Archive for May, 2010

How to Turn Complaints into Opportunities

The old adage says that complaints are opportunities. They certainly are; however, only if you look at them that way. 

The thing is that most salon/day spa owners don’t have a system in place for turning those lemons into lemonade.

So here’s an easy six-step rapid recovery process that when implemented, will serve you, your business, and your clients (believe me they want to do business with you—they wouldn’t be with you in the first place if they didn’t!).

  1. Apologize: Does it really matter who’s right? Ultimately the client is, even if he/she is wrong. So get on with it and acknowledge that a problem exits. Say you’re sorry and mean it.
  2. Listen and empathize: Let the client get it out—at this point, she wants “an ear” and not a lecture. Really listen, when you do, the client will feel that you care.
  3. Fix it ‘Fairly’: After you’ve listened, you’ll understand the problem. Now do what you have to do to fix it. Usually all the client wants is what she wanted in the first place, the sooner the better.
  4. Offer atonement: Even if symbolically, your rapid recovery system will earn high marks if you come from the perspective of, “I’d like to make it up to you.”
  5. Keep your promises: You’re already in hot water, so don’t fuel the fire by over-promising and under-delivering. In other words, do what you say you’ll do.
  6. Follow-up: Be it in a few days or a couple of weeks, check to make sure that things really did work out to your client’s satisfaction.

Andrew Finkelstein, President of the Beauty Resource, is a successful New York City-based entrepreneur, author, speaker, and coach who helps professional beauty businesses get more clients. Andrew’s E-zine The Finkelstein Report is the beauty industry’s #1 marketing resource with free articles, marketing tools, and valuable advice for salons and day spas owners. Contact Andrew at TheBeautyResource.com

Human Hair Used to Measure Humidity in the Air

Does your hair go crazy when the weather turns damp? Did you know that strands of hair can relax and lengthen when the humidity increases and then contract again when the humidity decreases? In fact, hair strands can be used as the basis for a hygrometer, a device which measures the humidity level in the air.

Humidity is one of the important measurements that weather observers make because the amount of water vapor in the air determines whether clouds or fog are likely and whether it’s going to rain or snow.

Human (or animal) hair turns out to be a pretty good way to measure the humidity, as anyone who’s ever complained about a “bad hair day,” can tell you.
The length of a strand of human hair changes with different relative humidities.
As the relative humidity increases, hair becomes longer, and as the humidity drops it becomes shorter. On very humid days, your hair actually becomes longer and this extra length causes the frizziness that gives us bad hair days.
An instrument that uses hair to measure humidity is known as a hair hygrometer. This instrument uses strands of human or horse hair with the oils removed attached to levers that magnify a small change in hair length.
An ink pen and rotating cylinder, known as a hygrograph, can provide a record of how relative humidity varies throughout the day.
The disadvantages of the hair hygrometer and hygrograph are that they are not as accurate as other kinds of hygrometers such as the sling psychrometer. Also, a hair hygrometer needs frequent adjustment and calibration.

A hair hygrometer also tends to have large errors at very high and very low relative humidities.

The Top 8 Direct Marketing Offers of All Time

by Dean Rieck

Offers are the heart of all direct response advertising. An offer is not just a statement of your price, it’s the deal you’re making. It’s the total of what the customer gets plus what the customer has to do or pay to get it. By making an offer, you’re saying, “You do this for me, and I’ll do this for you.”  mail Pictures, Images and Photos

Naturally, the better your offer is, the better your response will be. Raising response is not your only concern, of course. For example, it may be more profitable to get a lower response from a more loyal group of buyers. Or perhaps you want orders to come in faster. Or you may need to lower your cost per sale.

In most cases, though, it’s best to start by getting your response rate high, then adjusting your offer over time to maximize your profits. Every offer you make has different characteristics. So, it pays to test.

Here are eight offers that have proven themselves over the years. They almost always raise your response rate:

  • Free Trial. This may be the best offer ever devised. A customer can try out your product free and without obligation for 10 days, 15 days, 30 days, or more. The time frame should fit the product. This offer removes risk for the prospect, overcomes inertia, and works with just about any product.
  • Money-Back Guarantee. This is perhaps the second best offer. A customer pays upfront but, if dissatisfied, can return the item for a full refund. Like the free trial, this offer removes risk but allows you to use customer inertia to your benefit since few people will take the trouble to return something.
  • Free Gift. When you offer a freebie your customer wants, your offer will usually outpull a discount offer of similar value. That’s because a gift is a more tangible benefit. This also has the advantage of not devaluing your product with a price reduction.

