How to work the inbox: E-mail marketing tips
Even in the age of Facebook, the studies still show that email is one of the most effective ways to communicate online. E-mail allows you to connect with your clients away from the chair. As a hairstylist, you have an advantage over other businesses jockeying for attention in your clients’ inboxes. You already have developed a personal relationship. People like hearing from their inner circle of advisers and friends.
As a marketer, I constantly try to think of new ways to become that e-mail that my readers can’t wait to read (feel free to tell me how I am doing). When I started to get really serious about email, I studied all the emails that I really enjoyed reading to see what I could learn from others.
Here are a few examples…
This is how you work it. I love the newsletter of one of my business coaches, Art Szobchak, because it always educates first. The e-mail design is not fancy. It is never too long. It stands out because it always gives practical nuggets that I can put into place immediately. And the content is always relevant to where I am with my business. For a salon, this may mean giving winterizing your hair tips in November when you know that your clients are worried about the change in seasons (unless you are in sunny California).
You may need to break your list into groups by their interests. For instance, your non-hair extension clients do not care if you are about to have a sale on fine Remi extensions. Make the extra effort to only send relevant messages so you don’t have them hitting delete thinking, “I thought she knew me.”
Can I book now? The web-based printing company, VistaPrint, hits their customers hard with everyday promotional e-mails. Vistaprint gives you a reason to order new business cards before every holiday imaginable. People on the VistaPrint e-mail list suddenly find a reason to buy when they really had no intention of ordering new brochures. Your mission is to nudge your clients to book an appointment or buy product. Use the feedback that you have collected over time to create your offers. Try out “exclusive” VIP offers or discounts directed toward your regular customers.
Come and talk to me. I love how The Wendy Williams show e-mail newsletter works to build a relationship with the show by using a tone that makes you feel like Wendy is talking to you personally. When you read her e-mail, it makes you feel like she really cares whether you watch every day or not. As a hairstylist, you want to use email to work on that personal relationship with your client. You don’t want to send them a cold e-mail that does not express your personality. You want to remind your clients of how important your relationship is to you.
Let me wrap up with a few Do’s and Don’ts…
1) Don’t SPAM your clients. Spam is more than just a matter of opinion. It is actually a law called the CAN-SPAM act. Clients and consumers must give you permission before you can send them an e-mail using a distribution list for the solicitation for your business. If a new client gives you an e-mail address, let them know that you plan to send them more than just appointment confirmations.
2) Protect your clients info. You should always keep your clients e-mail info private. In some desktop e-mail tools like Outlook, you can reveal your clients’ e-mail info to others when you don’t have permission. If you are sending out e-mails in this way, it is best to use the Blind Copy option (BCC). E-mail tools like Mailchimp and Constant Contact prevent this from happening.
3) Focus on building your own list. Most of your list should come from your own clients. Paying for someone’s large list is only wise when you know it has a high % of your target clients and their friends. As you build your list, you can really turn e-mail into a powerful Word-of-Mouth tool. Make it as easy as you can for your client to tell 20 of their friends about you.
The final scoop: The most important (and also the hardest) part of e-mail marketing is deciding what to say. Since you are providing services that are very personal, you naturally have an advantage when competing with the other messages in your clients’ inbox. Keep your messages relevant, compliant with the e-mail regulations, and add to your regular operations.