Disrupting the Traditional Beauty Salon Business Model
When Sola Salon Studios founders Stratton Smith and Matt Briger disrupted the traditional beauty salon business model in 2004, they wanted to do more than design beautiful, move-in ready salons where beauty professionals could be their own boss. They also wanted to build a thriving community.
Sola quickly grew but struggled to communicate with its franchisees and community of stylists.
“Our community is large, diverse, and spread out across the country,” says Olivia Morales, Director of IT & Systems at Sola. “Every stylist and franchisee has different needs and interests.”
Sola started by using MailChimp for its marketing communications, but felt they outgrew the tool and needed a more robust platform.
At the same time, Sola hadn’t implemented a CRM, which further constrained its ability to scale.
Similarly, it saw a need amongst its franchise holders to manage their own leads and customers. Many had no system in place and others attempted to use spreadsheets.
Therefore, Sola looked to HubSpot CRM as the solution to manage its sales and marketing processes and extended those capabilities to franchisees, while also communicating with its diverse community of stylists.
Nurturing Leads and Customers With Marketing Hub
Sola started by implementing HubSpot Marketing Hub to manage its email marketing lists, which changed the game for the marketing team.
Segmenting email lists
With Marketing Hub, Olivia and her team have the capability to segment by almost any factor.
In addition, lists are automatically updated as contacts take action, which is a huge timesaver and helps Olivia better understand her audience.
“If a contact attends a webinar or submits a form, that information is automatically updated in the platform. It helps me understand exactly who we’re talking to.”
Further, the marketing team has integrated Marketing Hub with their social media advertising, so they can target ads to different community segments.
“We don’t have to worry that people are seeing ads that aren’t meant for them,” says Angela Ribbler, Sola’s Content Marketing Strategist. .
Improved email open rates
Angela is also using Marketing Hub’s to improve Sola’s email open rates.
“Inboxes are flooded these days,” says Angela. “So when an email remains unopened after a set period of time, we use workflows to automatically resend it.”
Nurture new leads automatically
Sola is also using workflows to nurture new leads more effectively.
“With Marketing Hub, we can program campaigns to nurture leads throughout their journey, which allows us to focus our energy on content creation,” says Olivia.
Efficiencies gained through workflows also help Olivia and Angela get more precise with their marketing.
For example, before implementing HubSpot CRM, new leads received a simple “thank you” response when they completed a contact form. Today, new leads are sent a series of five emails over several weeks to help keep Sola top-of-mind.
“Becoming an independent salon owner is a big decision,” says Angela. “It takes time and a lot of touch points. HubSpot makes it easy to give them the information they need during their decision-making process because all the triggers are set up.”
Olivia and Angela also appreciate the data insights that Marketing Hub provides for their marketing.
For example, when Sola recently hosted its first virtual event, the team used campaign features to see the open and click-through rates for every campaign email, saving hours of manual work.
Angela also uses the data to report to senior management.
“I have all this information at my fingertips for board review meetings,” says Angela. “It makes it easy to determine which of our campaigns are most successful.”
Empowering Franchisees With Sales Hub
Marketing Hub was such a success, Sola eventually decided to implement Sales Hub internally.
After only a week, they realized that Sales Hub would also be perfect for its franchisees—and so they started rolling it out in a phased approach.
“So far, we’ve onboarded about 100 users, and we’re in the process of rolling out to another 100,” says Olivia.
Sola is distributing the Sales Hub seats strategically.
“A franchisee might be one manager and one location or three managers and 20 locations, for example. Therefore, we use the team tool to give access based on use. Franchisees that actively use the platform every day get Sales Hub Professional access. Franchisees that don’t use the tool every day get view-only access. So far, we’ve created about 53 teams with 100 sales users and about 100 admin users who have view-only access.”
Data insights to guide franchisees
With Sales Hub, franchise owners also have the data insights they need to grow their own businesses.
“Most of our franchise owners never had these metrics before,” says Olivia. “Being able to tell them exactly what’s going on with their business with critical KPIs, such as lead-to-close time, is huge.”
Empowering franchise holders to succeed
Today, Sales Hub is a unique differentiator and selling point for Sola.
“We can tell franchisees that we’ll set them up with an easy-to-use, cloud-based system,” says Olivia. “It’s another layer of the support we provide.”
More than a selling feature, Sales Hub also sets up franchisees for long-term success—something that’s important to everyone.
“If we can help our franchisees work smarter, not harder, they'll be successful in their business,” says Olivia. “And when our franchisees are successful, we’re successful.”
Helping 17,000+ Beauty Professionals Succeed
Thanks to HubSpot CRM, Sola is not only communicating with its diverse community of beauty professionals in a whole new way, it’s also giving its franchise owners the support they need to grow and succeed in their own businesses.
“Our community already has the motivation to succeed. With the help of HubSpot, we’re able to provide them with the tools they need to do it.”