  • Limited Time. An offer with a time limit gets more response than an offer without one. You can display an exact date or suggest a response time frame, such as 14 days or 30 days. This forces a decision. And the faster you can force a decision, the more likely it will be in your favor.  

  • Yes/No. You ask your prospect to respond positively or negatively, usually by affixing a “yes” stamp or a “no” stamp or by checking one of two boxes. This offer is involving and usually pulls more response than an offer that does not offer a “no” option. It works because it clarifies the need for a decision right away.
  • Negative Option. This pulls better than positive option offers. You offer a free trial or a special deal on a product then automatically ship future merchandise unless the customer specifically takes an action to refuse. Just make sure this arrangement is clear. People become very unhappy when you start shipping and billing for items they didn’t know they were ordering.
  • Credit Card Payment. Nothing is easier than paying with plastic. These days, there’s no reason not to accept payment this way by phone, mail, fax, or the Internet. In fact, this has moved beyond an offer and has become an expectation.
  • Sweepstakes. This increases your order volume if you’re selling easy-to-understand impulse items. However, these customers aren’t loyal, and you may find yourself forever trapped in an endless cycle of contests.

Copyright © 2003 Dean Rieck. All Rights Reserved.

________________________________________________________________

Dean Rieck is a top-ranked freelance direct mail and direct marketing copywriter. He has been called “the best direct response strategist and copywriter” in America. Dean offers complete copywriting and design services for direct mail, B2B, print, sales lead generation, sales letters, e-mail and online marketing, and radio advertising. For more tips on improving your direct response advertising results, subscribe to Dean’s free direct marketing newsletter at http://www.DirectCreative.com.

If you are looking for a resource to design and print your business card or direct mail , please go to Salon Pro Marketing

Hairdreams Leather Ribbons…Love these

Hairdreams Leather Ribbons

Matching the new nature based fashion trend there is a brand new type of hair accessory: thin leather bands with lucky charms made of pearls, stones, feathers, etc. They are extremely versatile and can be used as a hair decoration and also as a fashionable accessory. They are the perfect addition to the earth focused ethno-, hippie, and safari looks.

The “Hairdreams Leather Ribbons” are handmade with care out of real leather and different embellishments like rocks, pearls, feathers and more.

They come in two types:
Short, about 35 cm long ribbons that are attached to the hair with a clip and are worn like a strand.
Long, about 1meter length ribbons with pendants on both ends, that can be worn as a headband around the head and in a ponytail.

In addition the ribbons make a great and versatile fashion accessory – as a necklace, a belt, a pendant, and much more.

That is why they are the perfect and extraordinary accessory to skillfully enhance the “adventurous” outfits of the hippie, ethno and safari styles. The ribbons are unisex and can be worn just as well by men.

The leather ribbons are only available from the hair extension specialist Hairdreams and can be purchased exclusively at the salon partners of Hairdreams.

hairstyle with leather ribbon ponytail with leather ribbon leather ribbon accross forehead hair extended with leather ribbon

Shiva Flat Iron in the Fall 2010 Hair Cut and Style Hairstyle Showcase

Need some help recreating a fab style? Try one of these tress tools!

How to Add Special Touches to Updos

by: Jenny Andrews

If you want to create a special and dramatic look for that special occasion, the last thing you want to do is look like a cookie-cutter Barbie doll when it comes to your hairstyle. And the truth is that many of your formal hairstyles were probably just that, exact replicas of styles that were worn on every special occasion for years stretching back into time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can create a different and exciting new updo for each and every formal occasion even if you only know how to do one type of formal hairstyle.

You see, the key to creating a different look lies in the details. You could actually style your hair in a French twist without having the same look twice if you added special touches and elements to your style. Here’s how:

· Straighten instead of curl – In many updos, the free pieces are curled with a curling iron. You can change your look simply by using a flat iron to sleek down these pieces instead of curling them up. You can even alternate using a crimping iron and flat iron to create a dramatic effect.

· Leave pieces free for effect – You can also experiment by leaving different pieces of your updo free. For example: try leaving a ½” section of hair around your complete hairline free from the updo. Pull your hair up into a simple pony tail. Then, take ½” sections of the free hair and crisscross it in a basket-weave style on top of your updo. Pin into place, and you’ve created a unique look with little effort.

· Use accessories – By using simple accessories such as hair extensions of a different color than your hair and ribbons, you can add a lot of interest to your updo. Simply insert small strands of hair or ribbon into your style to create splash of color and drama. You can color coordinate these with your dress or use natural colors that will compliment your hair color.

