Continuing the Conversation

When you go on a date, and you really like the person, you want to see them again. The old rules said you’d maybe wait three days before you called, but you want to be with the person again, to talk to them again and right away. The same applies to marketing.

Modern marketing is all about the relationship and the ‘right’ to continue it; you want to be able to contact a client, so you can talk to them again as soon as possible. It is possible, but you have to be consistent and confident about collecting their number as you say goodbye.

For example, if you saw someone at a restaurant and she said she liked your hair extensions and asked where you’d got them done, you might once have given her your card, hoping she’d call to get her hair done. YAY! A new client! But you would have given her all the control by handing out your card rather than getting hers. Until she calls, you are at her mercy in terms of continuing the relationship.

If you could rewind this scenario, rather than hand over a card, the savvy operator would whip out a small notepad and ask for an email and/or phone number. That way you can send information on hair extensions with tips on how she can evolve her look. Now, you are in control as you’ve scheduled ‘date number two’.

Grabbing the details of clients so that you can contact them has now become the number one priority for dynamic, proactive salons. Yet the first restaurant scenario happens all of the time online, with potential clients checking but then moving on. People search the internet for a new hairdresser, come across a website and then continue browsing to see what else is out there. You have no idea if it was your salon’s website they saw and you certainly have no way of giving them more information on why your salon is the best option.

Only if they give you their numbers – or their emails – can you reach out to them and schedule that date. But how can you get casual browsers to hand over their valuable information to continue the relationship? Clever salons have a newsletter signup button on their websites or they run competitions and events through their website or Facebook where everyone entering or accepting the invite has to RSVP online.

In contrast, grabbing the details of visitors to your salon is much easier, yet you’d be surprised at how many salons still miss this priceless opportunity. You can be sure the competition down the road is being much more thorough. Client contact sheets should be kept at reception and downloaded into salon software while the client is still there so that any uncertainties over spelling can be fixed on the spot. Better still, consider investing in a tablet or iPad so clients can upload their details directly. Get the team to talk up the salon’s online community, encourage clients to sign up online and ensure well-designed cards with online contacts are strategically placed at styling stations.

Once you’ve got clients’ details you can talk to them directly, highlighting all the wonders of your salon for minimal cost. But you’ve got to get those details. Only then are you in control over whether that next date ever happens and when.

How to collect data on existing and potential clients:
Email Newsletter Signup Form
This is the most common contact form used on websites. In fact, it’s so common that most email programs provide a handy web-form creator that a web designer can add to a webpage. Then, when someone signs up to your newsletter they will be automatically be added to your email list. There are lots of clever ways to use this web form, but starting with a basic email newsletter signup is a solid way to begin.

Event RSVP
Hosting events at your salon or spa is an incredible way to continue the conversation, spread the word about your business, create better relationships with your existing clients and become a leading business in your community. It is hands down one of the best tools in the salon marketing arsenal and one of the most under-utilized. You can ask for RSVPs on your website so people will give you their contact details to be forwarded updates about this and other events.

There are lots of online applications that facilitate these events, allowing the user to share information on their social pages, like Facebook. Did I mention that events were a great way to spread the word about your business?

Social Networking Links
You’ve seen it everywhere by now – the Facebook icon; the Twitter icon; the icon for YouTube. If it’s not on your website yet, and you have a page on any of these networks, you are missing a beat. Get a link up there now. This is another way of continuing the conversation. Just because your new acquaintance isn’t ready to move in yet, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to go on another date at a different venue. Get everyone to your social pages and ask them to like, follow or subscribe to your social stuff.

Online Booking
The second most common method used to capture details on your website is online booking. Yep, that’s right! When people book appointments on your website, you are capturing their information (or at least, you’d better be). You should use this data to continue the conversation, starting with the appointment confirmation response, and then get them into your email program once they’ve come in, filled out a client information card and given you permission.

-Valorie Reavis

Valorie Reavis is an online and social media marketing guru with Linkup Marketing focusing on search engine marketing, salon email marketing programs and social media marketing for salons and spas. If you have any queries for Valorie, email her at [email protected].

Related: Top 5 Questions about Facebook  | Facebook Identity Crisis  |  Get Started with Email Marketing  |  Reaching Consumers Using Local Search Engines  |  Strategic Positioning of Keywords for Salons and Spas  |  Online Marketing Tips for Salons & Spas  |  Give Your Salon Website a Soul


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