Marketing Automation for Salons

Your Guide to Growth Through Automation

James Loney

James Loney

November 14th, 2018

Grow your Salon on Autopilot

What are the most important ways for you to get new clients? Facebook? Instagram? Word of mouth? How about turning “once in a while” clients into loyal clients?

Marketing Automation for Salons is your key to growth and relationship marketing. The amazing thing about Marketing Automation for Salons is that salons and spas are so well fitted for this marketing model it doesn’t make sense NOT to have it. Marketing Automation in the Salon realm is so powerful that you can literally increase your return on time investment by 1000% or more.

Marketing Automation for Salons is one of those little known power tools, when it comes to marketing to both your new and old clients, and it makes a huge difference to your bottom line. Marketing Automation for Salons can so dramatically improve the return on investment (how much money you make vs. how much time or money you put into it) that some businesses see a 3800% Return!

But where to start? And how much does marketing automation for salons cost? Oh and How technical is it to set up?

We will answer all of your questions about Marketing Automation for Salons in this article.

An example of the intricacy of an Automation Funnel for Salons

1. What is Marketing Automation for Salons?

What is Marketing Automation for Salons?

A lot of people will tell you Marketing Automation for salons is just “Email Marketing” but I’m here to tell you it’s more than that. Yes email is the primary means of communication, but Marketing Automation for Salons is so much more.

Imagine your last client just finished a balayage and dropped $200+ in your salon. Chances are you’re grateful for that client and she’s grateful for you. But what next? Do you just twiddle your thumbs for 6 weeks hoping she will come back? No, of course not. Just because this happy client has walked out your door doesn’t mean she only brings value in 6 weeks when she’s supposed to come back. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get her to leave a 5-star Google review? Or maybe if she could earn some loyalty points for referring a couple friends? Shucks, it would sure be great if you could tell her it’s time to refill that Tigi Bed Head Color Goddess shampoo you recommended to keep her balayage looking mint, just at the same time it was about to run out! Also if only you could remind her it’s time to come back in for some toner to keep it looking fresh. But Alas, you are too busy to write down all of these times and dates and then remember to compose emails and send them. If only there was a technological strategy that would do that for each and every client you had just in the nick of time according to their own specific unique client profile.

You know where I’m going with this don’t you? There is an amazing way to do all of this on auto-pilot. It’s called Marketing Automation for Salons. And this is just the tip of the iceberg – you can use it for cross-selling, up-selling and cycle-selling. You can use it for reminders and touch points via email or text that will keep your clients warm and you at top of mind. You can create relationship management campaigns such as emails on birthdays or other important dates. You can even monitor their behaviour on your website: you can see where they are spending most of their time and how they are engaging with your content.

1. What is Marketing Automation for Salons?

What is Marketing Automation for Salons?

2. Choose Mautic: An Open Source Software

2. Choose Mautic: An Open Source Software

So many companies that offer marketing automation make this tool so terribly inaccessible for salons. With usage rights,  hosting, and tech support not only does the learning curve seem too much to face but the price for these proprietary softwares makes  it utterly out of reach for small business.

Mautic is an open source software that doesn’t cost a dime if you’re a tech savvy programming salon wizard – which likely you’re not. But because it’s open source it means that you don’t have to pay for the rights to use the software which dramatically slashes cost.

Using Mautic for Marketing Automation for Salons means that you only have to worry about tech support and hosting. We’re here to tell you that is as low as CAD $75 per month!

The next concern then is the learning curve. How do you learn to use the software and how do you create campaigns. Well Marketing Automation for Salons with Center Stage Social gives you access to training and even campaign design so you can gradually develop your campaign ideas. We even suggest what campaigns you should start with.

3. Engage: Collect Email Addresses and Phone Numbers No Matter What!

Salon Marketing Funnels

The most important start for your salon’s marketing Automation goals is to get an extensive list of email addresses and phone numbers from your current clients, website visitors, and former clients. For many businesses this is a real challenge. But Salons regularly ask for this information when booking appointments.  You’d be surprised how many businesses are missing important opportunities to collect email addresses and phone numbers from their clients.

Here are several different places that you can get email addresses:

  • Through your online booking software
  • On your website with Gated Content (see more on this below)
  • On your Facebook page
  • In-salon before, during or after appointments.
  • In your database (find your older clients’ email addresses)
  • In order to join your loyalty program

How to capture email addresses on your website:

90% of your website visitors will take a look around your site and leave without you ever hearing from them again.

It’s a harsh reality but finally there is a way to not only capture those visitors in your sales funnel but also guide them through to their first appointment.

Often we see many websites that have multiple points where users can put in their email address for something special.

What most people don’t know is how powerful these touch points are. If you have marketing automation connected with your website, a form like this can help you develop huge growth in your business.

When your client fills out this form, you now know who they are, how to contact them and the software will let you track their actions on your site. Once they sign up the software automatically emails them a coupon and all you have to do is wait for them to book.

But it doesn’t stop there. If they don’t book within a self-determined number of days the software will send them another email designed to remind them or sweeten the deal.

