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Creating Special Offers – marketing mistakes you should stay away from

In last week’s “Knowledge for Nail Tech’s” blog post, “The Nail Tech’s step by step formula for marketing that works.” I gave you the 6 critical elements you must have in any Advert, brochure, banner, website etc. if you want your advertising to work. By ‘work’ I mean sell nail services and put profit in your bank account. As a quick recap here are the 6 critical elements you must have in every piece of marketing material.

1 – An attention grabbing headline

2 – A compelling, irresistible offer

3 –  A risk reversal guarantee

4 – A customer testimonial

5 – Scarcity

6 – A strong call to action

So the next time you create an advert or marketing material of any kind, use those six elements as an outline or structure to create your advert.

Last week we did a very brief overview of each of the 6 elements, but, in Magnetic’s Marketing workshop, we give detailed training on each of these 6 marketing elements and show you how to apply them in your nail business.

In this post I want to focus on ELEMENT # 2 – creating a compelling, irresistible offer. Let me remind you of the definition of Marketing we spoke about previously – Marketing is salesmanship in print. At the heart of good salesmanship is the ability to create irresistible, compelling offers that your customers can’t say no to.

When I examine adverts for Nail and Beauty Businesses, I can’t believe how often I see adverts that never offer the client anything. The ad is just a list of services in a bullet point format. This isn’t an ad, it is a business card and business cards don’t sell anything.

Your irresistible, compelling offer is the most important part of your ad because this is what the customer will buy. Everything else in the ad will revolve around the offer.

We didn’t have the space in last week’s post to talk in depth on creating a compelling offer, so I want to spend the next few weeks teaching you how to produce irresistible value added offers.

Before I show you how to create your offer, lets talk about what not to do.

Let’s do a quick case study of real South African Marketing to show you two common mistakes that you must avoid. Please note that as I show you these ads, I have blanked out the names and numbers of Nail Bars on the adverts because the intention here is to instruct and educate not embarrass or belittle.

Mistake # 1: Attract customers through low prices

Because of the lack of business training in the Nail and Beauty Industry, the only way most Nail Tech’s know how to attract clients is through low prices. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t work. Take a look at this Salon ad I saw driving down a busy road in Johannesburg. You see nail adverts like this in every town and city.

cheap nails


This business is trying to attract clients through low prices.Here’s the problem with this kind of marketing strategy. I am assuming that you started a Nail Business because you wanted to make money. If you are going to sell a set of nails for R130 – after deducting your expenses (i.e. product use, rent, utilities, tea and coffee etc…) you aren’t left with very much.

But what kind of message does this advert communicate about the skill of the Nail Tech or the quality of nail products used?

Consumers today understand that you get what you pay for, so when a customer sees a really cheap price being advertised, they know they are not getting quality, they know their Nail Tech is probably using cheap Chinese junk and they know their nails aren’t going to last.

Is this the marketing message you want to send out there? Have you ever heard the saying, “when you charge peanuts, you deal with monkeys?” You want to attract clients who care about value more than they care about price. And, believe it or not, there are lots of customers out there who have money and are prepared to paid for quality.

Mistake # 2: Discounting

At our Marketing Workshop yesterday, we were talking about marketing for Valentines Day and one of the ladies in the workshop shared about how she is discounting her Gel and Acrylic Nails for her Valentines Promotion. The problem is discounting is the only way most Nail Tech’s know how to structure a promotion.

Our advice – never discount down, instead bonus up. So when you run a special or structure a promotion, don’t lower your prices, raise them instead. I know you think I am crazy but I will teach you how to do this over the next few weeks. Take a look at another advert of a Nail Bar that used discounting as a method of attracting clients to their new business.

crazy discounting


Some thoughts about why this is bad marketing

  1. For every set of Nails they sell they are losing a very real R200. This R200 comes out of their profit. Why work harder and longer for less? Didn’t you go into business to make money?
  2. Discounting teaches your customers to expect low prices in the future. Why would any customer come back for their next set of nails and pay full price? They probably won’t.
  3. If the only reason you give customers to choose you over your competition is a low price then you are in deep trouble. Just today I was talking to a customer who saw two Salons in the same road on the East Rand advertising the same service. Salon A discounted the service 15% and Salon B discounted the same service for 20%. Discounting is unsustainable. Sooner rather than later, someone else will be prepared to work longer and harder for less and they will undercut you.
  4. What message does this advert communicate about the skill of the Nail Tech? After all, what Professional would work for R99 an hour less expenses?

it is important to realize that a discount is not an offer – it is an act of desperation! So when you make an offer in your next advert, it has to have a lot more than a discount because discounts are simply not compelling enough. The dictionary defines compelling as, “having a powerful and irresistible effect.”

Your customers don’t lie in bed at night thinking to themselves, “I can’t wait until my Nail Tech sends me a discount.” Consumers have always wanted more than they say they want. They want cool stuff, they want extras, they want added value.  So, next week I will show you how to bonus up and create compelling offers that boost your profit margins and leave your competition in the dust.

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