My blog on getting the most from direct mail was first published in July’s The Salon Magazine. A great magazine for hair and beauty salon business ideas and inspiration.

The Magic of Mail

Google have just sent me a £75 coupon for their AdWord service – through the post. You’d think this online giant would use email, texting or even an app.  But no. They make a deliberate marketing decision to use direct mail. And it works.

And it can work for your salon too. Gone are the days of mass junk mail. Today’s savvy salon uses the post to build relationships, not sell. Clients like to receive mail. It makes them feel special. It shows you care.

A stamp is your marketing best friend

So why do Google use snail mail? And why should you?

Quite simply, because it gets read. 82% of consumers open their direct mail according to Royal Mail’s research. We receive such little post these days that when a handwritten envelope lands on the mat it just cries out to be opened.

Get the most from your post

Avoid expensive volume mailings. Small is beautiful. The secret is to keep it targeted, personal and relevant. Let’s look at three ways direct mail can help you nurture your clients and build valuable long term relationships:

Missing you

The post is an ideal way to coax those lapsed clients back to your salon. Less intrusive than a text, more distinctive than an email and you know it will reach the client.

A simple card with a time-limited offer and a ‘book now’ message should do the trick. Do be generous with your discount. You’ve invested money in postage and print, so don’t squander it by being tight-fisted with your offer. If clients haven’t been back for six months, it will take a juicy incentive to motivate them to pick up the phone and book again.

Many happy returns

Birthday cards are direct mail marketing at its most simple and effective. What better way to tell a client “you’re important to us” . Add a personal touch with bespoke greeting cards designed and printed for your salon – you’ll find it’s cheaper than bulk-buying them from a shop. Include a birthday girl/boy gift, such as a pampering treatment on their next visit. I tend to avoid discounts here and look at ways to up-sell salon services instead.

I also like to handwrite the envelope rather than just stick a label on. Yes, it does take that bit longer, but looks so much more special and inviting. Plus 49% of consumers say they are more likely to open mail if they are intrigued by the package.

Grow your salon

You’ve worked hard to attract a new client, wowed them with your salon experience and sent them out of the door feeling fantastic. Now make sure you carry on building that relationship and turn them into that marketing pot of gold – a loyal client. Direct mail is the perfect next step.

If they haven’t re-booked after say 6/8 weeks pop a card in the post with an appealing offer for their second visit. Use their name, always hand write the envelope and add a personal note for maximum effect.

Measure and measure again

One final tip – remember to monitor the results. This is crucial to calculating the success of your direct marketing and the return on your investment in postage, print and time. An easy method is to include a promotional code in your offer which clients must mention to enjoy the special prices.

So if you want to make an impact for 50p take a leaf out of Google’s book and invest in a stamp.