· Flowers – Inserting a small floral accessory into your updo is also a good idea as long as you don’t take it overboard. Choose very small flowers and use them sparingly. Using too many will make you look like a flower arrangement. Remember, accessories are used to compliment your style, not overpower it.

In addition to these ideas, there are many more that you can experiment with. Just remember that small changes make a big difference when it comes to adding that special touch to your updo. So, even if you don’t have a lot of creativity and talent, you can still create breathtaking updos that will be envied by all who see them.

About The Author

Jenny Andrews is a hair expert, and the author of an incredible free minicourse, that explains how to find your unique style, how long or short you should have your hair, how to find the right hair color for you, how to find the right salon, and a lot more.

Go to http://www.hairstylevillage.com/ now and get this amazing hair minicourse – absolutely free.

Building Your Salon/Day Spa’s Service Statement

David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done,” wrote, “If it’s only in your head your dead.” So how does that sentence apply to customer service?

Your salon/day spa may already have a mission statement and/or a vision statement. An enlightened owner/manager knows employees/associates need to see both the bigger picture and feel the salon/day spa heading in that direction.

You also know the challenge of keeping the troops focused on client service and uses various tools to do just that.

A service strategy statement that describes what you are ultimately accomplishing with and for clients helps your team members understand the true purpose of the work they do.

It’s a tool that when well done can:

  • Ensure your employees are working with the same idea of “what’s really important here.”
  • Give employees a snapshot summary of the salon/spa’s mission or vision.
  • Give customer contact/service providers a point of reference for their day-to-day decision-making.
  • Help people understand the rationale for salon/day spa policies so they have confidence in resolving one time or unusual situations.
  • Give people insight into your salon/day spa’s key indicators (the things that are measured).

Why would you want to create a service statement in the first place?

  • If you don’t have a clear definition of what good service means, then the odds of your salon/day spa achieving it are about 30%.
  • If you have a general definition, then the odds are about 50-50%.
  • If you have a specific definition, clearly defined in the context of both the client and the employee, and if it is well communicated, and tied into standards and indicators, your chances of achieving good service increase to about 90%.

What should a service statement look like?

  • Clear: It should be to the point, and understandable.
  • Actionable: It should communicate ways to satisfy, impress, and retain your clients.
  • Consistent: It should support the mission and vision.
  • Helpful: It should guide your employees, showing them what to do, how do it, and why. It should not make them roll their eyes and laugh silently to themselves.

How do you create one? First by including both your clients and employees in the process and by:

  • Identifying your target customer
  • Identifying your core contribution to that customer
  • Deciding what you want to be “famous” for

Like anything else, a service strategy is a tool that is meant to be used. If it simply sits in your toolbox, it will never achieve the purpose for which you designed it.

David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done,” wrote, “If it’s only in your head your dead.” So how does that sentence apply to customer service?

Your salon/day spa may already have a mission statement and/or a vision statement. An enlightened owner/manager knows employees/associates need to see both the bigger picture and feel the salon/day spa heading in that direction.

You also know the challenge of keeping the troops focused on client service and uses various tools to do just that.

A service strategy statement that describes what you are ultimately accomplishing with and for clients helps your team members understand the true purpose of the work they do.

It’s a tool that when well done can:

  • Ensure your employees are working with the same idea of “what’s really important here.”
  • Give employees a snapshot summary of the salon/spa’s mission or vision.
  • Give customer contact/service providers a point of reference for their day-to-day decision-making.
  • Help people understand the rationale for salon/day spa policies so they have confidence in resolving one time or unusual situations.
  • Give people insight into your salon/day spa’s key indicators (the things that are measured).

Why would you want to create a service statement in the first place?

  • If you don’t have a clear definition of what good service means, then the odds of your salon/day spa achieving it are about 30%.
  • If you have a general definition, then the odds are about 50-50%.
  • If you have a specific definition, clearly defined in the context of both the client and the employee, and if it is well communicated, and tied into standards and indicators, your chances of achieving good service increase to about 90%.

What should a service statement look like?

  • Clear: It should be to the point, and understandable.
  • Actionable: It should communicate ways to satisfy, impress, and retain your clients.
  • Consistent: It should support the mission and vision.
  • Helpful: It should guide your employees, showing them what to do, how do it, and why. It should not make them roll their eyes and laugh silently to themselves.

How do you create one? First by including both your clients and employees in the process and by:

  • Identifying your target customer
  • Identifying your core contribution to that customer
  • Deciding what you want to be “famous” for

Like anything else, a service strategy is a tool that is meant to be used. If it simply sits in your toolbox, it will never achieve the purpose for which you designed it.

