Get more out of 8 out of 10!

Friends!

8 out of 10 is here to help you build your business and that will happen much better for you if you participate more by asking specific questions that may be on your mind.

The site contains a lot of tips and information, but of course much of it may not relate to your business directly.

If you would like ‘personalised’ advice about anything you feel I could help with, please don’t hesitate to email me using the contact form. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results you get from doing this and if it’s something you’re happy for me to share among other members, it could help others as well.

Please put me to the test!

Bob

Animation Sells!

Sometimes to get a better result from your advertising, you’ve got to go to a bit of trouble to get a really good ad produced.

On that subject, it’s also fair to say that most businesses expect the newspaper, radio station or television station that they’re advertising with to produce their ad or ads for them. The main reason for this being that they will usually produce them for nothing or at very reasonable cost because they also get the money for the advertising space as part of the deal. Independent graphic designers, and freelance radio and TV ad producers can’t afford to match such low prices and besides, the quality of work they do for you should be far superior anyway and obviously cost a lot more.

That’s a topic in itself and we’ll revisit that at another time, for now however, I want to talk about using animation in your ads.

Over the years I’ve had associations with a number of very talented animators and often used their talents for my clients. Animation can provide a very powerful and attention getting component to any ad, even an ad that has a simple and straight-forward message.

People are drawn to animation be it in the form of a cartoon in a print ad, a cartoon voice in a radio ad or just an animated television ad. If you have an ad campaign in mind, it could be worth considering if animation could be an option to achieve what you’re trying to achieve. If you think it could, ask your media reps who they know that might be worth talking to. Most media reps would have access to people who do animation in one form or another.

BADMAN_20110908To give you an idea how animation can be used effectively in press ads, I’ve attached a few examples of print ads that a friend of mine has done for our publication. I’ve also included one that he did for himself.

His name is Mike Badman and he’s a former Disney animator and one look at his work will show he has a special talent. If you’d like to contact him about anything here’s his details:

Mike Badman
Badman Ink
badmanink@bigpond.com
www.badmanink.blogspot.com

October 2015 Ad Spanish OCL ad 3

Make sure you get the word out quickly!

My wife and I enjoy a regular coffee shop experience, in fact most weeks we’d have either a morning or afternoon tea or lunch somewhere. And over time we’d settled on a few favourite venues that we tend to rotate around a bit.

Recently however, and quite by chance, we decided to go and try a place we’d heard mentioned but really had no idea what exactly it was. It was called a cafe but it was located just out of town in a well known motel facility. To be honest I thought it was only there to cater for motel guests.

Anyway, we went along and quite frankly, after the experience, we were gob-smacked at how nice it was. The venue, the atmosphere, the food, the views and the value were all right up there with the best of them where we live. How had we not heard of this place earlier?

I took the opportunity to introduce myself and quiz the owner. I discovered they’d been there for about 15 months and the cafe part of the facility was only just paying its way. They also had a function centre adjacent to the cafe and it was going well. The owner told me they had received a lot of bad advertising advice at the beginning and had spent a lot of money for little result. Since then they had tried to find someone in marketing to help them with advice etc. and said that those they spoke to wanted a ‘lot’ of money.

I told the owner I’d help them. I told them that in my professional opinion, it was only a matter of getting the word out to more people like my wife and I. Really, if ever I’d seen a cafe that people would knock themself out to frequent, this was it. I just couldn’t believe that these folk had been there so long and that people like us hadn’t heard enough about it to want to go there.

The moral of this story is simple. If you feel you’ve got something that people would like and want to come back for again and again, make sure you get the word out quickly!

There are many ways to do this but in this cafe’s case the very first starting point would be a small ad in their local newspaper for a few weeks simply stating what you want people to know.

Here a simple example –

 

Make sure you get the word out quickly ADA simple and inexpensive ad like this will work well because it has at least one important ingredient, the word “new”. People will always want to try something new, especially if it has anything to do with food. In this cafe’s case, my view is that once people try it, they’ll keep coming back. My wife and I certainly will!

Don’t under-estimate a dripping tap!

