3 Steps to Effective Salon Marketing

06 Feb 2012

Written by Alice Smithson

Well thought-through marketing promotions, sent at the right time and to the right selection of clients can be the difference between a salon which is just getting by and one that’s really thriving _ especially in times of recession.

If you are considering using the text and email facilities in i-salon to boost appointments and product sales but don’t know where to start, or perhaps you’re already contacting your clients regularly but think you could be getting better results, our three simple rules can help. 

Why client data is the key

i-salon is pretty clever; it can find clients by gender, postcode, loyalty, spend, the services and products they’ve bought and whether they’ve claimed discounts in the past. You can create a contact list for a promotion using any combination of this information so that you’re offering discounts and promotions to the right people at the right time. That is, as long as someone in the salon has remembered to record this information on the record card. If it’s not there, i-salon can’t see it, and your marketing lists won’t work as they should.

Data housekeeping rules

In order to successfully market to your customer base, you need to ensure that you capture the correct data that describes your clients. Once you have this information, you can then use the client marketing system in i-salon to target a particular group within your client database.

There are several functions a Salon Manager can perform to prepare the data in i-salon for effective marketing and we’ll go through them in detail in this article. They are:

1. Capturing Client Data
2. De-duplication
3. Creating Static Lookup Lists

Get step-by-step help

We cover these in our free webinar ïGetting Ready for Marketing’, which runs every 4 weeks. Check the webinars web page for our next session date if you’d like to learn more about any of the processes discussed in this article.

1. Capturing Client Data

Record Cards

Many salons register new clients either over the phone or as walk-ins. Often, very few questions are asked at this point, as Reception may be busy and the client keen to secure the booking.

One way to fill in the gaps is to print and hand out Blank Record Cards to all your clients, asking them to update their details every time they visit. Key information that you need for marketing, such as an email address and mobile phone number, may change fairly regularly, so keeping this up-to-date means you won’t waste money on text marketing campaigns sent to dead numbers.

At the same time, it’s a great opportunity for clients to fill out where they heard about the salon, something which is rarely asked at the point of booking but which is very important if you’ve spent money on advertising and want to check that it’s working to bring new clients through the door.

Client Rules

Another simple measure you can take is to change some of the settings in i-salon, so that anyone adding new clients must complete certain fields in the record card by default. This is a simple change to make and well worth doing, but you need to strike a fair balance between collecting essential information and not holding the client up for too long when they book.

It’s best not to make all fields mandatory, but focus on getting the basics into the record card _ like an address, email address and mobile contact number _ then you can use the printed record cards handed out to clients (above) to fill in the data that is less critical but still very useful, like their birthday and how they heard about you.

You can also choose to validate information, for example email addresses must contain an ï@’ sign, and telephone numbers must be numerical. We’re all human and will look for a shortcut from time to time, so this means it’s less likely team members will rush through and enter dummy information to ïfool’ the record card.

2. De-duplication

We also recommend that on a regular basis, salons de-duplicate the client list to ensure that every client has only one record card. This should be done as often as required depending on the size of the client list and the number of potential duplicates. For most salons, we recommend de-duplicating client records once every fortnight. This ensures that every client receives only one text or email, so not only does this save the salon money, but if a client receives multiple texts for the same promotion it can make the salon seem unprofessional.

When the list is de-duplicated, all notes and bill history are kept and merged with the record card that the user denotes as the master record.

3. Creating Static Lookup Lists

Rather than leaving fields like ïhow heard’ blank, you can create a list of options for your team to choose from, such as; local paper, walk in, recommended by a friend, for example. This will mean that you can look up groups of clients that fall into any of these categories.

Most salons have thousands of clients on their databases, which mean that data fields which are recorded as ïfree text’, i.e. team members can write anything they think is relevant into the question box, can’t be used for marketing purposes.

Providing a drop-down list of choices means that the data is much more useful, so we highly recommend investing some time in setting up lists such as these for staff to choose from.

Data Protection

Under the Data Protection rules, you must tell clients what you plan to use their contact information for and must ensure that it is used for only that purpose. Include a short statement on the printed record cards and possibly on other promotional material around the salon, like the price list or posters, explaining that if clients give you their email address and mobile number they’ll receive exclusive offers and deals.

Salon Owners know more than most that everyone loves a bargain, so this incentive is sure to mean clients will be glad to keep contact details up-to-date.

Join our webinar ïGetting Ready for Marketing’ to learn more about these processes and how to put them into action.