Salon Software News

Keep up to date on the latest happenings in the worlf of Salon, Spa, Beauty and Tattoo Software.

SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing in Salon Swift

SMS versus post or email

SMS is different from email and post marketing.  It’s considered “instant” as the client will usually receive the message within seconds to minutes.  They also have the ability to act straight away to the marketing as they are using their  phone at that time.

How to increase your chance or response

When using SMS it’s important to try and catch the client’s attention enough that they reply then and there, this is usually done by breaking your marketing message into three parts:

  1. The Offer: An offer strong enough to get their attention.
  2. Offer Timeframe: The offer is usually restricted to a certain timeframe to encourage fast action from the client.
  3. Claim Timeframe: The client must be encouraged to respond immediately whilst you have their attention.  This will also let you know if your campaign was successful or not.

Take this example workflow to determine who we’re going to send the SMS campaign to:

  • All Clients
  • Who have no future appointment
  • Who have had foils
  • Who haven’t been back in the last 3 months
  • Who I haven’t marketed a special to in the last 2 months (important so you don’t spam your clients constantly with offers)

These people are in need of refreshing their colour and they haven’t rebooked.  Based on that information, consider the following SMS campaign:

Dear First_Name, Smith’s Cutting is offering foils at 40% off. Offer only valid this Thursday and Friday. To claim offer you must book by calling 32132123 by 2pm today

Note the important factors:

  • Dear First_Name
    • Personalised marketing to help the client feel it’s not a large spam campaign
  • Smith’s cutting is offering foils at 40% off.
    • Lets the client know who you are and provides a strong incentive.  Of course, your incentive will be different, this is simply an example.
  • Offer only valid this Thursday and Friday.
    • This example is referring to a time when you’re not busy and need to fill a quiet time.
  • To claim offer you must book by calling 32132123 by 2pm today.
    • It provides a plan of action, gives the phone number they need to call and encourages instant response with a strict time limit on when they can respond.  Without this time limit they may think to themselves “oh I’ll call later” then they’ll get busy and forget and you lose a client.  By putting a few hours maximum on the response time limit you will get a better response rate and when 2pm does come, you’ll know how successful the campaign was and if you need to adjust your offer before trying again to a different group of people.

Below is an example taken from Salon Swift showing the above in action:

Workflow for SMS

Spend some time in your Salon Swift’s Mail Shot tool and reproduce the above workflow to get an understanding of how it all fits together.

Tagging Clients so you don’t spam them

A special thing to note is I’ve typed “special” into the “Tag Client With” box at the very bottom.  You can see this in the above image.  By doing so each client that gets that marketing message will be tagged with “special” so next time you do a marketing campaign you can tell Salon Swift to ignore anyone that’s been tagged with “Special” within a time frame (in the above example 2 months).  If you consider that too soon, make it longer, 3 months or more.  It’s up to you.

Saving money on your SMS marketing costs

If you were to simply send SMS to all your clients whenever you run a campaign chances are you’ll be sending it to people that already have appointments, people that may not be interested in that offer (men who don’t care about foils for example) and you’ll also be sending it to people that you may have recently sent a campaign to.  By following the above guidelines you can keep the marketing relevant, expect a higher return on your marketing campaign and as an extra bonus you’ll save money by not sending out as many SMS messages that simply won’t be appreciated.

We hope this guide helps in some way get a better understanding of making the most of Salon Swift’s SMS marketing tools and we recommend printing a copy of this and reading through it before your campaigns whilst you’re learning the basics of SMS marketing.  We’d love any feedback of course, so feel free to let us know if you can see room for improvement or if you simply have any questions.

 


TechnoBabble

TechnoBabble - cutting through the sales talk

We took a trip to Hair Expo this year to see what was happening, say hi to our clients and generally enjoy the weird and wonderful goings on of one of the largest trade shows of its kind in Australia.

We enjoyed with what we saw but we did notice a bit of confusion with different vendors trying to outsell each other using a mixed variety of ‘techno babble’.

We decided it might be helpful to do a little ‘mythbusting’ by putting some facts to some terminology being used lately and to let you know where Salon Swift stands, technically speaking. We’ll keep it simple and quick, if you’d like further info please do contact us.

The Cloud

This is a term being used a lot lately. It’s a great, relatively new technology (the last 6 – 10 years ) that basically means your software runs on a groups of computers on the internet.  You usually access your software through a web browser, but it doesn’t have to be.

The Good : You can access the software from anywhere.

The Bad : If your internet goes down, if you can’t get to internet, or if your internet is intermittent you can’t access your software.

Servers

Servers have been around for a LONG time in the computing world.  Basically you have one machine and it holds all the information. Other machines in your network connect to this server and get their information.  When a change is made it’s made on the server and all the other machines keep getting updates from the server to keep up to date.

The Good : Servers have been around forever and when up and working properly are reliable and fast.

The Bad : The same with the Cloud, if your network goes down, if the server crashes or if it has a power out you lose access to all your information.  Servers often attract higher costs.

 

What other alternatives are there?  What technology does Salon Swift use?

Glad you asked 🙂

These companies use Peer2Peer technology

Salon Swift uses a technology called Peer2Peer networking.  Basically each machine has its own database and they can talk to each other over either the internet or your internal network.  If one machine makes a change it lets the other machines know of that change and they all update.  There is no central server and no reliance on internet.  If you did lose your internet and the computers couldn’t talk to each other they’ll happily keep running and when the internet comes back on they simply update each other (synch) to bring each other up to date.

The Good :

  • If one computer crashes, the others are happy to keep working and sharing data between just themselves.  When the other computer comes back “to life” they will synch any data changes with that computer bringing it up to date.
  • If the network goes down, they will similarly all keep adding their own data and when the network comes back up they will all synch with each other and keep working happily.
  • There is no extra associated cost as there is no central server.
  • It’s by far the most secure and modern data sharing method in ever created.  It’s called Peer to Peer (P2P) and companies that are now using this system include Google, Microsoft, Skype, Adobe, AOL, Salon Swift, and many others.

The Bad : You have to have your laptop / tablet with you if you want to connect from somewhere (Paris / Bali for example).  You can’t simply walk up to an internet cafe and look at your data on any random computer that doesn’t have Salon Swift on it.

Is this a problem?  Usually not.  If you’re serious about your business and you’re travelling a lot, you’ll have a laptop or a tablet pc.

You can see the benefits here on why we’ve chosen this method and why, for now, we think it’s the best networking method and why we prefer it over Servers and over the Cloud.  We’re not the only ones either.  As mentioned companies such as Google, Microsoft, Skype, Adobe and AOL all have products using Peer2Peer technology.

This ‘little’ article may have gotten longer than anticipated but if you’re trying to make sense of the ‘technobabble’ that’s getting around we hope this has helped.