Testing target audience impressions and color services

Who is this site for?

The first part of this video shows people responding to the question, “who is this site for?”

Most people felt that the salon served women — especially men. Eventually, most figured out based on the services or the instagram feed where one pic of a guy was displayed that the salon did serve men, but it’s likely that there are a good number of men visiting the site who aren’t sticking around long enough to figure that out.

The first question is — Is this a problem?

It’s possible that you all are happy (and will make more money) by conveying that you specialize in women’s cut/style/color.

If not — I think we should think about including pictures of men’s cuts in stylist portfolios and on the home page.

To do that, we’ll need start having stylists to share photos of guys’ hair through the new web app. The IG feed will then have more men’s hair, and I can make sure men’s styles are represented at various points in the site.

“Dye my hair blonde”

The second part of the video shows people responding to a scenario where we said that they’re looking to book to have their hair dyed. I tried to use language that I think at least some people would use — “I want to dye my hair blonde” rather than anything about process.

Jane and I have talked about how this is complicated because you all need to do some education about color process so you don’t wind up setting up bad expectations with the client.

I’d like your expertise on the topic before making any in-depth recommendations, but my sense is that there does need to be some education, perhaps baked into the checkout form itself and/or with links on the color services section of the site going to blog posts defining terms.

OPC gets lots of compliments in testing

The video is edited to highlight areas where people are struggling a bit or misunderstanding things in these clips only because that’s the info we can use to improve the experience and ultimately increase online sales.

I’ve edited out many of the parts where people said how cool and nice the site looks and how much they love the booking system. We got tons of positive feedback from this round of testing!

Feel free to share your feedback below, and hit me up in Slack with any questions. Thank you.

Kyle Bowen
Color Feature: Initial Client Feedback & Next Steps

A little background: The average click-through rate for OPC emails has been 1.65% — below the industry average of 1.96%. but we've only sent a few emails. On the bright side, The average open rate for OPC emails has been 41%, which is better than the industry average of 18%.

Last week's newsletter went to 235 subscribers. 42% Opened the email and 5.9% clicked through. All the clicks went to the new color feature survey.


How interested would you be in a tool to estimate cost and time for color services?


Keep in mind that we're polling current subscribers who basically all signed up by scheduling an appointment online. As existing clients and subscribers, they already have a significant level of trust in OPC. They're at a very different stage in their relationship with OPC than the people who are most likely to use this feature — prospective clients.

I have to think that prospective clients are even more likely to value a tool like this.

Here's that initial draft I made based on the chart you all posted to Instagram. Give it a try:

The information is not accurate, of course. I need to get that from you all. 

Also, once the info is all in place, I'm going to try to make it so that it flows naturally into booking an appointment. Ultimately, the goal is to get more color appointments, which (I think) are some of the highest revenue generating services you offer.

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Can you put together a table or diagram that estimates the time and cost, similar to this graphic?

I just need accurate info to get it rolling. :)

Thanks, all!

— K.

Kyle Bowen
Initial Results From the Homepage Booking Form

Summary: Since introducing the homepage appointment form, the website has seen an 85% increase in online appointments.

I imagine this may be a tough week for you all, so I hope I can be the bearer of some good news.

In Slack, I let you all know that February brought an all-time high for website visits, beating the previous record in April of 2017.

That's nice, but website visits aren't exactly money in the bank. It would be better to get 100 visitors and 50 appointments than a million visitors and 3 appointments. The goal isn't to get visitors — it's to get "butts in chairs", as Jane has put it. :)

So let's crunch some numbers and see how the recent website work has been performing against that goal.

One Month With Two Appointment Forms

There were a few possible consequences to adding a new booking form to the homepage:

  1. Growth: We could see an increased number of online appointments overall
  2. Cannibalization: We could see about the same number of appointments — they would just be divided across the two different forms. More people might use the homepage form, but fewer from the old contact form would mean zero growth.
  3. Decreased conversions: We could see a drop in form submissions overall — which would be an unexpected problem to address.


So far, we're seeing option 1: More appointments being made through the website with no negative impact on the number of submissions from the original form on the Contact page.

