I'm currently writing a post for my company's blog. I'm agonising over the headline, as I really, really want people to read this post (I'm trying to convince our users to opt in to our customer experience improvement program). However, I don't know how to find out whether people will follow a link to the post when they encounter it - and to get realistic data from the test.
Why am I so concerned about the headline?
Our data suggests that most people will learn about the existence of the post from the start-up screen of our desktop software. This screen shows the 5 most recent blog posts in a simple bulleted list, each item consisting of the post's title, hyperlinked to the full post.
Getting realistic predicted click rates
Now, I could easily put people in front of our software, with it showing a headline link for my new post, and ask them whether they would click it; however, I greatly doubt that I'd get an answer that genuinely reflected their real-world behaviour. I want to be able to test multiple headline options, but I really can't think how to do it without biasing the test. Given the limited number of users we have, I can't really afford to use an A/B test after publishing either, as it'll soon use up my audience. (Besides which, my blog doesn't support A/B testing.)
Does anyone have recommendations for how I can approach this, please?