19 salon marketing tactics – the dinosaur that still bites

19 salon marketing tactics - the dinosaur that still bites

19 salon marketing tactics – the dinosaur that still bites

19 salon marketing tactics – the dinosaur that still bites – In an age where business owners seem obsessed with YouTwitFace and InstaPin, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that old-fashioned direct mail has worked for a hundred years – and still works, brilliantly. If it’s done the right way. According to a survey conducted by by Millward Brown, a leading global research agency, ”physical media–AKA direct mail–left a ‘deeper footprint’ in the brain.” In other words media that consumers can touch and feel resonated and touched more emotions than those of the digital variety.

And those consumers that are affected by “physical media” are not just the older demo, as many marketers believe.
Here’s a Direct Mail Checklist – print this out and keep it handy for the next time you’re contemplating a direct mail piece, such as a mailbox flier or a letter to clients.

The Outer Envelope

1. Use the back of the envelope.  It’s 50/50 the envelope will arrive face-down – why not use the back to further entice the prospect to open it up?

2. Put a strong message on the outer envelope. I often recommend not using the outer envelope for anything other than the stamp and the address, but if you have a really strong message, it’s sometimes worthwhile putting it on the front. A famous outer envelope for a psychology magazine said: “Do you close the bathroom door, even if you’re the only one home?”

3. Use a dimensional package. Boxes always get opened. Always. Just make sure your company name’s prominent on the outside, otherwise the bomb squad may get hold of it first.

4. Version your envelope to your list. Nothing will get a prospect to open an envelope faster than if it’s obviously for them. For example, “Inside, a special offer for owners of businesses.”

The Letter.

5. Make the letter look like a letter. Not some institutionalized, obviously mail-merged piece of mass-marketing. It should look as much as possible like a personal one-to-one communication. It’s why I use and recommend a font like Courier New instead of Times New Roman or Ariel – which look just like they’ve been done on an office computer.

6. Make the letter personal. It should read and sound like a personal letter, even intimate. Written with a different voice than a standard business letter. Read it aloud. If it doesn’t sound like you’d say it to somebody sitting in front of you, gas it and start again. It continues to amaze me how much stiff, awkward, yet ostensibly ‘businesslike’ mail crosses my desk.

7. Write the letter in the first person. It mystifies me why, as a business grows, its owner or owners begin to want to hide behind some sort of amorphous, anonymous corporate entity. Say ‘I’, not ‘we’. A famous letter from the President of AT&T to its customers in the US began: “I love a challenge. As the President of AT&T Consumer Long Distance Services, I face them every day. And that’s why I’m writing to you.” I wish I’d written that paragraph. You can’t help but read on. It won back more than 1.2 million customers without even making an offer. Telstra’s Ziggy Switkowski should take note.

8. Add a powerful PS. I read something in a marketing magazine recently that said a PS was passe and nobody read them any more. Nuts. It’s the first thing a lot of people read, so always add one, and make it powerful. Restate your offer. Re-inforce your guarantee. Add your physical location, with reference to some well-known building or business nearby.

9. Make it longer. I have this debate with clients all the time. How long should a letter be? There’s only one answer – as long as it’s interesting. You’re not talking to everyone, you’re talking to the small percentage of your target market that will truly be interested in what you have to offer. Typically my letters and the letters I write for clients run to at least half a dozen pages. They always sell better than short letters. Always.

10. Use a yellow ‘post it’ note. I haven’t tried this yet, but direct marketing colleague Alan Rosenspan says he’s used it to lift response by 10%. One technique is to put a yellow post it note on a page that seems to have been ripped out of a magazine. “Bob, try this, it really works.”

11. Give them a way to respond. Amazing the amount of marketing that looks great and then fizzles out leaving the reader no way of actually buying the stuff or picking up the phone. Always give several different ways to respond…phone, preferably a 1800 number, by fax, by email. Not too many though. Give people nine ways to get off a sinking ship and they all drown.

12. Personalise the reply card. Here’s the test: If you up-end the envelope and nothing falls out but the reply card, is there enough on there to encourage a reply? If your sales message is strong and the card or page has the prospect’s name on it, you’re on a winner.

13. Use anecdotes. It’s supposed to be a personal communication to one person – even if you’re mailing to a million. Tell stories, make them personal, they can be a powerful way of backing up what you’re saying, and they lift interest. “Take my own teeth, for example,” a dentist might write. “My own dentist said to me the other day, Alan, this one’s going to have to come out.”

