One of the questions I am often asked in the beauty industry is how can we, as stylists and salon owners, get more business? Just like many businesses, salons have been hit hard by the recession, especially since the beauty business was once considered recession-proof. It still kind of is recession-proof, because compared to other businesses, I have not seen any stylists getting laid off or lose their jobs.
Having said that, many of their customers have either lost their jobs or are earning less. Prior to the recession, most successful stylists never had to worry about slow days, and the norm was customers having to book several weeks out. No longer is that the case for most stylists. I see more and more sitting waiting for a new client to walk in the door.
So what can we do, you ask? Just like stylists, my business as a sales rep has changed as well. I realized that if I was going to survive in this business, I would have to change how I do things and work smarter! One of the things I do that has been very effective is communicating with my customers through email. I have found that when I have new promotions or information I need to get out right away, I can send it out quicker by email, where in the past, it could take up to a month to see everyone!
Email can be a great way for stylists and salons, or any business for that matter, to build better relations with customers which will eventually increase sales. Stylists should ask customers for their email and permission to send them your newsletter! This is also a good time to offer specials during those slower times, including coupons, and product specials. Isn’t one of the best ways to get new customers is by referrals from current customers? Send them an email with a really attractive incentive to get them to promote you!
How about this idea for an incentive: Send me three new color customers, and your next one is FREE! I got that from one of my customers after she told me how well it worked. After finishing a Brazilian Blowout on a new customer, the customer was so ecstatic with her new look, the stylist offered to do her next one free if she referred three new Brazilian Blowout customers. The result: Two came in THAT DAY and another the following week! What did that cost her to get 3 new clients compared to traditional ads? Some time and a little product cost, plus she sold the new clients additional services and retail products!
If you want to be effective with your email campaign, I recommend you subscribe to one of several email subscription services, such as Aweber, Get-Response, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, and iContact, to name a few. Most of these have free trials or free options. Not only are they more effective than traditional email, but they are the legal way to do it. For instance, if you email someone and they no longer want to receive emails from you, with traditional emails, there is no way for them to un-subscribe from your list, which could get you into trouble. But with the commercial email services, at the end of every email is a link to unsubscribe from the list, plus it is done automatically. So no worries on your part.
I have personally been using Mail Chimp for several months and it has worked well for me. I particularly like the built in editor that lets me create great looking emails with images and I can add links to my website and videos. Another thing I love is to create emails and schedule them to go out at whatever day and time I choose! In fact, I will have our new August promotions going out today at exactly 9 AM EST.
I hope this will encourage you to take that next step to help promote your business. All you have to do is get an account set up with one of the email services I mentioned and get started. All of them have tutorials to help you learn how to use their services. It’s easy!
‘Til next time,