In this day and age it’s very easy to get caught up in the spectacular. That is, we focus so much on the outstanding that we overlook or under-value what is none-the-less good.

And so it is with some advertising. A lot of business advertisers only tend to advertise with big results in mind when there are great gains to be made with smaller initiatives as well.

Keep in mind what I’ve said repeatedly in one form or another, that is the name of the game is essentially to keep your existing customers happy and coming back while gradually adding new ones along the way. Determine to grow your overall customer base gradually and you’ll grow your business.

One cost effective and useful way to do this, for a lot of businesses at least, is to regularly use the classifieds in your local newspaper. I call it the dripping tap approach. If you leave a tap dripping for long enough, you’ll end up with a lot of water.

Classifieds are still a very effective and cheap way to advertise but best results are gained when you use them regularly. Often your local newspaper will negotiate very attractive low rates for a regular booking so don’t be afraid to negotiate hard for a good deal.

I’ll let you fill in the blanks but below I have included a series of different classified ads for a variety of business types that will give you some ideas. These are only examples of course but each is designed to interest your existing customers and at the same time snare some new customers. Like with all advertising, make sure you say something worth hearing about and don’t be afraid to try different things to determined what types of offers work best.

 

Dripping tap classified examples

Is television advertising right for you?

Earlier in my career I was a television sales rep for a regional station and as such I gained a lot of experience in the television industry.

Back in those days, television was considered a very glamorous industry and although it still is today, it’s certainly not as glamorous as it was back then.

set

From an advertising point of view too, back then there was only one station and it cost good money to be on television but you did have the benefit of a captive and total audience. Today, there are any number of stations, the technology lets you skip ad breaks, hiring movies is still a popular option, and we now have the internet to contend with as well. The result of all this is that when you buy a television ad package today, the cost may seem very attractive, even reasonable, but there are a lot of questions about how people respond to television ads today compared to when I was in the industry 20 odd years ago.

That said, many businesses are still attracted to advertising on television, particular smaller businesses who may not have been able to afford television advertising in the past. On face value and in view of where we are with the economy today, television advertising can look very appealing for some business owners. For me however, and purely as a general rule, although I think television has its place, I’d only place ads in programs that I know would have a very strong audience. To do this I’d have to pay premium rates but at least I’d be sure that I was reaching a maximum audience. For me anything less would be a compromise with audience numbers very much open to question.

Let me explain that a little further.

Once upon a time, ads were placed in particular time zones, this was in the days when there was only one commercial station and everyone was glued to their television for up to 30 hours a week.

Today, it’s far more sophisticated and ads in individual programs are priced according to their surveyed audience numbers. This makes sense of course because as I’ve said elsewhere, when you buy any ad, what you’re really buying is an audience. When all things are considered some programs, like the main news bulletin at night, are known to have a huge audience while say a program during the day or late at night may have only a fraction of the audience of the news. Obviously the cost of ads placed in each program should reflect this otherwise everyone would expect their ads to appear in the news bulletin.

So… getting back to my point about reaching the maximum audience, I’d be looking to place all my ads in the main national news bulletins on the most highly rated networks, pay the higher price and expect that the nightly National News would at least be less prone for people to be flicking channels, watching videos, recorded for viewing later and so on. Any other ad placement leaves your ads open to the whims of viewers and far more likely to be missed or flicked over. Not the sort of thing you want to happen if you’ve paid out good money believing people will see you ads.

Of course, what I’ve painted here is a very bleak picture but to be fair, there’s no doubt that television advertising is still a very effective way to advertise and all I’m trying to do here is encourage you to go in with your eyes open and to make sure you give yourself the best chance of success.

If you do take the plunge into television, here are few more things to consider –

In addition to the cost of the advertising space, television stations usually charge for the production of any ads you need as well. The cost of producing a television ad can vary greatly and in many cases the end result is a case of you get what you pay for and depends very much on the skills and dedication of the script writers or producers who work with you. A well thought out ad will serve you well but one that has not been well thought out won’t.

