Do you find it awkward to ask clients for their email addresses? You’re not alone. Many owners tell me they find it difficult to persuade clients to give them their personal email.
So why is having an accurate complete database so important when it comes to customer loyalty? Simply because email marketing is one of the most important marketing tools when it comes to increasing re-bookings, improving loyalty and boosting average spend per salon visit.
In this blog post I share my top ways of getting hair and beauty clients to part with their email address. You should also be collecting your competitors’ clients emails too so you can start to poach them. But that’s another blog post for another day.
Let’s start by looking at how to coax new hair and beauty clients to part with their email.
Getting email addresses from new spa or salon clients
A brand new client has just walked through your salon or spa door. The temptation is to immediately thrust a New Client Information Questionnaire into their hands or bombard them with questions about their contact details.
Wait a minute.
Put yourself in their shoes.
They’ve not set foot in your salon before. They are probably feeling a tad apprehensive about their first visit and on the back foot.
Does this strike you as the best time to try and wheedle their personal email address out of them?
Earn their trust before asking for personal contact details
People share their information with brands that they know, like and trust.
Never forget this.
You need to make your new client feel comfortable before trying to wheedle their precious email address out of them.
So first give them a great customer experience. Wow them. Make them like and trust you.
And then, only then, approach them for their personal email details.
Don’t leave it to the very end of their salon visit. They’ll be dashing to get the kids from school or avoid a parking ticket. I always approach them towards the end of the service but before they go to reception to pay.
Which email collection method is best?
Handwritten information sheet: a short form is easy and quick for them. #tip the less you ask the more they are likely to fill in.
However, you give yourself the problem of deciphering their writing as you type it into your salon/spa till software. Misread even a full stop in an email address and it will bounce.
Use an app: some email providers (Mailchimp is one) have apps to help you gather email addresses. You hand the client a tablet or iPad and they tap in their details. This overcomes the illegible handwriting problem but it means you have data split across the email provider and your salon software system. Not what you want.
Your salon management software: hair and beauty till software systems are great for storing data. When it comes to harvesting existing clients’ emails then I’d do it direct onto your Phorest, Shortcuts, Millennium etc system at the start of their visit.
But with new clients you need to wait until after their visit (when you’ve gained their trust) and this could be too late if they are in a rush to leave.
My advice would be to approach new clients with a handwritten form and read back their email address to them to ensure you have interpreted it accurately.
How to capture existing clients’ emails
When I start working with a salon or spa which hasn’t built an email database of existing clients I usually find a combination of these four marketing methods does the trick:
- Use your loyalty programme. Quite simply collect email addresses when you ask people to sign up.
- Run a competition. To enter they need to enter their email address. You can run it on spa social media, on your website and in-salon. You’ll need an app to administer and collect the emails – this is fairly inexpensive to initially set up and we can help.
- Client feedback form. For a couple of months ask every client to complete a feedback form about their treatment/service/visit. Give them the option to enter a prize draw if they add in their email address. They can elect to stay anonymous of course, but they don’t get entered into the draw.
- Offer discounts. Discounts can be a very effective way to persuade reluctant clients to hand over their emails. Just remember that it impacts on your bottom-line so don’t give away more than you need.
Make checking email addresses a habit in your business
As with all hair and beauty marketing systems make sure it becomes a team habit. Give your spa receptionist a script so it’s easier for them to raise the question and deal with objections. This script should cover:
- Why you want their email address
- The benefits to them – exclusive salon offers, events and gifts.
Making it clear to your team that they are accountable and it’s an important part of their job will improve capture rates. Monitor the number of email addresses collected for both new and existing clients and use it as part of team one-to-ones. If the percentage is too low you can then discuss how they can improve.
Salon clients need to be reassured that you will never abuse or share their contact details.
State your email policy clearly on any printed forms or questionnaires. If you’re gathering email addresses on your website then spell it out loud and clear on the online subscription form.
Should you ‘cheat’ and buy an email list?
If you’re reading this thinking “it would be quicker and easier just to buy a list,” please don’t.
I can’t say often enough that an accurate full database of your clients’ email addresses is one of the most valuable salon marketing tools you can have. It is yours and yours alone. Facebook or Google can’t suddenly take it away from you or start charging you to use it.
Moreover, it’s a prime tool to build and maintain relationships with your clients in-between visits. A little prompt that pops into their Inbox once a month reminding them of your beauty or hair business and why they need to pick up the phone and make another appointment.
Looking for free marketing tools to help you grow your beauty spa, salon or medical aesthetics clinic? Try these.