Watch The Salon Marketing Q&A now! This episode is dedicated to crafting the right kind of salon email campaign.
The Salon Marketing Q&A: Salon Email Campaign Transcript
Welcome to the latest episode of the Salon Marketing Q&A. My name’s Chris Brennan, and on this show, every single week, you ask a question about salon marketing, and we answer it live on Facebook. As I highlighted before, you can actually access this episode on our Facebook page after the fact. So if you don’t have the time to literally listen to it live or you want to come back and check something that you might have missed, you can catch it on our Facebook page. Alternatively, we actually take these posts, these videos, and we put them on our YouTube page, as well. So there’s many places where you can go so you can access the Salon Marketing Q&A.
Before we get into today’s topic, I just want to highlight that if you have any questions that you’d like answered on this show, please let us know in the comment box below or you can email us at email@example.com, and we’ll dedicate an episode to your query. Usually, how we do this is before we jump straight into the question, I like to kind of highlight what we’ve been doing for you guys over the past week, just to keep you up-to-date with how things go. Now, aside from the usual three blog posts a week that Zoey writes as well as the weekly podcast, we have just released the brand-new edition of our famous Facebook salon marketing ebook. It’s called The Salon Owner’s Ultimate Guide to Facebook 2017 Edition. This is fantastic. We’ve been planning this out for quite a bit.
When we originally wrote the other one, it was originally written by Connor Keppel. That was a couple of years ago. If you are used to running your business page on Facebook, the one thing you’ll see is they’re constantly evolving it. They’re constantly updating and changing it. I’m so thrilled that we’ve finally introduced the brand-new edition that is completely up-to-speed with absolutely everything that can help your business on Facebook thrive. It’s completely up-to-date, and it’s ready to go for you guys, so it’s cool. Definitely check that out. I believe we’ll be dropping a link into the comments so you can download it directly. When you download it, a copy of it will be sent to your email, as well, so you can have it at your convenience. It was written by Zoey this time, and I’ve read it a few times. It’s fantastic. It’s everything you need to know about Facebook this year that can really help your business.
Okay, so why don’t we now get into this week’s question? So this question comes from Sarah, and she asks, “I constantly send out emails to my clients, but I don’t get the returns I want. What am I doing wrong?” Which is a very valid question and I think something that a lot of salon owners struggle with or have issues with, is basically email marketing in general. The way I look at this question, and how I’m planning on answering it today, would be looking more at the anatomy of what makes a successful email campaign. So that’s what our focus will be today.
Sarah has a good point. A lot of times, we use emails for our marketing material. The topics for you guys could be that you have a new menu or you have an offer coming out or you’re just trying to fill some spaces for that week, which is great. There’s many different ways you can reach this audience. One is social media. Another is SMS. A cheap one and a successful one and kind of an old-school one, at this point, is email. You would have collected their data, hopefully, when they came in last time to book an appointment, so now you can get back to them, get in touch with them again and remind them to come back in to you through email. That being said, email rates are usually a bit lower than, say, something like SMS. SMS would have a 99% open rate, whereas, on average, depending on industry, you’re looking at email marketing would get about a 20% open rate and potentially like a 5% click-through rate. So if you had an online booking link within your email, the likelihood of people clicking that link would probably be about 5% of the people you sent it to, give or take. Everybody’s different, but there’s kind of industry averages there.
How do we get the most out of your email campaigns? As I say, it’s cheap. It’s quite easy to send off, but that means that a lot of other people are doing it. What you’re trying to do is you’re not competing with the other competitors, as such, like other salons. What you’re competing with is for that person’s attention about everything. Even if you look into your own email box, just look at how much email you receive. What you’re trying to do is make sure your message is the one that they open and they engage with, because it’s a very, very busy battleground. That inbox is crazy these days, but there’s definitely ways to get their attention and to make sure that you can get the most out of this campaign. So let’s go from the very beginning for the anatomy of an email campaign.
I would start with the purpose. Before specifically going into what you’re saying, let’s go into the overview of what are you trying to get out of this. What is the mission? What are you trying to accomplish? As an example, let’s say that you are going to be putting out a message that is highlighting the new Christmas opening hours that you’re going to have. Christmas is coming soon. Some people like to send out an update of what the open hours are like. That’s one clean, direct message, and email marketing works best where you’re not trying to say a lot of things in one email. It’s one clear message. If you’re a blog writer, you’ll understand what it is like when you talk about keywords. In a blog, it’s important to have one keyword, and that’s for SEO and that’s for search. It’s also really important to ground the topic of that blog into one specific point. Same thing with email. So your email should be about one topic.