Television stations, particularly in regional areas, often have very big coverage areas. In Orange NSW where I live, the local commercial stations reach as far away as several hundred kilometres. If your business is looking to attract customers from that far away, television can be very helpful and cost effective but if realistically, people generally would come that far for what you sell or offer, you could find yourself paying for a big chunk of audience that is not appropriate for you. It can be false economy.

Television lends itself very well to visuals so if feel viewers would respond to your product(s), your business or your branding better if they could actually see these things through a television ad, that’s a plus. The trick here of course is to ensure that any pictures you put on television reflect very well on your business and will be an encouragement for people to deal with you. Put bluntly, if your TV ad looks or sounds like crap, you can hardly expect people to warm to your business. Make sure any television ad you do at least presents you in a favourable light. Better to have someone come in your door and say “gee it looked different on TV” than have them not come in at all. On this topic and on a slightly humorous note, has anyone ever bought a Subway sandwich that looks like those they show in their television ads? I think not!

It is said that people remember 80% of what they see and 20% of what they hear. If that be true, and in a very general sense, one television ad would compare very favourably against four radio ads.

Media reps from all outlets – newspapers, radio and television – are all trained to sell you packages of one sort or another. They will tell you repetition is important, particularly with radio ads.

In some cases I agree, but not in all cases. If you’re having a sale or short-term event, heavy concentrated ads may be appropriate but if you’re just looking at a branding campaign, fewer ads in good time slots over a longer period can be equally as effective. Repetition is good but sometimes it doesn’t have to occur over a few days or weeks. Think about the outcome you’re after and plan any campaign, TV or otherwise, accordingly.

Finally, if you’d like more specific advice on anything I’ve mentioned, or you have other feedback to offer, feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to help you.

Dazzle them with science!

Consumers have become pretty savvy with many of the advertising and marketing techniques that businesses have used over the years, but there’s still one that seems to work fairly well.

For the sake of a better name, let’s call it packaging.

Packaging is when you put together a number of products together and sell as a pack of some sort.

Typical examples are meal deals like 2 large pizza, garlic bread and 1.25ltr drink from a pizza shop for what appears to be a good price. Another could be a family dinner of a BBQ Chicken, large serve of chips and a salad, again for what appears to be a good price. In these two examples, the garlic bread and the chips provide shops with room to move. Some time back a pizza shop I helped sold garlic bread for $2.50, yet they purchased it ready to simply stick in a microwave or an oven for 40 cents. The cost of chips too is quite small compared to what they sell for. Basically what I’m saying here is, if you sell pizzas, rather than discount your pizzas, you can bundle them up in a pack with say garlic bread or soft drink and sell the pack for what appears a good discounted price. By doing this, you may discount or even include your garlic bread and/or drink at cost price but you still get full price for your pizzas. Your individual sale value also will be higher. It’s the same with the BBQ Chicken, instead of discounting your chickens, bundle them with chips and a salad or drink to give the illusion of a good saving and your overall sales turnover will go up. This method could be described as dazzling consumers with science but hey, much bigger and better businesses than yours have been doing this, in one form or another, for a long time.

Here’s a few brief examples of “packaging” that I’ve helped clients with over the years. Some of these go back a while but the principles used still apply. Read them think about them and then see if any of the methods could be used to advantage in your particular business. Although it appeared impossible at the time but they brought Apollo 13 back from space safely, simply by ‘working the problem’. It’s amazing what people can do when they actually sit down and “work the problem”.

Thrift Box
This was for a butcher who was trying to attract people on a budget. The idea was to use cheap cuts of meat but throw in something a bit special as well.

The Thrift Box contained 1kg Roast Beef, 1 Kg Forequarter chops, 1Kg mince, 1kg sausages and 500gms of tasty bacon. Back then it sold for $15 and the butcher made up a tray and stuck it on a turntable in his front window. He sold hundreds within a few weeks.

Package deals by butchers are quite common these days but when we did this one, no one else was doing them. The trick then and now is to package up something that sounds great but is also something a lot of people would want to buy.

