Running a salon demands far more than fixing roots and booking appointments. Owners also need to put on marketing hats to create hair salon promotions that attract clientele. The good news is there are many creative techniques out there that will help you promote your salon business.
1. Treat hair salon promotions as community initiatives
One important thing to remember about hair salons is that they aren’t just beauty businesses — they’re local businesses. For that reason, hair salon promotions that resonate with the surrounding community are likely to attract prospective locals. For example:
Reach out to networking groups. Many cities have business networks that create opportunities for new clients. Before you go, research the attending business owners for styling ideas that would suit their chosen profession. Bring business cards and coupons that members can take and hand out to others — or use themselves!
Form partnerships within local beauty brands. Do you offer complete hairstyling packages, but don’t do nails or facial waxing? Find another beauty salon that does fantastic work and form a strategic partnership! A combo hair and nail salon promotion could gain traction for you both. And you can continue to refer clients to each other even after the promotion ends.
Find ways to uplift the local community. Sometimes showing a little goodwill goes a long way. Consider the lawn care specialist who gave free visits once a month to people who couldn’t keep up. A salon that periodically offers a similar service to say, single mothers or job applicants, can endear themselves to the community. And it means the world to the surprised client as well.
2. Create group discounts for friends
The “buy one, get one free” promotional model has always been a staple of most businesses. Salons are no exception; they benefit by letting customers turn any visit into a social event. Many clients love to bring friends to the hairdresser to get extensions together or make coloring suggestions. If you lean into that demand, customers will start to view your salon as a business as a social destination.
Naturally, salons shouldn’t feel limited to the buy one, get one free model, especially as a long-term promotion. Alternatively, owners can offer 50% off a second visitor, or implement a referral program that lets recommended new clients attend separately. Whatever example you use, encouraging existing clients to bring friends to the salon is a great way to attract new clientele. If you manage it right, you’ll have a new regular who can spread the word about your business far and wide.
3. Offer free samples and product giveaways
Does your salon offer take-home hairsprays, shampoos, or moisturizers? Why not send your client home with a sample? If the manufacturer has any small or travel-sized products, these are ideal giveaways that add a little value to a regular appointment. We’d recommend offering something to first-time customers or making it a reward for attending a follow-up appointment. If you have a complete, high-price treatment for a client, you could even throw a full-sized product for maintenance as appropriate.
Salons can give away anything they’d like, but it should be secondary to your core service. Why? Because frequent giveaways can have an anchoring effect that plays on customer psychology. They may grow accustomed to the discount and assume that the service is overpriced without it — and you definitely don’t want that. Salon promotions that work involve giveaways that offer a small complement to your core service; it’s a great deal at a reasonable value for salons and clients. More importantly, visitors will be more likely to book additional appointments and come back for more!
4. Don’t forget about seasonal promotions
Salon owners can take advantage of countless seasonal promotion opportunities — some obvious, others less so. Holidays are the most common annual promotions to keep in mind. Clients may want to look their best before seeing family at Christmas or try out a new look for a special someone during Valentine’s Day. Offering relevant promotions during these timeframes will help customers keep you in mind before the big day.
But there are other, more subtle seasonal trends to consider. Students will seek out new do’s before the school year begins. Engaged couples will have incredibly specific requests during popular wedding months. Be sure to target these potential clients with the right messaging or images of the kind of styles you can offer.
5. Bond with your clients using anniversary promotions
It’s always refreshing to celebrate the anniversary of your salon with the rest of your team. Just don’t forget that it’s also a great marketing opportunity! Anniversaries are a great chance to run beauty salon promotions that attract regular and new clients alike, each of whom will want to reminisce with you — or see what the fuss is about.
To make the most of beauty salon anniversary promotions, don’t just talk about a discount — emphasize the positive experience behind your brand. Juut Salonspas and Paris Parker accomplished this by featuring personal stories on their websites from their decades-long histories. This approach is more likely to resonate with existing clients and give new customers a picture of the experience you’d like them to have with you.
The success of each of these salon promotion ideas will vary from salon to salon, even from customer to customer. It’s a good idea to experiment and see which models work for you. Perhaps a referral program will be useful, or a combination of networking and seasonal deals will attract more foot traffic. As long as you communicate your value to target audiences, it will be far easier to attract long-term regulars instead of occasional visitors.