There's no question that a well run email campaign will help grow your salon. Email campaigns bring in new customers and help rebook your current ones as well. That makes a big difference in the amount of cha-ching left over at the end of the month.
There's no shortage of email marketing companies to choose from. Depending on your needs, some are a better fit for your salon than others. MailChimp's email service is very popular with salons. Chances are, their Free Forever plan may have something to do with that popularity.
Let's look at the Free Forever plan and a few other factors to help determine if MailChimp is the right choice for your salon.
The technical work of a business and a business that does that technical work are two totally different things! But the technician who starts a business fails to see this... the carpenter becomes a contractor, the barber opens up a barber shop, the hairdresser starts a beauty salon, the musician opens up a music store.
All of them believing that by understanding the technical work of the business they are immediately and eminently qualified to run a business that does that kind of work. And it's simply not true!
The folk at Copyblogger make the point that an email campaign works well because "it moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment — the in-box."
MailChimp's Free Forever plan currently allows you to broadcast 12,000 total emails per month as long as your list has 2,000 or fewer names on it. If you need more than this, they offer plans based on the size of your list.
The only real sticking point I've found with the Forever Free plan is that it doesn't include autoresponder support. For internet marketers, this is a non-issue. Simple broadcast emails make up the bulk of what they send.
Salon owners use their email campaigns to build long term relationships as well as drive sales. Autoresponders and the ability to set up a drip email campaign is pretty important. What this ultimately means is that although the plan may be free forever, sooner or later, you're going to have to upgrade.
When you need more than the free plan offers but common sense and your budget won't let you take advantage of a monthly plan, MailChimp offers an alternative.
MailChimp's Pay As You Go option gives you the flexibility to pay for their service according to the actual emails that you send out. When you're building your list, this allows you to grow your use of their email service as your need for their service grows.
This allows you to create and deploy the event based autoresponders that help you build a closer relationship with clients long before all those clients join your list.
After evaluating whether MailChimp has the chops to do you need it to do, there remains one final question. Can you actually use the darn thing? If setting up your email campaign is too hard, then you simply won't do it.
MailChimp seems to pride itself on being a maverick in this area and according to their website keeps its focus on the user experience. Their site redesign and shift to a responsive design that works well on tablets reflects this.
Finally, I find that a lot of companies create instructional content that is somewhere between dull and unwatchable. MailChimp does a pretty decent job in this area but I still like viewing what else is available on YouTube.
While this is admittedly a subjective thing, I still like looking at what's out there. Sometimes they're just more entertaining.
Something to kep in mind if you do go to YouTube for backup information. Always check the publication date of the video or video series.
Companies like Mailchimp are always tweaking their platforms for performance, usability or simply to keep the site's styling up to date with current trends.
When that happens these unofficial instructional videos can fall out of sync with how the platform actually operates.
00:00 – Show Intro: I had to deviate from the original plan for today's show. So this week we're going to discuss MailChimp and push our discussion of Aweber to next week.
02:33 - New Show Segment: In my efforts to live up to the name of this website and our mantra of you can do it yourself, I decided to create a new segment for the show. The plan is to provide free website setups for ten salons then touch base with them from time to time to see how they were doing with their website.
05:22 - MailChimp Email Marketing Service: An overview of how well MailChimp meets the email campaign needs of a salon.