14. Say ‘You” as much as possible. There are a dozen or so words direct marketers have proven to be powerful in headlines and letters, and there’s none more powerful than the simple ‘you’. Use it as often as you can.

15. Use testimonials. How many? As many as you can! Pretty easy to dispute one or two testimonials. Pretty hard to dispute 500 of ‘em!

16. Use photographs. Nothing but nothing is more powerful proof than a photograph. Why do you think the weight-loss people use before and after pictures? Because they sell – they are what draws the eye and a response like “I want to be like that!”

17. Always include a guarantee. If you want a rule, this is one of the unbreakable ones: don’t try to sell anything without a guarantee of some kind. Make it a BIG guarantee, outrageous if possible. One of the most outrageous guarantees I’ve seen is from Jerry Jones, CEO of Media Group Corp in Oregon. Jerry sells ‘patient retention’ programs to dentists – it’s a newsletter to several hundred of the dentist’s best patients, prompting them to make referrals and spend more on cosmetic treatment. Jerry has scores of testimonials from dentists and doctors telling him how successful the program is for them.

Jerry’s guarantee: “If after 90 days you aren’t satisfied that the cost of my program isn’t offset by the gain in production, I’ll not only give you all your money back, I’ll fly you and a partner to Florida for a long weekend, AND I’ll spend two days in your practice doing menial tasks.”

18. Increase the offer if they act now. Anything you can do to get people to act now, rather than put it off, can increase response. For my ‘paperlessoffice’ business, I offered a completely free one-month trial, but only if the offer was taken up in January. Result: a full book for January.

19. Put a deadline on the offer. The role of the offer is to get people to act now. But make sure you give people enough time to respond, say a few weeks.


19 salon marketing tactics – the dinosaur that still bites

How this salon QUADRUPLED sales – in two months.

LabellaAchieving a massive increase in salon sales isn’t actually all that difficult – IF you’re prepared to to take Massive Action.

At Labella Beautique in Rockhampton, Queensland, owners Deanne & Shenae joined Worldwide Salon Marketing’s My Social Salon program in late May 2014. Two months later, they’d quadrupled their sales with a concentrated marketing effort using easy offline and online marketing tools & templates downloaded from the Members Only ‘sealed section’ website.

Admittedly, they were coming off a low base – but if a young (8 months old) little salon in the back blocks of regional Queensland can do it, any salon can. Here’s how Deanne and Shenae describe their marketing breakthroughs…


salon-marketingLabella Beautique is a Member of the My Social Salon marketing & mentoring program, the world’s most comprehensive, done-for-you, online and offline marketing system developed ONLY for salons and spas. Membership is strictly-limited and available only for those salon owners who want to be business owners, nor merely therapists or technicians.

Click here to see if you qualify for a 30-day Money Back Guaranteed Test Drive.

Salon Marketing; here’s what you’re missing out on in the headlong rush to social media…

‘Everybody’ is rushing headlong into social media, Facebooking and Instagramming themselves into a lather of red-faced emotional excitement. It’s the bright shiny object, and the ‘experts’ are shouting at whomever will listen, “don’t bother with anything else, Facebook etc is where you need to be.”

Well, let’s get a little perspective here. Sometimes, you need to take a deep breath and look at things with a little of what I call ‘accurate thinking.’

Let’s take a quick look at what kinds of media are available for salon & spa owners to use in their marketing. I’ll lump Facebook, Google, email, Twitter, mobile phones and anything else you use a screen to look at as ‘Online’. (And I’ll include in that the ‘daily deals’, which are marketed exclusively online.)

Then there’s everything else. All that old-fashioned, dreary, clunky, ‘expensive’ stuff that suddenly is so Nineties, so last season; direct mail, print advertising, TV and radio, outdoor advertising – I’ll lump all that together and call it ‘Offline’.

Get hundreds of done-for-you salon marketing & advertising templates as a Member of Worldwide Salon Marketing here.

It seems pretty clear to me that salon & spa owners are increasingly falling in love with ‘online’, rushing to it like lemmings to the edge of the cliff. And in the mad rush, increasingly ignoring everything else. Email, social media, web marketing are the new Kings, relegating ‘traditional’ media as mere serfs and peasants.

Well, I’m here to tell ya, if that’s how you’re thinkin’, you’re missing opportunity. There IS validity in the argument that says “look around at what everybody else is doing, and do exactly the opposite. The herd, as Warren Buffett is fond of saying, is almost always wrong.

