Are you missing out on a powerful, cheap-as-chips salon marketing tool?
A salon e-newsletter.
Don’t stop reading. Please.
Just because email marketing has been round for decades, and isn’t shiny and sexy like social, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
In fact it works better, for less dosh, than almost any other salon marketing channel.
Unlike social media you are in the driving seat with email salon marketing. A well-built and written e-news campaign will reach almost all your database. In contrast, most Facebook posts only reach a measly 10-20% of the people Liking your Page.
But email marketing hasn’t worked that well for my salon business
Spa and salon owners quite often tell me they haven’t had great success with e-newsletters.
I believe there are two reasons for this:
- Readers are simply not opening the e-news and
- You need to be consistent and regular with your e-newsletters. As with most marketing, they repay being treated as a marathon not a sprint.
This blog post looks at the professional tricks and tips for improving your open rates and getting your campaign read and acted on. But first, let’s look at why the recent surge in mobile device use is a boon for email marketing.
Email open rates are even more important with the growth of mobile devices
Our love affair with our smartphones and tablets is inescapable.
The UK Consumer Device Preference Report revealed a staggering 71% of marketing emails were opened on a mobile device in the first quarter of 2015.
Quite simply we’re deserting our desktops in favour of smartphones and tablets. Desktops now account for just 29% of email opens.
The good news for hair and beauty businesses is that mobile devices are opened anytime, anywhere. You’ve a greater chance of your email campaign catching the reader’s eye.
The bad news is you’ve only seconds to grab the recipient’s attention on a small screen. So making more impact is the name of the game – to ensure they open, read and click your salon’s promotional message.
Here are 12 ways to improve your email campaign success…
12 ways to get your salon e-newsletter opened, read and clicked
The biggest hurdle to getting your readers to open your email marketing is this first tip.
1. Is your e-newsletter mobile friendly?
Did you know your e-newsletters will not automatically adapt to fit the mobile device they are being viewed on unless they were built to be mobile responsive in the first place. In the same way as your salon website needs to be mobile friendly so do your salon e-newsletters.
You’ve just seconds to grab your readers’ attention. If your e-newsletter isn’t displaying properly then I’m sorry they are going to press delete or move on to the next email.
If you’re lucky you may get a second bite at the cherry if they check their emails again on a desktop later. But you certainly can’t count on this.
If you’ve been using the same salon e-newsletter format/template for the last 18 months or more, then the chances are your email marketing campaigns are not mobile friendly.
It’s easy to check. Next time you send out a salon email campaign just test it on your own smartphone. If it’s mobile friendly your e-newsletter will automatically re-size, adapt its format to fit your screen and be easy to read and navigate.
2. A good subject line boosts email open rates
Your email subject line can make or break your open rates:
- Keep your email subject line brief, yet descriptive.
- 50 characters or less is usually recommended.
Avoid the following in your subject lines as they can affect your open rates:
- Mega x % off discounts
- Exclamation marks!!!
- The word free
- Capitals for EMPHASIS
- Phrases using “reminder”
- Cheesy choice of words
- Implausible claims
3. Be crystal clear about who sent the email campaign
This may sound obvious, but it is often overlooked.
Over 40% of email recipients decide whether to open and read emails based on the “from” name or email address.
We’re all wary of a scam or a dodgy virus lurking behind an innocent-looking email. Make it clear the email is being sent from your spa or salon business.
4. Tempt salon readers with the right e-news content
Your hair and beauty clients want to be educated, inspired or amused when they open your email marketing. They do not want to be bombarded with endless offers and egotistic news about you.
Think of it this way: if a client had just walked into your salon you won’t rush up to them shouting about your latest discounts or boring them with ‘the big I am’ routine. You just wouldn’t, would you?
It’s the same with your email marketing. Make sure your e-newsletter is packed with plenty of “What’s In It For Me.”
- Share professional hair or beauty tips
- Invitations to fun or educational salon events
- Useful information such as new late opening or Sunday hours
- Salon news that is relevant and helpful to your reader
- New hair or beauty services you’re offering
- Product news plus tricks of the trade
If you’ve a spa or salon discount of course include it, but try to stick with the 80:20 rule. 80% of your salon email marketing is useful stuff. No more than 20% is offers or discounts.
5. Use your readers’ names
We all respond to our name.
“Hi Alice” sounds so much more personal than Dear Client. It seems like you’re talking to me. Like we’re having a conversation between friends.
Most email software systems give you the option to add a name. Always do if you can. After all the majority of your database are likely to be clients who visit your salon regularly.
6. Add personality to your email broadcasts
How you write, and your tone of voice, greatly influence your reader. Be lively, interesting and conversational.
A few pointers to inject some bubbly personality into your email marketing:
- Keep the e-news concise. You want to give your readers a teaser, not War & Peace.
- Use the magic little word you. Not me. It’s the one everyone wants to hear.
- Ask questions. They engage people and improve click rates.
- Add urgency to any promotions. Try, “Only 6 appointments available” or “spa offer finishes tomorrow”.
- Watch your spelling, grammar and punctuation as they all reflect on your salon business.
- Keep your writing punchy and fast moving. Sentences short. Your readers will skim for anything of interest.
7. Include a Call to Action for salon clients
“Call now to book your salon appointment”.
“Book online here”.
“Enter our competition here”.
These are all Calls To Action (known as CTAs for short). Their role is to tell your readers exactly what they should do next and why. Always include them at the end of each snippet in your e-newsletter and urge your reader to click through to your salon website or social media.
8. Add a good old fashioned P.S to your email campaign
Take a cue from the copywriters of direct mail campaigns and add a postscript to your email. Direct mail marketers have known for years that after the headline of a letter, the eyes travel to the P.S at the bottom of the page.
This professional tip works well if you emailing a short offer or invite out rather than a longer e-newsletter. Write a couple of paragraphs, sign-off and then add that P.S with a powerful Call To Action.
9. Perfect timing for salon e-newsletters
We find Mondays and weekends are best avoided for salons and spas. The middle of the week works well.
Avoid the day or so leading up to major holidays as people are busy rushing round ready to go away. Too busy to sit and read.
As for times, the general advice is 9-11am and 1-3pm as readers are at their desks and checking their emails. With the growth of smartphones this is becoming less important as people check them well into the evening.
10. The secret to better opening rates is test, test, test
As with all marketing you need to monitor and measure your results. Most email marketing systems give in-depth feedback on the results of your campaign and show open rates, click thru rates and unsubscribes.
Try testing different formulas to see which works best with your target audience. Tweak the time you broadcast, vary your subject line and adjust the mix of offers/tips.
11. Keep your email database happy
If there’s one thing that irritates me it’s receiving email marketing with no unsubscribe facility. Do companies think that because you make unsubscribing well-nigh impossible you’re going to give in and read it?
If a user no longer wants to receive email messages from your salon then don’t annoy them. Always make it easy for readers to unsubscribe or change their email preferences.
12. Quality over quantity works best for salon e-newsletters
So you’ve followed all my tips and your clients are reading your emails, merrily clicking away and calling the salon to book. Don’t now be tempted to overdo things just because your emailing seems to be working a treat.
Send too often and your content becomes thin and you start to get on your readers nerves. They stop opening your email marketing and reach for the unsubscribe button.
I think a salon e-newsletter is best sent monthly. Then, if you do suddenly have something amazing to tell your clients you can send a one-off e-news, and won’t break the ‘quality not quantity’ rule.
It doesn’t cost a lot to set yourself up with a mobile friendly e-newsletter and we’re always here to help if you want a hand. You might also want to check whether your salon website is mobile responsive – this blog post explains how and why it’s important.