You need to understand where your ideal clients hang out, and how you can access them. You need to lower the switching cost (I'll talk more about switching cost in my next blog. ***Note to self***)
As an example, each year we participate in a local private school trivia night and give each person there a $50 gift voucher. 200 people = $10,000 of free service. A ladies haircut with the other fancy stuff is $65, so they are paying a little bit, but not much. Let's just say 20 of them used our voucher (10%), so we have given away $1,000 of free service. Of those, I would suspect that we would retain half as loyal customers so 10 people spending more that $1,000 each year. Our $1,000 of free service investment returned $10,000 in revenue in the year. If we could find five, even ten similar groups to do the same, we could easily increase our revenue by $50,000 all for the cost of printing a few gift certificates and perhaps $2,000 in wages over 12months. For the average hair salon, this would be more than a 10% increase in revenue and a 25 times return on investment!
So why don't they do it? Because owners don't get off their fat arses to do it. It's easier to put a non-performing ad in the paper and place the blame on the economy or something else out of your hands.