Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 19. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, this show is a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, roundups of our most recent salon owners marketing tips & tricks, all the latest in and around Phorest and what upcoming webinars you can join. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.
Phorest FM Episode 19
In this episode, Zoe answers some email questions sent by Phorest FM listeners. Some topics covered include improving client retention, loyalty schemes, online competitions, and press releases. Also covered are different salon marketing ideas owners can use throughout the month of April.
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Zoe Belisle-Springer: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 19. Special twist today. I’m your host, Zoe Belisle-Springer, as Killian Vigna is off enjoying the beautiful city of Brussels, but he’ll be back with us next week. On the show today, short episode, I’ll be reading and answering subscriber mail, and I’ll be chatting about a few marketing ideas you can put in place for April. But as always, to make sure you know about everything coming up here in Phorest, the show will be topped off with our coming Phorest Academy webinars. This podcast is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off. Now, let’s get into the show.
So good morning, everyone. Like I was saying, Killian’s off enjoying Brussels this morning, so I’ll be the only person on the show today, but we have a little something special for you guys because we try to start a conversation through you guys subscribing to our blog. Basically when you subscribe to the Phorest blog online, you get an email from me because I’m curious to see who’s subscribing, and what’s your main pain points, and your professional story and such and such. I send off an email saying, “Thank you for signing up. I’m the person behind the emails, articles and guides, but I’m also curious about your professional story. What’s the number one salon marketing problem you’re trying to solve?”
Now, sometimes it’s quite quick to answer. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a few links or even direct that person to a Phorest Academy webinar, but there’s some questions that are really, really interesting and that deserve a little readout. If I start with this first one, comes from Sharon.
Sharon says, “Hi, Zoe. Thanks for your email. My number one problem is getting more clients on a consistent basis. I work mobile, taking the treatments to clients’ homes. I don’t want to come across as a pushy salesperson, so I’ve changed my approach slightly today with my marketing on Facebook. Instead of just doing sales and promotions, I’m looking for interesting articles, blog posts and also pictures of my products, as I sell products to and use the products in my treatments as well, and so everything shows the benefits to the readers instead of just saying ‘buy this, buy that’ kind of angle. I hope you’re having a good day. Loving all the help I get from Phorest.” Then she actually continues saying, “I’m also hoping to do a refer-a-friend scheme, just trying to work out how to set it out and how to then describe it so people would participate. Plus I also want to run a competition and need some help in that too. Hoping that in the long run it eventually pays off.”
Sharon, if we start with the first one, client retention. For everyone listening, client retention is one of the main pain points for many salon owners when it comes after sales and such. Here in Phorest, we believe that if your salon has over 3,000 clients through stores, then you should probably stop continuously chasing new customers and focus a little bit more on your salon client retention rates. How do you do that concretely? There’s no way that it’s going to happen the same way for everyone. However, there are five foolproof strategies I’d say to boost your client retention rates, and when you put all of them together, then you should be seeing a massive increase in these numbers.
The first one, if I come back to Sharon’s email, would be to offer to pre-book every client. When you’re going to this client’s house, it’s not about being pushy, but you just say something like, “When would suit best for your next appointment?” It’s more of like, “Look, I want to make sure that your hair keeps that beautiful color,” or if you’re doing facials and such, “that your skin gets the appropriate treatment.” The more you know about your client’s booking habits, the easier it’ll be for you to pre-book them and so to get them coming back more often.
This leads me to point number two, be all ears. It all starts with the consultation, but you want to make sure that the communication throughout the service is flowing. Your client needs to receive what is asked, and you need to understand what they’re looking for. It’s very easy to think that you’re listening, but when you’re doing things as a routine kind of way, you kind of miss out on these little details that could give you loads of information. So catch on to your customers’ cues, desires and interests, and you should be well on your way.
Now, third point is make a good impression. If you’re alone in this case, you have your policies, you have your guidelines to follow, and this and that. It’s the same in a salon or a spa. Every client should feel like they’ve been treated with the same care and sometimes you’d actually quite be surprised by the number of first-time clients you can lose because of a difference in services and attention. Let’s say if someone recommends you to their friend, and you go over to that friend and the service or the treatment is kind of different, and that person doesn’t feel like they’ve got the same as their friend that was recommending you, well, unfortunately, that person might have a little tendency to not rebook with you. Make sure that the customer experience actually throughout the whole time that they’re with you is the same throughout your client base.
Number four, make the salon experience easy on your client. That can be very applicable for people who travel if you work mobile or such because you need to make sure that your clients are going to be able to book easily, that the experience won’t be complicated at all, that times will be scheduled and everything will flow straight away. They need to feel like it’s easy to do business with you because, in the end, your clients are just as busy and just as stressed as you. That’s definitely something to consider.
