If you ask Vanessa McDonald, Founder and Director of Salon Marketing Creative Agency (SMC), what the secret sauce to salon growth is, time and time again, she will say client retention.
We’ve all heard the lines “I’ll book online” or “I’ll have to check my schedule” and never see that client again. This loss of income is often because salon owners expect the client to make the first move when rebooking, with no strategies or processes in place to keep them engaged with the business.
It costs six times more to gain a new client than to retain an existing one, and if you ask us, we’d much rather that kind of revenue in our pocket! Fortunately, Vanessa is a direct marketing expert and has shared with us four ways to welcome back lost clients with resources you likely already have in your business!
It all goes down in the database
Your database is one of your most vital marketing assets. Why? Because it is already filled with an abundance of people that know, like and trust your business. Before beginning any reactivation strategy, Vanessa encourages salon owners to understand the power behind their existing database and why nurturing existing clients is just as important, if not more, as welcoming new ones.
So often, businesses are spending their time, energy and marketing budget on adding more people to this database when in reality, they can be making significantly more money by nurturing the ones already in there, craving engagement from your business.
When Vanessa told us the profitability power of increasing your existing client visits by just two additional visits per year, we had to pick our jaws up from the ground and wonder why so many businesses are ignoring this absolute goldmine!
“By increasing an existing client’s visit by just two additional visits per year, it is equivalent to welcoming 200 new clients through your door”. Vanessa shares. Yes, you read that correctly, 200 clients! This strategy can equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars added to your bottom line from people already looking back at you in your database.
Vanessa encourages salon owners to look at their database and extract the data of clients who haven’t visited the business in the last four to twelve months and do not have a follow-up appointment scheduled. These clients are now the core audience of your lost client reactivation strategy.
Your database is also the home of those special touches to make your client experience unforgettable. Surprising and delighting your clients during their time with you only contribute to their excitement of rebooking at the end of their service.
Details such as their tea or coffee preference, special events or milestones mentioned during their last visit to their last product purchases provide you and your team with personalised conversation prompts that show the client you truly value their time in your business.
Automate and celebrate
With most salon owners achieving less than a 25% rebooking rate, it’s time to implement automated processes and strategies to do the hard work for you. Affordable, accessible and effective, Vanessa encourages salon owners to harness their database and develop strategic email campaigns around them.
Email marketing allows you to showcase your brand personality and points of difference more clearly and personalised than other digital marketing platforms. Salon owners can use them to remind clients that it’s time to revisit, a welcome back promotion to encourage online bookings or Vanessa’s most popular strategy, the birthday message. You likely have your client’s birthdays in your system, and if you don’t, it’s time to update that client intake form! A client’s birthday allows every salon owner to personally reach out to the client with a reminder or offer that welcomes them back into the business. This approach should be an automated strategy that works its magic in the background and allows your calendar to seamlessly fill up with clients ready to spoil and pamper themselves.
Not only does the client birthday email feel like an organic conversation between the salon and client, but it has an impressive open rate too! Vanessa shares that birthday email marketing boasts an 80% open rate which is more than most email campaigns can vouch for!
If we think back to Vanessa’s truth bomb around increasing client frequency, the birthday campaign ticks one of those two visits needed to boost that bottom line.
Don’t be afraid to kick it old school
When in doubt, pick up the phone. In a world of digital marketing and online connections, a simple phone call can be what reminds a lost client about your business and welcomes them back through your doors.
In the current climate, so many factors can contribute to your clients not rebooking with your business and a simple phone call and ensure everyone is on the same page. Perhaps the lost client has moved, they’ve lost their job in the past 12 months, or they’ve simply forgotten with the hustle and bustle of life. It’s up to us as business owners to make the connection and carry the conversation accordingly.
Vanessa suggests maximising your database to personalise the conversation with mentions of their last appointment and the results they would have experienced with it. During this conversation, don’t be afraid to ask for the booking and even upsell their experience to enhance their results.
For example, if the lost client last visited for a microdermabrasion facial, consider asking if they’d like to add-on LED light therapy to enhance their results. After all, thanks to your handy database notes, their focus is skin clearing. Language like “shall I book that in for you at next Thursday, Mary?”, allows the conversation to flow towards making the appointment rather than going back to square one and leaving it up to the client (again).
If the scenario is that the lost client has moved or their circumstances have changed, you can tweak their profile in your database to reflect this. Clients that aren’t in a position to rebook aren’t necessarily never going to come back so, ensure you’re still keeping in touch through birthday communication and special offers.
Time-poor? Outsource it
All of us here at Beaute are big believers in outsourcing the things that don’t light you up or that you’re too time-poor to execute effectively. We know that it’s your salon marketing for many of you, which is where Vanessa and her SMC team come in.
From establishing your essential Foundation Marketing System to ultra-targeted, growth campaign strategies, the SMC team sets you up with everything you need to transform your rebooking and retention rates and have the revenue to show for it. Vanessa explains that by partnering with SMC, there isn’t a day in your calendar when your marketing isn’t working hard for your business.
“The SMC Agency will not only develop a marketing strategy that works for you, but we will also personalise it and work with you during implementation. Gone are the days of feeling alone in your business. You’ve now got a team supporting you every step of the way!”
What are you waiting for? Go and welcome back those lost clients!