Consider this: as the owner of a salon or spa, you have a finite, limited number of dollars to spend on any advertising. It’s your own money you’re spending, after all. And you have to make every dollar count, every dollar earn its keep, especially when it comes to expensive real estate in print.
Any study of Direct Response marketing over the past 100 years will quickly show that to be effective, to produce a measurable response, there are certain ‘must-haves’ – a compelling headline, a strong offer, a call to action, scarcity, a story that engages the reader.
And one rule that over-rides all – that blank space never sells anything.
None of which seemed to occur to the advertising ‘creative’ types who produced this nonsense on Page 13 of my daily newspaper.
Astonishingly, on behalf of the client, Royal Automobile Club, they bought acres of expensive ad space, and left it blank.
Initially I assumed the paper’s production people had made a horrendous mistake…until I saw the little yellow box at the bottom right of the page. And studied the headline. And looked back at the white space. And, the cogs inside my brain creaking and groaning, I finally deduced that the advertising geniuses were trying to be…clever!
They failed. If you have to make your prospective customers think to figure out what the hell you’re trying to say to them, you’ve lost them. In a world cluttered by thousands of marketing messages every day, your prospects will NOT waste their time humoring your cleverness.
You have mere nano-seconds to grab their attention. Just tell them what you want them to do, and give them damn good reasons for doing it, right NOW. As many reasons as you can squeeze onto the page.
Anything less, and you’re wasting your money.
Except in this case, the ‘creative’ types weren’t wasting their own money. They were wasting somebody else’s. In this case, as a Member of the Royal Automobile Club, mine!
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