Five, ask for feedback. Get feedback from your customers, improve on what can be improved and develop yourself and your strategies all at the same time. If you’re selling products and trying to educate people online with these products and such, follow up on what people have bought off you. If you’re going to a client’s house and they get this amazing cream that you’ve sold them, maybe send them a little email. Like if you’re working mobile, you’re obviously having this very special and intimate kind of relationship with your clients, so don’t be afraid of emailing them and just asking them how they’re getting on, if they liked the product or if they needed something else in particular. Just ask for feedback. Ask for feedback about the entire treatment as well. It doesn’t have to be just products and such.
It’s five foolproof ways to get people rebooking and coming back to you. It’s all based on trust though. If you build a trustworthy relationship with them and your communication is flowing, your retention rate is obviously going to grow.
If we switch on to the second point was the refer-a-friend scheme. That all comes down to a loyalty scheme. Now we have one here in Phorest and it’s called the TreatCard system. It basically is based on you accumulate points to redeem a new experience or a new treatment that you’ve never had before and this only can be combined if you book an appointment on the same day, so you get a complimentary treatment with those points that you’ve redeemed. This works really, really well because you’re guaranteeing yourself that you have that client booked in for a new treatment, but they’re also discovering something new, so you might actually be able to have them as a customer of that treatment as well in the future. There’s many different ways to do a refer-a-friend scheme, but some salon owners do refer-a-friend and get X amount of TreatCard points or possibly get a sample package or something like that. Just offer a reward and usually, that should work pretty well.
If you need more help about the loyalty system, we’ve actually got an amazing blog post on this that Barry Quinn wrote. He’s the head of Grow marketing team here in Phorest, and it’s the ultimate salon owner’s bible to a loyalty scheme.
For the competition, there’s different ways of running competitions and it depends on what kind of prize you want to do it for. For instance, when it came around Christmas, we had a blog post go out, being the most likes wins for a Facebook format. This could be at any time of the year really, but I’m just taking this example because it’s there and it’s easy to understand. You had the best Christmas jumper competition. In that case, you would have asked your clients to send you a private Facebook message with a picture of their best Christmas outfit and you create a competition photo album, you upload all the entries and then you ask for your followers to vote for the best photo. The photo with the most likes wins. Simple as.
There’s also the classic sweepstakes. For instance, in that same theme of Christmas back in December, we had a make-a-Christmas-wishlist. You’d encourage your fans to create their own wishlists of products and treatments, ask them to go to your salon or spa’s website, and then have them list three or four of your favorite treatments or products, add all the entries into a hat, draw a name and one of the participants get their wishlist for free as the winner, something like that.
Snapchat and Instagram stories, you can definitely have competitions up there. Facebook it’s kind of hard to do the like-and-shares at this moment because Facebook kind of tightened up their rules on that, but Instagram allows it, so if you want to do a like-and-share on Instagram, that’s something that many, many brands do, and that works very, very well and will bring you more engagement on your page. You’ll see it pay off very, very quickly because – competitions, who doesn’t like to win something?
Next subscriber mail. This one comes from Joanne and she says, “Hi, Zoe. My name is Joanne and I’ve been in the beauty industry for 17 years. I’m about to launch a bigger salon. My first marketing problem is finding the best way to get out there and let everyone know what I do. I’m very shy and struggling just approaching people. Looking forward to any advice. Kind regards, Joanne.”
So, it’s a bit like when you’re rebranding. You need to put the word out there, you’re a little shy. You don’t have to go knock on the door of every single person and introduce yourself. You could also do this with a press release or even launch an event. You could put it up as a newsletter. Let your clients know and they can also spread the word for you. That’s definitely the first approach to do so.
The second approach I’d say is either an event or simply a press release. Think about this piece of content as an article written for the media to announce something newsworthy. It could be anything, but in your case, it would be an event. You need to find an appealing subject or angle. I don’t know. This is who you were, this is where we’re moving, we’re opening a new branch and come see us at this date, we’re hosting this kind of event, it’s from this to this time, and try to get the press involved. The few things to keep in mind when you’re writing a press release is first of all to summarize the answers to the five Ws, so who, what, where, when and why, and also the how. Make sure that you keep everything factual. Try to avoid any kind of creative writing. I’d say journalists and media love things that are straight to the point. Try to keep it very factual, keep it brief and your press release should not be longer than about a page and write in the third person.
There’s a few other tips there. There’s a specific format for press releases, so I’d encourage you to go on the Phorest blog, type in “simple salon press release,” and you’ll have that article pop up. It basically explains you the definition, how to write it step by step, and what you should address, and what kind of format you should use, and then who to send it to, what to do with it.
But that’s definitely something you should look into. If you’re trying to create an event, first of all, you should try to interact with local bloggers and try to get traction from them and have them come to your event, have them cover it for you and then the publicity will be basically done by itself. You don’t have to meet them in person. You could just send them an email and see if they bite. I hope that answers your questions a little bit.
