Of course not. But the headline got your attention, which is what headlines are supposed to do. But get the headline wrong, and you’ve lost an opportunity to gain a new reader or customer.
Your headline is your grabber, but it doesn’t work for a new hair salon in my neighborhood. Here is a sign outside the shop advertising “Blow Dry $50” that is designed to lure in customers.
But the headline is all wrong.
If you read the brochure shown on the right of the sign, you learn that the blow dry includes a HAIRCUT, plus a scalp and shoulder massage. Now in my Manhattan neighborhood that is a real bargain, plus the salon caters to a Japanese clientele, another differentiator. The brochure includes testimonials from customers who followed the hairdresser from another salon. He could have used one in a testimonial headline (see below).
I don’t claim to be a master headline writer but here is my point: your headline in a blog, ad, magazine, newspaper or billboard must pique the curiosity of a reader to want to learn more.
How it Could Be Better
First, the beauty salon should ditch the $20 offer for a deep hair conditioning. Doubtful someone would stop in for just that service. Use the entire space to tout all the services you get for $50.
Haircut, Shampoo PLUS
Shoulder and Scalp Massage
Please Come In and Visit Us
Enjoy a Cup of Tea!
The salon is new and, unfortunately, on a side street that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. So it needs to try extra hard with compelling headline and a call to action. Note that you’re not pressured to actually come in for a haircut. Just stop by for a nice friendly visit and enjoy a cup of tea.
Types of Headlines
Headlines fall into a few tested formulas. Copyblogger writes in-depth about headline writing in this post How to Write Magnetic Headlines. Taking our cue from Copyblogger, we will start with the:
- How to headline. How to Win Friends and Influence People…by Dale Carnegie, author of the best selling book and Dale Carnegie Training, founded in 1912.
- Teaser headline. They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano But When I Started to Play…by John Caples in 1926 ad to solicit correspondence course students for the U. S. School of Music. One of the most famous direct marketing ads of all time and still being imitated today.
- News headline. Ford to New York City, Drop Dead…New York Daily News headline reporting on President Ford’s denying federal assistance to spare New York from bankruptcy.
- Question headline: Do you close the bathroom door even when you’re the only one home?…Famed copywriter Bill Jayme for Psychology Today.
- List headline: 10 reasons why list posts will always work… from Copyblogger.
- Statement headline: The 97 pound weakling who became the “world’s most perfectly developed man”…iconic advertisement for body-builder Charles Atlas’s “Dynamic Tension” workout program.
- Benefit headline: Discover the best social media marketing techniques from the world’s top experts…Social Media Examiner promoting its social media marketing world conference.
- Testimonial headline: I get more internet inquiries through Super Lawyers than my firm web site or any other internet source…from Super Lawyers rating service.
I hope the beauty salon succeeds because I peeked in and it looks quite nice. But I’ve walked by several times and have yet to see a customer. Maybe I’ll stop in and suggest the owner change his headline.
Do you have suggestions for other types of headlines? Let me know in the comment box below.