Do you want to cut costs down to the bone, interact with key clients, drive repeat business to your spaand showcase your fabulous new services? E-newsletters are the ticket to efficient communication with pre-qualified clients and are a great way to bring in more revenue.
First things first: developing your list
Give people a reason to want to sign up to receive your e-newsletter—offer a sweepstakes or special benefit on your Web site that coincides with registration. Along with that, feature a pre-checked opt-out offer that reads “Yes, sign me up for XYZ spa’s special offers and updates!” Or you can have an opt-in, which means providing an unchecked box that requires clients to sign up in order to receive the e-newsletter. It is important to realize that you cannot legally market to those who signed up for the sweepstakes, but you can market to those who asked to receive your e-newsletter. Marketing to just anyone is known as spam,and it is illegal.
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Tip: Safeguard your list. Do not sell it orgive it out. It is important that you send thee-newsletter to your trusting clients. Do not give your list to other people.
Second: frequency of message
How annoying is it when you receive messages from someone too frequently? Don’t you tune out? I do, and I’m sure clients do, as well. So don’t bombard your audience.
Tip: Limit sending your e-newsletter to once or twice a month.
Third: evaluating content
What message is so important that you feel compelled to contact your clientele? What is its value to the recipients? Simply proclaiming how great your spa is may not be enough. Can you share information that is newsworthy, educational or of particular value? You can separate your e-newsletter into many content sections, but make sure that each one is useful from your clients’ perspective—not your own.
Tip: Content ideas include offering a treatment showcase, an educational section,a call to action with a limited time period—such as a special offer or savings, a third-party testimonial or press coverage, a personal note from you, or a product or equipment showcase detailing the results that are valuable to your clients. Also remember that pictures are wortha thousand words.
Many companies are available that offer templates for e-newsletters. Whether you want a design that is predetermined or prefer to create one that is unique, it is crucial that you choose the perfect one to represent your spa’s own look and feel. A variety of templates is available to serve your individual style and design, whether it is warm and fuzzy or more clinical.
Tip: Work with your Web site’s graphics designer on selecting a great program that will reflect your spa’s atmosphere.
Management of the database
You pay an e-newsletter company based on how many clients receive your message. This information is housed in your database, which must be imported into the program. Include the client’s first name to personalize the message, and make sure that each name on the list has been “scrubbed” in order to be usable. For example, bogus e-mails may have been provided, or they may include typos that cause them to bounce back, never making it to the client’s e-mail account. Scrubbing your list regularly is important because it is a waste of money if your e-newsletters are never received.
Tip: Your Web site designer might not necessarily work with your database, so hiring a Web programmer is key to maintaining a good list that is scrubbed and ready to use.
Getting them opened
An e-newsletter isn’t valuable if no one reads it, right? So make sure that you include a subject line that is catchy and sums up your content. However, be wary of using words such as “free” or “hurry”—they may cause your e-newsletter to be flagged as spam, or—even worse—it could get blocked by the recipient’s Internet service provider (ISP). Check with your e-newsletter provider to determine if it is accepted by the major ISPs, and ask for a list of those that do not.
Tip: Your Web programmer can help with bounces, investigate their causes and communicate with your selected provider to make sure that your e-newsletters are as effective as possible.
Tip: Your Web programmer and graphics designer both are valuable and serve different needs with their expertise, and both can be freelanced positions. If you find that one person can cover it all, that’s great, too.
Following is a review of the benefits that a successful e-newsletter can have on your spa’s bottom line.
- Rapport. Through your personal messages, clients will get to know more about you and your style of business.
- In-the-door business. When you highlight specific treatments and special offers, you entice clients to come in and try a service. Don’tforget to add a sense of urgency by making the offers available only for a limited time.
- Savvier, more trusting clients. Through educational tidbits of information, your clients will sense your willingness tohelp them, rather than just sell to them.
- Credibility. Your testimonials or press coverage will cause clients to see what others have to say—and that is always helpful. Plus, knowing that you were featured as a top spa by XYZ magazine is something worth bragging about.
- Underscoring your commitment to innovative products and equipment. If you profile specific products and equipment, clients will realize why they are beneficial—and they like to know how and why certain products are the ones of choice.
- Saving a tree. By forgoing a paper newsletter, you’re saving a tree—and that’s a great benefit for everyone.