When I want to read obituaries I’ll look in the obit section in the New York Times…not in my email mailbox.

So when I got an email invitation to a salon business building webinar featuring some self-appointed online marketing guru who’s declared that direct mail for salons is dead, I felt like sending an email broadcast to the folks on my list to proceed with caution.

Why? Because that pronouncement is a big bunch of hooey. It’s as fallacious a statement as those made from people plugging social networking as a salon savior while eviscerating email in an attempt to build their compelling case.

What’s really happening today in marketing is the same thing as happened yesterday. Savvy salon marketing mavens understand that marketing is a science – the science of attracting leads and turning that lead into a client.

And just as science is built on formulas, so is marketing.

Only most people don’t see it that way. They see marketing more as an art – they see marketing as creative – when it’s really not.

It’s these very same people who don’t take the time to deeply understand their target market. They’re the people who don’t understand that while they may live in the same community (geographic) as their target audience, have kids who go to school together (an example of demographics) those folks who they’re targeting may have a different set of values (an example of psycho-graphics) and therefore won’t respond to the same messages or like the same things as they do.

Then they scratch their heads and wonder why their marketing is not working and end up blaming the messenger for the failure.

Compare this to the savvy marketer who understands four basic things about the science of marketing:

  1. She’s not marketing to themselves…that they are not their customer.
  2. Email, “snail mail”, text messaging etc. are simply the delivery agents for marketing formulas.
  3. Marketing formulas are created with words, pictures and sounds (we’ll leave smells out for the moment) and it’s to those words, pictures and sounds and not to the vehicle that the target responds.
  4. To find the right formula you must test.

Now let’s use a marketing example with an email. Notice it incorporates these four points. Send two different emails to the same person at the same time each with a different subject line. And depending upon the words you choose one may be opened at by more people (open rate) than the other. So what you’ve just done is “tested” a headline – much like a scientist in the laboratory tests formulas for shampoos.

While I know some of you may disagree with me and that’s fine. But, beware that you’ve been warned.

As marketeers dig deeper into the study of our brain and how the brain impacts on our decision making, even those die hard anti-scientists are going to come around to this way of thinking. Unfortunately it may be too late because time waits for no one and savvy salon owners are adopting this new marketing mindset.

So is email marketing on its last leg? Heck no! What is dead is lousy copy-writing. And believe me I’ll let you know if email or any other delivery agent is dying.

To find out more about salon marketing download my free pdf “The 7 Principles of

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