Andrew Finkelstein, President of the Beauty Resource, is a successful New York City-based entrepreneur, author, speaker, and coach who helps professional beauty businesses get more clients. Andrew’s E-zine The Finkelstein Report is the beauty industry’s #1 marketing resource with free articles, marketing tools, and valuable advice for salons and day spas owners. Contact Andrew at http://www.thebeautyresource.com or 212-831-2421 x202

Hair History ~ Hair Receivers, Secret Beauty Aids of the Past

By Mike McLeod

Although rare today, the hair receiver was a common fixture on the dressing tables of women from Victorian times to the early decades of the 20th century. Its purpose was to save hair culled from the hairbrush and comb, which were used vigorously on a daily basis. The hair could then be stuffed into pincushions or pillows. Since hair was not washed as often as it is today, oils were frequently used to add scent and shine to hair. The residual oil made the hair an ideal stuffing for pincushions because it lubricated the pins, making it easier for them to pierce material. Small pillows could be stuffed with hair, which was less prickly than pinfeathers.

But possibly most important, hair receivers made the creation of ratts possible. A ratt (sometimes spelled rat) is a small ball of hair that was inserted into a hairstyle to add volume and fullness. The ratt was made by stuffing a sheer hairnet until it was about the size of a potato and then sewing it shut.

A favored hairstyle during Victorian times parted the hair in the center and pulled it to the sides. In photos from that era, it is easy to spot the women with flat hair who were not using ratts and those with “big hair” who were. One reason for favoring this hairstyle was it revealed as much of the face as possible. In Renaissance times, a wide and high forehead was a sign of virtue. This is why paintings from that era often portray women with just a little hair showing around the face and a big, wide forehead. Since Victorian women only used a little face powder and no other make-up lest she be scandalized as a “painted lady,” much effort was invested in hairstyles and clothing to maximize beauty.

Another reason for their desire to display as much of the head as possible was that the Victorians were swept up in the new, so-called “science” of phrenology. This craze postulated that a person’s qualities and characteristics, both good and bad, could be determined by the contours of one’s head. Or as some people have called it, by “reading the bumps on your head.” This curious infatuation of the Victorians is discussed below.

The Victorians were extremely concerned with their appearances, and a woman’s hair was considered her crowning glory. In 1894, an article in The Delineator magazine stated, “The often-admired ‘crowning glory’ may be rendered almost a disfigurement if disposed unbecomingly, while a tasteful and careful dressing of the tresses, even though they are not very beautiful, will lend a decided charm to a plain face.”

Usually identified by the hole in the lid for inserting hair, hair receivers graced the dressing tables of women from Victorian times to the 1950s. (Photo courtesy of and from the personal collection of Elza Brokaw.)

The use of wigs was common at this time, for women and men (judges, magistrates, and even soldiers wore wigs into battle). However, these were usually made from someone else’s hair. A woman could use a ratt to create a beautiful hairstyle and truthfully answer that this was her own hair.

The widespread use of “extra hair” is evidenced by this instruction from Godey’s Lady’s Book: “When a lady is in danger of drowning, raise her by the dress and not by the hair, which oftentimes remains in the grasp.”

A hair receiver can be identified by a finger-wide hole in the lid, through which hair is poked. They can be round or square in shape, and some are footed. Made of a variety of materials, including glass and in later times celluloid, some of the prettiest examples are of porcelain. RS Prussia manufactured beautiful hair receivers, and one with delicate floral prints sold recently on eBay for $152. However, you will usually see the finer antique hair receivers hovering in the $100 range, while most are well below that amount.

It is uncertain if Japanese women also collected their spare hair for adornment, but Japanese potters certainly created hair receivers. You can find Nippon, Kutani and Sumida hair receivers.

While some say that hair saved in receivers was also used for hair jewelry, love tokens, and mourning mementos, Lori Verge, curator of the Surratt House Museum in Clinton, Maryland, states those items required straight, not tangled hair. She believes that women used cut hair (rather than combed out hair) for those purposes. Ms. Verge also reports that her grandmother used a hair receiver as late as the 1950s.

Check other great antiques. at Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine

A Short Menu of Profitable Direct Mail Formats

A Short Menu of Profitable Direct Mail Formats 

by Dean Rieck

One of the beauties of direct mail is that it allows you to send people just about anything you can print. Your creative options are virtually endless. And while the standard envelope package is usually considered the most effective, there are plenty of other formats you can test.