You choos’em 3 pack

This concept was created for a Chinese restaurant who had earlier offered customers options of a couple of packs with set dishes in them. Many Asian restaurants still offer set packs today but more often than not, the lack of variety wears off. The You choos’em 3 pack gave them options and proved to be very successful.

Basically, customers were given two lists of about 8 different dishes. They could choose one dish from each list plus a large or boiled fried rice, all for the one set price. Both lists consisted of popular dishes but were split up depending on the profit potential for each dish. At the time chicken and pork dishes gave the shop the most profit, while beef and certainly seafood dishes offered less profit. Like garlic bread, chips and drink did in the packages mentioned early, rice too is very inexpensive to produce and enabled this shop to discount the rice while getting full price for the main dishes.

A big board was installed behind the counter and people could easily choose what they wanted. It proved to be a huge success and continued for several years. Interestingly, I have never seen another Asian Restaurant use this concept but maybe they have never had a marketing consultant like me help them.

Buy 3 albums for $20

Again, this goes back a long way but the strategy is worth noting.

A client owned a popular record shop back when record albums were all the go but one of the problems he faced was always ending up with a whole lot of the less popular albums among his stock. It wasn’t a case of him knowingly buying bad stock but rather him buying what appeared to be good stock only to discover that the albums didn’t reach the heights that they were meant to. Such was the record business in those days and no doubt it’s the same for music and video shops along with bookshops today.

When he spoke to me he had hundreds of these records and he couldn’t give them away. So what to do?

I came up with an idea which saw him successfully ‘give away’ hundreds of these dead stock albums while at the same time selling hundreds of more popular albums.

We called in Buy 3 Albums for $20 and at the time the latest albums sold for about $12.

We set up three stands and in the first stand we put a big selection of the latest albums. We put a blue sticker on all these.

In the second stand we put a selection of still popular albums, but mainly those that were on the way down sales-wise and in many cases would end up a more dead stock at some point. We put a blue sticker on all these.

In the third stand we put all the dead stock or albums that we couldn’t give away. We put a green sticker on all these.

We advertised the deal and people could choose 3 albums, one with a blue sticker, one with a red sticker and one with a green sticker.

The sale was a roaring success and turnover went through the roof.

Work the locals!

When you have a business like a coffee shop, cafe or food outlet, spending a lot of money on advertising may not be very practical. After all you’d have to sell a lot of coffee to new customers to justify a spend of even just a few hundred dollars. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be worth it but it would depend on what you’re trying to achieve and how you went about it.

Over the years a number of coffee shops have sought my advice and one simply idea that I have given them is to “work the locals”. That is, most coffee shops are generally located in a place where they have a ready-made clientele within walking distance of their shop. This could represent 200-300 businesses or offices with 1000 or more potential customers for the business. Of course, there could well be a number of other coffee shops in the same vicinity all vying for the same business.

Many of these people would likely be among your loyal customers but many may not and one of the purposes of advertising is to try and introduce new customers to your business or to put it more bluntly, to steal them away from your competitors.

One way to do this is to produce a small flyer and every so often, drop a flyer into all the businesses within walking distance of your business. Flyer don’t need to be fancy and 200 – 300 or so can be photo copied very cheaply. What you put on the flyer is up to you but my advice is to include an offer of some sort that will tease a number of people into taking up your offer. The main things to remember when doing this are –

The idea is not to just give your product(s) away. The main outcome you’re after is to introduce new customers and hopefully to keep them. Although in the short term it could be worth just breaking even or even absorbing a small cost, the long term benefits of introducing several new regular customers could be worth it.

Be creative and make sure that your flyer says something that people will want to respond to. On that note, people will generally be interested in either something new or something cheap.

There are any number of things you could do but here’s a typical example –

Work the locals FLYER

Try this once at least and then evaluate the outcome but remember, the offer is most important and will have a bearing on the outcome. A less than favourable response could well be the result of a making a wrong offer. Sometimes it requires a few tries to discover what hits people’s hot buttons. Apart from a bit of time and effort, this is a very cheap and worthwhile way to “work the locals”.

