Why Email Beats Social Media for Salons & Spas

Greg here, 
If you’re reading this, chances are you found it because you got an email from me, and clicked on the link in that email. 
And that’s because…after years and years of ever-increasing social media – email is still by far the most powerful form of digital marketing you can do!
People value their email inbox a lot more than they value their Facebook or Twitter inbox. Why? Because email is personal, and it is bound to remain that way. 
Still, there are many small business owners who find email marketing to be an outdated or an old-fashioned method. 
Social media is the new cool kid on the block and it is hogging all the attention. 
Which makes traditional email feel like the medium with smaller reach. 
But I’ve been doing a lot of research. Social media has not dethroned email. Not at all. 
While social media marketing has its own place, it is yet to catch up with email in terms of marketing power. It has a long way to go. 
Every major social network knows this and understand the importance of 
email. Donʼt take my word, try signing up with Facebook or Twitter without an email address. You canʼt. 
Because even social media sites know the importance of email. 

Seven years ago, Wales-based jeans company Hiut Denim was on the brink of collapse. 

Co-founder David Hieatt got the idea to start a thoughtful email newsletter full of content people would like whether they were buying his jeans or not.

Today, these emails include tastefully curated roundups of the articles, videos, products and quotations that Hiut employees found fascinating that week, and his email campaign has become incredibly successful, creating a loyal band of followers…and buyers. 

“If you ask me, would I want a mailing list with 1,000 people on it or 100,000 followers on Twitter, I’d take the 1,000 emails all day long, because the business you get from 1,000 emails will be much more than you get from 100,000 people on Twitter or Instagram,” says Mr. Hieatt. 
 According to a study by the Direct Marketing Association in the US, email marketing can give your business a whopping 4,300% return on investment. 
Thatʼs a number that social media marketing hasnʼt even come close to. 
Still not convinced? Here are some stats to turn you into an “email believer”: 
More than 65% of  US. Internet users (online consumers) have bought something after receiving promotional emails. 
A staggering 91% of online consumers visit their email inbox daily. 72% of purchases made via mobile were motivated by marketing emails. 
When compared to popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, email marketing campaigns yield a 50-100 higher click through rate. 
47% of Internet consumers prefer being communicated about products/services via email.
As my colleague, friend and mentor George Slater has been nagging for years: 
“The real money is in your list. Your list of customers, clients and prospects. Because you have their contact details, you can communicate with them directly, over and over again.” 
Here’s something that few small business owners ‘get’: 
You don’t have control over how you communicate with your followers and fans on social media. 
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have that control. Not you. 
A targeted list of email subscribers who have given you permission to email them is often seen as huge asset. 
Because these subscribers know you and trust you, which makes them qualified leads that you can convert. Right from getting repeat traffic to repeat sales, marketing suddenly is a lot easier with a quality email list. 
How well you monetize your email list and drive revenue from it depends on how you well you manage your subscribers. 
The relationship you share with them matters to a great extent. Which means building a quality, responsive email list can be challenging if youʼre not careful about developing and maintaining your list with care.
Hereʼs Why Email List Building is Important for Your Small Business 
Your website may already be getting consistent traffic that you work on converting into clients or customers. 
You may already have an audience that is familiar with your brand and products. 
This current audience of yours may comprise of potential customers, new customers and as well as the ones who have bought from you before. 
They could be at any stage of the buying cycle. However, if they donʼt have a way to maintain their relationship with your business, you may not be getting the most out of your customer base. 
When you give your prospects and customers a way to stay connected to you through a medium like email, you have the opportunity to give them value, build a relationship and take your business to the next level. 
You Cannot Solely Depend on Social Media 
You donʼt control your Facebook page or your Twitter followers the way you control your email list. 
At the end of the day, you are at the peril of the social media network youʼre on. Do you have access to the contact info of your fans/followers? Of course not. 
Which means, regardless of how big your followership is on social media, you donʼt own it. 
In the earlier days, you could reach out to almost all of your fans on Facebook with a simple post. However, with time, the organic reach on Facebook has dwindled. 
Today, you can only reach out to a very small percentage of your fanbase, unless you are willing to shell out advertising dollars. Even though you put in the effort to grow your list of social media followers, you are restricted unless you pay to play. 
Coming to your email list, thereʼs nothing like it. Because your list is yours in the truest sense of the word. Youʼre free to contact your subscribers at any time. The only expense you face is the cost of sending out your emails. 
But HOW do you build your email list? 
Well, the easiest way is with a lead magnet. 
 
