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Monday, August 5, 2013

Who's in Your Future?

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     This week we pick up where we left off with more notes from my webinar with Mike Colosi from Salon and spa marketing. Are you missing an opportunity to fill your chairs by not reaching out to past clients? Past clients already know you, and trust you. It is much cheaper to try and lure them back as opposed to getting a brand new client. We all have clients that have fallen off our books. And it's not always what you think, they may not have been dissatisfied with our services but stopped coming because of some event totally non related. First thing is to identify these clients you haven't seen in a while. Next mail them a personal, hand written letter stating that you are sorry they haven't been in and you'd love to have them back. You will want to offer them an incentive, something special for coming back. Some people want to come back, they were sorry that they left but are just too embarrassed. They will be so glad you took the time to reach out to them in this personal note. Research has proven that up to 31% will come back. Now that was easy wasn't it? Increase your business by 31% with one simple letter? Search your records whether you have them saved in your phone or on your computer, take the time to reach out to these former clients, you'll be glad you did.

     The next category is new clients. Getting a good mailing list is essential to your new client attraction strategy. Mailing the right offer to the wrong person just doesn't work. You need to identify who your ideal client is. For example, working women from ages 30-60 who have a good income and live in a nice area of town close to your salon. Next identify all these ideal clients that have recently moved into your market area. Next you want to mail them an invitation type letter with an offer to visit your salon. This works really well because these people are prime candidates for your services. Why? They are brand new to the area and don't have loyalties to any other salon or spa yet. Plus they are looking for you. You offer must be compelling and  look like personal mail, no address labels or new homeowner tags. Your response will be much higher when you take these extra steps. You must be prepared to WOW them with your services and customer service and take the steps necessary to retain them as a client. I'm adding a few more of my own nuggets to really get great results. The other thing to remember is to send this offer more than once. Make sure you track your results and if you don't hear back from the first wave of letters to the monthly new client letters send another. This is a little known secret of direct mail marketing. The return rate increases dramatically when you send a second and third letter. Remember after the first letter they may have tossed your letter or forgotten all about you yet have still not formed an allegiance with a salon or spa yet. Experts say a client has to visit you three times in order to consider them yours. Taking the time to do this right is worth all the effort. Your return can be 20-25 percent instead of the average one percent most offers attract. And just for the cost of a stamp.

      Once these clients have come into the salon make sure you have a new client gift bag ready for them. This should include your service menu, any promotional salon items you may have like pens or emery boards, a few free samples and maybe some goodies like dark chocolate candies. Send out a thank you note right away. I have a post card I made up on my computer that offers 10% off future visits, like 10% off your next service and 10% off for a pedicure and free nail art and maybe 10% off a gift card purchase. Have these offers in boxes so you can x them out and hand the postcard offers back to the client to use again. Clients love to have a little something off to continue to try your services, plus it gets them to return to that magic number of visits to retain them as a loyal client. Marketing is a constant effort in your salon and hopefully you have carved out an hour on your calendar each week, like I suggested, to keep the marketing machine running at full speed. Keep working at it and keep track of your progress, because that's smart marketing.

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