Whenever I ask hair stylists what skill they need to master in order to build their business, social media is always the first thing that comes to mind.
I will admit that I truly believe Facebook and Instagram to be the best tools a hair stylist has to attract new guests, however there is another little tool that is WAY better for maintaining your existing clientele.
It's six times less expensive to retain an existing client than it is to attract a new one. I think the constant cycle of looking, hoping and praying for new guests is the single most stressful thing that any stylist endures. Wouldn't it be great if your base clientele just stayed stable so that you could rely on just referrals to provide consistent growth?
That happens through the magic of my favorite marketing tool: Email Marketing!
Emails are like gold. I want you to think about it. Every time you go to a store or website, what do they ask for? Your email address! You've got to provide it to confirm your order, to register for a rewards program, to have your receipt emailed to you and for a number of other reasons. Multi-billion dollar businesses don't collect emails for fun. They do it because they know that email marketing is the single most effective way to build a longterm relationship with consumers.
I know some of you are already thinking, I'm great on social media, I use my Instagram, I use my Facebook, I have a website, why do I even need to use email marketing? There are three reasons why truly successful businesses and hairstylists use email marketing to grow their clientele and I want you to understand the huge impact it can have on your business:
Email is totally free and nothing is better than free online marketing-Back in the day when I was building my clientele (which was actually only 9 years ago but it might as well have been the stone age with the rate the industry has changed) salons weren't doing email marketing. I spent countless hours handwriting notes to my clients each month and I can't even image how much money was invested into post cards and stamps. There are plenty of email marketing systems that are 100% free and will save you tons of time and money vs hand written or even text communication.
An email sent will be seen by up to 10x more of your guests than a social media post will ever be-The average adult checks their emails six times a day. I know that I do. With all of the algorithms now in place on both Instagram and Facebook, the average social media post is seen by 1%-3% of your followers. Stylists in my Thrivers Society program are seeing a 20%-over 60% email marketing open rate. That increase is HUGE. With email, there is no algorithm so they'll at least see it in their inbox and then choose to either open the message or not.
You can grow and nurture your existing business much more effectively through email- While social media can be a wonderful way to attract new guests, when you want to run a promotion, nurture the existing guest relationship or distribute a mass message, email wins every time. I don't suggest using Instagram for announcing in salon promotions, price increases, last minute openings or scheduling updates. Those would all the things that can hurt your Instagram reach, but are great to announce through email.
So did I convince you yet that email marketing is pretty freaking awesome? Good!! Okay, so how do you start? What campaign should you even be sending? And this sounds like a lot of work, how do I make it easy? First of all it's not a lot of work. If it takes you more than an hour, a month to do email marketing, you're doing something wrong. But I want to share with you today three campaigns that will make a huge difference in your business.
The Promotional Email- Most stylists find this to be the easiest email marketing technique to apply. If you notice on Monday night that you're looking slow on Tuesday morning, send an email blast that your clients know they can get 20% off if they come in tomorrow anytime before 1:00 pm. Suddenly your books are filled for Tuesday morning. Pretty awesome. Now you might be wondering "why can't I just do a promotional post on Instagram or Facebook"? Both of those platforms have decided they don't like promotional posts, so their system actually skims your comments looking for promotional words, you'll be forced out of the feed and your future posts will reach less and less of your followers . Email marketing totally wins when it comes to promotions.
The Annual Special Offer- This one is like magic. Annually we send out an email with a service discount coupon for the top 10% of our clientele. We are always so good about offering discounts and promotions to our new clients, but it's really important to show our existing clients some love too. In addition to the gift for our current clients we also include a promotional offer that looks beautiful and can be forwarded freely. We encourage clients to forward the promotion along to anybody who might be looking for a new stylist and also use this opportunity to remind our guests about our referral program. Your client feels like they're appreciated and they love the opportunity to give their friends a new gift. Try it, I'm sure you'll see results.
The Email Newsletter-Usually when I say the word "newsletter", stylists and salon owners are instantly turned off. It sounds complicated, it sounds chunky, it sounds way too hard and who is even going to read that? Once you learn to create effective newsletters, your clientele won't just read it, they'll actually look forward to it. Also if you're doing a newsletter correctly it shouldn't be boring and it shouldn't take you more than half an hour every month. It's really simple, you just have to follow the right format.
Consistency is key with any kind of email marketing. Your clientele will be confused if one month you send a newsletter and promotion and then 3 months go by without another email. If you can just give email marketing one year of solid effort, I guarantee it will make a tremendous difference in your business.