At Worldwide Salon Marketing, we build, optimize and maintain hundreds of websites for salons & spas all over the world. (We’re currently in the process building sites for salons in Michigan, the United Kingdom, Melbourne, New Zealand and others.) 
And on ALL of these sites, we install some kind of lead magnet that encourages visitors to hand over their name and contact details in exchange for some kind of free gift. 
And the easiest free gift any salon or spa can offer for first-time visitors is a Gift Voucher. 
Take a look at this one, on a site we built for Allura Hair Boutique in Berwick, a suburb of Melbourne. 
See that easy and neat technique, right on their home page? 
In the last 12 months alone, more than 1,000 prospective clients have filled in that form. 
Those details go straight into the salon’s email list. 
And the salon has turned more than three hundred of them into regular clients!
Your subscribers will be happy to hear from you, given that you are delivering value-oriented information to them.
They wonʼt mind learning from you, buying your products or taking up any relevant offers, because they have given you explicit permission to contact them.
Last but not the least, your social media message may not reach each of your fans. But with email, thatʼs simply not the case.
You can rest assured that your email message is being seen by your target audience. Because youʼre connecting with them in their inbox, their most guarded place on the web.
Email list building can change the way you do business. With access to a responsive email list, you can experience increased sales, better feedback, and freedom from spending big money on advertising.
Is YOUR website set up to give you the best chance of capturing leads? 
Enter your website address into our free analyzer tool and see what it discovers…
[Video] Advertising on Google & Facebook – The Dumb Way, and the Smart Way

[Video] Advertising on Google & Facebook – The Dumb Way, and the Smart Way

You can flush a LOT of money down the toilet doing paid advertising on Facebook and Google, if you don’t know what you’re doing.

And one of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is throwing money at a digital marketing campaign, without thinking through the process from end to end.

And by that, I mean clicking on your own ads and seeing what happens from the prospective customer’s point of view.

Google and Facebook are the biggest publishers in the world. They make ALL their money from advertising, so advertising DOES work, obviously, otherwise…why would anybody be constantly spending money on it? 

In this video, some basic ‘sales thinking’ before you spend a dollar on any digital marketing: 

 

Makes sense, right?

Call me or one of my specialist digital marketing team members if you’d like any kind of one-on-one help so you don’t throw money down the advertising toilet:

+61894439327

And here’s a freebie for you: complete the form below for a FREE (Value $245) comprehensive Website Health Check of your own online presence…

Things you didn’t know about salon price lists…

Things you didn’t know about salon price lists…

burger1 In my morning newspaper today, a story that precisely illustrates and emphasizes this essay on pricing strategy I blogged about earlier this year. The story is about an Australian chef working at a restaurant in London who’s created a waygu beef burger with a sticker price of more than two thousand dollars. Now, if your immediate reaction is “that’s ridiculous, nobody’s going to pay $2,000 for a burger!” you’d be absolutely right.

And you’d be absolutely missing the point.

The chef, Chris Large, of Honky Tonk restaurant in up-market Chelsea, created the burger – with gold-coated buns, lobster and black truffle brie – with no intention of actually selling it.

In fact, the story quotes him as saying “…although I don’t excpect we’ll be selling many at that price…” The entire purpose of a burger for the price of a small second-hand car is not to sell it. Its ONLY reason for existence is to get free marketing exposure, and make everything else on the menu look cheap by comparison.

On both counts, Mr Large’s creation has over-achieved. In the past few days alone, his gold-plated burger has received massive publicity in print and online, all over the world. As I wrote (below) back in July, ANY salon or spa can – and should – find ways to exploit this strategy. But very few owners bother to even try. Nevertheless, here’s the rest of the essay I wrote earlier. (And from the comments posted below, it clearly struck a chord.)

diners

I’m a well-known thief, and a lazy one at that.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked at what’s working in one industry or company, swiped it, and put it to use in another industry or company. It’s productive laziness and larceny though, and I teach it to our Member salons & spas because it saves a whole lot of time compared to the energy, money and intellectual property required to re-invent the wheel.

