Silk Salon Spa: Bad Hair Day

Is this for a salon or Happy Ending spa?

This postcard arrived in my mailbox on February 2. When I received it, I assumed there were no services available for me.  There was not a mention of services for men and, even though it was addressed to Resident, both pictures are of women. A deep review of their Website suggests otherwise, but you have to dig deeply to find this page.  So maybe I could get a $40 haircut there.

The postcard is difficult to read. It includes small type using colors with poor contrast and registration. For example, black text on a red background, as seen in the top coupon, is believed to be the most difficult for people to read. (Red over blue is not much better – don’t try this at home.) Granted, mailers only have 3" x 5" to play with on one side and maybe 2" x 3" on the address side, but the key messages and offers need to be understood by the customer.   Fail for Creative

The postcard includes offers for February, March, and April – all labeled ‘First Visit only’. While a February offer would be practical for a postcard arriving in February, the store owner cannot expect that someone would hold the card for two months through a first visit in April to let someone completely new have a go at their precious hair. This approach is counter to urging immediacy and having a strong call to action. A better approach would be to have a strong 'First Visit' offer that expires approximately four weeks after the postcard arrives. When the customer is in the salon for her first cut, the hairdresser or store owner can offer a coupon good for a different service on the second visit after receiving a positive response to, “So how do you like your hair?” That would avoid a Fail for Offer.
Address Side

The postcard also includes a typo… it invites “Walks-in”. Additional Fail for Creative.

As passionate as I am about direct mail, I wonder if Silk Salon might have better spent their limited marketing dollars soliciting new business through Groupon or the local-based Living Social.

1. If sending a saturation mailing, include a communication relevant to all recipients.
2. Use colors and fonts that are readable, even with limited space.
3. Your offer should be immediately useful, not deferred to a later date.
4. Proofread your content or have someone else proofread it.


A Boy Named Sue

In late December, a major full-service business-to-business provider of print and related solutions produced and mailed 2011 calendars to many of its customers. The printer used this as an occasion to show off its personalization capabilities.

Beautiful content. Great personalization.  Unfortunately, the recipient’s name is actually Marc -- not “MARK” as it was printed on the calendar -- so the calendar will not be used.

Lesson: Correct personalization is just as important with business-to-business communications as it is with direct-to-consumer communications. Be sure your customers’ names are correct before your personalize your content.