This is just once example how marketing automation can help grow your business on autopilot.

3. Engage: Collect Email Addresses and Phone Numbers No Matter What!

Salon Marketing Funnels

4. Segment: Make Sure You’re Sending the Right Emails to the Right People at the Right Time!

A group of people arranged in a pie graph formation and illustrating segments.

4. Segment: Make Sure You’re Sending the Right Emails to the Right People at the Right Time!

A group of people arranged in a pie graph formation and illustrating segments.

Not everyone should be receiving the same email marketing campaigns from you. Marketing automation will empower you to Segment your email contacts into different lists. Some of your customers usually just come in for a cut and blow dry, other customers like to try fashion colours, and others might be seniors or even students, and every client has their favorite stylist. Depending on specific behaviours on your website or engagement with your content, along with purchase behaviour, Marketing Automation for Salons can automatically segment your clients for you.

Once your clients are segmented you can then form specific marketing messages designed specifically for that segment.  Segmenting your emails means that you will have higher click through rates, more interest, and ultimately more actions taken because the marketing messages you are sending to your clients are relevant and therefore interesting.

Here are some ideas of different kinds of emails you can send to different types of people in your email list:

  • Men: Promotions on men’s products, fathers day specials, valentines day (for their wife)
  • By Stylist: Promotions to build new clientele or communicate specific messages that affect clients who come see that stylist.
  • Older women: Senior’s promotions, skin care for older women, New products for aging hair, events specifically made for them.
  • Younger groups: Focused more on social media (Instagram and Snapchat), student discounts, events for youth
  • Clients who haven’t come back in a while: Updates on your salon since they were there, exclusive discounts just to get them in the doors again
  • Birthday wishes and special promotions.
  • Reminders that it’s time to get toner or a touchup.
  • Students: Spring break messages or marketing messages that relate to students.
  • Service Habits: Those clients who love fashion colours might want to know what the latest brand is.

One of the most common questions we get from salon owners when they are beginning their journey of Marketing Automation for Salons is “How do I segment my list of email addresses?” There are several ways this segmentation takes place.

  • When you first start out with automation you have to import your lists. Use your booking software and database and sort people by their last visit. You can have a group of people who have visited in the last 6 months, in the last year, or in the last 3 years.
  • Ask people for their birthday when they sign up: you can use this as a way to give a surprise email or discount for their birthday, but also a way of getting their age
  • Select the gender of the person when you put them into your database.
  • Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect from the start. Marketing Automation will help you segment your lists based on website, content, and buying behaviours that you decide are important.

Once the setup is complete the automation software will do all the heavy lifting for you.

  • When a new user downloads a piece of gated content (That just means they will give you an email address and you will give them something in return, like a coupon, or an ebook, or a tial, or a consultation etc.) on your site they have to give your email. Because of the kind of content you know what the customer is interested in.
  • When a client books through your online booking system such as Salon Iris you can sync it with your automation software.

5. Nurture: Keep your Emails Interesting, Entertaining, and not just Promotional.

Make sure that your emails are always welcomed in your clients’ inboxes!

Make sure your emails are interesting, exciting and varied with these ideas:

  • Include your most recent Instagram pictures.
  • Get your stylists to create a newsletter specifically designed for their customers each month.
  • Every month send out your salon pic of the month – maybe your favorite hair do, or a memorable moment.
  • Seasonal info: ideas for seasonal styles, Holidays or trend alerts.
  • Tips for hair styles (link to video or Instagram video with tutorial)
  • Promotions of the month (invite a friend, loyalty cards, get 10% off products with a blowout or highlights etc)

INFORM – EXCITE – ACTION

Make sure that every email you send out has one part that informs (eg. hair style video of the month), one part that excites (eg. Instagram pics) and one that leads to an action (eg. “claim your special promotion”).

Also remember that at the bottom of your emails in your signature you always have links to your social channels as well as a link to book an appointment. This could be a link to the booking page on your website or a link to a phone number which opens up a call when clicked from a cell phone.

5. Nurture: Keep your Emails Interesting, Entertaining, and not just Promotional.

6. Make sure that your emails are mobile optimized and look good on different types of email apps

Artwork showing the dos and don'ts of email design for mobile.

6. Make sure that your emails are mobile optimized and look good on different types of email apps

Artwork showing the dos and don'ts of email design for mobile.

This might seem like a small detail, but it actually makes a huge difference to how many people open your emails and then actually read them.
Creating emails for your campaigns will require some learning. The reason mobile friendly designs are becoming so important is because we live in a fast pace world where everyone is on the go. We can’t change that, so we have to adapt to it.

Topol.io is an amazing free web-based email designer. With many templates to choose from and a drag and drop interface you can create emails that will both be mobile friendly and very dazzling.

Commission a Professional

Like most salon owners, chances are you  have enough on your plate. Here at Center Stage Social we have years of experience helping salons get their marketing automation set up and running.

We can host it for you and develop campaigns on an ongoing basis. Let’s empower your brand with a growth strategy that will help you get more clients and actively engage the ones you already have.

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