Email Marketing Success Story: Kids’ Hair
MailUp customers are sending great email campaigns! This is why we have decided to start showcasing our most successful customers (from local businesses, online retailers, to international organizations). This week we sat down with Rachel Lawson, Marketing Manager for Kids’ Hair and had the pleasure to ask her about how email marketing is “by far the most effective way for us to stay connected with our customers.” Enjoy!
Rachel, can you tell us a bit about Kids’ Hair? I’ve seen on your website http://kidshairinc.com/ that you have 14 salon locations in Minnesota, and that kids get to watch movies while getting their haircut!
Kids’ Hair is the Twin Cities biggest children’s salon chain. We opened our first store in Edina, MN in 1992 and have grown to 14 stores throughout the metro area. Our stylists are specially trained to cut and style children’s hair and our salon environment is designed for the safety and comfort of babies and kids. Each haircut includes a “fun extra” like a glittery braid or colored Mohawk, a sucker and a sticker.
As a business, how do you see the role of email in your marketing promotions and specials? Is sending out emails with promotions such as Winter Wednesdays important for you to communicate with current customers and moms and dads interested in kids’ hair advice?
Email is by far the most effective way for us to stay connected with current customers. We have about 50,000 emails in our database: customers ask to receive our emails. We don’t have to ask them! We treat the emails as a sort of thank you for being our customer program with exclusive offers. I think we continue to see success with our email marketing for 3 reasons:
1) We only send the customer discount offers or information via email that is significant and important to them. The message is either relevant information (like an email in July about how to protect kids’ hair from chlorine damage) or an exciting offer ($3 or more off a haircut or a free extra service with a haircut).
2) We do not send emails too often. We send one about every 10 days.
3) We send them exclusive offers from other family-oriented businesses and events. For example, we partner with Sesame Street Live and Disney On Ice when they come to town and our customers love getting a Kids’ Hair VIP discount offer to the show. These end up getting forwarded to friends and we generate some great word of mouth and customer loyalty. Also, all emails, including those from partners, are designed and sent by our marketing team in house. We do not share our email list with anyone and the customer knows that.
I’ve noticed that you also send personalized emails such as Happy Birthday emails. This is a great way to build lasting relationships with customers. Do you see that these targeted emails yield better results compared to other messages?
Personalized emails like the Happy Birthday card our customers receive the first day of their child’s birthday month do not necessarily yield higher redemption rates than other email offers, but for us they do serve an important purpose. They create excitement in the salons and with the customers about our email program. Instead of a stylist asking the customer “Can we have your email?”, they can tell them “Would you like to sign up for our Birthday Club? We send you fun offers during the month of your birthday!” It makes both the stylist and the customer more comfortable to talk about sharing their email addresses and we’ve been collecting more emails from customers since we’ve started the birthday club.
Through the years, was there a promotional campaign that was the most surprising to you? Most successful?
In 2010 for St. Patrick’s Day, we sent an aggressive Lucky Haircut Offer to our customers via email. The deal was $5.00 off a haircut for that day only. The response was huge: it became the biggest day in years. The offer was simple, straightforward, and latching it onto a holiday (a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day where families aren’t gathering) made it memorable yet accessible. The open rate for that email campaign was 51%, a two-fold increase in opens!
Through MailUp’s Device Report, I see that 54.2% of your email campaigns are opened on a mobile device (of those, 53.8% are viewed on iPhone). One reason for this may be that moms and dads increasingly use their smartphone to keep up-to-pace with their busy schedules. How do you believe that mobile has affected your online communications?
Yes, our parents are very busy! Mobile marketing in general is something we want to get better at. We are in the very preliminary stages of a “Kids’ Hair App” that would include discounts, salon events and appointment making. Even without a mobile-specific program, the increase of our customers viewing our emails through their mobile phones has led us to change our email design slightly, to a more “phone-friendly” format. We try to keep email discount offers simple and in large, bold text so they know our message right away without having to zoom in or investigate by scrolling. We always try to keep our email height and width ratio to that of a smart phone screen.
From start to finish when executing an email campaign, what feature of MailUp do you find the most useful?
The updated MailUp system is very clean and user-friendly. I can have my intern do some of the emails for me! Being able to manage email addresses by “lists” is a great way to keep me organized. The message statistics are definitely the most useful. To be able to break down an email campaign and track its success rate and compare it to past emails is vital to continue to develop a strong email marketing program.