Last week, I talked about what you need to know before you write any form of marketing material for your salon.
Now, I did promise I’d show you exactly how you can write an ad that turns your silent phone into a never-ending ringing-machine. This includes the 7 CRUCIAL elements to any successful salon marketing campaign.
Let’s dive in.
There are two types of popular marketing: branding, and direct response. This type of marketing I’ll be talking about is will be direct response.
Branding marketing works wonders for Apple and your local bank – but it’s a money guzzler for salons and spas.
As a salon owner, marketing can be VERY overwhelming, and it’s very easily a huge waste of money. That is, if you don’t do your marketing right. Time and time again, salon owners (and specifically, our members before they join any of our programs) will run branding ads, or ads promoting HUGEEEE discounts.
The thing is, “50% off an eyebrow wax,” or “50% a cut and color!” just doesn’t work. I’ve never been compelled to book in for a “discounted” service – have you?
Direct response marketing, put simply, creating adverts and offers that benefit the customer, NOT the salon or spa. Discounts work on the salon’s behalf – they get you in customers.
Direct response, however, ALWAYS will solve a client’s problem: whether it may be frizzy hair, long hair, hairy legs, cellulite, acne – whatever your service is, you solve a problem.
You already know the 3 elements you must figure out before you write any ad – and if you don’t, read them now, otherwise the following won’t make much sense.
Those 3 elements (you’ve gotta know what you’re selling, to whom, and why they should buy from you) are crucial for you to figure out these 7 must-have elements in ANY marketing campaign, especially for your salon.
They are –
- A headline: your salon name is a SHITTY HEADLINE.
- An offer: no, this isn’t discounting. DISCOUNTING IS EVIL!
- List benefits: what specific problems do you solve? Bumpy legs from shaving, frizzy hair?
- A guarantee: This is the most powerful, yet rarely, and so poorly used.
- Some proof: How can you prove what you say is true? How can you make your potential clients TRUST you?
- Scarcity: why should they call now to book?
- Call to action (CTA): what do they do next?
Phew. That’s a lot to take in.
See, 99% of salon marketing falls into the fatal, profit-grabbing trap of talking about their own business:
“Our clients have come to trust OUR experts… for OUR expertise…. our cutting-edge machines…..”
STOP. Just, stop. I was bored writing that sentence, and I’M A MARKETER!
Marketing that fails is bragging about your business. Marketing that makes money, always puts the client first. Always.
See, advertising is SALESMANSHIP IN PRINT.
Here’s an INCREDIBLE direct response ad – written from a manufacturer. It’s clearly been written by a copywriter – someone who’s job is to write marketing for a living – someone like me.
It has a headline that’s direct, and to the point. It’s job is to appeal one to those are interested, and to compel the intrigued readers into reading the ad.
Let’s dive in:
The headline here is straightforward, and bluntly put: it’s about making more money. They’re clearly targeting people who use Seal-It, either in their current business or as part of their hobby. By giving them this elusive idea that they can MAKE money from the products they use instantly intrigues them.
They’re not selling a product itself through this ad, instead they’re creating a relationship with the interested reader. This is called lead generation advertising.
The offer here is to become a distributor of Seal-It, and to make money: they’ve made it clear: “Become a Seal-It Distributor and make money now!”
Seal-It did it beautifully: a simple list, clearly stating the benefits… “unlimited earning potential,” “no franchise fees…” – they’ve already stated the solutions to a reader’s potential questions.
4. A guarantee: This is the most powerful, yet rarely, and so poorly used.
Although they don’t state a specific guarantee, the little yellow box stating who they can potentially sell Seal-It too, and the testimonial below the box replaces the guarantee.
They’ve added a clear testimonial – AND an image of the couple. Any form of testimonial will increase trust, and increase sales, but photos of the person whom the testimonial is from will increase sales even MORE.
After all, humans connect better with other humans.
Usually, in direct response marketing, you’ll have a limit on what you’re selling. That limit is in either time the offer is available, amount of appointments/quantity available, or anything that makes people **act now**.
After all, that’s what scarcity is designed to do: scarcity triggers the fear button that every human has.
7. Call to action (CTA)
They’ve made it clear: “Call now for your free information packet!”
Can’t get any clearer than that.
