For many salons, neighbors are an obviously desirable target market for client prospects. Identifying and marketing to this demographic via email or direct mail can be challenging, but a new technology tool is helping on Charlotte-area salon do just that--and the marketing ROI has never been better.
Ideal Demographic: New to the Area
While longtime residents may be taken by the competition, what about people who are just moving into the area? These newbies sit in the real bullseye of this target market.
Located in the walkable Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina, Sean Rocco Salon is surrounded by restaurants, parks, historic buildings, and restored residences. Dilworth attracts interesting people—just the type of guest Sean Rocco owners Sean Duncan and Mark LaRocco aimed to attract ever since they opened their doors in 2015. And these potential clients are easy to locate—they live right around the corner.
“Today, we find people are more inclined to visit businesses in their local community,” says Duncan, who shared the idea in his SALON TODAY 200 application. “They want to ‘shop local, support local.’” In the reshuffle and surge in population in midsized cities like Charlotte that followed the Covid lockdown, Duncan and LaRocco decided to really roll out the welcome mat for new residents and try to reach them before other salons even figured out they’d arrived.
Retro Appeal with Direct Mail
When the salon launched and wanted to stand out amid all the marketing noise coming at new residents, Duncan and LaRocco looked back to traditional marketing. For this crowd, maybe a direct mail campaign would work. Like all business owners, they wanted the biggest bang for their buck—the highest return on investment (ROI) they could get.
“Internet and social media have been such a dominating marketing tactic for everyone,” Duncan says. “So at first we were unsure about direct mail, but we created a campaign seven years ago and have made revisions over the years.”
Leveraging Technology to Identify Demographic
The difference now is that the owners found a tech tool, Data Axle, to help spot the most likely prospects. While Data Axle provides data to apply to both email and direct mail, the Sean Rocco Salon owners focused on direct mail.
“Data Axle provides us audience information based on a selection of different factors, allowing us to pinpoint a specific audience,” Duncan explains. “Of those factors, the two we rely on most are 1) new movers and 2) living within proximity to our salon and zip codes. We use the list of new movers in the surrounding zip codes Data Axle provides in hopes these residents will find their new salon home with us first.”
Duncan and LaRocco have been impressed with the results. Reports Duncan, “Data Axle has been the most successful ROI marketing we’ve tried.”
Warm Invitation Loaded with Info
With the plan in place, the owners still had to create the post-pandemic direct mail piece. Going classic and classy, the owners created a warm invitation to visit the salon. Involving their whole team in the development of the piece, they made the invitation relevant to today’s world by mentioning social channels.
The invitation included:
- client incentives
- information about the salon company
- the salon's Instagram handle
- and it's website address, so the audience could do their own research
Duncan explains: “We were able to put something highly responsive in people’s hands so they would actually open their mail and be excited.”
Because the invitation references digital connections, the old and new become synergistic. Says Duncan, “The direct mailer encourages traffic to our website and social platforms, helping to increase ratings with search engines. It all works together.”
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