If your topic is that you have a brand-new menu or you have an event that’s coming up, it should pretty much be completely about that, from beginning, middle, and end. It’s one message all the way through. Right away, with your email marketing, understand what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, and everything that’s going to be in and around this email is going to be with that focus in mind. It’s not a place to start going, “Oh, and then we also have this. Oh, and just as a final reminder, check out this.” People’s attention spans will drift, and they’ll get confused as to what you’re trying to accomplish in this situation.” Right away, one clear-cut purpose is the very beginning. It’s like the DNA of your campaign.
Once we have that down, let’s go into how your audience is going to actually engage with you. What’s the first thing they’re going to see? They’re not going to see the contents of your email. What they’re going to see is they’re going to see the subject line. They’re going to see who it’s from, and they’re going to see the subject line. I think that a lot of people, when they make a mistake in email marketing, they try to put too much into the subject line or they don’t put enough in. I always like the subject to be connected to what the campaign is about, but it’s really just a tease of it. It’s a trailer for what it could be. If you were, say, to run a special offer, you don’t need to describe what the special offer is in the subject line. I’ve seen, when we’ve studied a lot of people’s emails, a lot of salon’s business emails, they’ll put literally what the offer is in the subject line. Thing is, that’s already making that audience member aware of what the contents are specifically, so they’re making a judgment call on a one-sentence statement to go, “Ah, you know what? I don’t need that.”
So instead, why don’t you tease it? Instead of saying, “Two-for-one offer on,” insert your retail product here, you can highlight that there are, to be a bit general, amazing deals and that kind of thing. You don’t really want to talk about on that level, but I’m trying to find the right phrasing for you for a subject line. You don’t want to highlight specifically what the campaign’s about, but you want to highlight that there’s something generally related to it inside. That being said, one great way that you can actually get huge open rates are by being quite vague. I wouldn’t aim to do this all the time, but every once in a while, it can be funny to just put something like, “Check out inside,” or, “Guess what?” or something like that that makes people go, “Okay, what is this?” It’s a bit click baity, but it’s kind of fun, as well, when you do that.
The main goal is for them to open up this email, and the only way to do that is to encourage them in the subject line, to give them a little awareness of what the topic is about. As I said, sometimes you can just go completely off point and just kind of interest them in opening it anyway, but that subject line is a really important step. I wouldn’t put too much information in it, because then you’re telling them what’s inside. So definitely highlight the idea of it, kind of like a teaser trailer for a film. Not the trailers that show five minutes of the entire thing. I’m talking about a couple of seconds of introducing the tone of what you’re actually aiming for. Once we’ve encouraged them to open up that email with an enticing subject line, we’re now at the next stage, and we’re not there yet. This is just step two. We’ve got them to open the email. Now we have to encourage them to do something about the email.
This is how we build it out, because again, this is what they’re first going to see. A lot of times, a successful email will start with an image. There’s no right or wrong here, as well. These are guidelines. There’s been real successful email campaigns that have went out purely on text basis that have been written as conversational to the audience. So it can be like, “Hi, Sarah. I realize that we have a few openings this week. I was wondering if you’d like to book one in. Here’s the link.” There you go. Very clean, very successful email campaign, but it doesn’t always have to go that way. Usually, a lot of the campaigns that work involve some kind of marketing in terms of using images, using graphics, using headers, and things like that. It’s more professional, and it’s more business-y rather than the casual conversation of it. As I keep saying, there’s no right or wrong, as such, but these are really good guidelines to keep in mind when you’re putting the campaign together.
Generally, how it can work is the email starts with an image. A nice, clean, beautiful image that relates to what the subject is. A lot of times, people recommend that you put a person within that image, because people generally react better to faces, and it makes sense. You can put a business in it, and it’s kind of a cold statement of that’s just a window with a door. Generally, people’s faces really help. That’s what you can lead your actual campaign with. They open up the email. Right away, big image, potentially with text in the image that highlights what the topic is about. In journalism terms, that can be your headline. The headline can also go underneath the image, as well, alternatively.
So you have your image. Then, the next step is the headline, which is reinforcing exactly what the topic is actually about. I’ll tell you, I recently put together the Facebook ebook email, so we just finished a brand-new Facebook ebook for you guys. I put an email together to send to our audience to turn around and say, “Hey, look, we’ve got a brand-new ebook.” What I did was in the subject line, I said, “Brand-new ebook has just arrived.” Perfect. There’s just enough information there to let them know what the topic was about, but not enough for them to actual decide, you know what? I’m not interested. I want them to open up the email. So once they do, first thing they see, big graphic, somebody holding the ebook. You’ve got that person’s face. You’ve got the book. Makes sense. The headline was something similar to, “Fresh off the presses. Brand-new Facebook ebook has arrived.” Again, we’re reinforcing what the topic is.
