In a series of posts, we’ll be looking at some ways outside the more traditional marketing activities that you can increase the number of people coming to your beauty business. First up, we’ll be looking at using text message marketing.
Text messages are effective because they are near instantaneous; they often cause people to stop what they’re doing and look at their phone. This makes them great for getting useful information out, but if you abuse them, you will annoy your clients. And annoying your clients isn’t the way to guarantee you get more business.
7 useful text message marketing tips:
1. Get Permission
Rules differ between countries on what you can do with direct marketing. The best way to ensure you stay on the right side of the law, and on your client’s good side, is to ask them when they first come in if they’d like to receive occasional updates when you’ve got promotions that will interest them on.
2. Don’t go overboard
There are two important things in that last sentence. “Occasional Updates” and “that will interest them”. You need to be selective when sending your text messages; while sending out a promotion every two days might seem like you’re doing them a favour, it will irritate your clients. If that happens they’ll either request to be taken off your list, or they just won’t ever come back to you….and you really want to avoid either of those!!
3. Target your clients’ interests
If you know that certain clients regularly come in for a particular treatment, let them know when there’s a promotion on with it. Doing this will build good-will with them. If you’re running a promotion on a complimentary treatment, tell them; it’s a great way of introducing them to new services, and increasing their spend in your business.
4. Have something to say
Just because you usually send a text message to your clients every 3 weeks, doesn’t mean you have to do that. Using this type of promotion catches people’s attention – use that attention for something worthwhile. If you don’t think the promotion will excite them, don’t let them know this time around – wait until you’ve got something that will wow them.
5. Pick your times
There are two pieces of advice here. Firstly, choose a good time to send your message. Think about what people will be doing when they receive it. Sending a batch of messages at 9pm on a Friday probably isn’t a great idea as lots of people will be relaxing, or out having fun, and taking advantage of a promotion probably won’t be high on their list.
Secondly, add a time-dimension to your messages. Don’t leave them open ended (such as, “20% off all full body massages”), instead, give them a time that they need to act by – “20% off all full body massages booked before 6pm today”. Doing this means you get faster feedback on the success of your promotion, and allows you to plan if /when you need extra staff to cope with demand.
6. Have them take action
Not leaving the message open ended is important. You should be asking your clients to do “something” – it could be to call now for a booking, or visit between certain times.
Because Text Messages are delivered near-instantaneously, you could also do very short-run promotions if you’re having a quiet afternoon. For example, 40% off facials before 5pm today will prompt people who may be free “right now” to call and make a booking. They might be less motivated to make that call if it’s for a special-offer slot in a week’s time.
7. Get Permission
Yes, it’s that important it’s in here twice! Don’t put yourself in a position where you have your clients complaining to you (or worse, to a data protection commissioner) about unsolicited text messages. It’s easy to get permission before you contact them, and you’ll have a better response rate as you know you’re only sending messages to people who are interested in getting them.