Danielle Mallan – Phorest Grow Team
There is a phenomenon spoken about among marketing folk called the ‘Build It and They Will Come’ syndrome. The gist of it is simple: building a salon website (or anything) does not mean people are going to start clicking or booking appointments on them. A real world example would be 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 and there was no bums on seats right?
Well the same applies to driving traffic to salon websites and getting online bookings. ‘Having’ them is not enough. You have to incentivise people to visit and use them if you want to reap the rewards.
Why does any of this even matter?
Here is a classic example of why it matters:
Gina pops in to visit her stylist, Denise every seven weeks for a cut and colour. Her next appointment is in a week. Her boss calls her at 9pm and says that her colleague has called in sick for a big presentation the next morning. She knows she has to get her hair done. She calls the salon but it is closed. She does not want to take the risk of waiting until the morning… She Googles hair salons in the same area as her regular salon and lands on a website that lists salons in the city. She picks one and books in. Now that new salon has an opportunity to WOW Gina and turn her into a regular client.
Here’s the frustrating thing. Gina’s regular salon does have online booking! Some simple advertising in the salon or even if her stylist Denise or the receptionist had mentioned that they have online booking on the salon website to her it would have saved her a lot of frustration AND it could have saved a client from potentially leaving that salon.
We have seen this happen THOUSANDS of times in beauty and hair salons alike.
So what Do I Do to Solve this Salon Website Pickle!?
All of these problems relate back to the ‘Build it and They Will Come’ theory – just because you have online bookings on your salon website, does not mean people have heard about it. You have to use every opportunity you can to promote your online bookings (through salon website/App or Facebook page).
Our top 9 favourite ways to effortlessly market your online bookings…
(Haven’t got the time to read this now? Join the waiting list for this webinar we are running in a couple of weeks and we will take you through it!)
1. Voicemail: When people call and you’re too busy to answer or the salon isn’t open, then use Voicemail not to just to capture their message, but to deliver your message for online bookings:
“Hi you’re through to Viva Beauty. We can’t make it to the phone right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t book in for some me time with your preferred therapist. Visit our salon website www.vivabeauty.com to book online right now! Alternatively leave a message… (etc.)”
2. Your Facebook Cover photo: Phorest Salon Software gives you the ability to take online bookings through your Facebook page, website and app. Even if you are just taking online bookings through Facebook, why not use your Facebook cover photo to say “You can book online with us”.
If you can take bookings through your page on Facebook we have already created the graphics for you 🙂
3. App on the mirror: Walls, mirrors, doors, your waiting area table. Use the real estate in your salon to put up a sheet, photo etc. with a book online message. We send these out in a cool marketing tool kit once your App is launched.
4. Get the rebooking, but if not, go online: obviously you should ALWAYS try to get the rebooking in the salon when they are paying up, but if they are not rebooking on the day, then it is a great opportunity to tell them about your online booking on your salon website or Facebook page etc.
5. Send an email or SMS to your database: this works in a two-fold way. 1) it tells people about your online booking but also 2) it may prompt them to book there and then! Win-win.
Don’t forget to put a link in directly to the online booking. Need some help with this? Drop the Phorest Grow Team a mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 link saying ‘Next time why not book online!’. This is a great way to collect email addresses too!
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! So many salons I have worked with have online booking, promote it but then make it virtually impossible to find. Make it stand out by adding some colour, or putting it in the menu at the top (top navigation) etc.
Why ask some clients in the salon to jump on the computer and book an appointment – this is particularly effective among an older audience. If someone non-techie can easily jump on and get booked then you know you have succeed in making your salon website easily navigable.
8. Tell your customers in the salon: This 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 market your online bookings. Salons that market their online bookings really well, continuously tell their customers about it either over a hair-cut or beauty treatment, or by slipping it into conversation at the front desk. This is obviously similar to point four above, but use every opportunity to promote your salon website (without being too pushy of course 😉 ).
9. Include in all marketing material: Anything that you are sending out to clients, whether it’s newsletters, promotions, Facebook or other social media post, always include your online booking link, salon website URL and Facebook icons.
Love these ideas? Want to get more bookings through your website? I am running a webinar in just under two weeks. Spaces are limited so sign up now!
Danielle Mallan – Phorest Grow Team