Salon Marketing Why Salons Fail

“Salon Marketing Why Salons Fail?” I just don’t get it. How can it possibly be that so many salon owners and beauty professionals spend so much time, effort and money furnishing their shop, making things look glossy and sexy, hiring and training staff…and put so little effort into the one thing that really matters; getting customers.

Sure, all of those things – ensuring the ‘public face’ of your business is clean, well-groomed and wears a smile is important. But it’s at least as important to put the same kind of effort into the systems, tools and tricks that get customers through the door. And by that, I mean salon marketing systems, and the ‘sales thinking’ that needs to go into them.

Thumbing through a local suburban newsletter this week, I stumbled on page after page of truly awful marketing. My staff scanned a few of these, so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Collectively and individually, these examples are about as lousy and useless as advertising gets. There are dozens of mistakes in all of these ads, I’ll point out just a few. (And see if you can identify them with your own marketing efforts.)

Salon Marketing Why Salons FailLet’s take this little gem of an ad. It’s right up there with the worst ads in the world. Hard to know where to start with this one, but let’s try

1) the headline. Er, there isn’t one, unless you count the name of the business. And almost without exception, your business name is the last thing you’d put at the top of your ad. In Dallas a few years ago, I met a guy whose industrial fan business changed it’s name from HVLS Fan Company to Big Ass Fans. Now that’s a name that’d pass for a headline. This one ain’t.

2) Price. There’s nothing else going for it. And, like most business owners who’ve made not the slightest attempt to educate themselves on any form of marketing, those who compete on price alone are on a slippery slide to oblivion. There’ll always be somebody who’ll undercut you. And in this case, even the price is airy-fairy. The mere use of the word ‘from’ sets off warning bells.

3) Story. There’s no story here to involve the reader. No compelling reason to read the ad at all.

4) there’s no proof. Why should I use this salon, other than on price alone? There’s not an ounce of evidence here that I’ll get what I’m paying for.

Salon Marketing Why Salons Fail

Salon Marketing Why Salons Fail

This ad isn’t much better. If the very BEST, most compelling thing this business can say about itself is that it’d like to ‘welcome Emma Harris to our team of highly qualified therapists’, they’re in deep trouble. There’s everything wrong about this ad, I’ll analyze three.

1) It makes the mistake of talking about the business, not the customer. ALL people act out of self-interest first. The unconscious first question in any reader’s mind is

‘what’s in it for me?’

In this case, a new therapist (big deal) at a salon I’ve never heard of. Be still, my beating heart.

2) It immediately sets the tone for the business by offering a 50% discount. Put aside that discounting is evil and profit-sapping by its very nature, the ‘50% off’ statement is meaningless anyway. 50% off what?

3) Like the ad above, there’s no compelling story here. What does ‘hair free’ mean? How do they do it? Will it hurt? Who’s had it done, and what do they say about it?

Salon Marketing Why Salons FailHere’s another one, from the same paper. (They must have all listened to the same ad sales rep; “Have a look at what all the other advertisers are doing, and do something pretty much the same.”)

This one makes the same mistake as Example #1 (name of the business at the top of the ad) plus a few extras.

1) A picture that wastes an enormous amount of ‘selling space’ without selling anything. Who are these people, and why are they in the ad?

2) There’s nothing even resembling an offer. Having read this ad, what is the reader supposed to do…cut it out and stick it to the fridge?

3) The bullet points are meaningless. Under new management? Didn’t know the last management, so why would ‘new management’ mean anything to me? ‘Subiaco service without Subiaco prices’? They’re price cutting. If they knew how to charge ‘Subiaco prices’, presumably they would. Business is about making a profit. ‘No appointment necessary’? It means they let customers call the tune, not the other way around.

By and large, these ads and thousands of others like them (yours too?) are little more than expensive business cards. If you want to make your marketing work, you have two choices:

1) Spend years studying great advertising, learning how to write copy that sells, implementing that knowledge, testing and measuring it in your salon. OR

2) Do it the easy way. Have a look at the Salon Marketing Starter Pack The Salon Marketing Starter Pack is full of templates you can use now to create winning flyers, sales letters and promotions. Including the Famous Raise The Dead Series.

Salon Marketing Why Salons Fail

 

 

 

 

Salon Marketing Why Salons Fail

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About The Author

Greg Milner

Greg Milner, CEO & Founder, Worldwide Salon Marketing. Greg is a writer, marketing consultant, direct response advertising expert and former TV producer. Since founding WSM in 2004, he's coached and guided more than 4,000 salons & spas all over the world in all aspects of marketing, both online and offline. The tools and templates he and his team have developed are used by salons & spas on every continent. He is the author of the industry-standard direct response marketing manual, Simple Salon Marketing, and the e-book Rich Salon Owner.