I’ll bet your first reaction of this ad was “there’s too much text in it! Nobody will read it!”
To the contrary, actually. The people who WILL read this ad are PRECISELY the only people the advertiser wants. That’s true for you, that’s true for ANY form or direct response advertising:
This is a real advert written by Ogilvy & Mather, one of the largest marketing firms in the world. Click the ad to read the entire thing.
This is a real advert written by Ogilvy & Mather, one of the largest marketing firms in the world. It’s long, about ten-times longer than the Seal-It ad above, yet, it’s one of their best converting ads of all time. Click the ad to read the entire thing.
This ad is not only written for their perfect client, but it covers ALL 7 elements. They’ve written the ad so well, that even I want to call Ogilvy – and I’m not even in the financial industry!
Here’s the thing: if people aren’t interested in what you have to sell, they won’t read a THING.
But if people ARE interested – they’ll read everything. They’ll soak EVERYTHING UP with a sponge.
And that’s the difference between brand advertising, and direct response advertising. You want to tap into your perfect client’s mind, and push their pain points. This is why you must figure out your perfect client before you write anything for your salon marketing.
Because if you don’t know what your perfect client wants, how can you sell anything to them?
Here’s an example of a direct response ad for the salon industry:
If you have wrinkles, dark-eyes or anything else that dermatitis cream solves – you bet you’d be reading that ad. Chances are, you’d be picking up that phone, too. And that’s what direct response marketing is designed to do:
Get people to pick up the phone and call you.
And to do that, you need to have an irresistible offer. Figure out what you’re going to sell, to whom, and why they should buy from you, and start writing your ad following the 7 elements above.
When your salon marketing is done right, the ad will be ringing: off the hook.
Salon marketing is complex, confusing, and so very overwhelming. Read on to learn the evils of discounting, and to download your free salon marketing template – it’ll ease that confusion, overwhelm and stress.
“Experts” tell you to make sure you have your logo big and centered, and make sure you ALWAYS discount. Discounting is the key to success!
Let me explain.
Discounting surfaced in the mid-60’s, when the post-War boom was occurring. Everyone was off rations, and families finally had money to spend. Stores like Kmart, Target, Wal-Mart all started appearing – offering massive savings when customers bought bulk.
Why buy 1 pair of women’s leggings when you can buy 4 for the price of 2? Why buy one gallon of milk for 80c when you can buy 4 gallons for $1? Wal-Mart and Kmart, especially, took advantage of these discounting offers to the point where it became a “discounting war.” ‘The Discount Wars,’ the media proclaimed.
At the time, it all worked well. Business was booming, customers received deals after deals – yet, eventually, the appeal wore off. When everyone started to discount – from big supermarkets to small boutique salons, it became an old-tatic.
Sure, discounting works – when it’s done right. But that’s the thing. Most businesses – especially salons – will give you 30% off a leg wax; or 50% off your next cut and colour. But at the end of the day – who would you rather go to?
The salon that offers 50% off your cut and colour, or the salon that offers you a free head massage, an added blow dry AND a sample of NAK straightening cream, all valued at $128, when you book in for a cut and colour right now?
The second one would get me in – and I’m a guy. I’d grab that cut and colour any day with an offer like that. But 50% a regular cut and colour? Boring.
See, knowing how to write offers that make people pick up the phone, that get clients BEGGING YOU to give them the offer, that’s real marketing that works. Solely relying on discounting is in the past. It’s time you learn what TRULY works, and how to really do it.
These principles work in print advertisements, flyers, over the phone, in texts, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest – heck, even Instagram. What I’m about to teach you digs into one thing: the human behaviour.
This works because we’re all human. Regardless of if you’re in Germany, Japan, the US, UK, or Australia – this works (when written right). So if you want your phone to ring endlessly off the hook, to upsell clients on the spot, read on.
How to Write an Ad That Works
For this blog, I’ll be showing you exactly how to figure out who you’re selling to, BEFORE writing an ad.
You MUST know exactly who you’re trying to sell to before you write any form of marketing material – be it an ad, a text, email, post, etc.
When writing any offer – you need to know your perfect, ideal client. That means knowing three things:
1. What you’re selling.
2. Who you’re selling to, and
3. Why they should buy from you.
Sounds easy, right? Sure, the first part is. It’s whatever you’re selling – a fullset of lashes for $199, hair extensions, Brazilian blowout, nails, whatever it may be.