Victoria’s Secret mail 400 million catalogs a year. Hmmm, if online marketing’s so hot, why would they do that?

Here’s why you need to pay attention: 

As more and more businesses abandon ‘old-fashioned’ media in favor of the siren call of online, seduced by it’s newness, it’s perceived cheapness, its ‘instant’ results, they’re unwittingly running into quicksand. The law of diminishing returns applies. You can double the power of a car’s engine, but the speed only increases by 30%, not 100%.

The more people rush to online, the more difficult it is to attract attention, to be heard above the ever-growing noise.

And suddenly, back in the ‘offline’ room, you can hear a whisper. Because nobody’s there. And that’s where opportunity lies, my friends.Think about this: your mailbox was once one of the few methods by which advertisers could reach you. Today, almost nobody sends marketing by direct mail any more.

And here’s the secret: those in the ‘almost nobody’ category are reaping the rewards of near-empty mailboxes.

According to the Direct Marketing Association of America, Victoria’s Secret ships more than 400 MILLION catalogs a year in the US alone – that’s 1.33 per person. And merchants across the US are sending a total of over 20 billion catalogs annually, a figure that’s increasing by 5% annually.

They’re doing it because

a) it works. And it’s working better and better, as it competes with fewer and fewer marketing messages directed at the consumer’s physical mailbox. The air in the mailbox is getting clearer and clearer.

b) They’ve figured out that ignoring direct mail would actually reduce the effect of the effort their putting in online.

The really smart businesses are increasing their use of old-fashioned media, not decreasing it. Victoria’s Secret sales generated by a combination of catalog-driving-to-online are increasing 10% annually, compared with only 4% annual increase in the company’s stores.

Is online really the ‘holy grail’? Not according to some of the world’s biggest ‘online’ companies. Google persistently uses hard copy to pitch its ad space. Hmmm. If Google can’t figure out how to market themselves using only online media, how are you doing?

Get hundreds of done-for-you salon marketing & advertising templates as a Member of Worldwide Salon Marketing here.

Price comparison website moneysupermarket.com has just hired a direct marketing company to manage its first hard-copy mail campaign. Huh? Now, hooda thunk it – why would an online company want to use old-fashioned, clunky letters ‘n stamps ‘n envelopes?

And as more and more email becomes pesky, direct mail becomes more welcomed. According to research by Pitney-Bowes (admittedly a direct mail specialist) more than half of people surveyed got annoyed by monthly emails. Only 23% found regular direct mail aggravating.

There are very good reasons we at WSM focus a large amount of time on creating more and more advertising and marketing templates for our member salons in a form designed to be used in good ole hard copy; print ads, posters, letters, mailbox flyers and more. Email and other forms of online marketing might be efficient. But nothing is as effective, as long-lasting as hard copy.

WSM member salons & spas can access literally hundreds of templates for all their advertising needs in the Members Only sealed section website here.

[VIDEO] Looking for beauty articles & hair articles for your salon newsletters, emails, blog posts or status updates? Check out the Salon & Spa Beauty Bank!

Download a FREE sample of articles from the Salon & Spa Beauty Bank here!

Faced with the task of writing an article for a salon newsletter, a blog post or a social media status update, you can’t blame most hair stylists, beauty therapists or salon owners for throwing their hands in the air and groaning “I don’t know how to write an article!”

Let’s face it – you’re not trained as a writer; you’re trained to cut hair, do skin treatments, massages or nails. So it seems almost perverse that with the explosion in new media in the past few years, the need for the written word to promote a salon business is bigger than it’s ever been.

Websites require regular, frequent updates (blog posts) to keep them fresh and ranking highly in the search engines. Social media – like Facebook fan pages – need daily status updates to keep fans interested and responsive. Emails need interesting content, newsletters need articles containing news, not just product or service pitches.

It’s a LOT of work. More than most busy hair & beauty professionals can commit to, even if they had the skills to turn out an article that’s both interesting, compelling, and conveys the right message – over and over again.

The Salon & Spa Beauty Bank – at last, an online resource of done-for-you articles for hair & beauty salons to use in their own newsletters, emails, blog posts and status updates.

Thankfully, at last, there’s a solution.

The Salon & Spa Beauty Bank.

