Today is the last day of February and it was an eventful month.
The Two Main Highlights
On February 1st I got a new customer onboarded and they’re still using the product. So I met my goal this month of getting one new customer onboarded. I met with them a couple weeks ago and I think it’s pretty safe to say they’re sold for good.
Like I mentioned in last week’s update, I had some problems with the appointment reminder features. Since then I added the ability for clients to confirm their appointments and stylists/receptionists now see confirmed appointments show up green on the schedule. This means there’s no longer confusion as to whether the client noticed the reminder email. Even though I mostly put out the fire, I’m not out of the woods yet and I still have a lot of work to do in this area.
One thing I did this month was start researching direct mail as a marketing channel. I bought a book called The Direct Mail Solution (co-authored by Dan Kennedy) and read most of it. I’m really interested in the idea of marketing via direct mail because my target market is mostly non-tech-savvy people, and to me reaching them via offline methods seems like it could make a lot of sense.
The big outstanding question in my mind is what the offer in my sales piece should be. The book had a suggestion for online businesses to use direct mail, somewhat ironically, to drive people to their website. I believe the suggestion was to get people to sign up for your email newsletter or drip campaign, and then sell to them that way. I could see that being effective. The only alternative offer that comes immediately to mind is an in-person demo or something like that. My thinking right now is that driving people to the website is the stronger idea.
New Snip Website
I’ve been working on a new Snip site for a while, one that’s built on WordPress rather than Rails. This will allow me to create content much more quickly and easily, and I can also take advantage of things like Yoast, opt-in plugins, MailChimp-integrated Gravity Forms, etc. Building my marketing site as an extension of my Rails app was a really dumb idea, but fortunately it’s a reversible mistake. So in 2013 my site was on Rails and hosted at sniphq.com. Now with my site on WordPress at snipsalonsoftware.com? Holy shit. SEO city. Watch out, competitors. I’m about to scream past your asses. (And I’m of course doing more with SEO than just having WP and a good domain name. It’s more about what WP allows me to do.)
I’m planning to release an initial version of my site at first that’s actually roughly on par with my existing site or maybe even a little bit worse, just to get SOMETHING done and out there and get the ball rolling. The simple fact that my new site is on a more content-scalable platform is SO huge. After I get the new site up I can worry about fleshing out the content, making it more visually appealing, and all that stuff.
In March I plan to get my new website out as well as continue to improve the appointment reminder features. I’ve been planning forever to implement a certain email marketing campaign, and releasing the new site is a prerequisite to that, but I’ll probably get started with the email marketing thing in March. Then I think once the initial email marketing system is in place it might make sense for me to turn my attention to driving traffic to my site via direct mail.
Talk to you next week!