Advertising in the Internet Age

When did advertising become so expensive?

As with any new salon, advertising and marketing are crucial to the success of driving clients in. We all know that but hate to spend the money. It's not a tangible benefit like going to the mall!

We have looked at several options and today we spent an hour with Yelp on a conference call with a great gal named Ashley. We have considered coupon mailers, but we don’t want to discount anything and forget Groupon or anything like it. Groupon sounds good; however when you look at the reality of it, it is not worth it. You practically give the service away for potential clients who are coupon shoppers and do not rebook at full price. So you really are not building business, you are just keeping your mani and pedi bowls full, hoping they tip on the full price of the service. And there is no getting out of the contract once you sign the deal.

So we looked at YellowBook and Yelp. Although YellowBook is offering a new deal that was attractive, I feel advertising on the Internet with Yelp is the trend. Yelp is hiring 30 people a month because it is growing so fast, which says something. According to the stats we should break even with new clients that get driven to us through Yelp in less than three months. Hopefully. I will be counting!

I have struggled with marketing because the only lists I have are our own clients and some potential clients whose info I have legally captured. I think buying a mailing list is not effective unless you mail discount coupons regularly and you all know how I feel about discounts. Advertising in the local paper is also not as effective as it used to be. How many still read the paper anyway and are they our demographic? No. So what are our options? The internet.

--Vicki, Polish Salon, Brea, Calif.

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