One of the hardest parts about running an appointment-based business, like a salon, is the rigid nature of appointments. We’ve all heard the “sorry – can’t make it today” excuse 5 minutes after an appointment was supposed to start. Not only does this cause rescheduling hassle and headache, but it also costs you walk-in revenue or other appointments if you’re doing a brisk business.

Free text message marketing can fix this problem. When new clients sign up for your business, encourage them to sign up for text message appointment alerts. Most younger clients, and many older clients too, will happily sign up. Text messaging is easier than a phone call, after all. Once you’ve gotten a cell number, SMS communication becomes easy. Just send a few updates on the appointment and make sure to have them confirm the day before. You can remind them a few hours before appointments to (hopefully) guarantee attendance.

Whether you live in the US or in New Zealand, bulk SMS can help you with more than making sure your salon clients make their appointments. SMS messaging with customers is about information, and providing relevant information builds trust. A strong SMS marketing campaign, then, is able to build trust by providing information, then capitalize on that trust with follow-up texts. This is not to say that blatant advertising is the key, since customers still view text messages as their “personal” accounts. Instead, SMS automation, and follow-up messages sent to encourage users to “check in” or sign up for another appointment are often successful tactics. Friendly reminders like “it’s been 2 months since your last appointment and we have openings this week” are great ways to solicit clients without appearing too aggressive.

SMS marketing is a new frontier for many companies. Hairdressers can take particular advantage of this unique system to gain – and retain – well-paying clients.