Ok, fine. You get enough spam. Everyone does. But there’s no denying that email lists work—they drive business in ways that person-to-person contact cannot begin to compete with. For that reason alone, collecting email addresses is elemental, and something that you should have your receptionist doing with every client. If your client’s personal information is already stored in your computer system, you should make sure that you already have their email address on file.
You can suggest that your front desk employees open a Constant Contact account, so that they can organize all of the email addresses and send them out. Constant Contact also allows you to receive a report, which shows you whether or not your clients have opened their emails, sent them into the trash, or just unsubscribed to your mailing list, so you can learn the demographic you’re dealing with. Wouldn’t it be great to know how many people are actively reading your emails? Well, it can be done. Programs like this also tell you how long people actually spend reading their emails—for instance, if they just opened an email and then closed it, rather than engaging with the email by spending time reading it. This is information worth knowing about your clientele.
When it comes to your actual email, what kind of content works best? We suggest newsletters, and not too many of them. It is important to keep them focused and not to put too much information in them. People prefer to read less information, not more. Bulleted newsletters work best, where the information can be distilled into less space, which is easier to read. Human interest pieces—as opposed to straightforward promotions, which people disregard as sales tactics—draw people in. Try marketing people with shorts that you feel will pique their interest, like solutions for winter hair, or masks that can be made at home, so that they look at your newsletter as an informative piece of mail that offers them something, rather than a self-promotional mailer that only touts you and your salon.
Here’s what not to do: Don’t bombard people with emails. Sending emails even once a month is lot, so sticking to a quarterly newsletter might actually get you more of the results that you’re looking for. Your newsletter should be pretty and professional, with your logo clearly represented, so that when people open it up it is more than a typical word document.
The thing is, email works. The more people you are able to reach, the more likely you are to have an impact—which is what makes email and emailed newsletters so effective. Complacency will kill a business, even a great one. Driving new business through email is one of the many ways that you can move your shark forward.