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Old 09-13-2005, 01:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Let's try to categorize the "typical" options and their pros/cons

1. Newspapers -- Every town has one (or more), question is -- does YOUR market read them and will they see your ad?? In some small towns or suburbs, the "local" paper has all the info you need to know, and may be widely read by the 30+ crowd. In general, not the place to find most younger tanners.

2. Coupon mags/multi-ad mailers - JB Dollar, Penny saver, ValPak, Money Mailer,...... - Large distribution at small cost. "Return" varies by market - some do GREAT with these, some get very little response. Best used in an attempt to draw new tanners to your salon - have a great offer to get them in the door!

3. Other "coupon" delivered options - Advo, flyers delivered with the paper, etc. Exact options will vary by market - look for what comes to YOUR home (if you live in the market), what gets your attention, and what YOU and YOUR FRIENDS (or people in your target market) use!

4. Radio - Can be very cost-effective for a multi-salon operation, harder to get your "bang for your buck" for single salons in most markets. Better off doing a "blitz" during a short time period (e.g. for a free tan weekend) then just occasional spots spread throughout the season.

5. Phone book ads - Probably fewer than 10% of salons think this really is a good source for them anymore. Multiple phone book options in most communities, and most (younger) people don't use them at all anymore.

6. Grocery Sales Slip coupons -- generally inexpensive, but also generally ineffective.

7. Direct mail - Generally between 25 and 40 cents printed and delivered per address. Effectiveness will depend on quality of the addresses, attractiveness of the offer and the "medium" (do they want to read it?) and timing! Free tan in October not NEARLY as interesting as Free tan in April! Targeted direct mail, to your data base (once established) can be very cost effective - you KNOW they tan already, just need an offer to get them back in your door!

8. Phone calls and/or emails - Can work with smaller salons, calling customers or sending them an email with a brief "offer" to entice them to come to the salon to hear more.

9. Cross promotions with other local businesses -- Pick based on shared customer demographics and/or geography. Pizza places and other fast food, florists, tux shops, hair salons, nail shops, gyms, travel agencies,..... Limited only by your imagination and willingness to go in, introduce yourself, and ask to talk to the owner about how you could help each other! "Free tan" cards, flyers, drawings for gift certificates, combined openhouses,.

10. Referral System - Giving current customers "incentives" to refer new customers to the store. Contests as well as ongoing programs.

11. Internet - salon website as well as web traffic directed by equipment (e.g. mystic tan), google ads, on-line phone directories, etc.


Key for ANY advertising ---

A. KNOW YOUR MARKET - WHO are you trying to attract and are you using the right "medium" to find them

B. EFFECTIVE OFFERS - the BEST medium/venue can fail miserably if the offer is no good. Focus on GETTING THEM IN THE DOOR - "close" the sale once you get them there.

C. Have to SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY (as well as time and effort!) - Initially, it is NOT a case of "if you build it, they will come". Takes a LOT to get "established" and "known" in the eyes of consumers. The faster you do that, the faster you'll be on your road to a profitable salon!

D. REPETITION, REPETITION, REPETITION - One "shot" at almost anything, is going to be less effective than repeated attempts. Sometimes they don't "see" it until they've been "shown" it 3 or 4 times! It can help considerably if you pick a color, font, graphic, tag line, "style" -- ANYthing (or combination of these things) to help "tie" your messages together in the consumer's mind. And don't save up for "one BIG" advertising attempt -- do some little things along the way to build up steam and familiarity so the "one big one" doesn't fall on deaf ears!

Anything we've forgotten??

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Quote:
On 2005-07-20 22:26:00, Neon Beach wrote:
sunsally, as I mentioned has good advice

And I stand by that!! Big Time!!


[ This Message was edited by: sunsally on 2005-09-13 13:12 ][ This Message was edited by: sunsally on 2005-09-13 17:08 ]
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Old 09-13-2005, 01:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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once again sunsally your a sticky!!
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Old 09-13-2005, 01:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Two Thumbs up.
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Old 10-26-2005, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Sunsally,
I have to agree with you on most of what you wrote but not all. It certainly does depend on your market, but I'd like to take our salon for example. We are in a small town, less than 29,000 people in the entire town, less than 50,000 in the county.

