E-mail marketing is one of the most important ways to communicate with clients. It’s easy and cheap for the salon and research shows clients prefer it, says Valorie Reavis, online and social media marketing specialist for Linkup Marketing. It helps manage clients’ appointment schedules with confirmations while it builds awareness and drives new business with special offers and newsletters. But even though everyone knows this and all are nodding their heads as they read, it’s still too awkward for many to ask for an e-mail address.

“You can’t have a successful e-mail program without a healthy database of e-mail addresses and you can’t have a database if you don’t ask for e-mail addresses,” says Reavis. “However, you’ll be happy to know that it doesn’t need a hard sell.”

Build a Routine

The best way to build up a database of e-mails is to be consistent in your approach. Ask each client for his or her e-mail address and make sure to ask them at the same time every time. This becomes part of a script for you and helps you to broach the subject. 

Client Information Cards

Your first visit with a client should always begin with a client information card where you ask them for some contact details, including their e-mail address and key information that helps you market to them like age, birthday and occupation.

Be Up-Front and Honest

Have a privacy policy for your e-mail program and ensure that you mention it every time you ask for their e-mail address. If you have it online, make sure to have a link to this policy and assure them that you will never abuse or share their information.

Alongside that disclaimer should be a note about what they would be receiving from you in their inbox. Mention how often you’ll be sending it and what you’ll be sending, then make sure that you don’t deviate from this plan without their permission.

Ask Permission

It could sound really appealing to just buy a list and start e-mailing them, but it’s not a method that’s advisable for a long-term program. Sure, you can go ahead and send an e-mail trying to get them to come in and see you as you build your column, but don’t blend them with your e-mail clients that have given you permission to e-mail them and are expecting your e-mails.

Be Reassuring

Sometimes clients don’t want to give their address and it’s worth telling them verbally what you want it for and that you won’t abuse it. Typically clients want to receive e-mails about gifts and special access to promotions, but if they are insistent that they don’t want to be on your list, then respect their wishes and allow them to pay full price on special deals.

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