10 January 2013
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Simple Mobile Marketing Tips for Spas and Salons

For the owner of a spa or hair salon, image is truly everything: your customers are coming to you in order to look (and therefore feel) their very best.  So it only makes sense that attracting and keeping those customers is going to require a visual, trendy, interesting and timely effort that appeals to the kind of person who pays to look good.

By | @wmikewhite
Published January 10, 2013

This is the third in a series of six posts we’re running to help you see how mobile marketing tips and tricks can help you market you’re specific business.  We’re going to be covering restaurants, clubs, spas and salons, healthcare and medical facilities, retail stores, and non-profits.  If you’d like us to put a post up discussing a different business type, just leave your suggestion in the topics, and we’ll be happy to do just that!

So, without further ado, let’s jump into Simple Mobile Marketing Tips for Spas and Salons!

For the owner of a spa or hair salon, image is truly everything: your customers are coming to you in order to look (and therefore feel) their very best.  So it only makes sense that attracting and keeping those customers is going to require a visual, trendy, interesting and timely effort that appeals to the kind of person who pays to look good.

Mobile marketing fits that bill: it’s versatile and exciting, appeals to the senses, reaches trend-mindful customers on their only unchanging accessory (their mobile phone), and encourages nearly instant response from these folks.

If you’ve had a chance to review the last two articles in this series, covering restaurants and retail stores, you know we’re focusing primarily on how your business can draw in new customers and encourage repeat business from existing customers by creatively using cutting edge techniques and a powerful mobile marketing platform.

This time, we’re looking at marketing spas and salons, so we need to work with a third factor as well: cancellations and open slots in the schedule.  As usual, you’ll find that an organized and effective mobile marketing campaign can turn this ongoing challenge into a fantastic opportunity for your salon!

But let’s hit first things first by seeing how your spa or salon can draw in new customers using mobile marketing.

First-time Customers

A new customer walking through your door can and should be the start of a long-term relationship that benefits both you and your new customer.  To that end, finding this customer and convincing him or her to visit is an important process.

As noted above, you’re searching for the kinds of people who are interested in looking and feeling their very best and are willing to pay a fair price to achieve that.  So your first angle is to determine where these people hang out and make yourself visible there.

Posters and Signage

Be sure that any public display advertising your business is visually appealing and speaks to the customer’s desire for a relaxing, rejuvenating and fun experience.  And, by all means, remember to include a QR code or short code texting option that links to your mobile-friendly website or another special offer available to mobile customers.

Especially important for spas and salons is to make a concerted effort to stand out from all the other salons out there.  Yours is a competitive business with many locations vying for the same clientele.  If your potential customer can’t figure out why your salon is different or better than the competition, they’re likely to move on.


Print Ads

Similarly, ads in the local paper, yellow pages or other print medium should be handled the same way.  The QR code or text option still applies.  And make sure, even when you’re working with the limited space of a display ad, to create an offer that entices immediate action in order to obtain a reward such as a special offer or signup to your mobile database.

Referral Rewards

We’ll touch on this more in a few moments, but referrals from delighted current customers is likely to be your very best means of attracting new customers.  So, make it easy for them to refer their friends and family to you by creating some physical referral card or gift voucher that offers the new customer an incentive for coming in and offers the existing customer an incentive for referring them.

In addition to the physical card, though, make sure your mobile campaign includes super-simple ways that your happy customers can share their experiences at your spa or salon, and can get others excited about coming.  Send regular reminders to your mobile customers about your great referral program and offer links right in the message to let them Tweet, share on Facebook, or e-mail or text directly to a friend they have in mind.

Don’t forget about the power of online reviews at sites like Yelp and Google Places too.  Be sure to integrate links to these sites on your website and include them in your mobile outreach program too.

The Repeat Customer

Here’s where your spa or salon can really shine.  You’ve gotten that first-time customer in the door and she’s left with a huge smile on her face.  Now what do you do?

First of all, of course, you’ll want to talk up the mobile program and include plenty of visual reminders as well so you can get as many customers as possible into your mobile database.  Give them a solid incentive – a reason to join up.  That’s where it all starts.  After you’ve accomplished that, you can move ahead to these great ideas:

Text Reminders

As humans, we’re all forgetful procrastinators at heart.  We don’t want to be, and we don’t plan to be.  It’s just that life gets in the way.  Which is why it’s so awesome that we can rely on something like a mobile marketing platform to keep us on the straight and narrow.

If a customer comes in for a fantastic hair color, and absolutely loves how it turns out, how thrilled will she be when she receives a text reminder six weeks later that she could use a refresh at the roots?  She knows it’s true because she sees it every day in the mirror.  But actually picking up the phone, making and appointment, and following through on it keeps getting put off.

But when your reminder pops up on her phone, with a link to make an appointment immediately and 10% discount for doing so today, she’s in.

Even without a specific necessary follow-up service, regular text reminders combined with enticing offers are guaranteed to keep your happy customers coming back for more.

Loyalty and Referral Programs

As mentioned earlier, you can easily leverage the goodwill and satisfaction you’ve created in your customer by making it a breeze for her to share that with a friend.  We all know word-of-mouth advertising has always been the most effective method at our disposal, and this is especially the case with personal services like the ones you offer.

Integrate loyalty programs (like discounts or free services after a specific number of services have been purchased) and referral programs into your mobile campaign by means of regular text reminders, mobile website offers, and mobile-only exclusives.

A Unique Solution for Cancellations

A full schedule of appointments is the lifeblood of any spa or salon.  If you’re looking at an empty chair or massage table, you’re losing money.

Unfortunately, even the most loyal of customers may run into a situation that causes them to cancel a scheduled appointment.  And new customers are an even bigger risk.  This used to mean a heavy sigh and a “grin-and-bear-it” attitude.

But not any more.

Assuming your canceling client gave you at least a tiny bit of advanced notice, even 30 or 40 minutes, you can send out a text blast to your list of mobile customers offering a huge incentive to anyone who would like to take advantage of the new open spot in your schedule!  You can even make an offer to your list beforehand for any who would like to keep their names on a special waiting list for last-minute cancellation-fillers at a reduced rate!  Just segment your list to identify these folks and send notifications to them first.

Goodbye cancellation blues, hello paying clients!

As a spa or salon owner, you know your business is built on trust, loyalty, and a fun, relaxing atmosphere.  All of this can be enhanced by the application of a few simple mobile marketing tips and some creative ingenuity.

  • Set up a text/e-mail reminder service to communicate to existing customers about getting root touch ups, follow-up treatments, or maintenance procedures. Let them reply and schedule an appointment.
  • Set up a text message broadcasting service for promoting coupons, special offers, etc. to your customers.
  • Build loyalty through follow-up surveys asking how their experience was and what you can do to make it better. By asking for your clients’ feedback, they’ll automatically feel like they’re important to you and it will encourage a return visit.
By | Published January 10, 2013

Mike is the founder at Urban Shuffle, a San Francisco based mobile marketing platform specializing in consumer engagement, customer acquisition and retention.

Simple Mobile Marketing Tips for Spas and Salons
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