Guest Article by Danielle Mallan, Phorest Salon Software, Grow Team
In the marketing world, there is a phenomenon called the “build it and they will come” syndrome. The concept is pretty simple: creating a website (or building anything for that matter) doesn’t mean that people are going to start salon bookings through it. Better yet, imagine if you built a salon in your backyard and never told anyone it existed. A few may stumble across it, but it would be easy to see why business wasn’t so good right?
The same applies to driving traffic to your salon or spa’s website and generating online bookings. If you want to reap the rewards, “having” the structure that allows it is not enough.
Why Does This Even Matter?
Imagine Marie pops in to visit her stylist Claire every seven weeks for a cut and colour. Her next appointment is in a week. Marie’s boss calls her at 9:00 pm and says that her colleague has called in sick and won’t be in for the big presentation the next morning. For Marie, this means she needs to get her hair done, and fast. Her immediate reaction is to call Claire, but the salon is closed. She panics a little as she doesn’t want to take the risk of waiting until the morning to make a booking. So, she googles hair salons in her area and realises she now has a few options. She picks one and books in.
This other salon now has an opportunity to turn Marie into a regular client.
Here’s the thing: clients can also book online at Claire’s salon! If only it had been advertised or mentioned by either Claire or the salon’s receptionist. It would have saved Marie time and stress and could have saved Claire from potentially losing a regular and loyal client. And we see this happen thousands of times in beauty and hair salons alike.
9 Ways To Help You Generate Salon Bookings Through Your Website
All of these problems relate back to the “build it and they will come” theory. Just because you have online bookings on your salon’s website, doesn’t mean people have heard about it. You have to use every opportunity you can to promote your online bookings.
1. Update Your Voicemail Greeting
When people call and you’re too busy to answer or the salon/spa isn’t open, make sure people know they can go book online. Update your voicemail greeting and make sure you add in a line about your website and online bookings. For more voicemail greetings tips and templates, click here.
“Thank you for calling [Salon ⁄ Spa Name]. Conveniently located at [Insert address here] our hours of operation are [Insert hours here]. A member of our staff will be happy to help you book your next appointment when we return to the line, or please feel free to book online through our website or our Facebook page! Have a beautiful day!”
2. Your Facebook Cover Photo
Phorest Salon Software gives you the ability to take salon bookings through your Facebook page, website and app. Your Facebook cover photo is an effective way to tell the work that the option is available; often a simple “You can book online with us!” does the trick.
3. Promote Your Salon App On The Mirror
Walls, mirrors, doors, your waiting area table. Use the furniture and space in your salon to put up a sheet or photo advertising your online bookings.
4. Get The Rebooking, But If Not, Advise Going Online
You should always try to get the rebooking in the salon when clients are paying, but if they don’t want to rebook on the day, then take it as an opportunity to tell them about your website and how they can book online from the comfort of their home.
5. Send An Email Or SMS To Your Database
If you send a promotional email or SMS and make sure you add a “book now” link, this technique works in a two-fold way:
- It tells people that they can book online through your website (yay!).
- It may prompt the client to book there and then (win-win!).
6. Email Confirmations
Even if someone calls in to book, you should send them an email confirmation with the details of their appointment and a line saying ‘Did you know that you can also book online?’ (add your online booking link).
7. Make It Easy To Find
If someone lands on your website, you want to make it as obvious as possible that they can book in with you online! Many salons I have worked with have online booking, promote it, but then make it virtually impossible to find. Make your “Book Now” button stand out by using a contrasting colour or putting it in the navigation bar (website menu).
Not sure if you’ve made it easy enough? Ask some your less techie/older clients in the salon to try to book their next appointment online for you. If they succeed without any hassle, you’ll know you have made your salon’s website easily navigable.
8. Tell Your Customers In The Salon
It might seem really obvious, but telling your customers that they can book online when they are in the salon is one of the most effective ways to drive salon bookings coming through your website. Salons and spas who market their online bookings really well continuously tell their customers about it either at the front desk or during the service/treatment.
9. Include The URL In All Your Marketing Material
Anything that you are sending out to clients, whether it’s Facebook/Instagram posts, email newsletters or SMS promotions, always include your online booking link, salon’s website URL and social media icons.
Listen to Phorest FM Episode 43, on which Alan Stewart, founder of Rainbow Room International discusses how being ‘open’ 24/7 on multiple platforms has positively impacted the growth of his business over the years:
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow