As a busy mom with two children, Sarah Green knows firsthand how difficult it is for moms with young kids to take time out for some relaxing “me” time. Seeing a unique business opportunity in the highly saturated salon and spa market, Sarah opened the doors of Yummy Mummy Hair and Beauty in early 2011.
Located in central Taunton, Somerset (about 45 miles from Bristol, England), the salon provides services such as cuts, color, massage and facial treatments. The spin? It also offers free childcare for “mummies” who have young children in tow. A certified nursery nurse entertains, changes and feeds the children while moms enjoy a little R&R. Yummy Mummy also offers children’s hair services, complete with a red sports car for the little ones to “drive” in while getting their hair cut or styled.
As a newbie to the salon market, Yummy Mummy had to grow its clientele from the ground up.
“I wanted to build client relations and loyalty to the salon, and keep in contact with clients in between their appointments,” says Sarah. “Some clients only visit the salon every six months, so I wanted to keep the relationship going and keep them up-to-date with new treatments, events and offers.”
Yummy Mummy had been using another email marketing service provider for its emails, but Sarah found it restrictive and it didn’t give her the flexibility in design or content that she wanted. Just a few months after opening the salon, she launched her search for a new email marketing provider that was both user-friendly and trusted.
Sarah was attracted to VerticalResponse because the technology was endorsed by both small and large businesses, which was very important to Sarah.
“VerticalResponse not only boasted great reviews, but the real-life stories documented on their website enabled me to see what such a platform could do for my own business,” Sarah says. “From small business owners like myself right through to larger corporations, the case studies showed just how flexible the platform was, enabling the user to explore and, with time, evolve their marketing strategies.”
The 700+ templates offered by VerticalResponse gave Sarah plenty of design options and flexibility for her Yummy Mummy emails. Because the salon is very active on social media and always trying to grow its social fan base, the social media dashboard and sharing features were a big plus, especially the ability to add Facebook and Twitter share buttons to every Yummy Mummy email.
Yummy Mummy’s emails have an average open rate of about 26 percent and an average click-through rate of 4.4 percent. The salon’s most successful email campaign was its launch email, where more than 44 percent of recipients who opened the email clicked through.
The company found that emails with catchy subject lines and fun, interactive content receive the highest levels of engagement. “We’ve had open rates from 29 percent to 45 percent on our quizzes,” Sarah says.
Yummy Mummy’s monthly newsletter includes limited-time discounts, descriptions of special events, and other company news. For special occasions such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, the company often launches an additional campaign to promote holiday-oriented offerings and stay top of mind with their clients.
Since special pricing and discounts are a large part of Yummy Mummy’s marketing strategy, Sarah immediately tried out the VerticalResponse Social Coupons tool when it launched in August 2012. Offers included 25 percent off manicures and half off children’s cuts.
The results are impressive: Yummy Mummy’s limited-time coupon offers boast response rates that are three times more successful than offers shared through email alone.
“It’s really easy to set up a coupon using VerticalResponse Social,” Sarah says. “The platform is very user friendly and took just minutes to post to our Facebook page. We’ve also used the VerticalResponse link and embedded it on our website’s special offers page. The link directs clients to our Facebook page and encourages them to like us before they receive the discount codes.”
Sarah has been pleased with VerticalResponse, especially in the realm of social media.
“VerticalResponse is continually evolving, which can be difficult when social media changes by the day,” she says. “It manages to stay on top of the changes and offer great advice to customers, not only on new marketing channels but also on how to integrate these new avenues into their own marketing strategies.”
Biggest challenge being a small business owner:
Getting the word out there and finding the best ways to reach our target audience. We have tried and tested numerous outlets including print and radio but the most cost-effective and successful has to be our social media marketing, which we run through VerticalResponse.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned as a small business owner:
You can never budget enough. Business takes time in any market, but can take even longer in the midst of a recession. Loving what you do is a must.
What do you like best about your work? What keeps you going?
It’s really nice knowing that what we do really does make a difference. We see so many stressed mums walking in, sometimes tired, sometimes with screaming children and we turn it all around for them. They walk out calm and the kids are content.