Now, knowing who you’re selling to sounds easy, right? You’re selling your extensions to women, your kids cuts to kids – maybe you’re a barber servicing men. Your hair extensions could be selling for $149 – for women. Pretty easy, huh?
Almost there. Be a little bit more specific. Why? The more specific you are with who you’re selling too, the easier it’ll be to write any ad for those potential clients.
If you’re in beauty – let’s say you offer a fullset of lashes for $199, to busy Mom’s who want to look and feel more beautiful, and who don’t want to have that ‘rugged Mom look.’
If you have a hair salon – you could offer a Brazilian Blowout for $139, to busy professional women who don’t have the time, or who can’t be bothered, to deal with their hair constantly.
Can you see how those two types of clientele are MUCH more specific than just “to women?”
Suddenly, you can start writing an ad – an offer – for those busy Moms: “Treat yourself to a new, beautiful you while the kids are in school….”
Or maybe, with lash extensions, you’re aiming for single women who have more money to spend… “ATTENTION SINGLE LADIES: do you want to find that man who notices your flawless beauty, and compliments you every single time he sees you? With these all-natural mink lashes….”
Aren’t those two offers much more appealing than just “50% off – today only?”
The success is in the details.
Once you have your ideal client in mind – now we can move to the next step:
What are you really selling?
You’re not selling eyelash extentions, beauty, hair care – whatever the ‘product’ or ‘service’ you sell is. What you’re really selling is confidence, or reactions – compliments, beauty, sex appeal.
Your clients come to you because they want to look gorgeous for a date they have this week; or because they want to feel sexy for their husband when he comes home from a business trip. Heck, your client just wants to feel beautiful. They want to be complimented for their look and their beauty.
When you sell these type of reactions – the confidence, the beauty, the sexiness – this is what makes clients pick up the phone and call you. Not discounting, not smooth legs from waxing, or wavy hair. No – they want the smooth legs because their boyfriend can’t get enough of them, or their wavy hair so they’ll get higher tips at work.
So think about what you sell: are you selling beauty? Are you selling a woman’s confidence? Or are you providing her with the opportunity to make her husband feel proud to be married to such a gorgeous woman?
You might be thinking “how derogatory! I’d never sell confidence or beauty!”
Well, take a look at Victoria’s Secret: they don’t sell bras and panties. No, Victoria’s Secret sells confidence, they sell glamour. A woman will buy Victoria’s Secret because she knows she’ll look sexy as hell in whatever she buys.
So why not give your clients the same honour when they come to you? If you’re truly the best at what you do – and because you’re reading this, I know you are – be proud of that. Look your client in the eye and go “I’ll make you look and feel more gorgeous than what you already are.”
Next – why should your clients buy from you? Why should they trust their bodies with you?
Do you have any guarantees you can express with them?
Do you have any testimonials from other clientele?
Have you won any awards?
Are you or your salon in any media publications?
Or are you simply the best of the best?
Any new – or existing – client wants to know they’ll be looked after. They want to trust you. If they don’t – they won’t come to you. That’s why building this trust between your salon/spa and your clients is VITAL.
Having a guarantee (they don’t all have to be money back ones!) will build trust. Showing testimonials from other clients, any awards, publications – and even if you just give away free information – is all trust building.
And trust building = clients.
Clients = money.
Money = happy you.
Now that we’ve covered everything you must know about your perfect client, you can download the FREE perfect client template below. Print it out and fill it in before you write any marketing material, and you’re one step closer to filling more appointment slots and making more money than EVER before.
Below, you can download your free salon marketing template. This checklist you can use – for free – whenever you’re writing a new ad for your salon. Use it as a guide so you always remember what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, and why they should buy from you.
Download Your Free Salon Marketing Template >>
What’re you really selling?
In the second part of this blog series, I’ll show you EXACTLY how to write an ad that works, and one that attracts your perfect client. But that’s for next week.
Remember: you need the right ad, to the right people, selling the right thing.
If you don’t have all 3 aligned, your marketing just won’t work, and you’ll be left scratching your head going “why the f*$* isn’t it working?!”
David Ogilvy is the grandfather of marketing, and he said it best.