The client list is the lifeblood of any salon or spa. We depend on it for all our communication with clients, whether for booking confirmation, rebooking, promotions & email marketing or sending out important updates about our business. It’s a busy and loud world out there, and many other businesses are vying for our clients’ attention. A healthy, up-to-date list allows us to cut right through the noise and reach our clients directly.
But contact lists require maintenance. Clients can move, change phones, or abandon old email addresses. While a physical move can be hard to track, keeping up with phone numbers and especially emails is relatively straightforward – given the right tools.
Email marketing 101
Before we dive into how to clean up our client list, let’s first make sure you’re using it to its fullest potential. We collect client contact information for a few purposes, as listed at the top of the article. In addition to sending appointment notifications, here are a few strategies we recommended when it comes to email marketing for salons and spas:
- Thank You to first time client
- Transaction receipts
- Book Next Appointment Reminder
- Inactive Client Resurrection
- Booked Appointment Confirmation
- Appointment Cancellation Reminder
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and most of the above are automated notifications. Set ’em and forget ’em. It’s one of the most powerful aspects of using a salon management software like SalonTarget. So much important communication with the client is done for you, by the software, behind the scenes.
That is, as long as your client list is healthy. Which brings us to…
We spend valuable time putting together promotions and email marketing campaigns to send to our clients. We also depend on email notifications to remind clients of their appointments. It would nice to know they’re actually receiving them, wouldn’t it?
Most respectable email marketing solutions show you how many people clicked or opened your email. They’ll also show you how many emails bounced. It’s this latter stat that we’re focusing on here.
An email can bounce for a number of reasons. The address may have a typo in it. The recipient may be unknown. The domain name might not exist.
Whatever the reason, cleaning your email list really comes down to identifying and addressing bounced emails.
In SalonTarget’s built-in email marketing solution we have a specific feature for tracking bounced emails. Our system will show the client name, the bounced email address, the cell phone (if provided by the contact) and the status or reason for the bounce. Additionally, contact emails show up in a variety of places across SalonTarget’s platform (Clients, Appointment Book, Marketing, etc.). If an email is on a bounce list, we highlight it in red.
We encourage our salon and spa clients to regularly check in on this Bounce list and take some actions to keep it “clean.” Those actions include:
1 | Reviewing the address for a typo. We’re humans and we make mistakes. Sometimes the person inputting the information can forget a letter or number or misspell a domain. These are often easy to spot and just as easy to correct. With SalonTarget we provide an “Edit” option right in the Bounce list to keep steps to a minimum.
2 | Contacting the client if necessary. If the client provided a cell phone number, a call can be a fast and direct solution to the problem. Many will appreciate your efforts for keeping their information accurate and up to date.
3 | Removing the offending email. If you cannot get the correct email, it’s time to delete it to keep it off your bounce list. Reducing the number of bouncing emails is good all-around practice for a business. In some instances your online reputation can be hurt by a large bounce list.
4 | Resetting your bounce list. This step may not apply to every email marketing solution. With SalonTarget we allow our users to “Remove Bounce from List,” meaning that address is okay to continue sending to again. We recommend this step only after communicating directly with the contact to ensure that the email address is “good to go.” We’d much prefer a corrected or deleted email than to continue sending to an address that is going to bounce again.
It’s also a good idea to review your client list for duplicate entries. Duplicate entries can happen. Think of your own cell phone. I bet you have a few duplicate entries in there. Which one is the most up-to-date? You don’t want to be calling a wrong number. Nor do you want to be sending important notifications and promotions to an old email that will never get checked.
A quick audit of your client list will reveal duplicate entries and allow you to take steps to delete or correct where needed. SalonTarget includes a “Client Merge” feature for those instances when two entries for a single client both contain vital contact information – like if one entry has the cell phone and one has the email. SalonTarget’s reporting features include two for Duplicate Client Information and Duplicate Clients to help address the issue of duplicate entries.
Make sure your customer or client management system makes it easy for you to stay on top of client lists and contact information. You worked hard for those clients – a healthy, clean list helps ensure that you keep them! And always make sure your email marketing strategy is CAN-SPAM compliant.