Salon Promo Hero

Industry • Marketing

3 Growth-Oriented Salon Promotions (That Don't Include Discounts)

You don’t have to devalue what your salon offers to create a great promotion.

Some salons stay fully booked and profitable through word of mouth alone, but those are rare and special unicorns. Everyone else is occasionally going to have to run some promotions to help their salons flourish. The obvious method is to offer discounts, but many salon owners worry that will devalue their services. The good news is there are many ways to increase your promotion’s appeal without reducing prices.

What will your salon promotion do?

Before you start designing your promotion, think about what you want it to achieve. For example, are you looking to attract new clients or win back lapsed customers? Are you hoping to inspire patrons to spend more at each appointment or book visits during your salon’s slow hours? Be thoughtful about matching the style of promotion to the desired goal so that you get the most out of your efforts. 

A quick word of caution: don’t use promotions to push something your clients don’t want. An easy mistake to make is believing a promo will give a much-needed boost to a service that isn’t performing well. The truth is that if it’s not doing well, that’s probably because your clients simply don’t want it. Don’t waste your time and effort on something that will collapse again once the promotion is over.

Gift cards

Gift cards can further many different goals for your salon. When offered as a thank you for a more expensive service, such as a color treatment, they encourage clients to rebook while also sending the message that you appreciate their business. But gift cards can also help build new clientele, especially when included in a gift bundle of retail products. Gift cards are an ideal seasonal add-on, as well. Giving customers the opportunity to pick one up at checkout during the winter holidays or before Mother’s Day makes their lives a little easier while boosting your salon’s bottom line. Better yet, some business management platforms (like Boulevard) allow customers to purchase gift cards directly from your booking widget! Thus, making it as simple as possible for clients to look forward to their next appointment while increasing your revenue.

Offer an add-on

Whatever service your client is receiving, they’re a captive audience for your stylists. Whether they’re waiting for a treatment to set, or sitting for a manicure, they’re still stuck waiting. Allow them to make the most of their inactivity by adding on other services in the meantime. Perhaps they’d like their brows done while their nails dry, or would enjoy a facial treatment as they’re getting highlights. By bundling the extra service’s cost with the one they already booked, you can maximize the value of a single appointment block. That even gives you room to offer it at a discount without cutting into your profits. It’s a benefit for your client that doesn’t diminish the value of your salon’s services.

Loyalty programs

It costs far more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, so loyalty programs can be a valuable promotional tool. Offering a free high-value service after a customer has spent a certain amount of money in your salon may seem like a financial loss at first, but do the math. That client is far more likely to return to your salon to work towards that reward than to visit a competitor, and they’ll feel great about doing it. Loyalty programs are investments in your client base that pay off in word-of-mouth as well as increased spend per booking. If you’re looking for help on how to get started, Boulevard offers a loyalty program app that allows you to create, customize, and track your program with ease. That’s the beauty of full-partner business management platforms — they’re built to help you succeed and support you along the way.

Of course, you can mix and match any of these ideas to suit the goal you’re trying to achieve. Whatever you do, remember that it’s not about never providing a discount so much as it’s about never devaluing what your salon offers. So long as you frame your promotion as delivering outstanding value for anyone savvy enough to take advantage of it, your clients will feel great about helping your business thrive.‎

Looking for more ways to become a better boss and leader? Our Manager’s Handbook to Salon Operations has everything you need to level up. Get your free copy now

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