Brainpower: Do pushy headlines work?

|Gabie Kur

We looked at how people interacted with 100,000 headlines in our network. Data suggests your audience doesn’t always want to be told what to do.


We discovered titles that make references to the reader (i.e., “you,” “your,” or “you’re”) performed 21% worse than titles that didn’t. Including “must” or “need” in headlines generated 20% lower CTR.

When crafting your headlines, aim for pull, not push. In other words, don’t grab your reader by the collar, lure them in! There are more insights about “pushy” headlines where this nugget came from.

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Gabie Kur

Gabie is Marketing Coordinator at Outbrain. Read more

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  • David| May 1, 2015 at 10:22PM


    I am not sure if the “more insights” link is pointing in the right direction, as I cannot find the link to the full article?


  • Éric Jouis| July 15, 2015 at 7:07AM


    What should be the key words for a headline: outdoor, cross country and health, pulling not to pushy at the same time.
    What is the right balance

    Éric ej.

    • Will Fleiss
      Will Fleiss| August 3, 2015 at 11:11AM

      Hi Eric,

      What is the content about? That will help me suggest a good headline. Thanks!


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