Here’s a prime example:

Recently I came across a report in Business Insider based on research by the Cornell University of School of Hotel Administration on all the sneaky tricks restaurants use to get you to spend more money. And I instantly thought, ‘well, what if we applied exactly the same thinking to salons & spas?’

So here are some of the key points of this research, and my ‘swipe and implement’ thoughts on how to use the strategies behind it in a salon.

Get rid of dollar signs...they scare people.

Get rid of dollar signs…they scare people.

1) Clever restaurants don’t use dollar signs! (Next time you dine at an upmarket eatery, check that little gem out.) According to the report, a dollar sign is one of the top things restaurants should avoid including on a menu, because it immediately reminds the customers that they’re spending money. Cornell’s research showed that guests given a menu without dollars signs spent significantly more than those who received a menu with them. Even if prices were written out, eg “Ten dollars” – as though it signified a more upper-class diner – it bit them on the backside because guests still spent less money, triggered by negative feelings associated with paying.

My take: same applies in a salon. Get rid of the dollar signs. Do you really think that putting ’89’ against a service, rather than ‘$89’, is going to confuse your customers?

2) Restaurants are tricky with their numbers: Menu designers recognise that prices that end in 9, such as $9.99, tend to signify value, but not quality. In addition, prices that end in .95 instead of .99 are more effective, because they feel “friendlier” to customers. Most restaurants just leave the price without any cents at all, because it makes their menu cleaner, simpler, and to the point.

My take: simple. Just steal the concept and apply it to your price list.

3) Restaurants use extremely descriptive language. Research from Cornell University revealed that items described in a more beautiful way are more appealing to and popular with customers. According to further research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, descriptive menu labels raised sales by 27%, compared to food items without descriptors.

Menu Engineer Greg Rapp (yep, there is such a thing as a ‘menu engineer’) poses an example of Maryland Style Crab Cakes. They are described as “made by hand, with sweet jumbo crab meat, a touch of mayonnaise, our secret blend of seasonings, and golden cracker crumbs for a rich, tender crab cake.” This brings the ultimate sensory experience to the reader, and the descriptive labelling will make customers more likely to be satisfied at the end of the meal.

Interestingly, brand names in menu descriptions also help sales, which is why chain restaurants such as T.G.I. Friday’s use Jack Daniel’s sauce or Minute Maid orange juice on their menus. The more adjectives, the better.

My take: Day spas are often pretty good at using descriptive language. Hair salons and beauty salons, not so much. Try this – take a look at a typical service in your salon, say “Cut n Colour”. Now, 99% of salons do nothing more than list “Cut ‘n Colour” and a price, or price levels based on length of hair. But what actually happens during a cut and colour? The more effort you take to describe in detail the process of performing a cut and colour, the easier it’ll be to sell, at a higher price.

There is magic in the detail.

4. Restaurants use expensive items to draw you to the cheaper items. According to Rapp, restaurants use extremely expensive foods as decoys. “You probably won’t buy it, but you’ll find something a little cheaper and it will look more reasonable,” he says.

According to William Poundstone, author of “Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It),” in a New York Magazine interview, “The main role of that $115 platter — the only three-digit thing on the menu — is to make everything else near it look like a relative bargain.”

My take: this is an absolute steal for any salon or spa. For years I’ve been showing how salons can ‘bundle’ or ‘package’ services and products in such a way that there’s always one ‘hero’ service, one so expensive, so luxurious as to almost ensure that nobody ever buys it.

You don’t actually want them to. It’s purpose as an ‘anchor’ service is to make everything else on the menu, no matter what it costs, look relatively cheap.

5. They offer foods in two portion sizes. This strategy is called bracketing. The customer has no idea how much smaller the small portion is, so they assume it’s the best value price because it costs less. What they don’t realise is that the restaurant wanted to sell the smaller portion at the lower price all along, and simply used the bigger portion with the higher price as comparison.

