One of the first pieces of advice a marketing professional will give you is to "be where your customers are." This makes sense for sporting goods companies, who can sponsor marathon races, or for coffee brands, who can set up pop-ups on college campuses. In our industry though, there is no single place where we can physically market to our customers. This is why we have to connect with them where 95% of Americans spend their time: on their mobile phones.
If you rent a booth, own a shop, or manage a chain of spas, you're probably already doing some kind of digital marketing. Maybe you're making social media posts or sending email reminders about appointments. These are great ways to connect with your customers, but only scratch the surface of engaging with your clients. This is where text-message marketing, also referred to as SMS (short message service), comes in.
SMS starts with an opt-in: your customers MUST sign-up to receive text message updates from your business in order to send them. This is non-negotiable and is key to why SMS tends to work so well. Usually, they subscribe by texting a code to a specialized number that has been created to manage your text-message marketing (all of this will be managed through a platform you pay for.) Once subscribed, you can send messages that meet your client's needs. Some ways you can use SMS include: sending mobile coupons, advertising monthly specials, and sending appointment reminders. You can even create unique codes to solve some of your salon pain points, like slow days, by creating campaigns that fill in holes in your appointment book.
The cost of SMS can range anywhere from a few cents per message to one payment for a bulk message flat-rate plan. Considering that 97% of marketing texts are read, this is a great return on your investment, especially if you have a small marketing budget. Pricing, of course, also depends on whether or not you want help creating campaign ideas or getting expert consulting. There are plenty of companies that can help you get started with SMS and some even specialize in Salon and Spa marketing, all at different price points. Make sure you shop around before picking the one that fits your needs best.
If there's one new marketing tactic you try this year, let it be SMS. Easy, relatively inexpensive, and highly engaging, it's a great fit for beauty professionals who want to refresh their marketing plan.
Photo: Josep Suria
Breaking It Down
Text message marketing is just one way to catch the attention of your customers. Try out these online tools to learn other marketing skills:
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Michelle Campbell is the Content Marketing Specialist for MiladyPro.
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