The new homepage form has returned an average of 1.7 submissions per day since it launched four weeks ago.

The old Contact form has seen an average of 2.01 submissions per day over the past year and 2 submissions per day over the past month — so, essentially no meaningful increase or decrease since launching the second form.

The new homepage form has brought in an additional 1.7 submissions per day since it launched. It hasn't cannibalized submissions from the old contact form. 

Instead, when we look at the overall impact between the two, the result is an 85% increase in online appointments.

If the average value of an appointment is $116, that's an additional $197 each day  — or $5900 per month — in revenue. 

It's early days, but it does appear that the recent developments on the homepage are having a positive impact on the salon's business. And I can't wait to see how we can improve on these metrics to get even better results.

Thoughts? Let's chat it up on Slack or give me a call. :)

— Kyle

Kyle Bowen
Tracking Shifts in Revenue With Analytics

During renovations, 18% of the people visiting the website made an appointment using the booking form. That's a considerable increase from the 8% average (looking at all visitors since last spring.)

Clients were encouraged to use the online form during that period instead of calling to make an appointment. Now, not every client will have followed that guidance, but it's interesting to consider that somewhere around 56% of the people who make an appointment may usually do so by phone rather than online.

What Persuades People to Make an Appointment?

Contributing factors, in no particular order:

  • The website (for example: easy to use, stylist profiles, a current promotion, etc)
  • Social media content
  • Newsletter (such as a promotion)
  • A referral
  • Google or Yelp (online reviews can be persuasive)
  • Excellent service (the thing that persuades returning clients to make an appointment)

Pretty much all of those things are under your control — some more directly than others. And with analytics, we can measure how website, newsletter, and social media efforts are generating revenue.

Let's focus for now on the revenue generated from the online appointment system:

This month's website conversions.png

January's website conversions

A look at how the website's online booking system has performed this month.

One tricky thing about this chart is that it shows us how many people who visit the website then go on to use the online form to book an appointment, but it doesn't show us how many of those people used the website to call to make an appointment. So, while it's not a totally accurate view of how much revenue is coming through the website, it does start to give us a benchmark for future study.

From here, we can start to see how changes to the website affect online inquiries.

The other thing to note is that I've estimated the average value of an appointment at $70, but I know that may not be correct. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's way off.

If we can plug in the the actual average value of an appointment, including retail sales, we can begin to get a more accurate view of how the changes we make to the website, as well as outreach efforts such as social medial and the newsletter, may impact revenue. [1]

  1. I do have a mind body statement from over a year ago, but more recent info would be best. ↩

Once I have more accurate info, I'll plug that in and we can begin to track goals for more bookings.

Top Tasks Analysis Update

Finally, I've updated the survey results — we're starting to get a more accurate picture of clients' priorities. The top five shifted slightly, with special offers overtaking portfolio for the fourth spot:

  • Stylist profiles (bios, skills, etc): 26%
  • Services/pricing menu: 20%
  • Online appointment booking: 18%
  • Special offers: 10%
  • Portfolio/lookbook: 8%

If you all want to do a February promo, just let me know. Thanks!

Kyle Bowen
Top Tasks Survey Results

Summary: So far, clients have identified staff profiles as most valuable to them, followed by services/pricing menu, online booking, and special offers.

Survey results last updated: May 10th, 2018

Earlier last month, I set up a new newsletter that sends to subscribers about a week after they sign up. The email asks the subscriber to complete a top tasks survey

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Top Tasks Survey email for OPC

By asking for client feedback, we're asking for a quick favor, so the email is as brief as can be.

You can view the survey here.

This newsletter was sent to all existing 150 newsletter subscribers, and clients began responding immediately.

Here's what they identified as the most important to them:


Client Survey Results

Roll over or tap the chart to view details.

