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 Tools: Why Emotion Beats Logic Every Time
I wear myself out trying to teach salon & spa owners that customers buy based on emotion, which is the most profitable salon marketing tool hands down. It has nothing to do with logic.Yet ad after ad, flyer after dreary flyer waxes lyrical about the features of the product (or service), often using impossibly-technical jargon, and pay scant – if any – attention to the emotional benefit the customer will get, or makes any attempt to even so much as attract the prospect’s attention in the first place with an emotional headline.
Arguably the best ad ever written didn’t even mention a product or service. Far from trumpeting overblown benefits and features, it actually went the other way, in a deliberate, well-planned and brilliantly-executed dare to the manliness of every red-blooded adventurous male in England.
Although nobody has yet been able to track down the original copy of the London Times of December 29, 1913, here is a reconstruction of the tiny ad Sir Ernest Shackleton reportedly inserted to recruit men to his dangerous expedition to cross the Antarctic continent from sea to sea. It attracted 5,000 applicants, including three women.
(Creative Theft Department: I know what you’re already thinking…what has this got to do with my hair salon/day spa/nail bar/laser clinic yada yada yada.)
Here’s what: I’ve just used this very ad to steal the idea for the headline for a big Yellow Pages ad for one of our Inner Circle members. Go on, think. How could you apply this to your business? Inner Circle members should already be dissecting this and using it. For non-members, unaccustomed to my teachings, believe this:
The University of Life surrounds you. Google is your best friend. There is NO excuse for saying “I don’t know where to look for ideas” any more. Truth is, the answer to anything is right at your fingertips. Claiming you can’t find answers is akin to insisting the world is flat.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, emotion. The idea that you must offer a rational benefit in your marketing is nonsense.
There IS no rational, logical reason to buy a Porsche. Yet Porsche is THE most profitable car maker in the world. One of the most famous ads for Porsche cars featured nothing more than a picture of the car, and the following text:
Doesn’t blend in.
People will talk.
Then there’s the famous David Ogilvy ad for Rolls Royce, which didn’t even have a photo of the car, just a clock.
“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest sound you can hear in the new Rolls Royce is the ticking of the clock.”
In the beauty business, a rational benefit might be
Your skin will be 37% smoother.
But more powerful, and much more emotional:
Warning: Men will look at you.
Your target market is uneducated about the relative benefits of one hair stylist versus any of a thousand others. Has pretty much no idea of the difference between one laser clinic and a hundred competitors. Attempting to explain a rational, logical reason why they should choose you as against any and all of your competitors is considerably more difficult that pushing a peanut up the main street of town with your nose.
|Singapore Airlines didn’t try to compete on price, they made it emotional with the Singapore Girl...
Faced with such a challenge, most businesses resort to the easiest, no-brainer path: discounting. The airlines are a classic example of this, undercutting each other because they can’t be bothered putting in the hard mental yards to come up with something better.
(Even here, there are examples of airlines actually striking an emotional note with their marketing. Remember the Singapore Airlines ads featuring their emotional icon, the Singapore Girl? They backed it up with the rational proposition, ‘Inflight service even other airlines talk about…’)
Aside: the rebel in me can’t help wondering what would happen if an airline offered a guarantee: We’ll get you there alive, or your money back.
Most business owners, having come up with a compelling offer – which is the rational reason to buy – rest on their laurels and leave it there. But the smart ones keep working at it, chewing away until they come up with that hard-to-define emotional reason to buy. I often call it a Unique Selling Proposition. But it can equally be re-named an ESP or Emotional Selling Proposition.
Either way, these are salon marketing tools that work, and work for you.
The real difference between one hair salon and another, between one day spa and another, is at best small, and certainly difficult to convey to the uneducated. But an emotional difference is – while more difficult to find in the first place – much easier to get across, much easier for the prospect to feel, and therefore much more powerful.
It’s less than 2 weeks in to 2014 and our Worldwide Salon Marketing members are already out of the blocks with a roar with emails and phone calls coming in to our office from excited salon owners telling us about their successful campaigns.
This morning I spoke on the phone with Maree Hoare, of Red Hair in Palmerston North. Maree joined us just one month ago and has shown immediately what it takes to be a successful marketer of her business.
She hasn’t sat around waiting for the phone to ring, instead she’s got straight down to business, is creating her own success and taking complete control of her business.
When Maree opened her salon this morning she noticed some gaps in the booking system later in the week. So armed with the tools she needed to fix that problem, she opened up her computer, visited the members only template website and found an SMS example that she could adapt for her own salon.
She sent the message out to just 400 people of her SMS list and within 30 minutes had no fewer than 12 bookings.
“With schools being on holiday it gets a bit quiet around this time of year in Palmerston North, I need to keep my team busy and so at this late stage it seemed a text message to my clients would be the quickest option to fill the gaps later in the week. It took me a few minutes to put the message together from the examples on the website and then I sent it out and within minutes the phone was ringing hot! The system says the SMS’s are still being sent out so I am sure I will get even more calls than the dozen we have already had in the last half an hour. But I am really happy with the result.”
The hair offer Maree sent out by text was for $79. Given that a text will cost about 10c per message that’s a $40 cost for a return so far of $948. I would call that a great return on investment.
And the message also saw at least 2 long lost clients make a booking in the salon.
Since joining WSM in December, Maree has already put in to action steps to help her work more as a marketer on her business. Could you imagine earning $948 in 30 minutes if you were cutting someones hair or doing a facial? Not likely unless you are the hairdresser to David Beckham. So Maree is already seeing the value of her time spent marketing rather than being a technician cutting hair.
And in addition to Maree’s amazing SMS campaign she also launched her mini memberships last week which she has already sold 7 bringing in and extra $1400 in income.