My take: similar to ‘anchor’ packages. Except you can repeat this all the way through your menu of services. A 90-minute facial for $120, and alongside it, the facial you really want to sell, 60 minutes for $89. Far more profitable.

6. Restaurant engineers analyse your reading patterns. Restaurants consider scanpaths, which are a series of eye fixations that can be studied to see how people read certain things.

According to a Korean research study, a third of participants are likely to order the first item to which their attention is drawn. As a result, restaurants will put the most profitable items in the upper right hand corner, because it is where peoples’ eyes go first.

My take: you can do this research yourself. Show a few clients your standard, garden-variety price list and ask them to pick their preferred service. Then show them your ‘psychologically refined’ price list, with your most profitable service in the top right hand corner, and see what happens.

10. They limit your choices. Through features such as “try-all” samplers, tapas, or fixed menus, restaurants remove the heavy responsibility people feel when choosing what to eat. It is much more effective for restaurants to limit their selection. Apparently, the optimum number of menu items is six items per category in fast-food restaurants, and seven to ten items per category in fine dining establishments.

My take: salon menus are often far, far too complicated. I saw one recently with no fewer than 104 different service items. Give people too many choices, you’ll confuse them. Confused people don’t buy.

11. They set the mood to spend. According to psychology research from the University of Leicester, playing classical music in restaurants encourages diners to spend more, because it makes them feel more affluent. Meanwhile, less sophisticated pop music caused people to spend 10% less on their meals.

My take: for salons and spas, this is easy to test and measure. Play classical music for two weeks, and play pop music for the next two weeks, even if muted. Keep everything else the same, and measure results.

Trouble Closing Sales?…Try This!

Trouble Closing Sales?…Try This!

Have you ever had that sinking feeling, after you’ve spent time enthusiastically explaining a service or treatment to a client…

…and you stop, and wait, and she says…

“Thanks…I’ll think about it….!”

And that’s where you go “oh, damn, lost that sale…”

You can have the best marketing on the planet – the right offer, the perfect Facebook page, a website that dazzles, a salon that screams quality, happy and accomplished staff…but if you haven’t worked out how to actually get the sale once all that marketing has created an inquiry, it’s all for nought.

The late, great American sales mastermind Ziglar was fond of saying “poor sales people have skinny kids”, and he’s right.

So many of the businesses I consult with have great marketing, but they also have what I call a finely tuned “Sales Prevention Department.”

I bet you’ve heard sales people say it’s all about “handling objections,” right?

John Blake is an accomplished sales trailer of my acquaintance, whose business is helping business owners increase their sales.

This is what John teaches about “handling objections”:

 

 

“For a start, If you are getting objections, especially at the tail end of your sales process, what it means is that something is broken at the start of your sales process and most times, it’s happening way before you get to the end or to the “closing” part of the conversation.

What I find when I work with clients on their sales process is when we fix the front part of their process for handling new enquiries, we rarely if ever get objections at the end.

So what are your options if you haven’t had your sales process optimised and this does happen to you…

1.If it’s a question, you can simply answer it

What can also be really useful is to know in advance how to better answer common questions in a more powerful way. What I normally suggest is a list of frequently asked questions or FAQ’s but also a list of questions that people who are in the market for your product should ask which are called SAQ’s
This will go a long way toward keeping a sale on track.

2. If it’s a mis – understanding, you can dissolve it by simply clarifying the point in question

Often an objection can be dissolved simply by doing this.

3.If it’s a stall or a decision to postpone the decision

What I normally suggest and do myself, is to ask “when would you like to continue the conversation?”
This effectively does two things, it puts the onus back on your prospect and makes it their idea as to when to talk again. And because it’s their idea, when you do contact them again, you are doing so on the date and time that they said.

Never do this:

Where sales people get into trouble is when they try to trick people into buying by using “linguistic binds” that attempt to force someone into a pressured decision. There are sales training programs that teach these things and whilst they may get you some short term sales, long term they end up being toxic to your business

Here’s why

1.Potential clients hate it (and will go tell the world how “pushy” you are)
2.Even if they do become a client they will be the client from hell (I know because yep I’ve tried it)
3.If they do become a client and they actually stay, they will never refer or subject anyone they know to the torturous process they went through with you to become a client.”