Former spa owner (and long-time Worldwide Salon Marketing member) Susan Vincent of Staunton, Virginia realized the need for salons & spas to have ready access to a wide variety of done-for-you articles covering every imaginable hair or beauty-related issue, treatments, services, news and images. So Susan created the world’s first (and only) library of hundreds of articles, written precisely for the purpose of saving salon owners the agony and anxiety of having to create their own material for their websites, newsletters, emails and status updates.

For the very reasonable access fee of $97 a month – no contracts, you can leave whenever you like – Susan’s articles remove the pain of spending hours, days even, staring at a blank computer screen to research, gather material and put one laborious word after another. (Just think for a moment; what’s your time worth? Writing just one newsletter article or blog post a week might take you an hour of research and another hour of writing. Two hours a time, four times a month – 8 hours!)

In this interview, I asked Susan how she got the inspiration to start the Salon & Spa Beauty Bank.

[cf]Susan Vincent[/cf]

Download a FREE sample of articles from the Salon & Spa Beauty Bank here!


Salon Marketing Strategy: Newsletters – A Brilliant Example

IC Member (since February 2010) Sandra Chiarella of Get Nailed – a brilliant newsletter writer

I’ve written long and loud about the business value of a regular monthly hard-copy newsletter, so I’m not going to bang on about it again here.

Most owners of small businesses grumble and gripe about doing it, but those who make the effort reap immense rewards.

Take Sandra Chiarella of Get Nailed in Altona, Victoria. Sandra ‘gets it’. Newsletters are supposed to be personal, like sitting down and having a good chat. And Sandra has pulled it off pitch-perfect with these examples she’s generously shared with other Members.

Here’s how Sandra describes how she puts these together:

Hey Greg,

Thanks for the positive feedback, I actually love doing the newsletter, and I never have a shortage of ideas or stories to write.
We send out 400 handwritten envelopes each month. I know how valuable it is for me to be in my clients’ homes and hopefully attached to my clients fridge….(ooh maybe an idea: get some magnets made that say ” this magnet is only to hold Get Nailed’s monthly newsletter!!! …and pop it in with my next newletter!)

I am happy for you to display my newsletters on the (members only) site. I also can share my tips for them. I have a little plastic A4 file with NEWSLETTERS written on the front. In it I keep a hard copy of every month’s newsletter so I can refer to them at a glance and also see what I wrote previously if I want to keep talking about that topic etc, and I have blank white pages in them with all the months of the year written on the top.

Every time I get an idea for something to feature/write for any month of the year, I pop it on a sticky note, bit of paper, back of a receipt, bit of toilet paper (clean of course!) and pop it on the appropriate month- even my staff know this drill and they are getting into the habit of doing this as well.

So when it comes to writing the newsletter, I dont have to try and remember all the good ideas I had, and stories to tell.

Another idea is for all those who have a laptop or like me an iphone , when even I know I am going anywhere that I will have to wait and pass valuable time like doctors and dentist appointments, kids events, even traffic jams (I dictate to my daughters in the back seat!), I sit and I write my ideas in a word document, or in my drafts in my email, so when it comes to formatting the newsletter I can simply cut and paste. Well I have to admit my husband, Fil does.

But it saves so much time. There are so many ways to utilize time to do the little jobs that you don’t want staff doing when they could be using that time to make money. My mum and daughters help out with folding the newsletters, even clients don’t mind helping sometimes if you know them well enough, and what kid doesn’t like sticking stamps on envelopes? Delegate delegate! Think smarter, not harder!
I’m sure these ideas might help some of my fellow members.

Sandra Chiarella

An example of Sandra’s terrific (and profitable) salon newsletters. Inner Circle members can log into the Members ONly area and download full copies in .pdf format for study

The point about Sandra’s newsletters is that they ARE very personal. She talks to her clients about a staff member who got engaged on a visit to the Empire State Building…about her dad and how he loves doing odd jobs around the salon…about her daughters…

A newsletter has several important jobs:

1) to act as a Trojan Horse, turning you into a Welcome Guest marketer instead of an Unwelcome Pest, always trying to pitch something

2) it acknowledges that your clients have a life outside your salon…in fact almost ALL of a client’s life is outside of your salon. So a good newsletter attempts to engage on that level, by bringing the client into your outside-work life.

3) it puts an ‘iron cage’ around your clients. If you’re getting a good newsletter regularly from somebody you do business with, wouldn’t YOU feel guilty about going anywhere else?

These examples are yet another lesson in just how to do it. Nothing flash, nothing ‘professional’, just good honest stuff that appeals to human beings, rather than mere buyers.