Recession busting strategies

Posted on February 9, 2009. Filed under: marketing | Tags: , , , , |

I have mentioned to you before that our primary advertising tool for the salon is Citysearch.  It works well for us and so we keep at it (in good times and bad.)  I wanted to share with you an email I got from my Citysearch account manager.  I was impressed with the personalized service and as I read the message, I couldn’t help think that she was following the same advice she was giving.  It can’t be easy to sell advertising to companies who are facing cash flow shortfalls, but she is working it.  If you are in the Seattle/Tacoma area, I suugest you give her a call and see if she can help ypur business.  If you aren’t, check out Citysearch in your area and see what other salons are doing.

Hi Aura,

This morning, I listened to a great presentation on the Salon/Spa/Massage industry, focusing largely on how small business like you can make it through these times. I thought there was some great advice presented, so I am passing on these recession busting strategies I learned today.

From one professional to another…“The last thing you should do is put a blanket over your head… This is the time you invest in your customers and seek to gain new ones.” Lee Anne Sullivan, Salon Owner in Hyannis, MA

What you can do:

Create extra value

Give them another service free for booking a service

A how-to night on make-up application

A champagne social night

Focus on retention

Reward repeat client with discounts on additional products or services

Thank your customers with an email post visit

Be Positive

Create an oasis from stress

Survey your clients

Use data to improve your service

Market aggressively—and efficiently!

If you need any help thinking of promotions/incentives or help adding them to your Citysearch listing, let me know.

All the Best,


Marie Kochert

Senior Account Executive

P: 206-215-4120    C: 206-375-3727    F: 213-351-7013



An operating business of IAC

419 Occidental Ave S, 3rd Floor

Seattle, WA 98104

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No cost advertising?

Posted on April 13, 2008. Filed under: marketing, small business | Tags: , , , , |

I found a creative advertising done by a salon on the Minneapolis Craig’s List.  I haven’t ever tried it, but with a price of FREE, it seems worth a shot, don’t you think?  Remember, with Craig’s List, the posting will expire, so you will have to repost it regularly.  The good thing about that is that it gives you the opportunity to test a number of different approaches and see which is more effective.  I think it might be a great tool to use to help build a newer staff member.

Small Salon, Big Talent!!!!! We will know your name (Maple Grove)

Reply to:
Date: 2008-04-12, 6:24PM CDT

Here it is, the salon you have been looking for. All price levels, amazing talent. New talent at $15 haircuts. Veteran stylists at $45, $50 and $75. Hair color specialists(Educators to the industry).

Extensions from Cinderella hair-try a few or a lot!

LCN Gel nails from the best artists in the biz.
Manicures, Pedicures in the most sanitary area.

Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup, Bumble and Bumble, Kenra, Logics DNA

  • Location: Maple Grove
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 640180163

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Why I don’t bother spending money on TV or radio advertising

Posted on March 31, 2008. Filed under: marketing | Tags: , , , |

A couple of years ago I wrote a book.  As publicity for the book, I did almost three dozen radio interviews.  I was on big stations with big audiences.  I was on shows with big guests (one morning I was the guest immediately preceding Gene Simmons.)  Not once was I able to see an increase in book sales based on those appearances.

The local NBC affiliate featured me on their local show Evening Magazine (watch the video here.)

I am grateful for the publicity.  The bottom line, however, is that it didn’t result in more clients for the salon or more book sales.

I got the radio and TV spots because I ran an ad in RTIR, a publication that goes out to radio and TV producers.  I spent a fair amount of money on the ad, and if I gauge the effectiveness of the ad on how many spots I got, then I would say it was a success.  But if I gauge the effectiveness on new business or book sales, then I have to say it was a failure.

Advertising is an interesting game and I have tried to play it many ways.

What I tried that didn’t work:

  • Co-op advertising with Aveda in the newspaper (It cost a fortune and rarely produced results.  Perhaps it produced results for Aveda, but we didn’t see new business because of it.)
  • Slide shows at the movie theatre (The only people who seemed to notice were existing clients.)movies ad
  • Fliers left on door knobs and car winshields (I think people were more annoyed than interested.)
  • Coupons in bulk mailers –  i.e. Val-Pak (The only new customers we got were people who came just for the discount and did not become regular clients)

What I tried that worked:

  • CitySearch (We first started using this as our co-op advertising with Aveda.  They discontinued offering this as a vehicle for co-op benefits and it was one of the reasons we decided to stop being a Concept Salon.)
  • Chevy Astro Van (I bought a used cargo van for about $3000 and had vinyl graphics put on for another $3000.  We used it for business trips to supply houses, Costco and popular restaurants.  It was a moving billboard that we used for 10 years.  That’s only $600 a year…WAY cheaper than a billboard and I got to use it to haul things, too!  I stripped the vinyl off and sold it a few years ago and I still have new customers say they saw the van.)va

What it has all boiled down to (for me and my salon) is this:  What does it cost and does it work?  Some advertising makes me (the business owner) feel good, but doesn’t bring in new customers who we can convert to loyal clients.  That would be a waste of money.  If I want to spend money to make myself feel good, I would rather go to the spa and get pampered.  It’s a better return on my investment.  The only reason to spend money on advertising is to get more clients or to get the clients you have to spend more money.  Otherwise you are throwing money away.

What have you tried that worked or didn’t work?

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