Marketing Your Hair Salon to the Rural Consumer

When it comes to rural hair salon marketing, there are only a few things to know. Our latest hair salon category research revealed some findings that might surprise you. These findings will also help you better understand the rural hair salon customer needs and wants.

Hair Trends & The Rural Customer

The first thing is that rural women are not disconnected from the latest hair trends and techniques. For example, rural women 18-24 are 169% more likely than all adults 18+ to have used Instagram in the last 7 days and 44% more likely to have used YouTube in the last 7 days. This means they are probably tuned into a stream of constant visual inspiration for haircuts, color, and styles – including advanced color/highlighting techniques. Advanced highlighting techniques, like balayage, enable women to go longer between touch-ups and will be a continuing trend. Stylists like these techniques because a client who has a lower-maintenance highlight like balayage is a client who might commit to their color/highlight services for a longer period, versus attempting to color at home or forgoing treatment altogether. Rural women 18-24 are 146% more likely than their urban counterparts to get their hair highlighted at a salon, meaning salons in rural areas should be promoting advanced highlighting techniques to these young women.

Special Events Drive Hair Salon Visits

Beyond the trends rural women notice online, the specific types of things they will be tuned into will often depend on their age and events happening in their life. Wedding season is a busy time of year for salons and rural millennials are 117% more likely to be engaged than all other adults. This means salons in rural areas should be promoting their wedding services prior to the start of wedding season.

Direct Mail’s Influence 

If salons wish to target young rural residents in need of salon services, direct mail is the way to go. According to Inno Media, 42% of millennials and 34% of generation x have an extremely strong attachment to the mail. This means that the clear majority of them are taking the time to sort through mail each day, they are enjoying the privacy, reliability, and security of mail, and they enjoy receiving mail, looking forward to checking the mail each day. 52% of millennials and 57% of generation x have a strong attachment to the mail, meaning most them are taking the time to look through their mail, they prefer scanning mail to receiving emails, and they look forward to receiving the mail each day.

This sentiment is reflected in other statistics as well. Rural consumers are 56% more influenced by direct mail than they are by newspaper. 69% of hair coloring/permanent clients saw an ad/coupon in their mailbox that led them to take action in the last 12 months.

According to the DMA, direct mail response rates are on the rise. Last year average response rates were at 5.3% – a 43% increase from the previous year and the best it’s been in the last 13 years. This is likely due to better targeting with better quality data being used by marketers in their campaigns. To put this in perspective, direct mail’s average response rate is 1175% higher than social media, 750% higher than paid search, and 750% higher than email. This is good news for hair salons because it means that there is a medium that works exceedingly well for generating traffic: direct mail. And it doesn’t require as much time and maintenance as email campaigns, pay-per-click advertising, or social media advertising. Not that digital marketing isn’t worth the effort marketers put into it…but it’s nice to have at least one component of the marketing strategy that’s effortless, straightforward and has higher response rates.

The Bottom Line 

Direct mail is a simple and highly effective medium for hair salon businesses looking to grow their business and attract the rural customer. Want proof? Download the hair salon success story below for detailed direct mail campaign results.

Interested in learning more about how Mspark can help you grow your hair salon business and increase return on your advertising spend? Fill out the form to get started today!


2017 NHCS Adult Study
2017 DMA Response Rate Report
2017 AdMall
2017 Prosper Insights & Analytics