The other day, I received an e-mail with a brilliant marketing idea that reminded me: marketing doesn't have to be hard, kitschy, or particularly creative to work.

My local salon sent me a very vanilla e-mail that listed available appointments for the week. In a time when folks are cutting back on the non-necessities, hair salons and spas are probably suffering along with the rest of us. But, this gentle reminder--certainly not an in-your-face effort--provided great results for the salon.

How do I know? Because as soon as I got the e-mail, I thought to myself, "Hmm...a pedicure would be nice after my race this weekend. Let me call and schedule."

And, the salon was sold out.

Lesson learned: Simplicity still sells.