Getting bogged in the paralysis of analysis

For as long as I’ve been helping people with their marketing, one thing hasn’t changed. There is still those who want to complicate what is, and always has been, basically a very simple and straight forward process.

Marketing, but more particularly advertising, can be likened to someone wanting to get from A to B. They can plan their way forward, think about the outcome they want, consider the ups, downs and pitfalls they may encounter along the way and ponder anything and everything else that could go wrong. They can do all this, but one thing is absolutely certain, until they actually take that first step, they’re not going anywhere.

A lot of advertisers are like that. They seem so afraid of getting it wrong that they try to consider every possible angle only to find themselves at the end bogged in what I call the paralysis of analysis.

Trust me, for most small business advertisers and despite what many advertising and marketing gurus will have you believe, it’s not that hard…or complicated.In fact, once most get a handle on the basic considerations, they never look back. Over all my years of helping business owners with their advertising, I think it’s fair to say that after listening to my ‘basic’ advice which takes little more than an hour or so, many have never looked back and now regard their advertising spend as an investment not an expense.

Advertising is just one aspect of marketing and for now, let’s concentrate on that.

Many business owners have varying views about advertising. Comments like “advertising is a waste of money”, “half of my advertising works, half doesn’t – I just wish I could figure out which half works”, “advertising doesn’t work for me, I rely on word of mouth”, “I can’t afford it or it’s too expensive”, “I tried it once but it didn’t work”. These are typical of the type of comments many people make but it’s not surprising when you consider that most of the people who make such comments, although they maybe competent business people, they probably have very limited knowledge about how advertising works. That statement is not meant to be smart or offensive, it’s just based on my experience in dealing with many business owners.

I say, quite categorically, advertising works!

The trick is not to expect an occasional handful of ads to deliver you a windfall but rather, to develop an advertising strategy that will steadily grow your business over time.

We all know get rich quick schemes rarely work and it’s the same with advertising. A get rich slow plan is a much better strategy.There’s a saying on building wealth that says “gathering little by little over a long period will make it grow” and that’s basically my message with advertising.

Lay a solid foundation

Business owners are presented with a myriad of advertising opportunities over any given peribrickod of time and to be fair, every one of them will sound attractive. After all, who would try to sell anything that didn’t at least sound good on the surface.

That said, if you don’t a have a clear plan of attack for processing all these offers, you could find yourself with a lot of advertising initiatives happening, paying a lot of money for them and at the end of the day, few of them offering any real benefits. Without going into a lot of detail here, the point I want to make is that some “advertising” opportunities have little value while others have more serious value. For example, advertising on pens and giving them to your clients or potential clients would have far less advertising value than say if you used the same money to put an ad or two in a newspaper. For a more detailed explanation of what is termed above the line and below the line advertising, read section 12 of my handbook.

My recommendation to business owners over many years has been to lay a solid foundation using mainstream media before you start dabbling in other areas.

Keeping it simple, let me explain what I have told many business advertisers in regional areas over the years. Of course, this is not a one size fits all scenario but it does apply to a lot of businesses, those who want to keep their name out in the market place on an ongoing basis but still have the freedom to do other advertising as needed.

Radio

I tell advertisers to run one 30 second radio ad on the most popular radio station in their area, who has the right audience for their business, as follows –

1st Week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday between 7.00am and 8.30am.

2nd Week – Tuesday, Thursday between 7.00am and 8.30am.

3rd Week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday between 7.00am and 8.30am.

4th Week – Tuesday, Thursday between 7.00am and 8.30am.

That’s 10 x 30 second ads in prime radio time, on the best station, covering each weekday at least twice, over a month. I suggest you do this for 6 – 12 months at least.

The cost of such ads can vary but in my experience, with some serious negotiation, $50 – $60 each is not uncommon in regional cities, especially when the ads are taken over a period of time such as 6 to 12 months.

Such a commitment will represent about $500-$600 a month and over time, will provide very solid ‘branding’ of the business.

Newspaper

I tell advertisers to also run one or more ads in the most popular newspaper in their area each month. The size and frequency of this ad should be determined on what you’re trying to achieve but again, my recommendation is to spend around that $500 – $600 a month for 6 – 12 months.

