KEVIN MOSER HAS OWNED Element Salon in Nashville for seven years and
has built a clientele that draws heavily
from the social elite of the Music City. In
an effort to further connect with clients,
Moser decided to launch an e-newsletter
that emphasizes content over frequency
and has everyone talking:
ST: What was your goal in launching an e-newsletter and what has been the response?
KM: In 2009, I decided to evaluate our salon's digital marketing strategy, and determined that e-mail newsletters would be an excellent way to further connect clients to our brand. We keep it fresh by only sending them out six times a year and view them as a value-added offering to our clients. We use the newsletters in a broader effort to deliver educational information and insights from our staff that clients can use in their daily lives.
Many businesses are jumping exclusively on the social media bandwagon and, although clients like to keep up with us on a social platform, many others would rather hear from us via e-mail. The response from our clients has been great. They love the information, and it's an effective conversation builder. Since we can track responses, we have learned that our open rate exceeds the national average for small business newsletters.
At Element, we are all about delivering services to reinforce the importance of our clients and this just seemed like a natural extension of that.
ST: What type of content do you include in your e-newsletters?
KM: We are very selective about the content that we are delivering to clients. If an e-newsletter is going to be successful it has to have information that clients find interesting and can actually use.
I feel that it is a mistake for salons to use an e-newsletter as a sales or promotional sheet. We are all bombarded with "specials" in our e-mail. We want our clients to look forward to, not dread, receiving another e-letter in their inbox.
We offer educational tips like how to achieve a salon-style blow dry at home or how to tame unruly textures. We highlight our services, including color or smoothing services, with actual before and after shots using clients as models.
We keep clients informed about upcoming educational events like our Spring Beauty Bash or Sexy Summer Hair Style, new hires at the salon and product focuses.
One of the most popular aspects of our e-newsletter, and something that sets us apart, is that we incorporate a lot of Nashville social news. Many of our clients are active on the social scene and our e-newsletter reports where the city's most stylish women- many of whom are Element clients-have been spotted. We reference local Nashville social and lifestyle publications where clients can check out themselves or other clients. Our salon is active in the Nashville community, and Element events, such as our annual Christmas party and our Spring Beauty Bash are often covered in the local media as well as in our e-newsletter. Element stays plugged into the Nashville social scene and this generates a lot of buzz and has clients talking when they come into the salon.
A sample Element newsletter.
ST: Have you seen an increase in business, new clients or retail sales since launching the e-newsletter?
KM: We have been very encouraged by increases in all those areas. In fact, we recently added to our staff and the attention our e-newsletter has generated has translated into additional clients and increased retail sales.
The most important aspect of the e-newsletter is the way it strengthens our relationships with our clients. We already have a very loyal client base and the newsletters really foster increased dialogue. They give us a lot of feedback on what they've read and enjoyed in the newsletter.
ST: What advice do you have for owners who would like to create a digital presence for their salon?
KM: First of all, get some good, outside assistance. A communications professional knows what works, what doesn't and understands the technology and how to access and interpret readership statistics. I establish the topics and content for the e-newsletter, which is then produced by our outside communication consultant, Kelly Motley, who also works with the staff on creating content.
Be very strategic in your choice of information. It must be helpful, informative, entertaining and always reinforce your commitment to your clients.
Number of employees: 8
Years in business: 7
Product lines: Kerastase, L'OrÃ©al Professionnel, Redken, Alfaparf
Most popular service: Hair Color