Having spent over 4 years involved in assisting the marketing of a beauty salon, I thought I’d write a little about what I did to help make it flourish. Perhaps this info might be useful.
Create A Beauty Website
Creating the right website is incredibly important. But at the end of the day, remember, that unless you can market it properly, your website is just a calling card rather than a tool for driving custom to your salon. So why did you create that website again?
You probably did it to create awareness, to provide information, to compete, to sell services and perhaps even sell products.
How Professional Is Your Beauty Website
The first question is does your site look professional? Would you book through it if you stumbled upon it? My blog for example looks like ****. So how does yours compare to your local competitors? I’d look to spend around £1500 for a tasty website that you can maintain yourself using a tool like WordPress. Or anywhere from £300 – £1000 for a basic one which ticks all the boxes and has had some fundamental competitor research completed before work has begun in earnest.
Is it working?
Are you using any sort of analytics tool? The first step with any form of marketing is to be able to measure your effectiveness. How many visitors are you getting? Where are they visiting from? If your salon is in Edinburgh and your visitors are all from the United States then perhaps you are doing something wrong. Without any form of analytics you’ll never know! Google analytics is free to use, try it.
Your website needs links, it needs to be advertised locally through all the usual websites (ideally for free), Moz Local is an excellent tool for this which for £89 (at the time of writing) will distribute all your information to local advertising websites such as yell, yelp, thompson local etc. You can of course do this yourself simply by finding these websites and adding your business. I would rarely recommend paying and trust me, they will call and harass you to go premium, I spent almost two years explaining to Yelp on a monthly basis why I wouldn’t upgrade. At the time of writing Moz Local show the following sites and networks to list yourself on…
Google+, Facebook, FourSquare, Factual, Central Index, Thomson Local, Scoot, Touch Local, The Independent, The Sun, The Mirror, Yelp and Bing.
Keep that information consistent, ensure your name, address, phone number, web address etc all appear consistently across each of these websites.
On a monthly basis we would drive thousands of pounds worth of voucher sales through our salon website. It can be tricky to get started but we really perfected this over a number of years and trained up the new owners when we sold. Why use Groupon, ItIsOn or Living Social when you can do it yourself! If you do use them, be prepared to capture those customer’s email addresses!
Collect Email Addresses (Legally)
So you’ve ensured your site is appearing where it should, you’ve at least done the bare minimum and you are on the map. Beauty Salon’s can quickly gain a massive customer base. Before we sold the spa we had over 15,000 customer records on paper. Our first step was to create a marketing list of all our customers, to comply with the law we added a opt-in check box for Special Offers on our consultation form and asked our clients for their email address. Each week we would add these names and emails to a spreadsheet and import them into our mailing list.
Setup Your Store
We setup an e-commerce page on our site selling voucher deals, just like Groupon would, a special deal, a special discount, time sensitive and promised a very pretty voucher in return, we’d even personalise it.
Setup A Campaign
All the email addresses were added to an online email marketing program (we used MailChimp but there are loads to choose from). We would create a pretty newsletter about our deal with buy now buttons that either linked to our online store or directly to paypal payments.
Email Your Beauty Deal
Each month, we’d fire out a special deal using Mailchimp and treat our subscribers to something special. It worked! It worked very well. To put this in perspective, one Christmas we sold almost £10,000 worth of gift vouchers as Christmas presents. OK I spent almost 2 entire days creating these vouchers and emailing them out but I wasn’t complaining.
To get new visitors to your salon, it’s important to capture people that are searching for your services on Google. You can of course run Google Ads for this but nothing beats setting up something that will naturally drive visitors to your salon’s website without a cost! This could be for search terms like Edinburgh Massage or Dermalogica Facial. People find your site, probably check some reviews and if all is well they’ll book in (or buy a voucher!).
As an example, we provided a unique Edinburgh Pamper Party service during our ownership of the salon. In order to advertise this service we needed people who googled this term to find us. Search engine optimisation was massively important in making that work. We set up a page on our salon website entitled Edinburgh Spa Days, we asked the hotel to advertise this page (our salon was within the hotel) and we tailored the page to demonstrate our pamper parties.
After a short while the enquiries started coming in and they gained momentum. Using Google Analytics we could see that people were more often than not finding the hotel Spa Day page through google which then referred to customer to us.
Other Marketing Tricks
Press releases,contacting beauty bloggers, getting people to link to your website, using third party services like Wahanda, using Online booking Systems like Timely to allow people to book instantly, the list goes on. I’ll perhaps save all these for a new article.