Mobile Marketing: To Text or Not to Text?
In this blog post, we discuss the use of text messaging to stay in touch with your spa clientele. Since 95% of all text (SMS) messages are open and read, harnessing the power of mobile to reach customers should be a goal for any spa marketer. Spas have the opportunity to use mobile marketing to deepen relationships with clients and gain access to the “inner sanctum” of their lives. They also have the opportunity to alienate clients and deteriorate the relationship.
One thing is for certain, texting is an extremely personal marketing medium. For that reason, marketers must proceed with extreme care and caution. “We only text our customers to confirm appointments after they opt-in,” says Sherry Kamages, Manager of Cooper Ally Salon in Larkspur, CA. “Our clients love having the option to receive texts reminding them of their appointment, but we are careful not to abuse the relationship by being overly promotional. You must be sensitive to your market.”
Cooper Ally uses the Demandforce automated marketing and communications software to send text messages to clients asking them to opt-in to SMS for appointment confirmation. Demandforce offers unlimited email and text messaging to help spas and salons communicate with their customer base. Most spa and salon management software has similar functions for sending automated messages. Spas find that automated appointment reminders via SMS significantly reduce “no-shows.”
Avantgard Spa in San Carlos, CA also uses the Demandforce automated text messaging option. “We choose to not send unsolicited texts asking for opt-in,” says owner Blanca Caballero. “We send a feedback email post-treatment, and guests have a chance to opt-in at that point. “Most of our guests prefer email and text communications. They want to avoid the calls, and I can see why. Many people are busy and don’t want the interruption, or they work in cubicles. It would not be cool if your co-workers heard you scheduling a Brazilian bikini wax!”
It is up to each individual property to decide to text or not to text. The medium is not appropriate for every spa. “We are spending 80 percent of our marketing budget online, but we are not texting our guest at this time,” says Carol Stratford, VP of Marketing for Miraval Resort and Spa. “We are mindful of our guests’ privacy, and also want our guest to let go of tech when they are in house.”
Find out how your clients prefer to be contacted, and how often. A robust database of clients who welcome communications via their mobile phones is highly valuable. This coveted relationship will allow you to reach out for reasons beyond appointment confirmation, such as marketing promotions and daily deals.