5 SMS Marketing Tips for Beauty Businesses

Attracting new clients and building a recurring book of business takes time, effort, and a lot of hard work. But elbow grease isn’t enough to build your salon business – you need to create incentives for your clients through marketing and advertising. A central tenet of digital marketing today is meeting your clients where they are, and that’s why SMS marketing is so popular and effective for health and beauty businesses.

How Does SMS Marketing Work?

SMS marketing is simple: it’s texting your clients, and it can be used for a variety of different campaigns. But no one likes a creeper – your clients need to opt-in for texts before you can send them deals, promotions, or reminders. You can get your clients to opt-in for texts when they book online, through in-store promotions, or through other digital marketing campaigns.

Why Should You Use SMS Marketing?

It’s safe to say that the vast majority of us are glued to our phones, especially now during the pandemic. Many businesses, salons included, are taking to texting to stay in touch with clients, in addition to social media, email, and other channels. SMS marketing can be incredibly effective at getting your clients’ attention, but only if you do it right. 

SMS marketing in general has higher read and click through rates than email. In fact, a recent study found that 82% of people open every text message they receive. Most people actually prefer to be texted by businesses they want to hear from than any other form of communication: a Salesforce report found that 77% of consumers opt-in to texts from businesses for coupons and deals.

Texting is undoubtedly the fastest way to contact your clients. According to are port by ZipWhip:

  • 58% of consumers say texting is the fastest way to reach them
  • 64% said appointment reminder texts were valuable
  • 44% text businesses to schedule appointments

Texting is a quick and easy way to send appointment reminders, coupons, and flash deals, but not all texts are created equal. Let’s dive into some tips and best practices for SMS marketing.

1. Be Transparent and Respectful

Whether you’re sending a reminder, a follow up, or a deal, you need to be transparent about who you are, what you’re offering, and when you’re contacting a client. Since automated texts are often sent using shortcode (i.e. a 5-digit phone number), you should identify yourself or your business in your welcome message. Your messages should be short, sweet, and to the point, and should be sent at reasonable hours of the day. Remember: without multimedia messaging, you’re limited to 160 characters in a text. 

Take a look at an example below:

“Welcome to Revive Salon and Day Spa! This is a reminder of your appointment on 9/15 at 10:30am. Click this link to RSVP. See you soon!”

2. Spice Up Your Copy

When running a promotion or a campaign through text, spicing up your texts can help improve engagement rates. Add a little jazz to your texts: after all, an emoji never hurt anyone. Just don’t go overboard. Suppose you’re running a flash deal for 25% off brow appointments if they book in the next two hours.

A boring text might look like this:

Flash deal: book a brow appointment in the next two hours and save 25%. Click here to book.

But a text with some pizazz might look like this:

💥FLASH SALE💥 Get those brows on point. Book in the next two hours and save 25% ⏰

3. Set up Reminders and Auto Replies

Although some businesses have the time and resources to devote to two-way texting, whether through are presentative or an AI chatbot, an easier way to get started is to automate reminders and replies. You can incorporate texting into a workflow through your online booking app so that reminders automatically send prior to an appointment. The same logic can be applied to auto replies, in case a client replies to your number with a question. You can automate replies based on common keywords like “price” or “reschedule,” or create a reply to contact your business directly for additional questions. 

4. Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated

If you’re using SMS marketing to run promotions or marketing campaigns, you can get creative with who you’re targeting and the deals you’ll offer. If possible, use personalization tokens to insert the first name of the client into your text to really make it feel personal.

Leo Carillo, CEO of Hair Craft Co., uses SMS marketing to make his clients feel special. “A prospective customer giving their number is a personal action, so make your SMS subscribers feel exclusive by offering them deals first and giving them access to products before your other marketing channels. Everyone likes to feel special.”

A great example is to use SMS marketing to send texts to clients who haven’t been to your salon in a while. You can set a reminder to send to clients who haven’t booked hair appointments in over three months, or start a campaign with a 15% off coupon for clients who haven’t engaged with your salon over a certain period of time. Not only will you show that you’re thinking of them, you can offer a timely deal to motivate them to re-engage when they might otherwise not have returned. 

Take a look at this example to see how this might work:

Sylvie, it’s been a while since you’ve come to see us. Use this 15% off coupon on your next appointment and we’ll have you looking fabulous!

For a reminder:

Michael, it’s almost time for your next keratin treatment! Book your appointment today and get 10% off.

You don’t have to offer a deal in every reminder, but showing that you care about your clients – even through an automated text – can go a long way in securing recurring clients.

5. Promote Yourself

Just like you use Instagram to showcase your work, you can use texting to share some of your latest offerings, appointments, or even a new service. Use texting as an opportunity to build your brand, whether you’re including your motto, a hashtag, or even your social media handles.

Michelle Bareid, a beauty entrepreneur and enthusiast, uses SMS marketing to add value beyond deals. “Giving your clients a personal touch can lead to extended business. For example, sharing helpful beauty tips and tricks after their appointment can be warming and widely accepted by clientele.”

You can also consider sharing content from your blog or your Instagram through text, especially if it relates to a recent service a client received. Tips on hair care, preserving color, or related topics can go a long way in building brand loyalty, and positioning yourself as an expert. Using SMS marketing to share that content can make it feel even more personal.

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