Of course what you include in the ads is also important but that’s a topic for another time. If you need help in the meantime, email me through the contact me facility.

This should not be regarded as the answer to all your advertising needs but for many businesses it will provide a meaningful and ongoing method (foundation if you prefer) of keeping your name out there. Over the years, and on my advice, some 30 to 40 businesses have done this with great success and many still do. Laying a solid foundation like this is highly recommended as a means of keeping your business in front of people 24/7.

Put up or shut up!

If you should happen to be one of those people who claims or even feels advertising doesn’t work, here’s a simple challenge for you.

Place a small ad in your local paper or on your local radio station with a ridiculous offer like one of the ones below, then tell me that advertising doesn’t work.

Men’s Haircuts – $2

Legs or Lamb – $5

Brand new Toyota Camry – $9990

Of course no one is going to do that because they know they’ll get killed in the rush.

My simple point is this, if you claim or feel advertising doesn’t work, yet you’re not prepared to put up or shut by running an ad like those mentioned above, what you’re really saying is that the advertising you’ve done hasn’t met your expectations or that it possibly failed completely.

I can happily accept that but I sincerely hope you then think the matter through a little further.

For instance, if you’re a hairdresser and think that by advertising Men’s Haircuts for $2 you’ll cause a riot, what you’re really saying is that if you advertise something people would be interested in, they’ll in all likelihood respond. Acknowledge that and you’re at least on your way to having a wiser attitude towards advertising.

Advertising is your friend and provides one of the easiest ways to grow your customer base and in turn, grow your business and your profits.

The crucial component in any advertising is the technique used. In super simple terms, before you place or design any ad for any medium, you need to determine the outcome you’re after and then think about what type of ad you need to get the job done.

It would take thousands of words to cover every scenario in detail so for this exercise let me just give one example and demonstrate a typical thought process. We’ll call this Case Study One because I’ll provide other scenarios for others types of businesses along the way. Some may find these helpful in formulating their own specific concept or technique.

Before we start however, let me just say that generally speaking there are two things that will often cause people to move – something cheap or something new. It’s therefore worth saying that if you want better results from your advertising, try to always include something cheap or something new in your ad. If you have nothing cheap or nothing new to advertise, at least give the illusion that you do.

In a worst case scenario, use words like “Join our thousands of happy customers who currently enjoy our lower than expected prices” or “We’ve just given our store a ‘new feel’ makeover and you’re going to love it. If you liked what we did before, you’ll love what we’re doing now”.

Of course both of these say nothing really but I think you’ll agree they at least sound good and it’s not hard to imagine at least some people responding to such messages, more so than if your ad included the same old words that scriptwriters put in almost every ad like yours. Sometimes it can sound like they’ve just taken a generic ad off the script writers shelf and all they do is put your name and details in the blank spaces and send it around again. I ask you, do you really thinks that’s smart advertising? Of course not, but that’s how a lot of it is done, especially in smaller towns and cities where the marketing talent pool isn’t anywhere near as skilled or as big as in metropolitan areas.

 

Case Study One
Let’s say a hair salon is looking to build its customer base. The problem has occurred because the town where it operates has become over serviced with hair salons and several of them are advertising cheap hair deals to attract business.

Discounting is the most common way of attracting business and like so many things, there’s various ways to go about it. A straight our discount offer may bring you new customers but quite often they may turn out to be short term or one time customers only, the one’s that go here today, there next time and somewhere else the next time again. Such people tend to simply follow the specials. That’s OK, even if you get them only once, but what you really need to build are loyal or lifetime customers, those who may spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars with you over a period of time. The value of a long term customer is talked of in terms of their “lifetime value” to your business. It’s not hard to imagine that a lady who gets you to do her hair regularly over say a five year period could spend several thousand dollars with you. Now that’s the type of customer worth building.

