Email marketing is an essential tool for salons, spas and clinics to connect with clients, encourage bookings, and communicate what sets your business apart from your competitors. But miss the mark and you could inspire your contacts to hit the unsubscribe button instead.
A great email should get your recipient interested enough to open it, and engaged enough to take action – whether that’s to click-through to buy your product, book an appointment or find out more.
But how do you accomplish that? What do you need to do to make sure the emails you’re sending are the best they can be, and inspire your recipients to take action?
To answer this, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most important things you need to do to ensure every email you send your clients is a successful one.
Not only will these 10 key elements of successful emails deliver the right message at the right time, but they’ll also deliver the results you’re hoping for.
1. Choose your audience
Before you start writing an email, consider who should receive it. Remember not everyone in your database should receive every email you send. People respond more favorably to emails that are personalised and cater to their individual needs and interests.
For example, if you’re launching a new product line for your male clients, create a list of your male clients and send an email that’s targeted specifically for them.
Or, if you want to re-engage lost clients, generate a list of clients who haven’t visited in more than eight weeks with an offer that entices them to come back.
2. The subject line
Successful emails start with a great subject line – it’s the first thing your clients will see. In fact, 47% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone!
That means if the subject of your email doesn’t grab their attention and give them a good reason to open your email, they’re more likely to click the delete button than to actually open it.
According to research by Campaign Monitor, the perfect length of an email subject line is around 40 characters (including spaces), and subject lines with 16 characters or less get significantly higher open rates.
That’s not a lot of characters to work with, so you’ll need to be concise, creative and get right to the point.
Your subject line needs to make it clear what your email is about. Tricking your readers with ‘click bait’ subject lines that don’t match the content of the actual email could result in losing the trust of your recipient and they may not open emails from you in the future.
So, how do you write a great subject line?
Grab the attention of your contact by focusing on the most exciting part of your email, such as introducing a new product, offer or giveaway.
Use personal pronouns like ‘you’ and ‘your’, or personalise it further by using their name to grab their attention by addressing them directly.
Emojis can also help emails stand out in your clients full inboxes, but use these sparingly.
Where relevant, create a sense of urgency by letting clients know they could miss out if they don’t act soon, for example: “Don’t miss out – Book for Christmas”.
3. The preview text
The preview text of an email, also known as the preheader text, is the summary text that appears directly after the subject line in the inbox. This text should work with your subject line to add context and make your email more appealing.
For example, with the subject line “Don’t miss out – Book for Christmas”, appropriate preview text could be “It’s the most wonderful time of year to treat your hair.”
Your email preview text should be between 30-100 characters long. This range ensures your preview text will appear in both desktop and mobile email inboxes, such as Gmail, Outlook, and so forth.
The amount of text the recipient sees will depend on which email provider they’re using, and also whether they’re viewing the email on desktop or mobile. Mobile will show much less text than desktop, so be sure to keep this in mind when writing your preview text.
If you don’t want part of your preview text to be cut off, keep it as short as possible. When crafting an email using email marketing software like MailChimp, you’ll be able to preview your subject line and preview text before sending the email so you can see how it may be displayed in contact inboxes.
4. The greeting
Your email has been opened by your contact – great work! Now it’s time to ensure your recipient keeps reading, and this starts with your greeting.
Think about your relationship with your clients as well as your business’s personality and brand. How formal do you need to be when addressing your clients? Is “Dear” appropriate, or are more relaxed greetings like ‘Hi’ or even ‘Hey’ more in line with your brand?
When using a greeting in your email, make sure you always use your contact’s name. Most email marketing tools have the functionality to insert recipients’ names from your contact list, so you can automate the personalisation of your emails.
5. The content
After your greeting, it’s time to say what you want to say. Great email content is all about getting your audience to understand why you’re emailing them and what your message is as quickly and concisely as possible, and inspires them to take the desired action.
The most important thing to remember when writing your content is who you’re writing to. Think about your intended audience and choose the right tone of voice and value proposition for them.
For example, the tone of voice you use in an email promoting your edgy new product line targeted at women in their 20s is going to be different than the tone you use when promoting a new Tuesday morning special for seniors.