Now onto the third and last subscriber mail for this week. This one comes from Sinead and she says, “Hi, Zoe. Thanks for your interest in my salon. I’m only just signed up with Phorest and I’m attending training, which I’m really excited about. To answer your question, my most difficult marketing issue is, well, I’ve just moved location 12 miles away from where my business was for 15 years. Yeah, I know. Lots of my customers have followed me, but I need to generate new customers and I’m hoping Phorest can help me with that. Many thanks and kind regards.”
Well, that actually ties in quite a lot to the second one. Definitely hosting an event to announce that you’re in this new place, create a newsletter for your customers to know this, and I’d say talk to the media, do a press release. But then there’s another thing you could try is a Facebook ad. If you’re trying to get new customers basically, run a Facebook ad. Announce this is a new place, this is the services we offer and see how that bites. But Facebook ads are great for you can target a specific audience. You can target people in your specific area with the interests that fit you. We do have a Facebook master class. There’s actually one today. The next one will be next month, but there’s definitely loads of content that you could get from there that could help you get new clients in.
That’s all for the subscriber mails this morning. I’ll switch on to the second part of the show that I was telling you about, which is April’s salon marketing ideas that you can implement in your business. Obviously, April, you associate it with Easter, I suppose. You’ve got a long weekend there. We’ve just released an April marketing toolkit. In there you can get a month’s worth of inspirational quotes for your staffroom and 15 Easter email subject line ideas, eight special offers graphic that you can use on Facebook or any kind of social media platform. There’s also five Easter Facebook covers or designs that you could use for pretty much anything. Then one SMS campaign checklist.
If I go more into detail, there are a few other things that we talked about in this blog about marketing ideas. It wasn’t all about Easter because on April 7th actually, it is World Health Day. On social media, you could create a quiz to increase interaction on your Facebook page. It could be a quiz on the theme of health importance and if people get poor habit results, maybe suggest they take half a day to treat themselves soon, a little self-promotion can’t hurt, right? A product samples giveaway, you can run and give away on social media, and that’ll again boost engagement on your channels. Then you could also run a special promotion or like a me-time pamper package. You could promote it through email, SMS, on social media. If you wanted to use redeem codes maybe, use something easy to remember such as like Health Day, something like that.
Then comes Easter weekend, April 14th to the 17th. There again you’ve got loads of things you can do on social media. We listed one being the greetings and promotions. It’s all about brand awareness, putting yourself out there and advertising what you have in stock for your clients ahead of time so that they have enough time to book in with you and not be disappointed by the fact that it’s all booked out already.
In your salon’s premises or spa’s premises, what you could do is basket bundles for the Easter weekend. They’re attention-grabbing, baskets are an easy way to sell more retail, and perhaps you can even add a few Easter eggs in there and provide gift packaging for those who’d like it. Another thing you could do is a charity food trading. For many, Easter is a time to be thankful for sacrifices made by peers, so why not organize a food trade-in? Ask for people to leave food and perhaps reward them with extra loyalty points or maybe even a sample basket, something like that. There’s loads of few things that you can do. Definitely, advertise your promotion through SMS and email marketing.
Then there is another cool day that you could use for the month of April, and that’s Mother Earth Day. You could definitely advertise with graphics on social media. Then on your salon’s premises, you could have a little box to donate to the Earth. Requires little to no preparation. You put a donation jar at your reception desk and you invite clients to put a few coins in for our planet, and then you give the collected money to a local organization helping the cause.
You could also do a no-paper-receipt day. Encourage your customers to receive their salon and spa receipts by email on that day or that week. Not only you’re cutting down on paper and you’re helping Earth, but what’s really cool about this one is that you’re building your spa or salon’s email database and that’s really, really important because when you come to market your promotions through email marketing, you’ll need this information. If you don’t ask it, you’re missing out on another person that could take up your offers. A no-paper-receipt day is actually a really, really cool thing to do, and why not take advantage of Mother Earth Day to do it?
After that in our blog, in the April salon marketing ideas blog, we list a few ideas to increase loyalty and engagement, so there’s a few things about social media and then letting your customers know that you have a loyalty scheme. Then we have a little paragraph that explains how Client ReConnect can also help you get customers back in and engaged. That’s pretty much what had been on the blog last week. We had a few other blogs as well, but we’re trying to get some special guests in for them, so we’re not going to discuss them this morning, but we’ll discuss them when Killian returns from Brussels.
I guess that rounds up the show today. It comes down to the Phorest Academy webinars. Today we have one, and it’s the Facebook master class. All of our webinars are always from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. UK, Ireland time, which is the equivalent of 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. US Eastern time, so that’s the New York region. If you are able to tune in today Facebook master class, and then the next one comes down to April 10th, and that’s the retail master class, and in the same week, you’ll have the online reputation master class. Definitely tune into that, and we’ll be chatting about it anyways next week. We’ll be back to regular format next week with Killian. I hope you have a lovely week. I will catch you next Monday.
Thanks for reading!