Ready, set, market! It’s not always quite that easy. Marketing tools and promotions you’ve used through the years can start to feel a little stale, to you, your staff and your clients. On the following pages, you’ll find 30 ideas in six different categories on smart solutions to tough marketing challenges. Borrow a few for your own business and watch your profits soar.
1. The Salon: Avalon Salons, with four locations in Dallas, Texas
The Owner: Ric Bowden
The Marketing Challenge: With the rapid expansion of the salon chain and the growing number of clients, salon management found it more and more difficult to communicate to clients through traditional channels, such as promotional fliers and personal phone calls.
The Solution: The salon contracted with the e-mail marketing firm Constant Contact to help it develop a series of monthly e-mails that could either be directed at the salon’s entire database, or target specific populations of clients. “To gather and update client e-mail addresses, we had a drawing that offered two one-night gift certificates to the W Hotel. Clients could enter the contest simply by filling out a card with their current address, phone number and e-mail address,” says Jonné Tomeo, marketing director.
Using the firm’s templates, Tomeo develops monthly e-mail newsletters that inform clients of salon open houses, special product and service promotions and changes in staffing. “The best part of the program is all the statistical data it provides—it tells us who opened the e-mail, who clicked on the connection to the website, what time of day most people open their e-mail. All that information helps us improve our future communication.”
The program costs about $30 a month, providing an efficient, easy and inexpensive method for reaching clients with salon information. It also allows receivers to forward the newsletter to friends, resulting in new client contacts for the salon.
The Results: “We saw a great response when we sent out an e-mail promotion for our holiday sale—product sales increased 15 percent, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of sales,” says Tomeo. The salon currently has 3,700 client e-mail addresses in the database, and Tomeo says she gets about 20 new potential clients who visit the website and sign up for the newsletter each week.
2. The Salon: Avantgarde Salon Inc. in Destin, Florida
The Owner: Joseph Rogers
The Challenge: The salon’s original location primarily operated on appointments booked months in advance. When the salon recently opened a second location in a shopping center, it needed to broaden its marketing strategy to include a very different target market, including walk-in clientele. “Our new strategies needed to expand to encompass our growing staff, clientele, and new hours while keeping true to our name and original atmosphere,” says manager Sami Jones.