Keep your content short and sharp by only including the information that’s absolutely required, and keep your sentences concise and to the point. Ask yourself “is this really necessary?” to test whether you’ve achieved this.
By keeping your content clear, relevant, and respecting your contacts’ time by getting right to the point, your recipients are more likely to read your emails and take action. They’re also less likely to hit the unsubscribe button, too.
6. The call-to-action
For your email to be a success, it should have one very clear call to action. A call to action (CTA) is the one action you want your recipients to take once they’ve read your email.
Your content should be written with this goal in mind by outlining the key benefits for the recipient, which is reinforced with a clear instruction directing them to take action. The clearest way to do this is with a button.
Use your brand colours to help your button stand out from the rest of your email, and choose your words carefully. Use action focused language, like ‘book now’ and ‘buy now’, and use words that evoke emotion or enthusiasm, while making it clear what the benefit of taking the action is.
For example: “Tell us what you think” might encourage more people to take your survey than “Take our survey”, while “Book now for 20% off” may inspire action more than “Make a booking”.
7. The email design
Once you know what your email is going to say, it’s time to design your email template. Ensuring your email is visually appealing is a key component of a great email, and it’s also an important part of your branding.
That means your emails need to have a templated design that’s on-brand and consistent, but with the freedom to tailor it each time with different imagery. This will also save you time creating future emails.
Images can make your email more visually engaging, but too many can overwhelm readers. A good way to overcome this issue is to use images that contribute to the message itself, and to keep it simple.
When it comes to email marketing, white space is actually a good thing. Effectively using white space can help to draw attention to the most important parts of your email, like your key message and CTA.
The idea here is to carefully use text, headings, colour and imagery in a way that ensures there’s plenty of clean white space surrounding those elements. This makes it easier for readers’ eyes to take in the email and focus on what’s important.
8. The final review
Before you hit send, take some time to review your email. Every email you send represents your business, so use it as an opportunity to put out your best foot forward by ensuring it’s on-brand and of the highest possible quality.
Check the subject line, preview text and body content carefully for spelling, grammar and punctuation, and make sure you get another pair of eyes to look over it for you to spot any mistakes.
Your email should be engaging, flow nicely, have a clear call to action and match the expectations and needs of the audience it’s intended for. Once you’re 100% happy with your email, you’re almost ready to hit send!
9. The timing
Sending your email at the right time is an important aspect to consider, as this will affect its success. There’s no magic time to send emails as it will vary depending on the content and the audience, but there are a few things you can do to help get your timing right.
When choosing the right time to send your email, think about your audience and the action you want them to take, and what time of day would make them more likely to see, open and take the desired action of your email.
For example, if the majority of your client base are professionals, it may be best to email them just after 5.00pm when they’re on their way home from work and checking their personal emails.
Some email marketing tools, such as MailChimp, can help you choose the right time by looking at your client list and determining the best time for them to receive your message.
10. The testing
Congratulations – you’ve written and sent a great email! That isn’t the end of it, though.
If you want your future email marketing campaigns to be successful, it’s important to analyse the performance of your email and consider how you could make your next campaign better than the last.
Key success metrics for email marketing for salons, spas and clinics include email open rates, click rates and conversions.
The open rate measures how many people opened your email, click rate is how many people clicked on your call to action, and conversion rate is how many people completed the goal you set for that email, such as making a booking or buying a product.
If your click rate is lower than you would like, think about how you could improve your call to action to make people more likely to click on it. If your open rate is low, make sure you work on your subject like and preview text, or try sending your next email at a different time of day.
Most email marketing platforms and tools have A/B testing functionality, which allows you to test the same email with one change (such as a different subject line) without having to send a new campaign. This will then pick a winner that gets the best results.
When done right, email marketing for your salon or spa can help you to fill your appointment book, sell more products, increase customer loyalty and inspire lost clients to return. But miss the mark and you could risk annoying your clients or even damaging your brand’s trust and reputation.
To make sure your emails hit the right spot with your contacts, always consider the top 10 elements of successful emails covered in this article. Think about your audience, subject line, preview text, greeting, content, call to action, design, review and testing, and you’ll reap the benefits of great email marketing success!
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 17 Sep 2018 and has been completely revamped for accuracy and comprehensiveness.