EMAIL MARKETING – THE WHY AND THE HOW
In today’s digital marketplace it’s important to engage with your clients and keep them informed of any offers, promotions, new services, products and events. Social marketing, Search Engine Optimisation and Pay-Per-Click advertising have their place in this, but email marketing is hands-down the most effective for getting your message in front of your clients.
WHY USE EMAIL
Email is perhaps the oldest tool in the marketer’s toolbox and continues to thrive year after year. Why is this? Because for every single person that spends time online, they will have to have an active email address to be able to do most online things. Email is the currency of the web and with email marketing being 3 x more effective than social media, there is no better channel for you to be connecting with your clients through.
Email marketing has become a more expected and accepted form of communication. Did you know that 91% of people check their email at least once a day on their Smartphone? Emails are a fast and direct route to your clients, so make sure you have a system in place to collect client email addresses and that they opt in to receive emails from you.
Providing a positive, consistent experience to your clients through email, increases your chance of building a loyal relationship and can even help in client acquisition, conversions, frequency of visits and retention.
BETTER THAN SOCIAL MEDIA
Up to 90% of your Facebook followers will never see a post from you, thanks to Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms. The only way is to pay to ‘boost’ your post to reach more of your followers. Whereas, up to 90% of the marketing emails you send, will be received directly into your clients’ inbox.
Emails can be more personal and customised than a social media post and, therefore, make a better connection with your audience as they feel it is a more personal message from you to them. Social media is great for finding and attracting new clients; email is for hooking them in and building a longer-term relationship.
BUILD YOUR DATABASE
Are you getting email addresses from your new and existing clients and making sure they opt in to receive emails from you? Are you collecting email addresses from your website and encouraging your social media followers to sign up for future marketing? One of the most basic roles of your website and social media presence, is to build your database for email marketing. The bigger the database, the bigger return you will eventually see.
YOUR EMAIL STRATEGY
How well are you using and utilising your salon software email features? Most salon software offers plain text emailing, and though getting something out there is better than nothing, today’s consumer is expecting to be wowed with well-designed stylish images when they open up an email. So if your plain text email isn’t something truly spectacular that will have them running to your salon, then they’re likely to be turned off and forget about your business.
Also salon software usually lacks the analytical input for the serious marketers who want to know open rates, click through rates and other analytics.
There are free online email marketing platform sites to be found, such as MailChimp, that have easy to use templates with drag and drop facilities. Sites like these often also give you the analytical information you need to improve your email marketing campaigns. I recommend that you pay the monthly fees and get more analytics to continually improve your success rate and get rid of the ‘monkey’. Do a little research, read some reviews of the different sites and decide which one will work best for you.
These powerful marketing machines have all the tools to drive traffic to your salon chairs, increase frequency of visits and BOOST your sales. Need some email marketing ideas? There are plenty of messages that you can incorporate into your marketing strategy. Below I have highlighted a few to start you off with:
- Welcome your new clients and tell them about any loyalty programs, memberships and ask them to follow you on social media.
- Send appointment confirmations to your clients allowing them to confirm their appointment attendance.
- Send clients a ‘thank you’ email after their appointment and ask them to complete a survey about your business and the service they received.
- Did they forget to rebook? Tell them about the benefits of rebooking and start to build a rebooking culture.
- Sending ‘Happy Birthday’ emails on or before their special day can be super impactful, especially when you offer a gift or discount so they can celebrate with you.
- Increase visits with automated emails for clients that perhaps haven’t visited you in a while, and let them know you miss them. I like to have a few different automated emails with different copy and offers – depending on the time lapsed.
- Keep your clients up to date with new products, events or service launches that can tempt them back in. Targeting higher spending clients or clients who have bought something similar in the past, can be highly effective if your email meets their needs.
- Send reminders to your clients about membership and gift card expiry dates encouraging them to renew their membership or visit to redeem any gift vouchers.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PERFORMANCE
I mentioned earlier about analytics, and here I’ll explain a little more about why you need to be monitoring the emails you are sending. The analytics of an email gives you an insight into the inner workings of your own email campaign. With analytics you can see the open rate, click-through rate and more to help build a picture of what works with your clients and what doesn’t.
Low open rate? Test different subject lines, ones that create intrigue usually work well. Also try sending emails at different times, it may be that there is a more suitable time of day that will encourage your clients to open the email. Personalise emails using merge tags like <<ClientFirstName>>
Though you can manage your campaigns well enough using the free email marketing sites, they usually offer a more thorough service to help you with your analytics. If you are serious about your marketing campaign and can pay a little more for subscription to the full service, then I urge you to do this. You will get the full range of reporting and analytics to improve your email marketing and be able to fully brand the email to your business.
I hope you can now see why email marketing is an important part of your overall marketing campaign. Get building your email distribution list and be sure to let me know how you get on with email marketing.