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This is the #1 mistake attorneys make when crafting headlines for their thought-leadership marketing content

Headlines and email subject lines are the most important parts of thought-leadership marketing content. Give them the attention they deserve.

The biggest mistake attorneys make when they craft headlines and email subject lines for their blog posts, bylined articles, and client alerts?

They give their headlines and email subject lines short shrift — shorter shrift than they deserve.

The headlines of thought-leadership marketing content and the subject lines of emails transmitting that content are the most important parts of that content.

If you can’t get a would-be client or referral source to click a link, to click “play” on a video, or to open an email, then they are never going to see what’s on the other side of that link, what’s in that video, and what’s in that email.

But attorneys often neglect the crucial role headlines and email subject lines play in their thought-leadership marketing content.

Frequently, attorneys just want to slap a descriptive headline or email subject line onto their content. Their thinking goes, apparently, that if they tell people what they’re talking about and those people are interested in that topic, they’re going to click the link or open the email anyway.

That’s quite an optimistic view of the world.

Perhaps twenty years ago, descriptive headlines were effective. But today, in our oversaturated digital media landscape? Descriptive headlines are likely to be ignored headlines.

Your headlines and email subject lines have one job: draw your audience in.

They must be tantalizing.



They must wear down your audience’s defenses, compelling them to click your link or open your email—even when they know they should be doing something else.

That’s what great headlines and email subject lines do.

All of the time that you spend writing a blog post, bylined article, or client alert, or the time your team spends putting together an email newsletter, it’s all for naught if that content isn’t consumed.

But before content can be consumed, it must be accessed.

That’s the great irony about how little time most attorneys devote to the headlines and email subject lines of their thought-leadership marketing content: they’re the only ways to unlock content-based interactions with past, current, and future clients and referral sources.

If you want to reach those people with your thought-leadership marketing content, you must compel them to take action and actively access that content.

The best way to do that is by using alluring headlines and email subject lines that dare them to ignore your content.

I’ll leave you with this last tip.

Pay attention to the kinds of headlines and email subject lines that work on you.

What kind of language, what kind of structure, are these headlines and email subject lines employing that worked so well on you that you were compelled to click a link or open an email?

You might find the same techniques that worked on you could make your thought-leadership headlines and email subject lines work wonders on your target audience.

Thinking about bringing on an outside writer to help your law firm strategize and create thought-leadership marketing and business development content? Click here to schedule a 30-minute Content Strategy Audit to learn if collaborating with an outside writer is the right move for you and your firm.

Wayne Pollock, a former Am Law 50 senior litigation associate, is the founder of Copo Strategies, a legal services and communications firm, and the Law Firm Editorial Service, a content strategy and ghostwriting service for lawyers and their law firms. The Law Firm Editorial Service helps Big Law and boutique law firm partners, and their firms, grow their practices and prominence by collaborating with them to strategize and ethically ghostwrite book-of-business-building marketing and business development content.

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