7 reasons to use numbers in headlines after all

Headlines with numbers actually work better than headlines without numbers. Why this is so – analysis of this area of Internet marketing in terms of psychology.

So, are you ready to read another post about content affiliate marketing? Let’s go…


Upworthy website founder Peter Kauchly once noted that a successful headline can increase clicks and shares by 500%.

“A headline is the only way to reach people who have a million other things to worry about. They don’t get up in the morning and start thinking about the issues of feminism, climate change or the intricacies of electioneering. They need to be involved in these topics from the very first sentence,” says Peter.

An interesting study by Conductor found that headlines with numbers generate 15% more response than other trendy headline formats: question headlines, “how to do…” and address headlines.

affiliate programs

The study included pieces in the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and the Conductor blog. In the end, after analyzing 5 types of headlines, the researchers concluded that headlines with numbers led by a wide margin in audience likes. Readers liked the question headlines the least.

affiliate programs

It is also interesting that the reaction to headlines is different for men and women. For example, women like headlines with numbers slightly more than men, and men slightly more prefer headlines-questions and targeted headlines.


Stanford scientists have proven that our brains pay more attention to numbers than to words because they automatically help put information in a logical order.

And small numbers from 1 to 9 work better in headings, rather than two-digit numbers, because they are more common in our daily lives.


When a reader looks at an article with the headline “7 Ways to Save on a Trip to Europe,” he or she expects to get exactly 7 ways to save money on a trip to Europe. The headline promises the reader that there will be exactly 7 ways and no less, that there won’t be water, that there won’t be any other irrelevant information.

But if the headline is formulated as a question, for example, “How to travel cheaply in Europe?”, then there is no promise. Moreover, the brain subconsciously senses a catch – because you can open the article and it will say “Nothing. Ha-ha.”

Modern people don’t have time to read lengthy opuses. A text with a headline promising N specific ways/lifehacks/advice has a much better chance of being read from start to finish. A headline-promise carries more information about what the text contains than any other type of headline:

affiliate programs


When it comes to headlines promising a list, there is another important point to make for easier reading.

A list is a rigid structure, and a particularly hurried reader can easily read the text diagonally or simply by examining the subheadings, paying attention only to the paragraphs that surprised him or brought something new to his picture of the world.


Those journalists, editors and content experts who work with guest bloggers know what it takes to get quality and specific text from them. Authors love to digress from the topic, go off the deep end, or, in the middle of an article, switch to a completely different problem.

When you want to get specific material from an author, get him to write a list text. This way, possible distractions from the main topic itself will be minimal, all the constituent parts of the text will be subordinated to one main idea and formulated according to the same template. It will be easier for the reader to read a coherent text, and easier for you to work with an author who has something to say, but doesn’t know how.

A numbered list text with a number in the title is the best litmus test of whether the author can be consistent and can be worked with next.


There have been several different studies in different parts of the world about how people perceive different numbers. For example, a study by Guardian columnist Alex Bello collected responses from a total of 44,000 respondents who were asked to name their favorite number from 0 to 1,000.

The number 7 came in first place by a wide margin, with the numbers 3 and 8 coming in second and third. And yes, we picked 7 for this piece for a reason.

A small study by the Content Marketing Institute found that headlines with odd numbers are clicked on 20% more often than headlines with even numbers. Users automatically attribute special mystical meanings to some numbers that might make them click or skip a headline.


Often domestic content scientists and journalists boycott Buzzfeed-style headlines for no apparent reason, supposedly concerned about their reputation.

In fact, a headline using numbers says nothing about your professionalism. Text with a number in the headline can be just as lame as a quote headline or some other headline that is nicer to your heart. And regardless of the headline, the text can be professional.

But a text with a number in the title says a lot about the fact that you want your work to actually be read, that your advice will actually help someone, and not go “off the table.”

So numbers don’t tell you anything about your professionalism, except that you are trend-setting and eager to share your knowledge with as many people as possible.

News Reporter