Good advice, don’t you think?

If you want to know more of John’s work, check out his website here.

Speaking of websites, is YOURS functioning like the best ‘unpaid salesperson’ it should be? 

If it’s not, we’ve got a FREE tool for you – our brand new Website Analyser – just enter your details below, including your website’s address, and you’ll be send a FREE, 30+ page report that you can send to your website designer and say “fix these please!” 
7 Reasons Your Salon’s Online Marketing Could be Putting Your Business in Danger (PLUS Free Gift Below)

7 Reasons Your Salon’s Online Marketing Could be Putting Your Business in Danger (PLUS Free Gift Below)

Enter your website’s address here to get your FREE, comprehensive (30+ pages) Functionality Report – a $245 value – and find out the key changes that’ll turn your website into a sales and lead-generating machine.

 

It seems to have become fashionable – particularly in the hair & beauty business – for many owners of these businesses to put all their marketing eggs in one basket.

More and more, we’re hearing from salon owners who declare “I just use Facebook,” or “It’s all about Instagram these days.”

And worse, many are either letting their own websites go, or not even bothering to get one built in the first place. This is really, really short-sighted, damaging thinking.

Here’s why: 

  1. Of all the digital media platforms you can use – and the list is a long one, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, Google and a dozen others – your website is the only one you can completely control.
  2. Facebook, Instagram, Google etc – they are all controlled by the companies that own them. They can and do change the rules, often. And they can drop you like a stone, without notice. Your account can be cancelled, your access to it blocked, or the whole platform can go down. If that’s the only media option you have to reach out to your market, you’re toast.
  3. Think all those people who ‘like’ you on Facebook and Instagram are your prospects and customers? No, they’re Facebook’s customers. Only Facebook as direct access to them, only Facebook has their direct contact details.
  4. Your website, on the other hand, is the only digital asset over which you have complete technical and creative control. You alone decide what it looks like, what messages it carries, what functions it performs, when and how it is updated, how many pages it has, how many images it contains, what experience your visitor has, and whether or not you want to link it to other parts of the internet.
  5. Your website is the only digital asset under your control that you can use to generate leads and sales the way you want to, rather than the way Facebook or Instagram or Google wants you to.
  6. Unlike Facebook, Instagram and all the others, your website gets people away from all your competition, to focus on only you and your business. Once they’re looking at your website, they’re not distracted by the next salon’s post on Facebook, or another salon’s tweet or Instagram photo.
  7. On social media platforms and search engines, all businesses look pretty much the same. Thanks to the platforms themselves, it’s very, very difficult to make a stand-out statement when you’re restricted by the necessary guidelines of Facebook or Instagram. (You can’t change Facebook’s layout, or background colors. It’s blue, and always will be.)

People might find your business using a Google search. But they won’t understand what you’re about unless and until they can click through to your website, and see your business the way you want them to see it, not the way Google or Facebook wants them to see it. The very first thing people will do when wanting to find out about your business is look for, and at, your website. Quite simply, if you don’t have one to visit, you are very unlikely to get their business. It’s that simple.

Having your own website is security for your business. Imagine the unthinkable – that one day, through market changes, technical disaster, or legislative changes, suddenly Facebook and Instagram were wiped out, simply disappeared from our screens. Where would that leave you if you had no website, or it wasn’t functioning properly? Dead in the water. 

So yes, it is madness for any small business to be without its own website.

But even if you have a website, is it set up to do its job properly? 

  1. Is it visible – on the first page of Google – when your prospective clients are searching for a hair salon, beauty salon, a massage, a facial, a haircut, in your local area?
  2. Is it easy for people to find your phone number and call you, on their cell phone?
  3. Is your site set up properly to send you free leads? 

HERE’S AN EASY (AND FREE!) WAY TO FIND OUT: 

Enter your website’s address here to get your FREE, comprehensive (30+ pages) Functionality Report – a $245 value – and find out the key changes that’ll turn your website into a sales and lead-generating machine.