A massive congrats to Maree for her great start to 2014 and we can’t wait to hear more from her as the year progresses.
For WSM members, you can see the SMS that Maree sent on our members only Facebook forum. Click her now to check it out.
If you are not a member of one of our WSM programs but want to kick start 2014 the way Maree has done then click here now to apply and one of our team will be on the phone to you immediately. Or call one of our worldwide offices to speak with someone now.
New Zealand 09 476 1592
Australia 08 9443 9327
USA & Canada 250 590 0449
Over the last 5 years since starting Worldwide Salon Marketing in New Zealand we have seen and heard many success stories from salons owners, some of whom prior to joining WSM have been close to closing their doors, and others that already have successful and established salons but just want to know how to improve their businesses even further and make more money.
It’s fantastic to be part of helping salons achieve great success and reach goals, so when that success is recognized by a third party its even more satisfying.
Which is exactly what happened to Margaret Walsh of Face & Body in Titirangi.
At the recent New Zealand Beauty Gala Awards at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland Margaret and her team at Face and Body in Titirangi, picked up the ‘Runner-up’ prize in the category for Marketing Excellence, an Award sponsored by Worldwide Salon Marketing NZ.
Worldwide Salon Marketing wants to congratulate Margaret for her achievement. Marketing is always evolving and Margaret has shown that her salon has used a great blend of traditional media, whilst embracing new media like apps and social media.
WELL DONE MARGARET WALSH & THE TEAM AT FACE & BODY TITIRANGI!!!
CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO OF MARGARET WALSH
And I also want to extend a MASSIVE congratulations to the winner of Marketing Excellence, Nicola Quinn from Nicola Quinn Day Spa in Christchurch.
There’s a funny story behind this also. Nicola is not a member of WSM, however I have always been an admirer of Nicola’s salon, even more so since the terrible things that have happened with the earthquakes in Christchurch over the last couple of years.
Whilst in Christchurch visiting some of our WSM members I popped in to say hello to Nicola who was unavailable. So I left her a hand written note encouraging her to enter the Marketing Excellence award, which she obviously did. When presenting her award on the night Nicola told me she still has my note, which I thought was great.
So a BIG CONGRATS to Nicola Quinn and her team at Nicola Quinn Day Spa.
Finally, Worldwide Salon Marketing NZ also co-sponsored the ‘Best New Business’ category to which we would like to congratulate Louise Dickinson of ‘Chrysalis’ in Browns Bay, Auckland.
Well done to ALL the finalists from the Team at Worldwide Salon Marketing!
Christopher and the Team at Worldwide Salon Marketing New Zealand help salon owners chase the dream of becoming more successful and profitable. If you like the sound of that then click here to find out more – obligation FREE. We have packages that can fit ALL salon types and sizes!
Many times every week, we interview salon owners and almost invariably, to the question ‘what kind of marketing are you doing right now, or have done in the past?’ we get an answer like this:
“Oh, I’ve tried mailbox flyers/direct mail/newspaper ads/Yellow Pages/radio…(take your pick)…and IT doesn’t work/it’s a waste of money/it never got any results….” Blah blah blah.
And it always amuses me. What they’re actually saying is
“I couldn’t make it work…for me.”
If mailbox flyers ‘don’t work’, then why do ya reckon that every night when you go home, your mailbox is overflowing with ‘junk’ mail from every kind of real estate business under the sun? Would they keep doing it, week after week, month after month, year after year, if IT wasn’t working? No company has a bottomless pit of money.
If newspaper advertising was a complete waste of money, it would seem to me that almost every company on the planet is staffed with
The Dumbest People in Dumb Town
Because you’ve gotta ask yourself, surely they wouldn’t keep shelling out year after year if the thing didn’t produce a result?
If newspaper advertising was nothing more than a black hole that sucks down money like a vortex and never spits anything back out again, newspapers would a) never have got off the ground in the first place, or b) would long ago have gone out of business, their only source of oxygen cut off en masse.
But it’s pretty typical. Salon owners – most owners of small businesses, in fact – blame the media when their marketing doesn’t work. It ain’t the fault of the media. It’s yours, for lack of clear thinking.
Most business owners get the process all backwards. They book space in the newspaper then they think about what to put in the ad. And because they’ve done the last thing first, with no ‘sales thinking’ the ad usually ends up looking like nothing more appetizing than a business card.
Here’s the process:
1) Marketing message. What are you going to say to your target market that is compelling, that cannot be ignored, that is unique, that must be responded to?
2) But the best marketing message on the planet is no better than the worst marketing message on the planet if it falls on deaf ears. Who are you going to say it to – and by deliberate strategy, who are you NOT going to say it to? Are you specific with your preferred target market, or are you just going to throw mud at all of ‘em and hope some of it sticks?
3) Finally, when you’ve figured out what compelling message you’re going to deliver, and who you’re going to deliver it to, the media pretty much chooses itself. (Hint: you’re hardly going to create a great offer appealing to debutantes/young brides-to-be, then book a full page in ‘Seniors Week’, are you??)
Be intelligent with your marketing. Do the ‘sales thinking’ process in the right order. Identify your target market. Create a compelling message/offer just for them. Only then do you choose the media you’re going to use to deliver that message to that market.
Once you get the process right, you’ll find that in fact, with better Direct Response methods applied to the copy, whichever media you choose is going to work a whole lot better for you. And that applies to online – websites, apps, social media – just as much as it does to hard copy.
Want salon & spa marketing that’s actually proven to work? The famous Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit® is FULL of done-for-you marketing templates used successfully by thousands of salons all over the world – and it’s just a small part of the entire My Social Salon marketing & mentoring program, including website SEO, your own customized Smart Salon Mobile App, member forums, unlimited tech support, access to the entire Members Only ‘sealed section’ website and template library, and much more.