Email marketing is alive and kicking, and is as vital to growing your beauty salon or spa business as social media and word-of-mouth recommendations. However, knowing how to write engaging emails and when to send them out is the tricky part.
Husband-and-wife duo Ryan and Hollie Power, co-founders of beauty coaching brand Salonology, explain how you can use email marketing to boost your beauty salon business - from creating clickable subject lines and knowing when to sell, to cracking the code of creating content when you don’t know what to write.
Seven ways to make email your most powerful marketing tool:
1 Stay in touch with clients but don’t bombard them
Hollie: “Office workers get, on average, more than 120 emails a day, according to tech advice company Lifewire, so there’s a slim chance that clients will see everything you send. Sending two informative emails a week is the ideal strategy.
“However, consistency is key. You have to maintain that level of communication going forward, as many clients will anticipate your emails. I know so many salon and spa owners who are worried about bombarding clients but you need to make sure your business stays in the forefront of their minds.”
Ryan: “Experiment sending your email out at different times of the day too, then use your salon software analytics to determine the best times. Also, think about what your clients might be doing when you send your email. For example, you might want to send it at 7am before they get up and start the day, but if most of your clients are young mums then maybe send it at 9pm so they can read it in bed.”
2 Write as if you’re talking to a friend
Ryan: “Clients get thousands of email marketing messages fired at them a day, so you’ve won half the battle if you capture their attention. But, ask yourself, would you rather receive an email from one of your friends or from a business? Corporate-looking newsletters just don’t work as well as they once did - they get stuck in spam filters, don’t look good on mobile, and often the images don’t load.
“Put your salon news into plain-text emails, with no fancy templates and an easy-to-read, sans serif font, and then write them as if you’re writing to a good friend. Don’t be too formal, and use your client’s name where you can - if not, a simple ‘hey’ will do fine.
“If you add in your personality and humour, then your open rates will increase, you will build stronger relationships and you’ll go from being an inbox pest to a trusted friend.”
3 Always include value for the reader
Hollie: “The key is to share important news and information, as well as connect and entertain your clients. Your emails should be a virtual representation of the customer experience when they visit you in salon.
“Include videos of you sharing your beauty expertise, such as helpful tips or tutorials that clients can do at home. For example, you could advise clients on how to maintain facial results in-between appointments; they will be so thankful for your help. Also, open up the conversation by asking them to send ideas about other tips they would like from you.”
4 Let clients get to know you
Ryan: “This is one of the areas I see salon owners trip up on the most - talking business all the time and not about themselves. Clients want to know the person behind the salon, so don’t be afraid to talk about your life occasionally, telling them how you’re doing. This will make yoeu stand out because clients want to buy from people, not from brands.”
Hollie: “Clients come to your business because they like you, so get your face out there and write how you speak. For example, tell them what you’ve been up to and how you’re keeping busy; people want the human element.”
5 Your emails should tell a story
Ryan: “As human beings, we’re hardwired to respond positively to stories, so tell clients tales of your customer treatment successes. They will be interested in this information and this will help you stand out against the competition.
“In your emails, it’s also worth using open loops and cliff hangers. Think about TV soap opera EastEnders - they leave it open-ended at the end of every episode. Why? Because they want people to tune into the next one. You need to do this with your emails so clients continue to open them.
“The cliffhanger should just be the break in any story you’re telling. So, let’s say you’re bringing in a new product line and want to tease this out, your first email could be, ‘Good news, we’ve just sorted this amazing deal with a supplier and we’re so excited to bring it to you, and… we’ll tell you who it is tomorrow’. Clients are more likely to open that next email because they’ll want to know who it is. Don’t do these emails every time, but it’s good to weave them in occasionally.”
6 Don’t sell all of the time
Ryan: “If you keep doing a hard sell then you’re going to condition your clients to not open your emails. Instead, adopt the 80/20 rule - 80% of the time, give ‘value’ to the client via skincare advice, masterclasses and tutorials, which then earns you the right to do a soft sell on salon services the other 20%.
“For example, if you want to sell foot cream, create an email detailing ‘five footcare tips you can do at home’, which is really helpful. At the end of that email, you then add a ‘P.S. If this was useful to you, here’s a foot cream that we recommend’.
“Also, promoting last-minute appointments and offers all the time is a no-no. Think about the message you’re sending to clients when you mainly focus on discounts. It tells them to wait for a deal to book an appointment and then there becomes no incentive to make regular bookings with you.”
7 The subject line is everything
Hollie: “With so many emails arriving in your clients’ inboxes, make sure your subject line is catchy and to the point. Clients will only see the first few words of the subject line when it arrives, so be clear, concise and intriguing. For example, ‘Five ways to look younger post-Covid-19 lockdown’ is a much more exciting subject line than ‘Here are some beauty tips’.”
Ryan: “The sole purpose of the subject line is to get someone to open your email, not to summarise the email content in under 10 words, which so many beauty salon owners do. If you let clients know the whole purpose in the subject line then no one will bother clicking on the email.
“Emojis and people’s names tend to work well in subject lines too, and avoid using the word ‘free’ as it tends to get stuck in spam filters.”
DON’T MISS: SIX EMAIL STYLES YOU SHOULD BE USING
• The “top tips” email - offering advice on a certain skin or beauty issue
• The “back now” email - detailing new Covid-19 safety measures you’ve implemented in your salon
• The “Q&A” email - where you answer an array of questions you’ve received from clients in the past few weeks
• The “meet the team” email - letting clients get to know your therapists better
• The “what do you want to see?” email - asking clients what they’d like to see more of in salon, on your treatment menu and/or on your social media
• The “take a look at this” email - which highlights a new video or blog you’ve made.
Ryan and Hollie Power are co-founders of beauty coaching brand Salonology. Ryan is also the author of “The customer is always right - and 7½ other outdated myths which are destroying your beauty business”.
Watch Ryan’s PB webinar on why email marketing isn’t dead and Hollie’s PB webinar on introducing online consultations.