How email marketing makes life easier for reopening
With endless social media platforms to pick from, email can seem a tad old-fashioned. Statistically, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Email is still one of the most important marketing channels, boasting a high ROI. Furthermore, email open rates rose this March and April, with most industries experiencing a positive year-to-year change. This suggests that customers are curious to hear what brands have to say during the pandemic, making this the perfect time to communicate useful information and thoughtful content (in moderation, of course).
Salons, whose services necessitate close personal contact and rigorous health and safety measures, have a duty to share updates and protocols with their clients as they reopen. Simultaneously, email has longer term benefits for both parties when it comes to creating relationships. Many Covid-19 adjustments for salons—fewer customers, single bookings—can simply feel like disaster mitigation. However, used correctly, email marketing has the potential not only to help in the present but in years to come. In the midst of a crisis, it’s an affordable yet powerful way to invest in your future.
Without further ado, here are five features of email marketing that can make reopening easier, as well as improve your overall engagement strategy.
Auto Response Emails
A great practice at the best of times, these have become especially important when booking in clients following lockdown. Reducing no-shows is critical when you can’t double book or welcome as many clients into the salon. To avoid wasting time and money, you can automatically send emails to clients to remind them of their appointment. Email format is especially useful, as it allows you to include important safety information about their visit and even insert a short health form for them to sign.
And there’s no need to stop your auto-response efforts there. Programme a follow-up email to thank your clients for their support, ask how their appointment went, and include links to places where they can leave reviews if so inclined. This small step can have tremendous benefits: you can support your clients, gather feedback, and generate reviews (which are essential to building an online reputation) all at once!
The importance of sharing updates right now is self-evident, but what is the most effective way to let clients know how you’re reopening safely? You could definitely get creative and post a tour of your salon with new distancing measures in place, or film a stylist getting a trim to show how clients and stylists will have to interact in these strange times. Still, there is something to be said for formal statements.
Sending an email with your reopening protocols, even if you abbreviate them and include a link to your website or blog for the full version, allows you to spell out exactly what you’ve done and what you expect from clients in terms of wearing masks, booking in advance and more.
You could even make a behind-the-scenes spread by documenting your reopening process with photos of supplies you’ve ordered and ways you’ve changed your space. This might seem mundane, but it will reassure your clients and get them excited to return to the salon.
Monthly Newsletters for Engagement
If you’re concerned that your newsletter will come off as an extended advertisement destined for the spam folder, focus more on the “letter” and less on the “news.” Yes, it’s important to let your clients know about the amazing deals and services that you’re currently offering, but the primary purpose of these regular emails should be to build relationships. Especially if your salon is still closed, now is the perfect time to work on establishing a more loyal client base by sending out monthly, bi-weekly or even weekly newsletters.
Here are some things you could include in a newsletter that are both personal and useful for customers:
- Stories from the salon: right now, these will probably double as Covid-19 updates, but it’s good practice to share things like changes around the salon, new gear, or additions to your team
- Self-care tips: for clients who are still stuck at home, personal grooming has taken on new importance. Sharing your expertise, even in the form of simple tips, will prevent them from taking the scissors to their last stylist’s work and strengthen the sense of trust between you and your clients
- Featured review or comment: get customers in on the newsletter action by reposting (with permission) a fun review or comment left on your social media
- Booking links and offers: although these calls to action shouldn’t dominate the newsletter, it wouldn’t be a salon email without a booking link. Remember to include information about how far clients can book in advance, as well as which services you will be offering once you reopen
Jumping off that last point, promotional emails certainly have their place. Focusing on specific, limited-time offers or announcing the introduction of new treatments can help keep these relevant. Pre-reopening offers might include gift vouchers, self-care packages, or advance booking slots.
Promotional material doesn’t need to be an overexcited string of fire emojis and exclamation points. Using your own photos or including feedback from customers who received the service or bought the product can make the content more authentic and engaging.
If you have a particular message that you want to share with your mailing list and don’t have time for a newsletter, you can also use email to promote your blog. Include a short description of the post, create a visually engaging graphic with a clear link to your site, and you’ll be able to guide those interested in your content to the right place.
Settling into an email marketing routine and curating the right content might take time and effort, but it remains an inexpensive way of reaching your client list, fostering relationships and promoting your services. Particularly in the current situation, making full use of email can help you share necessary information and manage bookings.
The majority of your existing customers, their friends and potential customers are on social media. As such, it’s important for your salon to announce changes on these platforms too. Social media is also the perfect place for documenting daily occurrences in the salon once you’ve reopened. Showing your new system in action can go a long way in easing customers’ concerns about returning under these new conditions. Take a look at our short article about how to announce changes on social media.
At Mamma Marketing, our goal is to help salons take full advantage of online marketing tools. Take a look at our recommended services for salons that have proved a high ROI for our clients.