For salons, driving continuous new business is crucial for their growth. As a salon owner, you must have an inbound marketing funnel to build brand awareness, capture new audiences, build credibility for your salon, and bring in higher booking for your salon business.
If you haven’t set up a marketing strategy for your salon business, we’ll help you set it up with just 7 steps. This strategy will make it easier to direct potential customers through an inbound marketing funnel and get you more bookings for your salon business. Once set up, you need to optimize your activities and campaigns continuously to improve your performance.
Step 1: Build brand visibility on search engines
To start with, you need to ensure that people looking for services like yours can easily find your salon online. Optimize your Google listing, updating details like your website, open hours, description, etc. Respond to common questions asked within your listing to help people make an informed decision about booking an appointment with you.
You can also update your website, using local keywords within your description and your on-site content to attract searchers within your area. Local keywords are keywords that people may use to search for location-specific services. For instance, if you are a salon in Queens, you can use keywords like “best salon in Queens” or “hair services in Queens” to rank higher for local searches.
Your searchers should be able to reach out to you through your Google listing. Make yourself accessible by adding your business phone number. This way, potential clients can instantly call and book an appointment. If you have a booking engine online, add descriptions about your services to help the page rank on search.
Step 2: Reach audiences offline
Besides optimizing for search, you can also attract potential customers through offline marketing activities. You can build awareness by broadcasting your services through flyers—partner with local cafes and events to put your flyer up within their venue.
Besides on-ground marketing, you can also build buzz around your salon by getting mentioned within local magazines, newspapers, and websites. Build a relationship with individuals working in magazines and newspapers that are popular in your area. You can then inform them about any offers you are running within your salon so that your business gets featured within their publication. You can also contribute to their publication, write and publish articles about hair or skincare, and share tips relevant to audiences within that region. This way, you can build credibility for your salon through these well-established traditional marketing channels.
When promoting your salon through flyers and publications, you can choose to promote event-based offers, such as a couple’s special package for Valentine’s Day or a Christmas-themed package in December. In fact, seasonal promotions and discounts can improve product sales by 15%, and by not setting up such themed discounts, you miss out on generating more revenue for your salon.
Step 3: Build credibility through reviews
Besides promoting your salon, you also need to assure potential customers that you are trustable. People are very sceptical of new salons and take their time going through reviews and asking around about specific salons before they book an appointment.
You can build credibility for your salon and make it easier for a potential customer to trust your business by collating reviews from past customers. Reach out to your past customers via email, asking them to leave reviews on your Google listing or even share pictures on social media. You can offer these customers a discount for their next time to your salon if they leave a review on your listing.
You can also set up a process to ask customers to review your salon after their appointment while paying for their session. This way, you can seamlessly integrate an important task within the customer experience and build your credibility without setting up marketing messages.
It’s also important for you to engage with customers who leave negative feedback on your listings. A robust review management software will enable you to generate, showcase, and moderate reviews and promptly manage responses to all reviews, both positive and negative.
Prospective customers like to work with businesses that demonstrate their willingness to engage with unhappy clients.
Step 4: Attract new clients through social media and third-parties
It’s important to show how good you are at what you do. Many salons set up a social media profile to showcase their authority within the field, sharing beauty and hair care tips and sharing valuable content with potential customers. While sharing on social media, you can use relevant local hashtags and location tags to catch the attention of potential clients in your area.
Another way to attract new clients is by sharing how your own customers have transformed in your salon. You can show before and after images of a customer who got their hair cut or colored and even showcase bridal pictures of a client who visited your salon. These pictures are more authentic and display your talent and expertise as a beautician.
You must, however, know that what works for one business or industry may not necessarily work for you. Track the performance of your social media posts to see what gets higher engagement and inbound bookings, and try to create more of the same.
Diversifying your channels is another way to reach new clients. Set up coupons on third-party sites like Yelp and Groupon. This way, shoppers who are already looking for beauty services at a deal will see your offer, building awareness for your salon and driving discount-motivated clients to your salon.
Step 5: Simplify the task of booking an appointment
A potential customer may be aware of your offers, but without a convenient system in place, they may not want to book an appointment at your salon. You need to make it as easy as possible for clients to book an appointment.
To start with, you can provide multiple options to book— allowing them to call into your salon to book or using a booking system to set up an appointment themselves.
If you are a sole operator who may not be able to pick up phone calls during work hours, you can also sign up for a business phone service that lets customers interact with an IVR system (Interactive-Voice-Response system) and make the booking.
An online booking system allows customers to book at any time of the day and removes the friction of having to pick up the phone and have a conversation. Instead, within 2 minutes, customers can choose when they want their appointment and what their booking is for.
Intelligent online booking systems like SimplyBook allow salons to set up a booking engine, accept bookings online, enable payment pre-session, set up automated notifications, and make appointment management a breeze.
Step 6: Run ads to re-engage visitors who abandon mid-browse
Once you’ve optimized your website for search and set up a well-written Google listing, you may notice that you have high traffic but not enough conversions. This would be because people are interested in your services but abandon their interest mid-browse. So, they may intend to book a session but might be distracted or still not sure they want one.
With the right tools in place, it’s easy to re-engage these potential customers and bring them back to book an appointment. Set up paid ads through Google and Facebook and target people who visited your website but didn’t book a session.
Google and Facebook’s ad creation tools allow you to select past visitors. You can then craft an ad that reminds visitors why your salon is worth looking at. You can even add images of your customers to boost your trust and include a discount within the ad if they book a session within a specific number of days.
If you have the budget to spare, also consider hiring someone to build a chatbot for Facebook. It lets your customers directly ‘chat’ with your business and book an appointment, all from within the Facebook platform.
This way, you can successfully bring these potential customers back and nudge them to book a session at your salon.
If you haven’t checked it already, look into native advertising as another channel to advertise your business. Unlike Google and Facebook, these native ad platforms let you run ‘advertorials’ – these are advertisements that run in ‘news format and have a much higher rate of website visitors converting to customers. Use a service like Upwork or Freelancer to hire a copywriter who can draft the advertorial for you.
Step 7: Build a relationship with past customers through newsletters
You’ve set up a complete marketing funnel to capture new audiences, prove your credibility, and get them to book sessions, but your work isn’t done yet! You need to be able to engage with past customers and build a relationship with them. By setting up communication to keep your past customers in the loop, you can turn them into loyal clients and make them eager to hear from you.
You can set up a weekly or fortnightly newsletter using a tool like MailChimp or Constant Contact, sharing news about the salon, offers you’re running in the coming weeks, and even tips for hair and beauty care. Such engaging emails will make the client invested in your salon, especially since you’ll deliver helpful and value-adding content within these newsletters.
Another way to re-engage past customers is by setting up an automated email to be sent 60 to 90 days after your client’s session, reminding them to rebook an appointment at your salon. This timely reminder will get them to book an appointment just in time for their hair touch-up, waxing, or other such beauty services.
Set up an inbound marketing funnel for your salon to attract more business!
An inbound marketing funnel is crucial to building brand awareness for your salon business and successfully attracting and converting interested searchers into customers.
We hope this guide helps you understand how you can set up a seamless marketing funnel to capture new clients with ease. After setting up a process for your inbound marketing, ensure that you constantly monitor its performance using Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and the in-built analytics within your marketing apps. You can then use these insights to optimize your existing strategy and continuously capture and convert new leads into your salon business customers.