Business consultant Phil Jackson from Build Your Salon, offers these tips for making emails work for your business!
I don’t believe email marketing ever really went away, but it certainly fell out of favour while salons focused almost exclusively on social media marketing, which I think is a shame. Lockdown has proved that the salons that kept in regular touch with their clients bounced back quickest and could most easily convince their customers it was safe to return to the salon. Don’t neglect this important (and free!) marketing pillar.
1 Don’t overdo it
Unless you have particularly urgent or riveting news or a big promotion is ending soon, sending an email to a customer more than once a week feels invasive. And doing it well will take an enormous amount of your time too. Weekly emails are great during lockdown – the rest of the time 3-4 times a month is fine.
2 Change things up
If your customers only hear from you when you have something to sell them they’ll get bored quickly and hit ‘unsubscribe’. Mix things up a little by sharing articles you’ve found interesting, links to your own blogs and any information that positions you as the expert in your industry.
3 Keep it friendly
Think about the emails you love to receive – the ones that you open first. They probably aren’t highly formatted newsletters. They are the short, chatty but very relevant emails you get from colleagues and friends. Imitate that style when emailing your customers. If I’m not sure whether the email has been sent just to me or your entire mailing list, you’ve got the tone right.
4 Don’t forget transactional emails
Transactional emails are triggered by a customer doing something – for example booking an appointment – and they are a great promotional opportunity. They are also the emails customers are happiest to receive. Let’s say I buy a new laptop from Amazon. Do you think I’ll unsubscribe from their confirmation and delivery updates? No way! And that doesn’t stop Amazon putting a link to something else I might enjoy in the email to boost my spend.
5 Get creative with subject lines
I keep a spreadsheet of subject lines I’ve seen and liked or have worked for me in the past. Change them up a bit, be intriguing and have some fun to stand out in a crowded email inbox. The odd emoji doesn’t hurt and using your customer’s name in the subject line can sometimes help get your email open too.
6 Don’t get hung up on unsubscribes
If you haven’t emailed your customer list before or in a long time, be prepared for some unsubscribes as there are some customers who just don’t want to hear from you in that way. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love you or won’t be back! Focus on what is left behind: a whole list of customers who DO want to hear from you by email – and that is a potential goldmine.
7 Tell them what to do next
I’ve seen (and received) hundreds of emails that fail simply by not making it obvious what the customer should do next. In marketing terms we call this your ‘call to action’ or CTA. Ideally, there should only be one call to action as multiple CTAs can confuse. Be explicit: “Click here to book” or “Hit reply” or “Call now on …”.
8 Go light on the images
Most emails are read on mobile devices. Emails that are heavy on images take a long time to load and involve a lot of scrolling which is too much work for many. I usually send emails with no more than one image, often none at all and won’t usually waste my one image on my salon logo. Images should be eye-catching, relevant or intriguing. Of course, always make sure you have the commercial rights to use the image.
9 Don’t forget the P.S.
I have no idea why, but the space below your sign-off is one of the most-read elements of an email, so when you have a really great message put a PS at the bottom. Pick out one important point from your email or repeat your offer in short form one final time for the best results.
10 From me to you with love
Emails that come from ‘messages@‘, ‘info@‘ or worst of all ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ look impersonal and salesy. You’re writing to me as a person so make sure that comes from you personally! Sign off in a friendly way with your name and email address.
Phil Jackson is the author of the Hairy Book of Email: The Essential Guide to using Emails to Build Profits in the Hair, Beauty and Spa Industry, available on Amazon and Kindle now.
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