A headline on an online post is designed to cause users to take action. If it’s not provocative enough to earn a click, the publisher won’t win engagement. That’s why successful online sites go to great lengths to test headlines. So doesn’t it make sense to test hooks and teases used on the air?
You’ve probably heard of Upworthy or maybe even used it as a source for show prep. If not, check it out. Upworthy is pretty much the online version of what we do on the radio.
Their team of writers search the internet for interesting stories. When they find something, they rewrite it with personality and interesting point of view. They then publish the story as unique, original content.
The writing is important, but it’s the easiest part of the creative process. Each story takes a writer less than 30 minutes to curate.
But the story isn’t finished until the tease and hook have been completed.
Each writer is required to create 25 different headlines per story before submitting it to editors for evaluation. 25! Isn’t that interesting? It takes far longer to generate the tease and hook than the content.
Editors reduce the 25 headlines to about 10. They then vote on the Top 10, narrowing the options to the three best.
But then they test those three headlines to find the most effective option. They send the same stories with different headlines to a portion of their database to measure what works best. The winner goes out in marketing and promotion the next day.
Upworthy found that the best headlines (hooks) attract five times more response than ordinary headlines for the same story.
Imagine if your headlines (teases and hooks) produce 5 times the ratings results of a normal, average break. Would that help your TSL?
You may not be able to write 25 unique teases and hooks. But if you can create 5 of each, it’s going to produce better results than just cranking out one and moving on to the next task.
If you can crank out three, it’s two more than most personalities create. But don’t stop there. Test them!