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Industry • Best Practice

Salon Marketing: (Literally) Everything You Need to Know to Nail It

From email and social media to advertising and promotions, here are the tips and tricks salon owners need to get the most out of marketing.

No matter how beautiful your salon is or how talented your stylists are, the best salon in the world is nothing without its clientele. Salon marketing is important for any modern business, and it doesn’t have to break your focus (or your bank account). Let’s look at the most important elements of salon marketing that you can implement today.

Get started with salon marketing 101

Marketing your salon is all about bringing clients through the door. Although there are countless ways you could go about doing that in the grand scheme of things, you should cover a few basics before getting creative. Start with these nuts and bolts ideas, and whatever marketing strategy you build for your salon from there is sure to be a hit:

  • Launch a website: In 2022, you’ve got to have a website. Make sure it has all the relevant details about your business in addition to customer-focused features like appointment booking or client management systems.

  • Build your digital presence: With your website up and running, you’ll want your salon to be listed (accurately) on other popular digital platforms. Google Maps, Yelp, and social media sites are all popular ways clients will search for your business.

  • Work on word of mouth: There’s nothing quite like a personal recommendation when it comes to sealing the deal on a new spot. Reward your existing clients for leaving reviews, sending testimonials, or referring friends to your salon.

  • Photos: Posting a portfolio of your work on your website or social media accounts will give prospective clients a real sense of what you can do. You can also set up a dedicated selfie spot in your salon to help clients spread the word for you!

Ready to jumpstart your approach to salon marketing this year? Read our article: “5 Salon Marketing Ideas for Building a Clientele Fast.”

Lock in your salon advertising from day one

Advertising is the aspect of marketing that your clients will see and interact with most. Salon marketing is all about your strategy and approach, which includes getting advertisements in front of your current and future clients’ eyeballs. Here are a few tips for taking your salon ads over the finish line:

  • Honor your branding: Your ads should give clients a sense of your salon’s vibe. Use colors, fonts, and design elements to match the energy you offer in your physical space.

  • Solve problems: Use your ads to speak directly to your clients’ needs. Think: frizzy hair in the summer, a lack of volume in the winter, or common style questions.

  • Stay on-trend: Help customers keep their finger on the pop culture pulse by using your ads to show how you can make the hottest new looks available to them. 

  • Be adaptable: Your ads should be designed to fit the situation where they appear, whether that’s online, in apps, or even posted in public spaces around the neighborhood.

  • Go local: Prioritize ads that serve your local community. Building familiarity and comfort will make it that much easier for people to walk right up to your business.

  • Be patient: Even the best ads take time to work their magic. Wherever you run your campaigns, have patience for those results to come in before you start making changes.

We put together a list of tips to help you start advertising your salon. Check it out here: “7 Super Easy Tips for Hair Salon Advertising.”

Use promotions to attract more clients

Promotions are a great way to put a little extra “oomph” behind your salon marketing efforts. Not only will you delight current clients by easing the weight on their wallets, you’ll also help anyone who’s still on the fence make the decision to come in and try you out. Here are some promotional ideas you can use to attract more clients to your salon:

Put community first

Always remember that your salon is a local business like countless others in your area. Becoming a part of the fabric of your community isn’t just a good business decision, it makes everything you do feel worthwhile. A rising tide lifts all ships, and the benefits are mutual when you support each other. Search for professional networks where you can connect with other local business owners, form partnerships with local brands, businesses, and artists, and look for opportunities to give back to leaders, dreamers, and changemakers in your neighborhood.

Go for groups

One new client is great, but a whole group of them is even better. Invite your existing customers and brand new visitors alike to turn their visit to the salon into an outing with their squad. BOGO models, group discounts, referral programs, and special events for duos (or trios, or more) are all ideal ways to encourage this behavior. Your clients will have a great time surrounded by the people they care about, and you’ll have even more chances to turn first-time guests into loyal customers.

Everyone loves “free”

At the end of the day, your clients know they’re going to spend money in your salon. No matter what service they’re getting or how long they spend with you, they’ll have to complete payment before they leave. Turn that moment of transaction into an exciting treat by offering free product samples or product giveaways — but choose your moment wisely. You don’t want to cheapen the perception of your products by getting too loosey goosey with your giveaways. Reward first-time customers, big ticket visits, or special occasions instead.

Respect the seasons

If you need a little inspiration for your next promotion, turn to your calendar. Seasonal trends, national holidays, and global events can all be a reason to offer clients a discount or deal. Think about what customers are looking for: a gift for a loved one on Valentine’s Day, a touch-up before Thanksgiving with the family, or a fresh cut when the summer heat rolls in. Then there are personal occasions — storing clients’ important dates makes it easy to offer them something special (or just a few words of celebration!) on their birthday and the anniversary of their first visit.

Looking for more ideas about using salon promotions to bring in clients? Read our full article:“5 Hair Salon Promotions That Bring In Clients.”