Radio:The ONLY form of advertising that seems to work for us is radio. We are a single salon. Each and every time we have advertised on the radio we have had wonderful results. In fact, we recently signed a contract to advertise on four of the local stations (all owned by the same broadcasting company) which will reach the entire county, with pop music, country, talk radio and easy listening. We will have 30 second ads and each ad has been created by a national company. Included is what they call "donuts" where we can insert items such as specials, lotions etc.

Yellow Page advertising: We've done it for going on three years with again, great results. People living in small towns really have no other way of finding out information, so they turn to the best thing they know how: the telephone book. We have had many, many clients tell us they found us in the yellow pages. This is older and young alike.

Newspapers: Has never worked for us. We've spent a small fortune placing ads of all sizes in the local newspaper and had very little response, if any. After paying close to $300 for one ad, we had one person come in and tell us they saw it in the newspaper. Even recently we had the local newspaper do a really nice writeup on us and although several people mentioned they saw the article and our picture, we didn't generate any new business from it. Granted the paper only comes out three times a week but trust me, very few people read it!

Our referral system works very good during season. We have so many people coming in and referring others during our busy times but not so much during slow season. We give $5 in bonus bucks to the referring party if their friend signs up for a package. They really like it when they send in friends because they can use their bonus bucks towards another package, lotion or anything we have retail.

All in all, the ideas you present are good.....with a few exceptions as you can see. It really does depend on your market and only you can find your market. We make our name known in the community as much as possible. Since our particular town is very big into pageants, everything from Little Miss to Mrs, we sponsor these pageants, and my husband coaches a children's soccer team where our name is on the back of the kids' jersey. Whenever there is anything going on in our town, we try to be a part of it. We have never declined the invitation to donate to any worthy cause involving our town's people. Everything from fundraising to school functions, we are there.

This past year a new movie theater just opened and we will be advertising on the screens in each theater. It is worth what we will pay monthly to have our name placed where everyone who attends a movie will see it. Just think about it, you're sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start. What else is there to do but read what's on the screen? We'll offer free tans for bringing in their ticket stub.
I thought I would add these last few items to your list. This of course is just our opinion on what works for us and what doesn't. You have to figure it out for yourself and get to know your market. Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2005, 03:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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On 2005-10-26 13:52:00, Laney wrote:
We'll offer free tans for bringing in their ticket stub.



That's a good idea. It will also let you track the "movie tanners", and will allow you to see if your advertisement is working and worth the money.
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Laney -

Great feedback. I don't disagree with anything you said. The bottom line is "know YOUR market!".

Radio for example, I said was generally best for "multi-salon owners", but reading your comments, a better way of summarizing radio is that "it is best when you are already very well-known/placed in your market". In a smaller town, they already know who/where you are and in a smaller and more isolated town (as it sounds like you are) you have more of a "devoted" radio station as opposed to one that covers a HUGE reach (like the major metro stations).

Meanwhile, you are one of the 10% of salons that get a good response from Yellow Pages ads too -- lucky for you!

Agree with Tanzenite -- the bringing in the ticket stub is a good idea. Some may do it because they heard they could, not because they saw your ad -- but it may cause them to LOOK for your ad NEXT time they go to the movies!

Now is the time of year you should be "planning" your advertising budget for the year ahead. Keep the ideas coming if anyone has others!
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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AWESOME INFO. THANKS!!!
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Old 10-27-2005, 06:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Movie Theaters did not work so well for me. I have spend over $6000 over 6 months and it was definatley the worst response ever. I live in the city of 40,000 population. Direct mail and refferal program works the best for me.
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Movie theaters will only work and it's an if...If you can create a large promotion. It would have to be a "Become a movie star contest" and you receive screen shots, movie passes, registration boxes, handouts, and before the movie MC, and a local radio station driving traffic for "premier passes"to your night. Very intrusive program...in your face marketing.
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