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    Industry • Best Practice

    Salon Marketing Software: Selecting a Platform to Automate Growth

    How to choose the right tools to reach new customers, engage existing ones, and boost your spa or salon’s business

    Long-gone are the days of simply hanging a sign outside your shop and expecting word of mouth to do your marketing for you. These days salon owners, managers, and CTOs for franchised salons need to automate, scale, and boost sales with smart marketing tools that not only enable you to run your business better, but also provide a reliable way to get the most out of your customer base.

    The challenge, of course, is that there are a TON of salon marketing software options. How do you know which is right for you and your business?

    Depending on your size, your needs, and any existing marketing or salon management software you might already be using, there are different options to choose from – including automated salon marketing platforms designed specifically by and for salon businesses like yours. Here’s how to narrow the field.

    What do you need from a salon marketing software?

    Before making any business decision, it’s always best to first understand your business needs. While it might seem like you need automated salon marketing because that’s just what the market dictates, you can still get granular with your particular business’s desires.

    Here are some key features that almost any salon marketing software should include:

    • Scheduling/booking tools

    • Calendar management

    • Email & SMS confirmation/reminder notifications

    • Payment processing

    These are all essential functions — but they’re just the basics. Do you need detailed client data and customizable insights? What about payroll support and reporting? Are you already using email marketing tools or CRM platforms like Hubspot or Mailchimp that will require integrations? Are you looking to scrap your old software and/or start from scratch with an all-in-one solution?

    Obviously, the needs of an independent salon owner just getting off the ground, a manager at a salon looking to expand, or a franchised group of salons are going to be vastly different. Are you trying to bring new clients in the door, or is what you really need a way to maximize revenue from loyal customers? Do you need turn-key solutions to get essential functions up and running and looking beautiful, or do you need customized solutions to optimize complex workflows?

    Look at your own medium and long-term objectives and figure out what you need to take your business to the next level. Once you have your specifics clearly defined, you can move on to the next step.

    The different solutions for differing needs

    To begin, there are both a handful of solutions for your salon management as well as a handful of solutions for marketing automation and email management. 

    Start by understanding the ins and outs of your salon management tech stack.

    There are options across this space that cater to smaller businesses:

    • Brands like Fresha work great for independent stylists and smaller salons, providing basic online booking, payment, and schedule management without all of the technical sophistication required by a larger team

    • Platforms like Canvas Me offer website building and design for those without resources to pay for custom design and development.

    • Some platforms also provide more flexible and affordable payment plans – either on a percentage basis of sales or as an affordable subscription

    Alongside these management tools exist a massive array of email marketing and customer relationship management tools that can help you know, reach, and retain your customers.

    Many of these solutions work across industries:

    • HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua are examples of fully integrated Marketing CRM platforms that handle everything from email marketing, to customer database automation, to advanced analytics and business reporting.

    • Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Sendinblue are leading brands in the email marketing space that focus specifically on email and SMS marketing, including one-time announcements, newsletters, as well as automated email campaigns based on the recipients personal needs and engagement level.

    These email marketing platforms allow you to easily create professional looking marketing emails while managing your client database and optimizing your email marketing returns. With these kinds of tools you can create automated drip campaigns, A/B test different subject lines, personalize messages to your existing customers, create online polls and giftcards, and automate emails to identify cross-sale opportunities or re-awaken a non-responsive customer.

    Of course, the big question, if choosing multiple solutions like these, is how to integrate these tools, ensuring that your customer data is being put to its optimal use.

    Why choose an all-in-one platform meant specifically for salon email marketing?

    Then, of course, there’s Boulevard, an all-in-one solution built specifically by and for salon professionals that can handle both your in-house salon management as well as your outbound salon email marketing.

    An option like Boulevard’s Marketing Suite Add-on allows you to keep everything in one system and one place, and its automated salon marketing solutions are customized for salon clients. Our intelligent AI is built to create automated campaigns work with your client database to nudge old clients to come back, send friendly reminders to those clients that like to book in advance, or fill slow days at the salon with promotions and alerts.

    Having an easy integration between your scheduling tools and your customer database is essential — so why not use one tool for both? Boulevard Marketing Suite was carefully crafted by Boulevard, just for YOU — with the needs of appointment-based, self-care businesses like yours in mind. We understand that developing a successful email marketing strategy is a full-time job in itself. It’s tedious, stressful, and takes time away from running your business. So, we’ve de-mystified email marketing and made it simple and straightforward to engage clients, increase retention, and ultimately drive revenue.

    No matter what size business you are, we offer solutions tailored to your business needs, whether that’s at the salon professional, franchise, or enterprise level.

    Streamline and simplify your email marketing strategy with beautifully branded email campaigns at your fingertips. Meet your new marketing BFF

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