A salon marketing checklist for savvy text messaging

I start this blog with a confession…

I’m not a fervent fan of SMS marketing (text messaging) for salons and spas.

But texting does have a role. An important one, in the right circumstances.


Marketing your hair and beauty business by texting

Blanket texting is expensive, often very unproductive and can be highly irritating if you’re on the receiving end.

Salon text marketing works best when you remember it’s instant and intimate.

It’s perfect for:

  • Reducing no-shows. I always recommend salons and spas send a text reminder between 24-48 hours before the appointment.
  • Flash offers to a handful of tightly selected clients (occasional use only).
  • Increasing attendance at hair and beauty promotional events. Again, I’d go for a 24-48 hour reminder.
  • Filling last minute cancellation slots.


9 texting tips for marketing your spa, salon or clinic

To squeeze the most marketing juice out of your texting follow these simple guidelines:

1. Keep promotional texts short and sweet

You have 160 characters so be brief, and stay focused. Get to the point immediately. Cut out any unnecessary words and marketing fluff.

2. Don’t let salon marketing standards slip when texting

A text message creates an impression. It’s part of your salon brand. The need for brevity is not an excuse to let your standards slip.

You may use 2DAY THX and U on your personal text messages, but avoid text abbreviations when SMS marketing your business. Watch your spelling, punctuation and grammar, as you would on all your branded materials.

3. Target the right hair and beauty clients with SMS marketing

Just because it’s only 160 characters and is on a phone doesn’t mean you should disregard the fundamental marketing rules.

If you’re promoting a flash offer or cancellation slot think carefully about your target audience. It costs you profit to send indiscriminate blanket texts so why would you do it? If you’re promoting a Shellac manicure then texting it to your male spa clients is probably not the smartest marketing move.

4. Get your marketing text message read

Oh so simple, yet often neglected.

We all hate spam texts, and if it isn’t immediately obvious who sent the text then it’s likely to get deleted unread.

5. Personalise all salon texts

I described text marketing earlier as “instant and intimate.” Our phones are very personal, private means of communication so it makes sense to make your marketing text as individual and personalised as possible.

So always use your salon client’s name. It really is worth using some of your 160 characters to make them feel your text was meant especially for them.

6. How to write a better salon text offer

Pull all the texting tips above together when you’re composing a salon text offer. Get straight to the point. Tell your client precisely what the promotion is, how they can access it and what they need to do next (your Call To Action).

Example hairdressing offer text message:

“Hi Jess 25% off all colour services with Zoe for tomorrow 8 May. Only 4 appointments left. Call 01234 567 890 and quote CD25 or book online”.

7. The right timing for your salon SMS marketing

For hair and beauty appointment reminders I feel texting the day before is a tad too late. If I’ve genuinely forgotten my appointment it’s not giving me much time to re-arrange anything. I think 48 hours beforehand works best.

By contrast, I’d text flash offers out fairly last minute as it creates a sense of urgency and scarcity. Recipients are more likely to phone there and then. With on-the-day cancellations it clearly makes sense to text as soon as you know there’s a gap to be filled.

8. Save money with a clean texting database

Sending texts to obsolete mobile numbers or to clients who have since moved out of the area is a waste of time and money. Put a marketing housekeeping system in place to regularly check your text delivery reports and your mobile database.

9. Measure your salon marketing results

Most salons and spas find their no-shows drop dramatically once they get into the habit of texting a reminder.

Always include a code with your text promotions (as I did in my example above) so you can monitor and measure results.

Once you measure you can evaluate what worked. And what didn’t.


Don’t get carried away with texting

I started this blog with a confession.

SMS marketing gets itself a bad name because it is so tempting to overdo it. Hair and beauty businesses have slow days, get desperate and hit the send button without thinking. The result – irritated clients.

So by all means use this useful salon marketing tool, just don’t rinse and repeat too often.

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