How to Create A Client-Attracting, Money-Making Ad That Actually Works for your Salon

No salon advertising, no matter how well written, is worth spending money on unless it has a great offer.

Take a look through the newspaper. It is astounding how many business owners have spent good money to buy expensive ad space, and filled it with nothing more than a big business card.

Unless you’re letting the reader know exactly what the offer is, most of them will just skip over the ad and the whole point of the advertisement is lost.

An offer is NOT discounting. In fact, discounting is a last resort, and does more damage than good in most cases. Discounting not only takes money out of your pocket, it trains your clients to expect it. If you’ve ever had a phone call from somebody asking when your next special discount is on, you’ll know what I mean.

In direct response marketing, an OFFER is best described as a deal where if they pick up the phone now and make an appointment they’ll get some added thing, or combination of things that they cannot get another time, or they can only get if they’re among the first 12 or 17 or 29 to call.

To give you an idea of the difference between a weak offer and a strong offer, we’ll take an analogy.

Let’s say two men are each selling a horse. One says to the horse buyer, “Here’s my horse, give me the money now and you can take the horse.” 

The other one says “Don’t give me any money now. Take Bessie for a week, ride her as you wish, and after a week if you like Bessie, only then give me the money.”

Now, who do you think is going to make the sale?

The second seller hasn’t lost anything by taking the money a week later. Yet, he’ll probably be able to sell more horses at a higher price than the first seller simply because he’s making it seem like his offer is a good deal better than the other.

 Typically, a good beauty industry offer would be built on an existing service you want to sell, combined with free add-ons that cost you little or nothing to provide, but which give massive perceived value to the customer.

Perceived value is when the value add-on is of little or no actual cost to you, but increases the value of the services offered to the person reading the ad. Saying “Hurry, $249 worth of beauty treatments for just $99 for the first 14 people to call” may be a little bit of a sleight of hand, but without offers like this, your marketing is dead in the water.

Packaging The Offer

Once you’ve crafted a great offer, you can then start getting a bit more sophisticated. Let’s say that until now all you’ve had is a price list. In my view a price list is a poor way to market your services, since it encourages people to price shop, like walking along the server in a cafeteria. Granted that everyone likes a good deal, but the meaning of the word deal itself means good VALUE. It does not necessarily mean lower prices.

Want to know why? If the only distinguishing factor about your salon is the price, then you become a commodity. Once people start perceiving you as a commodity you become replaceable and/or interchangeable.

Are your customers calling you and asking what the prices of certain services are? Are they complaining about the prices that you charge? If you see a long time regular after a few months and ask her why she hasn’t visited you and get “Oh I couldn’t get an appointment with you, so I went to the place around the corner and kind of just kept going there.”!

If this is happening to you then for sure, you’ve become a commodity to them, meaning that they can get what you give anywhere. It isn’t necessary for them to come to you.

The situation is not irretrievable though and there are a number of things you can do like revising your prices upward, or starting new services, or even prune your customer list.

During these difficult times when the economy is not doing too well, it is easy to fall into the trap of reducing prices. I am, however, fundamentally opposed to mere discounting as a way to increase sales.

The important thing therefore is to ensure that it is not price alone that is your distinguishing factor. In fact some of the best ads ever written didn’t even mention any product, far less its features or price. It appealed to the emotion of the reader.

This is a very important concept in marketing, that people do not make buying decisions based on reason.

According to US marketing guru Dan Kennedy, ‘under normal conditions, only 10% of customers always buy by price, their decisions governed by price, because they have no choice. This group is largely made up of “working poor”, low-wage working people with more mouths to feed than they can afford food for. Nothing wrong with them as people. A lot to admire – except the choices they make that keep them poor.

‘But no good reason to have them – or worse, seek them out as customers. Yet, strangely, most business owners focus 90% of their energy on price even while only 10% of customers decide based on price.

However, there are 20% who make most buying decisions with little weight given to price or cheapest price, and 5% who never consider price….’

So, which customers do you want? It is my contention that you get the customers you deserve.

Most buying decisions are based only on emotion.

If therefore you are appealing to the rational part of the human, you will never get as much response as if you appeal to the emotional part.

Just take a look at some of the ads that are listed here. The very first ad is the one placed by Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic adventurer. It’s a very simple ad, does not have any pictures, does not promise anything other than negatives, and basically is one of the worst kind of ads that you can place according to advertising professionals.

Here’s what the ad said

Men wanted

For hazardous journey, small wages,

bitter cold, long months of complete darkness,

constant danger, safe return doubtful,

honour and recognition in case of success.

This ad came out on December 29, 1913 in the London Times and it brought in more than 5,000 applicants including three women.

On the face of it, this ad does not have the power to bring this kind of response, but if you understand what the ad is about, you’ll realize that it is a deliberate, well planned and brilliantly executed dare to every red-blooded male in the whole United Kingdom.

A good contemporary example would be the advertisement for Singapore Airlines. In a time of recession when airlines all over the world are cutting down on price in order to become more competitive, they are one of the few airlines that have not gotten into this race.

Cutting down on price or discounting as we have already discussed is not the right way to market your goods or services. Whatever you do, however much you try to cut your price, there will be someone somewhere who will undercut you.

The only sensible thing to do then, is to appeal to the emotion of the buyer. This is what Singapore Airlines have done brilliantly.

They use the ‘Singapore girl to show you visually, how you will be cosseted and cared for in their airliners. Rationally speaking, would you expect any less in any other airline? But none of the others have caught on to this and are paying for it with loss of business.

Yet by appealing to the emotion of the user, Singapore Airlines is able to maintain its pricing and show growth in profits at a time when many other airlines are looking for bailout plans.

What about the legendary ad for the Rolls Royce. It came out in 1958 and is sometimes referred to as the “Most famous headline in advertising history.” All it says is

“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest sound you can hear in the new Rolls Royce is the ticking of the clock.”

More than half a century has gone by and no other luxury car maker has managed to bring out an ad that even comes close to this.

All these advertisements have one thing in common; they give some sort of emotional benefit rather than a physical one and emotional trumps physical every time.

One way to stop people cafeteria shopping is to package your products and services, and re-brand them so that they cannot be compared apples to apples with your competitors.

For example, you might currently offer a cut and colour at a certain price. But if you value-add by listing all the nominally free services you provide as part of this cut and colour, you come up with a package that has enormous added value. And remember, there is no point doing this unless you are going to list the added extras, with their nominal value, in your marketing message.

You can then simply name this new package, re-brand it if you like, so that it’s called the ‘Scarlett Johanssen Glamour Make-Over’, or whatever. You can actually take the exact same package, give it a couple of tweaks, and call it something different, for example the ‘Meryl Streep Screen Goddess’ package, to appeal to a different demographic.

“How Do I Write Ads That Work?”

Writing ads that work – writing ads that find you actual clients, that’s the skill. And that’s all readily available, all so very easy to learn, tweak, and use whenever you want to turn on your “money” tap. I’ve compiled the Starter Packa 2-part manual that shows you exactly how to write an ad that brings in clients like a flood – and, ready-to-use marketing templates with it.

See, this will give you the exact tools, the exact SYSTEM used by thousands of salons and spas across the globe, making them money every single day. 

And the best part? It’s all guaranteed.

SO. If you’re ready to start finding more clients, get ahead of your marketing and write ads that really work.

[FREE SALON MARKETING TEMPLATE] How to Write Ads That Work for Marketing Your Salon

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.

David Ogilvy is the grandfather of marketing, and he said it best.