This week I’m going to attempt to present my report in some sort of organized and comprehensible fashion.
You may have noticed that last week’s update didn’t happen. Sorry.
Before we get into it I want to tell you that I have a JUICY tidbit buried somewhere in this post. Read carefully to learn of my exciting piece of news.
The New Website
I’ve been continuing to work on the new marketing website, which is WordPress-based as opposed to the current hard-to-maintain Rails site. The website itself is mahfuckin’ done. I just have to take care of some administrative stuff. Mainly, I’m moving the application from snipsalonsoftware.com to app.snipsalonsoftware.com since I don’t feel like trying to figure out how to get Rails and WordPress to cohabit the same domain (and I don’t even know what that would really accomplish). The time-consuming part is that I had to buy a separate SSL certificate for app.snipsalonsoftware.com since DreamHost doesn’t support wildcard subdomains…oh shit, you fell asleep. Sorry. Long story short, I’m shooting for releasing the new Snip site this Sunday, and after that point life is going to be awesome. The new site in its current form will be thoroughly unimpressive but the platform switch is the important thing since it will allow me to create and manage content so much more quickly.
I mentioned in my last post that I was reading a direct mail book. My current plan with direct mail is to drive traffic to my website with mail, specifically to an opt-in page where prospects can, in exchange for providing name and email address, access my not-yet-existent free consumer guide, “5 Costly Mistakes Salon Owners Make When Choosing Salons Software and How to Avoid Them.” I would just go ahead and pull the trigger now, but sending salon owners to my free consumer guide opt-in page requires my opt-in page to exist, which requires my website platform switch to be done, which is not done yet. I’ll of course also have to create the guide itself, probably in the form of an email mini course. So I have some work to do before I can do the mailing.
I announced at one point a goal to get one new Snip customer onboarded in each month of 2014. I whiffed in January but nailed it in February, so 1 for 2 so far.
Well, don’t look now but I’m scheduled to onboard a certain local customer on Monday. (This is the juicy tidbit I was referring to earlier.) I don’t even want to say anything more about it on the off chance the deal goes south, but hopefully next week you’ll find me basking in this victory.
The Sales Funnel
I realized something kind of interesting this week. I’ve had something in the neighborhood of 40 salons from around the country (and world) find Snip online and sign up for a trial. Out of those 40, the number that are currently customers is ZERO. I’d say that’s indicative of a hole in my funnel.
Right now, when a salon owner signs up for a Snip trial, I just plop them into the interface and basically say “good luck, fucker!” There is room for improvement here. I could start an autoresponder, I could provide videos, I could send literature in the mail, and I could probably do a whole bunch of stuff I haven’t even thought of yet. I realized when I recently read Dan Kennedy’s direct response marketing book that the few sporadic phone calls I’ve been calling follow-up are not really adequate follow-up. So I have some serious holes to plug here.
Last but not least, I still have some product issues on my radar, although they’re somewhat back-burnered as the worst fires have, I believe, been mostly extinguished. My email reminder feature was disappointing my customers with its oversimplicity and I needed to add some capabilities and make it more sophisticated. I still have a lot of work to do in this area and I’m planning to continue to chip away at it. What I have done so far is I made it so clients can confirm their own appointments, and when they do, those appointments show up green on the stylists’ calendars.
See You Next Week
Hopefully next time you hear from me I will have onboarded my new customer and launched my new website.