Mobile Marketing is Big News for Salons

Is Mobile Marketing part of your salons marketing plan? The astronomical growth of mobile and smart technologies can’t be ignored. There are more mobile devices on this planet than people to hold them! Incorporating mobile marketing strategies into your marketing campaigns is a must and not as hard as you may think – in fact you are probably doing some of these already!

Do you marketing to your clients via text message? Is your site responsive and optimised for viewing on mobile platforms? Do you have an app for your salon that enables clients to book and interact? These are just some examples of mobile marketing. Over the next few posts I am going to break down some of the most useful Mobile Marketing activities for salons/therapists and talk you through how to utilise them. Starting with the humble text message!

SMS Marketing is Still a Thing!

In the world of smartphones and tablets, it is easy to forget that SMS/Text Messaging is still a thing! But it is still very much alive and can be used to great effect to market to your existing clients. Don’t forget, not everyone has a smartphone/uses social media, especially your older clients and not all have access to high speed broadband / 3G that enables them to be online 24/7.

SMS Marketing

Source: http://citygro.com

Understanding SMS Marketing

There is on average a 97% chance of people opening your text messages, this is huge! But there is also a fine line between sending messages people want to see vs sending messages that annoy people, leading them to unsubscribing.  SMS messages are short and sweet. They don’t contain visuals, nor video, so you need to be to the point. In the world of beauty service marketing, I would use SMS to send out monthly promotions to my client list and also perhaps set up a second list for last minute cancellation slots, that offer clients a chance to book in at a discounted rate if they can fill a short notice appointment. If you use salon booking software systems such as Phorest or Hive, you can also send out texts to specific clients to confirm appointments and ask them to provide feedback on their treatment. These are simple ideas that work to promote your clients. Like everything, it is best to plan in advance and always analyse/evaluate how successful each text campaign has been in order to make improvements on the next.

My Top 5 tips for using SMS as part of your Marketing are:

  1. Use a Messaging Provider Section – Unless you have a small client list and keep each clients number on your own mobile/salon mobile, I would use a low cost Bulk Messaging Provider to send out my messages. These services also provide analytic tools so that you can measure how successful each text messaging campaign is. Check out Message Bird for this service.
  2. Ethically Build Your List  – Always get permission from your client to add them to your text messaging list and provide an “opt out” option at the end of each message. Segment lists into clients who are interested in – Monthly Specials, Cancellation Offers, New Product/Treatment Launches and only send these messages to the people who have told you they want to receive them!
  3. Always Include a Call to Action – be sure in your message to ask the client to do something such as ‘Call Us Now to Book Your Treatment’ or ‘Visit Our Website to Find Out More’ or even ‘Text Us Back if You Have Any Questions or Would Like to Book’
  4. Don’t Spam/Annoy – This is very important and will make or break your success with SMS marketing. Please don’t drive your clients mad with constant text messages, if you do you will notice they unsubscribe very quickly! Plan your texts and be consistent, at the start of each month text your monthly specials and leave it at that. If you run a cancellation list chances are you will text more often from this, but keep it to a minimum, daily texts will infuriate people! Having people opt out of receiving your text messages it the least damaging result of sending too many messages, I know of clients who have become so fed up of constant messaging from a salon, that they view it as an intrusion of their personal space and decide to use a different salon!
  5. Promotional – text messages for the purposes of marketing tend to be purely promotional. Unlike everything you hear about how to interact on social media where you are aiming to encourage interaction and build relationships, without repeatedly shouting your marketing message. With text messaging you are and this is why you keep it to minimum and only ever send to clients who have given permission to be included on your messaging list.

The possibilities of SMS marketing are many. Through using bulk text messaging services or SMS options within your salon booking system, you can personalise your texts to perhaps wish your client happy birthday and maybe offer them a birthday discount or add on if they book in that week / month (always set a time limit). One of my favourite approaches is to use it to get the attention of a client you haven’t seen for a while, maybe they have been sick, maybe they have moved or maybe they just changed salons either way you a quick text to say ‘hey we haven’t seen you in while, we hope all is well, book into the salon this month and we will include a free xxx with your xxx’. So say if it is a client who usually comes in for a facial, entice them back with a free back, neck and shoulder massage if they book in for their usual facial that month. Don’t forget that salons who experience most success and bigger profits, work on retaining clients and keeping them coming back for more! Check out my article ‘Loyal Clients Create Bigger Profits here.

So SMS messaging is not dead and should still be incorporated as part of your marketing plan. Don’t use it instead of email marketing or social media marketing, use it along side it – the best and most successful marketing plans are ones which integrate traditional and digital strategies.