Producing successful email newsletters takes time and effort. There’s no doubt about it! However, when done right, they can create a familiarity with your customers and earn a confidence that all other forms of marketing simply cannot. To help produce effective newsletters for your salon, follow these simple steps to make the most out of this unique marketing opportunity.
Ditch the Pitch
Newsletters are not the place to try to blatantly sell anything to your clients. They are meant to inform and engage, nothing more. If you use them to try and sell your services or products, you’ll lose credibility with your readers and they will be far less likely to open future email newsletters from you. Know and respect the difference between an e-blast or email blast, which is an advertisement sent by email, and an email newsletter, an electronic communication designed to inform and inspire.
Be Informative Yet Personable
Keep in mind the unique nature of the beauty industry and the closeness most clients feel toward their stylists. With that in mind, newsletters from salons are the most effective when they communicate to readers on a personal level. You basically want your clients to think of it as if they were chatting with a friend or receiving personalized advice from a trusted expert.
Content is Key
Naturally you want to include relevant content that your clients would actually want to read. Most want to learn something new, so give them a reason to open the email and to continue reading. Consider providing beauty tips, trends, techniques, tutorials, blog posts, and relevant industry news; announce events, conduct surveys or even state interesting facts or resources your readers may find valuable.
Do Your Research
Before starting any of the articles, decide what you want to write about, do your research, and confirm all facts from credible sources. Use direct quotes whenever possible, citing your sources, and enhance articles with interesting statistics. This will offer useful information for readers and add credibility to articles.
Add Action to Headlines
Find fun ways to introduce each segment of your newsletter using bold headlines. This is a short line of copy that states what the article is about but does it in a way that sparks interest. To create appeal, use action verbs whenever possible. Here are a few examples:
How to Enhance Your Natural Curls
Trendy Style Techniques that Save You Time
Salon Z Launches its Own Line of Products
The style of writing for newsletters varies depending on the industry. In a technical field, for example, a straight forward journalistic approach is best, as it suits the reader. For beauty-related newsletters, the tone of an article is usually best when it’s casual or even conversational, so the reader feels that you are communicating directly with them.
Regardless of writing style, use simple language without overly flowery statements or sales jargon. A well-written newsletter article will tend be short and concise, and will address the six points of news writing, which include defining the who, what, when, where, how, and why of the story. These questions should be answered in the opening with all other points explained in subsequent paragraphs.
As far as article length and structure, it’s always best to be brief. Use bullet points and lists whenever possible, create short sentences, and a lot of smaller paragraphs, as most people lose interest when faced with large blocks of copy. If you have a lot of information, give a summarized version and then add a link to where the reader can continue the story or find more information about the topic. This is especially effective when trying to direct your clients to your website or blog.
Add photos that will enhance your articles and help bring the overall layout to life visually. Try to use unique images that help brand the salon or spa. It’s best to use your own photos or ones for which you have permission to reproduce. If using supplied imagery, just remember to ask for permission from the photographer and anyone featured in the image. Also, offering a photo credit is always a good idea, regardless.
Call to Action
After each segment or article, include a clear and concise call-to-action so your readers know how to find more information on each topic. A link with a button that states, Learn More, Watch Video, Continue Reading, all offer a great call to action. If the reader is interested in finding out more information, they’ll click on the link.
Subject of Interest
In addition to including compelling content with action-oriented headlines, make sure that you take full advantage of the subject line in your email. If you want your readers to open the email and actually read it, work hard to grab their attention with a fun and eye-catching statement. Avoid bland and overly obvious options like “Summer Newsletter” and go for something catchy such as “Hot Topics, Just For You.” In fact, the catchier and or the more personalized the subject line, the more likely the newsletter will be opened. Also, as many digital marketers can tell you, subject lines that contain numbers, symbols or emojis, tend to grab more attention than those without. Do take that into consideration, just make sure not to over-do it.
Spellcheck is Your Friend
Last but not least, proofread and re-proofread all copy. Nothing will kill the credibility of a newsletter faster than typos, poor grammar and spelling errors. Run spellcheck but also ask others to help proofread before and after you do the layout. And before you push the button to send your newsletter, take one last look while testing all associated links. Once all is good…deploy away!
A few other things to remember:
Be Consistent - If you announce that you will be offering a monthly newsletter, do so. Every month! It may be best to start off smaller and less frequently and then add to the amount of content or publish more frequently once you’ve got a few newsletters under your belt.
Keep a “Clean” List – Keep your email list up to date and always give your clients a way to opt out of receiving newsletters, if they so desire.
Get Help - Using email services or salon management software with an integrated mass email feature is a good idea. They can provide easy-to-use templates with built-in features that will make creating and delivering your newsletter a snap!
Jim Bower is the founder of Floydware, LLC and Rosy Salon Software. He is a former salon and spa owner with over 30 years of experience in the industry.