Then, we get into the little nitty-gritty of describing a bit more. Think of it as your, hello, my name is Chris. Once they say their name, now I’m going to describe a bit more about who I am. That’s what we’re doing with this topic. In this campaign, we’re now going to describe a little bit further into what the actual topic is about, what the information is. I guess in journalism terms, you’re looking at the who, what, why, where, and when. It’s just flushing out what the purpose of the email is. If you were to hold an anniversary party for your business, you turned three years old today or you’re turning three years old in two weeks and you want to invite VIPs down, you’d have an image that’s relating to a celebration of a birthday or an anniversary. You’d have the headline be relating to the fact that you turned three years old or that a party is coming up soon. Now you’re going to give more context within the body of it.
Usually, people put about one or two images into each email. The reason you might do more images is if you feel like you’re getting quite text heavy and you want to break up the text, the copy as they call it. You want to break that up with a bit more visually flattering media, so you can put a graphic in. You can put a GIF, potentially, that kind of thing. That would be why you want to put more images in. Generally, don’t go too crazy on images, because spam filters can detect that. If you’re way too image heavy, that’s triggering a lot of the inbox filters to say that this is salesy, and we don’t want salesy. Don’t go too text heavy. Potentially one or two, depending on the campaign. If you just look at it, step back and look at your campaign, and you see that it’s a lot of text, potentially you might want to drop another image in, just to kind of relate to the next paragraph that’s coming up or so. So the relevant headline, the image.
The tone, I think, is important. Now, I can’t exactly tell you what your tone is going to be, because every business is different, and every business kind of feels like it’s an extension of the personality of the people who run it, in a way. I know for us, and I know that the material I respond best to personally, is I like to be inspirational, enthusiastic, optimist. You want to be encouraging, you want to be supportive, and you want to invite people into these amazing opportunities that you’re sharing. That’s a great tone that I think can always work well. Again, it’s up to you as to how you want your brand to be represented, but just to give you an example, I love the inspirational, enthusiastic, optimistic tone, because it’s all-inviting. It’s so nurturing to somebody to open it up. Everyone’s busy, and it’s nice to get good news. If you frame your campaigns in like, hey, we’ve got good news, that’s always a welcome addition to someone’s day.
Finally, you want to wrap all of this stuff, absolutely everything, into the call to action. Now, a call to action, or a CTA as they would say, is basically what you’re aiming to get your audience to do with the information you’ve provided. If you were having that third anniversary party, you might put a link in to register for the invitation. You invited them. You want them to register. If you just tell them they’re invited, there’s no official transaction on their part that they’ve actually signed up to anything, so it might be nice to get them to sign up so they feel like they’ve interacted. So you can have a link that leads to an Eventbrite page, or you can have a link that goes to a Google Doc, a Google form, that they can sign up to. However you feel like doing it, depending on the campaign, obviously. A call to action is crucial. It’s exactly the purpose of why you’re doing the campaign to begin with.
On a more general topic, like maybe you put out a monthly email that highlights what your offers are for that particular month, your call to action would most likely be an online booking link like book your appointment now. There’s a statement there. Sometimes you can put it as a button. Generally, you need to let people access … You need to let people know what you want them to do with this information and make that readily available. People have done, in the past, put a phone number in or they say walk in. They are technically calls to action, but I feel like you’re putting a lot of steps into the client’s wheelhouse. It shouldn’t be up to them to work really hard. Instead, the online booking is a beautiful solution for your call to action, because they’ve literally read something. There’s a button there. They press it. They book online. It’s just seamless, it’s easy, and then they can move forward.
So when you have all of that put together, what you have then is you have your subject line. You have your imagery. You have relevant headlines. You have a tone of voice that’s specific to your brand, and as I like to say, I like the enthusiastic optimist route, but that’s up to you. Personalization, as well, is another one, so you can actually put their first … If you have software, you can put their first name tag in, so it’s like hi, Sarah, that kind of thing. End it with a call to action, and make sure that call to action is relevant to what you want them to do with this information. That’s it. That is basically the anatomy of a successful email campaign. From the data we have on our system and the Phorest software and when we analyze campaigns for salon owners and stuff, we always find that the ones that succeed the most are the ones that contain all, if not most, of those topics right there.
So guys, I hope you enjoyed that episode. We’ll be coming back next week with a future episode. I think it will be episode seven of the Salon Marketing Q&A. While I’m at it, I’ll actually you guys here … I might ask this the next few times. Is there a certain time and date that you’d prefer these Salon Marketing Q&As to go at? At the moment, we’re doing it Tuesday at noon Greenwich Mean Time. That’s Dublin, UK time. If you guys prefer a different one, I’d love to hear. We can do it Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. I don’t mind when. We picked Tuesday just because of all the other material that we put out, but I’d love to hear your opinion. What day would you prefer the Salon Marketing Q&A to go live at every single week? Let me know.
As usual, if you have a question, you can drop it into the comment box or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will dedicate a future episode to your query. My name’s Chris Brennan, and let’s grow.