Salon social media is non-negotiable

You probably didn’t get into the salon business to become an influencer, but social media is a critical tool when it comes to salon marketing. Don’t let it throw you off or intimidate you though; there are plenty of ways to make social media (especially Instagram!) work for you. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to marketing your salon on social media:

  • Set clear goals: Instead of throwing posts at the wall to see what sticks, set realistic and well-defined goals for your social media efforts. That way you’ll know exactly where you’re headed from the beginning, and you’ll be able to focus and improve your efforts accordingly.

  • Have a voice: Your brand identity isn’t just about aesthetics, it also includes how you use words to communicate your message to your audience. Develop an idea of what you look like and what you sound like to create a holistic experience of your brand.

  • Create great content: Posting for the sake of it won’t get you very far. Take time to design powerful posts that really put your best foot forward, like photos and videos of your space, interviews with your team, product shots, and portfolio images of your work.

  • Stay current: Even if you’re totally salon-focused, it’s a good idea to try to stay relevant. You don’t have to comment on current events if that’s not right for your brand, but look for ways to incorporate beauty trends, cultural moments, and important conversations.

  • Share your values: Today’s consumer wants to do business with brands that share their values. Be loud and proud about what your business cares about and what matters to your team, including any non-profit organizations or charities you support.

  • Invest in yourself: Most social media platforms offer paid ad options. Putting a little money behind your best posts can boost your reach in a big way, ensuring that more of the right people see your content and increasing the chances they’ll become clients.

  • Build engagement: Your job isn’t over once you’ve posted a photo or video. Take time to respond to your audience’s comments and direct messages; even if it’s just a quick emoji, engaging is a great way to make people feel heard, valued, and respected.

  • Rely on systems: Keep your social media strategy from turning into a full-time job by building systems that make your life easier. Start with a content calendar, for example, so you’re never pressed to come up with a great creative idea at the last minute.

  • Pick your platforms: You don’t have to master every single platform to get results out of your salon social media. Pick and choose the platforms that work for you, then focus on those instead of spreading yourself too thin.

We’re not saying social media is the be-all and end-all, but it’s pretty important. Learn more in our post: “Hair Salon Social Media Strategy: A Complete Guide.”

Tickle inboxes with a fantastic salon newsletter

Email is a powerful marketing tool, but doing it wrong can land your salon in the spam folder. Follow these tips to make sure emails you send out about your salon get where they’re going and deliver a punch when they arrive:

  • Collect email addresses: If you’re going to be sending out emails about your salon, you need a list of addresses to send them to. Encourage clients to share their email address when they shop online, book an appointment, attend an event, or enter a giveaway.

  • Write something worth reading: There are three main components to writing an effective salon marketing email: hook their attention with a snappy subject line, deliver your message with concise body copy, and sign off with a killer call to action.

  • Pretty it up with design: Making your email easy on the eyes will make it that much more likely that clients will actually read the content. Scour the internet for inspiration if you don’t know where to start, and use digital design tools to streamline the process.

  • Take the pressure off: Sending your emails to the right people at the right time takes a special kind of alchemy — or just a little AI. Use email marketing software like Boulevard’s Marketing Suite to automate the process so you can get back to your salon.

  • Check your results: Take a deep breath, pour yourself a drink, and check the numbers. Studying metrics like deliverability, open rate, and click through rate will help you learn from your experience and make each email you send better than the last.

Curious to learn more about using email in your salon marketing strategy? Read our full post: “Salon Email Marketing 2022: Tools, Tips & Tricks.”

Getting salon marketing right can help move the needle for your business so that you and your team get to do more of what you’re great at. A little effort goes a long way, and following this guide will help make sure your marketing efforts support your passions instead of distracting from them.

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How can salon owners effectively measure the success of their marketing efforts, particularly in terms of attracting and retaining clients?

Salon owners can measure the success of their marketing efforts through various metrics such as the number of new clients acquired, client retention rates, appointment bookings attributed to specific marketing channels, and feedback from clients. By tracking these metrics over time, salon owners can gauge the effectiveness of their marketing strategies and make adjustments as needed to optimize results.

Are there any specific strategies mentioned in the article for targeting different demographics, such as younger clients versus older ones, or catering to specific hair types or styling preferences?

The article primarily focuses on general marketing principles that can be applied universally, such as launching a website, building a digital presence, and utilizing social media for promotion. While it doesn't delve into specific demographic targeting strategies, salon owners can tailor their marketing messages and promotions to appeal to different demographics based on their preferences, needs, and interests. For example, they could create targeted campaigns for younger clients interested in trendy hairstyles or older clients looking for more traditional services.

While the article mentions various digital platforms for marketing like social media and email newsletters, are there any recommendations for offline marketing strategies or traditional advertising methods that salon owners can also consider?

While the article emphasizes digital marketing strategies like social media and email newsletters, offline marketing methods can also be effective for salon owners. These might include distributing flyers or brochures in the local community, sponsoring events or local sports teams, collaborating with other businesses for cross-promotion, or hosting in-person events or workshops. By incorporating a mix of online and offline marketing tactics, salon owners can reach a broader audience and strengthen their presence in the community.

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