layout of simplicity of your site!
      I agree that the use of emojis will fade eventually. The things I share are more like articles, thoughts, and resources and I find that a simple title like yours is a bit harder. I'm also not a fan of just numbering them because I feel like it can be wasted space in a title..
      It seems like your titles are the direct topics of your posts so clickbaity titles would be hard. Do you mind giving me feedback on my recent titles and how I might be able to improve?

      1. 1

        Of course. I'm not an expert on copy or writing so this comes purely from a reader's perspective.

        I think some of titles are super intriguing (like "Bring back Medieval Architecture", "What's your struggle story?"). First one makes me wonder instantly like ok, "why should we want medieval architecture in the modern times?" and the second one is great because it makes me want to contribute with my own struggle story right away.

        Then some are maybe a bit generic that dont raise questions or emotions. Like "Buses, Bridges, & the Justice System" leaves me just a bit confused - what is it about? And I think the preview text doesnt necessarily explain that. And now that I'm looking at it, it seems the most catching titles you have seem to have a connection with the title and the preview text :)

        This was a very rough first analysis on what I saw in a few minutes! Email me or send a DM on Twitter if you want to continue the discussion.

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