Studies show that it takes on average between 5 and 7 impressions to turn a stranger into a beauty customer. In this article I am going to share with you some of the ways you can turn visitors to your beauty website into customers.
It’s important to understand that during this process we should concentrate 80% of our content at helping individuals solve their needs and problems. Only 20% of our content should feature content about you, your business or any sales/offers you are willing to put out there. The vast majority of visitors to your website are not planning to buy on their first visit so if you go in with the hard sell or just pricing, it will turn most people away. It’s like a first date, if you spend most of the time talking about yourself, within a few minutes the other party is disinterested. They don’t really care about you or your business.
So, if most individuals who come to your website are not planning to make a purchase, why are they visiting?
Most website visitors are either researching their issues, possible treatments or undertaking a price comparison between you and other salons. For example, there will be individuals who want their eyebrows shaped. Contrary to popular belief most men and women have never had their eyebrows shaped, so they are not sure how this works, nor the various ways in which this can be done. Ask yourself this question: what content do I have on my website that addresses this problem? I would say 99% of beauty salon owners who are reading this article have no content that focuses on this matter. Most simply have the price of a threading or eyebrow waxing treatment. Whilst this is great for those undertaking a price comparison, is next to useless for the vast majority of visitors who are in the research stages because they are not ready to make a purchase.
Too many beauty websites exist for the purpose of either price comparison or to serve individuals who already have knowledge and experience of treatments. Think of how many 16 and 18 year olds there are in this country who fall into the category of never having a beauty treatment in their life. What content do you have on your website to help them?
The key to turning strangers into customers is to have a good understanding of where your website visitors fit into the buyers journey. Buyers fall into three categories: awareness, consideration and decision.
Here I give you an example in relation to the eyebrow shaping scenario above:
- Awareness – I have unsightly eyebrows, how can this be fixed?
- Consideration – I understand that either threading or waxing may solve this issue, but which it best?
- Decision – Salon A charges X for threading, Salon B charges Y for threading
Each stage clearly requires different content, what’s more, neither the awareness or consideration stage should feature content about you or your prices. It’s only when they are in the decision making stage do they need prices. You can read more about the various stages of the buyers journey and content strategy (attract, convert, close and reward) on our inbound marketing services page.
Good content will help move strangers through the different stages of the buyers journey. A simple blog is really good at this because you can create an article that targets those in the awareness stage, which in turn then links to another article that focuses on the consideration stage. Better still, link it to to an e-download where you mutually exchange information for their name and email address and you can begin building data lists. This data is invaluable, because it allows you to remarket to them based on their needs and where they are in the buyers journey (see image for example of email tracking).
Here we have an example of an email sent to 314 previous customers, so this email campaign falls into the delight stage of the inbound marketing methodology, because the aim here is to provided added value for existing customers. Click throughs were not important on this email, because we can track it’s success by the number of emails at the point of purchase.
As we outlined at the beginning, it typically takes between 5 and 7 impressions before you turn a stranger into a customer. This is why capturing data is of significant importance because it opens up the opportunity to have dialogue with visitors over a period of time and persuade them to become customers (and repeat customers). Admittedly, on paper this sounds easy, but the reality is, it’s very difficult and a slow process to move strangers through the buyers journey. The beauty industry average for email open rates is just 25%. Whilst you may consider your email of significant importance, you are competing for the attention of the recipients and their inbox clutter. Good subject headlines are absolutely key to ensuring you get good open rates. A great free tool for sending bulk emails is mailchimp.
We mentioned blogs and websites above, however, email, video and podcasts are also very useful tools for engaging with strangers particularly during the consideration stage.
Lets have a look at another example of how to turn a stranger into a customer
Visitor A is suffering from poor facial skin and tone. Your website features content about typical skin problems and conditions and they successfully land on your website (page B). They soon diagnose that they have skin condition C.
Now they have diagnosed the skin conditions they now need to know what their options are. On page B you have a link to an e-download where they can source different solutions and treatments to their problems. They convert and part with their name and email address in exchange for the download. Not only do we have their name, but we also keep a record of the time of the day this conversion took place.
Visitor A is now in the consideration stage. Now we have their name and email address, and we know that they are considering which treatment is best, we can now begin to remarket to them via email and explain the different solutions and benefits in greater detail. So far, we have only made two impressions with them (website page B and the download). It’s still going to take sometime before they are likely to become a customer. On average it takes and individual 30 days from being a stranger to a customer.
We sent visitor A their first awareness stage email (D) and we timed it to match the time they first converted. Email D explains two treatments that will cure their problem. A Guinot treatment and a Karen Herzog treatment. We outline the benefits of each and the email contains two links back to our website, both links are to video demonstrations of each treatment in progress.
Visitor A opened the email and clicked the link to the Guinot treatment, but they did not click the link to the Karen Herzog treatment. We know this because we track email opens and clicks. They have still yet to make a purchase.
We send visitor A a further email (E). Email E contains some reviews of the Guinot treatment and a further opportunity to check out the Karen Herzog treatment. Through monitoring, we know they have opened the email, in fact they have opened it 3 times. Again, they have not viewed the Karen Herzog treatment and they have still yet to make a purchase.
We now send visitor A another email (F). An opportunity to come to a taster evening, where we have different facial demonstrations, special offers on course bookings, plus you particularly highlighted the Guinot treatments. The email contains a link to a page on your website where they can sign-up and confirm they wish to attend. At this stage we also ask for their mobile contact number.
Visitor A signs up to attend the taster evening. We send visitor A on the day of the taster session a polite text reminding them to attend. They attend the session and on the evening they decide to buy a course of Guinot facial treatments.
It may seem that this is a little long winded but it actually demonstrates the complexity and patience required to convert strangers into customers. Of course, for some, their journey will be shorter because they are either already in the consideration or decision making stage. It could have even been longer had the visitor felt the need to check out and research other salon prices. Making sure that you have content on your website that appeals to all stages of the buyers journey is absolutely vital. It’s beauty salons who embrace this and take the time and effort to produce problem solving content; capture email addresses and names; segment their data lists based on desired treatments and where they are in the buyers journey; and those that use email to their advantage that will reap the best rewards. As a beauty salon website designer, these are the services and strategies that I incorporate into all of my client websites.
It’s this kind of detail and content (especially videos) that will for sure be shared on social media, it will build links to your website that will further enhance your search engine visibility and ultimately it will bring new customers through your door because you have built up trust over a period of time. It’s because you didn’t go in for the kill and just bombard them with discounts and offers that they just weren’t ready for, that paid dividends. You showed you cared, you demonstrated knowledge, you offered them taster sessions. It the end you were the salon of choice, because you continually exposed them to your brand and you gently persuaded them to become customers. Whereas, most beauty websites simply attract visitors only for them never to return again or make a purchase.
You can do this for all kinds of beauty treatments and services you offer. Just be mindful that you need to produce the right content at the right time. Don’t be tempted to turn strangers who are just beginning their awareness process to be prepared to sign up for special offers. You can tempt them with such offers later where they are more likely to be responsive to such persuasive tactics.
- 96% of visitors to your website will not buy on their first visit
- How a small beauty salon attracted over 60,000 website visitors and over 500 new customers in 12 months
What you should do now
If you are serious about having a great website, you should read my blog, it’s packed with ideas and suggestions to help improve your site.
And if you have any comments or questions about this article, contact me.