Your options include –

1) To simply do a branding ad that tells people who you are, where you and what you do – all using words that will encourage people to consider you for their next hair treatment. This type of ad may yield a result but to what extent will depend on the words you use in the ad. Words like “For a better salon experience”, “New looks are our speciality”, “Come prepared to be impressed”, “Come as you are – leave as the new you” should be considered rather than “For all your hair care needs” or similar expressions that sound just as boring.

2) To do a Discount or Deal ad where you offer various treatments or services at discounted prices. How successful this type of ad may or may not be will be determined by how the public view the offer. If it’s seen by the public as a really great discount, several will take it up but as I said earlier, many may just be those who chase the specials and may be one off customers only. Of course, such an offer also has prospects of introducing new long-term customers as well and if that happens, that’s excellent.

This method is quite common but in my view, spending a few hundred dollars or more to advertise a discounted offer means you have to generate a fair measure of volume to make it worthwhile and your starting point requires you to spend money and then discount your treatment(s) or service(s). You may also find yourself among several hair salons all advertising discounted deals at the same time which can only reduce your prospects.

Over the years I’ve worked with quite a number of hair salons and I’ve discovered that value adding rather than discounting or making offers that require a 2nd or 3rd visit yield better outcomes. It can often take 2 – 3 visits before a hair salon gets a feel for a customer’s needs and to build a relationship.

3) To do something a bit different, something where you could stand out in the crowd, something that gives you a better chance of building long-term customers and something that doesn’t require you to discount more than what strategically makes sense.

Something like this –

“3 treatments for the price of 2
and a FREE haircut”

Do you think that might get people’s attention?

Sounds exciting or at the very least interesting, doesn’t it?

That’s what a headline in an ad should do, catch people’s attention and cause them to read more.

When they read more, words like this could follow –

We want you to discover what it’s like to be a customer of a really great hair salon
and that’s why we’re making this incredible offer.

Words like that will help keep them reading more like this –

We know that after having ANY TWO of our fabulous hair treatments, you’re going
to want to come back again and again….and we want you too.

That’s why after two treatments, we’ll give you your 3rd absolutely FREE
and we’ll include a FREE haircut as well.

I think you’ll agree that by now you will have a lot of potential customers interest. The next step is to get potential customers to talk to you personally, maybe with words like this –

To take up this offer and to discuss when and what treatments you’d like over the next few months, including your FREE ones, call “Melanie” on 6463 6111 during business hours.

The following is a mock up of a typical ad that could be used for this strategy.

20x3 mockup hair studio ad

OK, sounds too good to be true, so how does in work in practice?

The objectives are as follows –

1) To get people to notice and read the ad.
2) To get people to ring you to discuss the offer.
3) To get people to take up the offer.
4) To lock these people into your business for several months.
5) To give you several months to turn these people into regular customers.
6) To ensure that each respondent spends around $200 with you in paid treatments or services.
7) In the case of those who ring and after told about it, choose not to take up the offer, you still have them on the phone giving you the chance to sell or talk them into accepting some other offer.

The method is –

Try to make the two paid treatments at the higher end of your services. Eg. $150 and $100 each.
The 3rd and FREE treatment is to be of a lesser than the least of these. Eg. Less than $100.
The haircut is included free. Eg. Basic haircut at say $35.
This is all explained to the customer when they ring.
If they decide against it, you still have them on the phone and have the chance to offer them something else, even if it’s a simple haircut. I suggest you try to be more imaginative than that, after all, remember if you can lock them in for two or more treatments, the more chance you’ll have of keeping them. They wouldn’t have rung in the first place if they weren’t a genuine prospect.

The money looks like this –

Using the example above, you may have to provide 3 treatments and a basic haircut over a few months for a total of $250 instead of your normal price of say $385. Note: a 30% discount is not uncommon when putting on a hair care special but in such cases it’s unlikely that the total sale would be anywhere near $250 nor would you have 4 chances to build a relationship with a potential new customer.

I’m not a hairdresser and of course this is not a one size fits all scenario. I hope however, that what I’ve said, demonstrates that with a bit of thought, we can often come up with better ways to do things and give ourself better prospects of achieving far better outcomes in the end.