Wednesday 6 June, 2018
Alongside social media, email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with clients who are always on the go, especially now that most individuals have access to their emails anytime and anywhere - it can also be completely free!
How do I get started?
First of all, you need to build up an email contacts database of people who are interested in receiving your emails. The easiest way to build your database is to simply ask clients when they're in the salon whether they would like to be added to your email mailing list. On your website, you could add a ‘Sign up to our newsletter' button, or if you take bookings online, add an ‘Email' field to the bookings form. Note that if you make this field compulsory in order to make a booking, you will need to add a check box at the end of the form to confirm whether people wish to be signed up to your email database.
If you are struggling to attract people to sign up to your database, then you could offer clients incentives for joining your database, whether this be a refer-a-friend offer, loyalty scheme or discount off a future treatment.
• Leonie Wileman, Chief Operations Office at Premier Software: “Building and managing an accurate client base is one of the most powerful marketing tools a salon can have. Accurate data enables salons to contact clients with relevant offers or promotions, encourage referrals and fill schedules.”
• Caroline Quinlan, Digital Marketing Executive at Chleo Enterprises: “Always ask for permission to send communication to your customer as otherwise it is unsolicited mail and it could land you in hot water.”
Should I use an email service provider?
When it comes to the production of your email campaigns, there are a number of different options, ranging from creating everything in-house, to using an external email specialist, such as MailChimp. You then need to consider who you want to send your emails from, will they appear from your salon email address or do you wish to set up a specific email in order to carefully manage replies?
• Laura Jones, Marketing Manager at Sienna X: “For beginner's an email service provider such as Mailchimp, which offers free templates, can be a great way of creating low-cost, engaging emails that look professional and display perfectly on mobile.”
• Leonie Wileman, Chief Operations Office at Premier Software: “A business email address [may] appear more professional, [but] be careful to avoid addresses such as ‘email@example.com' or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org' as these tend to be caught by spam filters.”
How can I make my mailings stand out?
The key to success with your email marketing campaign is standing out from the crowd, and encouraging clients to open your emails over the tens or hundreds of others that they may receive daily. This means that you need to focus on the elements of your email that will be seen by clients before they open it, such as the subject and preview lines. Whilst snappy subject lines may encourage clients to open your initial emails, you'll soon be relegated to their junk mail or the bottom of their inbox if your email content isn't up-to-scratch either. Your copy should be engaging, giving clients a clear call-to-action.
• Laura McCarthy, Senior Marketing Executive for High Definition: “It seems a hard task to make someone want to find out more with just a few words but with the right persuasive messaging, it can be done. Keep your subject lines short and to the point, I find snappy messages, mysterious messages that keep the user guessing, directing questions to your customers or messages with a sense of urgency tend to perform best.”
What content should I include?
Your email campaigns should be built of a number of different content types in order to keep clients engaged and encourage them to open your mail. Ideally, you don't want to bombard clients with lots of messages at once, as this will make them more likely to ignore your emails in future, or could confuse the impact of your most important marketing message.
Some email campaign ideas are: special offers, new treatments or an e-newsletter with salon news. You may choose to contact clients in more personal campaigns too, such as sending a special offer to them for their birthday or the anniversary of them becoming a client. To do this you could separate your database by birth month, and send out a batch of emails at the beginning of each month, rather than on the specific birth date. Alternatively, if you employ a salon management software system, many of these will offer this as an email marketing service.
• Jennifer Linton and Jaye Macdonald, Co-Owners of Linton & Mac Salon in Aberdeen: “Email is a great way to engage with our customers and keep them up to date with new offers and incentives. We send a monthly newsletter to our clients, which is a running commentary on what is happening in the salon.”
How can I monitor the success of my emails?
Measuring the success of your email campaigns can be hugely important towards future success. You might want to look at open rates, click through rates or the number of times that clients have redeemed a particular offer or booked a specific treatment following an email campaign around it. Certain email providers will also offer you a number of insights for free as part of your package.
• Marie-Louise Coster, Salon Owner and Beauty Trainer: “Whilst sending out email newsletters is in effect free to do (it just costs you your time), it is a pointless exercise if it doesn't increase business. The only way you will know if it works is by monitoring the response.”