If you’ve spent any time wandering through your local Barnes and Noble Bookstore, chances are pretty good that you’ve come across books by a gentleman named Seth Godin.
In the world of marketing, Seth is what you’d call a “thought leader.” He has a tendency to look at things sideways, percolate on them a bit, then write a book or blog post about what’s on his mind.
In 1999 he published “Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers.” It’s available at Amazon or if you’d rather listen than read, at Audible.
When it was published, Permission Marketing was ground breaking new thinking. Seth Godin believed that businesses did marketing all wrong. He made the case that if you’re going to send your message at someone, it should be anticipated, personal and relevant. Anything else will get ignored as just so much noise.
This is why email permission marketing should be part of your marketing plan. It’s also why your website should be designed to attract customers to your email list. My mantra for doing this is: Invite the guests, Set the table, Serve the meal. Serving the meal is the part where you invite visitors to join your email list.
Before you jump forward to try to figure out how this works and whether it’s worth your time, I’d like to point something to you. You’re in business. Believe it or not there’s very little difference between you and a multi-billion dollar company like McDonald’s. You both need people. McDonald’s needs a few more people than you do, of course, but ultimately you both need the same thing. Repeat customers.
Those billions and billions served on the sign out front aren’t new people, they’re the same people over and over again. That’s what you need as well. A lot of customers to come sit in your chair, over and over again.
Email marketing is should be one of your most used tools for getting customers to come back to your chair repeatedly.
Email is the first golden permission because of its potential to bring customers closer to you. It also happens to be the marketing channel with the highest total return on investment.
Where most salons go astray is in the messages they send after customers have joined their list.
Consider your email inbox. As you’re scanning through it, which emails do you delete and which ones do your read? Chances are you delete all email messages from people who are just trying to sell you something. Unfortunately this is what many salon owners do.
The most important word in email permission marketing is permission. Opting out of an email list requires no more than a single click of the mouse. It’s important to understand that the purpose of your email list is not to sell. Rather it’s to develop relationships with customers who then want to buy from you. Remember, all things being equal, people generally prefer to do business with people the know and trust.