Marketing & Promotions

The Nitty Gritty Guide to Marketing Your Salon

Get the lowdown on: the dos and don'ts of website design, salon-finder sites, the Yellow Pages (printed and online), designing a great business card, placing a newspaper ad, and more.



Yes, the Yellow Pages Still Matter

While online search engines are the way most of us seek out local business information these days, a recent survey revealed that 30% of us still rely on print directories as our primary local business research source, and many more still turn to the Yellow Pages on occasion. So how do you get the eyes of consumers to look at your ad?

1. Which directory? Do your homework and determine which is the dominant directory in your area. Don’t always go with the cheaper ad; instead compare the various directories’ circulation and their usage numbers. Another option is to pick up the book and call some of the advertisers to ask them about the response they’ve gotten.

2. Display or In-Column Ad? Yellow Pages users with a specific name in mind tend to gravitate toward the in-column ads, while those who are shopping for a business tend to look at the display ads for comparison purposes. Experts agree that display ads are far more effective in drawing new clients.

3. Go for Eye-Stopping Design. For the illustration, use your logo, a photo or illustration of the salon building, a great picture of a hand, or something else equally unique. Whatever you do, avoid using a stale or cliched graphic offered by the directory publisher to any business that wants it. Type styles and borders also are important. The border can help stop the eye and should be dominant if the ad design is weak or light on artwork. If the ad itself is visually compelling, go with a thinner, more subtle border so the two do not compete. Limit yourself to two type styles and keep them simple. Also, use upper and lower case because it’s easier to read.

4. The Power of the Written Word. Instead of using your salon name as the ad headline, use the headline to communicate how you meet their needs. For example: “Open 7 Days A Week,” “Natural Nail Specialists,” or “Exacting Sanitation Standards.” The rest of the copy in the ad should convey what services you offer, emphasizing those that are in high demand or different from others’ offerings, your hours, and location (include a map or cross street).

>Online Yellow Pages Listings Are Free

You may not have to do a thing to get your salon listed on sites such as and These online directories feature the listings of phone books across the country, so if you’re listed in one of these, you may be included online as well. also compiles its own listings. However, you can add your site to the listings if it’s not there already, at no charge. There are different types of paid online ads available, ranging from banners across the top of the page or listings that are designed to stand out from the rest through different typeface or some other distinguishing quality. These range in cost from less than $100 per month to thousands.

On the next page: Design an Effective Print Ad

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