Topics that received votes

  • Services/pricing menu: 24.1%
  • Stylist profiles (bios, skills, etc): 22.6%
  • Online appointment booking: 15.8%
  • Portfolio/lookbook: 8.3%
  • Special offers: 7.5%
  • Client testimonials: 4.5%
  • Salon history: 4.5%
  • Appointment reminders: 3.8%
  • Contact info: 3.8%
  • Styling tips & techniques: 2.3%
  • Follow on social media: 1.5%

Topics that received no votes (so far)

  • Gift cards
  • eNewsletter
  • Online shop
  • Salon news/blog
  • Job opportunities
  • How-to videos
  • List & description of available products
  • Press page
  • Salon policies

Keep in mind that this survey will continue to produce results as more people sign up for the newsletter, and it's too early to take call these results statistically significant. We need more survey results to be certain that the information we have so far is a true reflection of subscribers' priorities.

A few notes on subscriber engagement

  • The open rate on this newsletter campaign is 53.6% so far. That's more than 4 times higher than the industry average.
  • The percentage of people who clicked through to open the survey is 8.5%. That is 17 times the industry average. 
  • Of the people who did click to view the survey, 100% completed it. (I've never seen that before!)

All this shows that your clients love the salon and are eager to show their support.


So far, people want more information on stylists. I think this probably includes examples of stylists' work, which overlaps with the fourth most popular topic, portfolio/lookbook. We've also seen in past user testing videos that people want more portfolio images, so one goal for 2018 could be to publish stylist portfolios.

The second and third most popular topics were pricing and online appointments, which means we may want to take a look at those more closely in the months ahead to ensure we've got them working as efficiently and effectively as possible. For example, we may make the online booking form more easily accessible by making it part of the homepage. This will make the booking process faster for returning clients.

We'll see as more results come in whether these topics continue to be the top priorities for subscribers. To get more results faster, we may also want to share the survey with social media subscribers and post a link on the website.

Let me know your thoughts with an email or in Slack.

Thanks, team!

Kyle Bowen
Homepage Recommendations

Right now, the homepage of the site consists of navigation links. This was a good starting point, but introducing a homepage with featured content that changes regularly has a number of benefits. 


A Dynamic Homepage Can …

- Include current month's promotion
- Include testimonials from recent client surveys
- Promote individual stylists
- Improve rankings in Google by making room for more headers & keywords 
- Implement interactive before/after sliders to meet demand for examples of stylists' work (as seen in usability tests)
Boost confidence among prospective clients by incorporating quotes from clients. (Google also identifies testimonials as quality content, thereby improving rankings.)

The new monthly promotions are a great idea, but it would be better to integrate them with the website, rather than show them as a pop-up because:

  1. Promotions are full of rich keyword content that signals to Google that this is an active salon website; Promotions that are part of a blog/homepage will help build domain authority and help search rankings more than if they're in a pop-up
  2. Some people will have pop-up blockers — they'll never see the promotions
  3. Some people will automatically close the pop-up without looking at it because they've come to associate them with newsletter/survey offers

The website's visibility in search results is improving

In comparison to OPC's local competitors


But we can improve the website's domain authority

A dynamic homepage with more content — like testimonials, promotions, and featured stylists — will increase the salon's authority, which improves search result rankings.

Next Steps

I can make an alternative homepage for you all to preview using the upcoming October promotion content and a photo of the new assistant. Please pass along the info — Thanks! 

Kyle Bowen
Feedback: Pop Up & Portfolio Request


  • Primary topic: User wished there was a portfolio section to demonstrate stylists' expertise.
  • User felt that the pop up was "too fast" — he wanted more time to view the site before it covered the screen.
  • User mistook the pop up for a survey
Kyle Bowen
Feedback: Online Form Issue & Portfolio Request

I ran a couple of preliminary usability tests on the website: one on mobile and one in a desktop environment. In these tests, a random individual is asked a series of questions about their experience of the website.

A couple of things that stood out to me:

  1. The online form for booking an appointment doesn't seem to be working consistently on mobile. I need to fix that.
  2. Both visitors immediately wanted to see examples of work. So, it's good that the Instagram feed is there, but if future tests show that this is big priority for visitors, we may want to develop a section on the website for your portfolios because we have limited control over the Instagram environment. We can show the work in a better light on the website.
Kyle Bowen