Often an alternate format will increase response. But even if your response ends up being lower, many formats let you deliver your message at a reduced cost while maintaining enough response to offset the difference and give you more net profit. Here are a few format ideas:

  • Reduce costs with a self-mailer. It offers low cost and a quick read, good for quickly recognized content. It also helps speed response because it’s not as in-depth as a full package and looks more urgent and newsy. To make a self-mailer work at peak efficiency, combine elements of a standard direct mail package and a print ad. Include a strong headline in bold type, copy in easy-to-read sections, strong visuals, clear offer, reply card, toll-free number, message or mini-letter printed near the recipient’s address, feature list, testimonials, guarantee, and other elements as needed.
  • Signal exclusivity with an invitation. To make an offer special, you can issue an invitation in the appropriate format, usually a smaller envelope and letter on high-quality paper. This works best for offers targeted to high-income prospects, professionals, and executive level positions; for events such as conferences, meetings, and presentations; or for offers that need a quality feel.
  • Add urgency with a telegram. This is a good idea that is, unfortunately, wildly overused. It can be little more than an envelope design, such as “Urgent Gram,” “Speed Gram,” or some variation. Or it might be an envelope and letter combo resembling an actual telegram printed on yellow paper with tractor-feed holes down the sides of the letter. One way to make this format work is to create your own urgent-looking envelope for fulfillment materials. This allows the envelope to get noticed and assures that the contents will be relevant and interesting instead of boilerplate.
  • Create an official look with a snap-pack. This format is often used for official notices or statements, so it gives your ad message the same feel. And because the recipient has to rip open the edge of the envelope and pull out the contents, it creates involvement. It’s good for generating inquiries or for organizations with recognizable and trusted names. It has been used with particular success in the nonprofit sector to deliver what appears to be an urgent, cheap appeal for funds.
  • Generate quick leads with a postcard. Direct sales are possible with postcards but only for simple offers, such as magazine subscriptions. They are much better for building traffic for local retail or for generating inquiries for familiar services, such as real estate or carpet cleaning. However, because response is so easy, lead quality is often low. But it’s worth testing. Just remember to telegraph your message with a clear benefit headline, strong and tangible offer, a picture of what you’re offering, lean copy, and a bold call to action.
  • Use dimensional mailings cautiously. Boxes, bags, tubes, folders, and other unusual formats are great for getting attention. But while there are plenty of examples of successful campaigns, these formats are usually misused, wasting money on a novel format when a standard format could deliver a more powerful message and net a greater response or profit. Most of the dimensional mailings I have seen are simply a way for ad agencies to jack up their fee and cover up the fact that they don’t have anything to say about a product or service.
  • When in doubt, use an envelope package. The classic direct mail package consists of an outer envelope (usually #10, 6”x9”, or 9”x12”), a letter, brochure, reply card or order form, maybe one or more inserts, and a reply envelope. The reason this format is a standard is that it has been developed, tested, and perfected over many years. And it works. Test other formats but don’t be different just to be different.
  • Test formats head-to-head. The important point in format testing is to keep the offer, copy, graphics, and all creative elements as similar as possible so that you are testing the format itself and not a new creative treatment. And always test a new format in a head-to-head mailing with the old format. Never make a change until you have proven results.

Copyright © 2003 Dean Rieck. All Rights Reserved.

________________________________________________________________

Dean Rieck is a top-ranked freelance direct mail and direct marketing copywriter. He has been called “the best direct response strategist and copywriter” in America. Dean offers complete copywriting and design services for direct mail, B2B, print, sales lead generation, sales letters, e-mail and online marketing, and radio advertising. For more tips on improving your direct response advertising results, subscribe to Dean’s free direct marketing newsletter at http://www.DirectCreative.com.

If you are considering postcards, please visit  Salon Pro Marketing

GULF COAST OIL SPILL – HOW SALONS CAN HELP

Anyone and Everyone: salons, groomers, individuals can sign up to donate hair and fur clippins and nylons for our Oil Spill Booms. Our Excess Access program sign up is free, fast and helps us to coordinate the masses of donations.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO DONATE HAIR / FUR / NYLONS

Thousands of pounds of hair and nylons are coming in by UPS and FED EX from every State in the US and from Canada, Brazil, France, UK… Booms are being made all along the Gulf Coast near beaches and marshes. What a community feeling! We all get it. We shampoo because hair collects oil! More Info

OIL SPILL HAIRBOOMS AND HAIRMATS
Here we look at fibers (hair, wool, fur, feathers…). Thousands of salons mail us hair clippings, swept up off their floors, and the fibers are stuffed into booms or woven into hair mats. We all know about shampooing our oily hair, but it took Phill McCrory, a stylist from Alabama, to realize that hair was also an efficient and abundant material for collecting and containing petroleum spills.

For how you can get involved please visit Matter of Trust

Check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg9vdnOuEhk