Season’s greetings business owners and managers,
Time to reflect on what has been another year filled with shifts and industry norms being smashed apart.
From the 180+ marketing campaigns we’ve run for our hair, beauty and aesthetics clients… plus some great advice and feedback from our clients… we’ve learnt a lot in 2023.
Here are perhaps some of our most important learnings that we can pass on to you, which will hopefully be of value.
So, in no particular order, here are 5 important things we learnt in 2023.
1. Want to increase re-bookings? Start talking about their next appointment during the first
We see first-hand the amount of re-bookings our clients receive when we do their reporting each month, which requires us to log in to their booking software.
No surprises here – some get a lot more re-bookings than others. Whenever a business is getting an above-average rebooking rate I always ask them about their systems, so I can offer advice to other clients.
One thing stood out, particularly for hair and beauty salons; those who get some of the best amounts of people re-booking and continuously coming back make sure they talk about their next appointment whilst they are coming towards completion of their first service.
Having a stylist talk about what they would do as a follow up on their next hair visit, or a therapist or practitioner explain the benefits of a second beauty/aesthetic treatment, seems to be an excellent strategy to plant that seed and have your new client book before they leave, or book again at a later date.
If this is something you’re not currently doing, consider creating a system for your team where this is a permanent part of each appointment.
It’s certainly working wonders for other salons.
You could see a sizeable increase in your re-bookings rate and your revenues.
2. How you can get META ads working best for you – strike while the iron is hot
It has been hard to predict or quantify results from Facebook and Instagram ads this year, because results have been so varied.
Just when I thought META was becoming a saturated, declining advertising place for salons and skin clinics (in some cases producing lacklustre results with high cost per lead etc), things started improving.
META now hugely favours their own in-build “Instant Form” lead capture system; the cost per CRM’s (1000 impressions) is A LOT lower that sending leads to your own landing page and website.
What does this mean? Leads come in more frequently and cheaper, particularly for skin clinics promoting aesthetic and laser treatments.
That’s great news, the only downside is many of these leads coming in are cold. Meaning they’re only in “browsing mode” or half interested at best.
So, this year has seen more leads from META campaigns, but only a small percentage of these willing to book.
A solution to help convert as many of your META ad leads as possible?
Strike while the iron is hot with IMMEDIATE contact.
When is best to contact new leads? Studies now show it’s within the first 5 minutes.
The ”5 Minute Rule” is as follows:
If you contact a new inbound within five minutes, you are 100 times more likely to reach them and 21 times more likely to successfully qualify them than if you leave it just 30 minutes. So, call or text them within the first five minutes.
Now I understand for many hair, beauty and aesthetic practitioners this is impossible.
The solution is an automated text message to start a conversation.
With auto SMS senders like Clicksend (or even your own booking software perhaps), you can blast out a short, sharp text message to a lead the moment they fill in their details.
You can automate this using software like Zapier – it’s pretty simple and 100% worth the time invested to set up.
And what should that short, sharp text message say?
An open question. That’s all.
Start a dialogue by getting them talking about themselves. Start building the relationship and nurturing your potential clients all the way to the door…..
This instant contact to get a reply and create a dialogue is especially effective when you’re running META ads, where again a lot of your leads are cold.
Make contact with more leads, offer friendly, warm help and start converting more into paying customers.
For more advice on how to properly nurture your leads to turn them into clients, visit our How to turn Digital Ads into lead converting machines blog post.
3. Certain aesthetic treatments are BOOMING…. but choose wisely
If you’re considering buying machines and introducing more treatments to your beauty and aesthetic menu, this might help:
Our most successful aesthetics marketing campaigns this year have been for Body Sculpting/Contouring, Hydro facials (see no.4 below) and Teeth Whitening.
Microneedling seems to be growing in popularity, whilst Laser Hair Removal is a reliable money-maker that always provides excellent mark up.
In terms of which brand to buy – it’s easy to get sucked into thinking the premium, most expensive machine on the market will make you the most money, as you can charge more.
However, the feedback we often hear from skin clinic owners is this is not the case.
For most clients, if a treatment solves their specific problem, they’re in. The extra features of the premium machine are often irrelevant.
It’s all in the messaging and marketing of your product.
4. HydraFacial or Hydro facial?
We’ve worked with a lot of skin clinics offering either the branded HydraFacial or another type of hydrating facial (or Hydro facial) this year.
HydraFacial has become a beauty buzzword.
It’s the facial treatment everyone is talking about right now, due largely to very clever marketing to create widespread appeal.
One would assume therefore that the HydraFacial, and only the HydraFacial, is receiving all this demand. Provide specifically the HydraFacial brand… or lose out.
We’ve found this isn’t the case at all.
We’ve run ads and campaigns for lower cost hydro facials that are actually more profitable.
Our take on why is that most of the market, those people out there looking for this type of facial, don’t actually know the difference between a HydraFacial and the other cheaper variants available.
It’s all same same to them.
Or they see that whilst there are differences, they are so similar that the lesser known, cheaper hydro facial alternative is just fine.
Either way, hydrating facials have essentially been piggy-backing off the popularity and marketing prowess of the HydraFacial brand.
Some of our most profitable campaigns this year have been for various hydrating facials.
There are HydraFacial alternatives that cost much less to provide and can therefore be offered at a lower price. The result is lots of bookings for a similar, or even higher, profit per session.
So if you’re considering adding a hydrating facial to your menu in ’24 – look closely at the Hydro2 or other options. There’s a good chance you will make as much if not more ££££ from them than the premium brand.
5. The December hair and beauty boom appears to be fading
Firstly a disclaimer: I don’t have any hard data to support this yet.
But based on feedback from business owners, in terms of bookings revenue this was another Christmas to forget.
No record sales figures were achieved this December, to say the least.
It seems the season to be jolly is no longer the season to splash the cash…not in salons anyway.
What use to be such a vital, money-making period for the hair and beauty industries has seen a decline post-Covid.
We also noticed this with the gift voucher sales promotions we run for salons and skin clinics. Sales were pretty good - but not what they have been previously.
Crazy-high energy costs and inflation certainly play their part as to why. But are we seeing a major shift in the industries? Many salon owners we speak to believe so.
….Like moths to a flame….