‘Discounts don’t work’. How many times have you heard that? It’s utter nonsense.
‘Discounting devalues your product’. Tell that to Harrods.
‘You should only ever add value’. Ridiculous
You need to do what you have to do to attract and retain clients. Sometimes the most effective way to do that is a financial incentive.
When I ran the Lockdown and your Hair survey, I found that price is now one of the two biggest factors for choosing a new salon, so promotions are likely to be more important than ever in 2021.
Having said that, one thing I’d avoid is across-the-board promotions or offers like Colour Sales. They may bring in a little added income in the specific time frame, but all you’re going to do is eat into your profit margins of your loyal clients and develop a less loyal clientele that’ll always wait until the price is right.
These are the promotions that I believe the vast majority of salons (there are always exceptions) should be planning and get ready to run in the year ahead.
Planning and being prepared to run your promotions includes:
- Fine-tune the details of the offer
- Write the words that will attract people to the offer
- Choose the photos you’ll use for the campaign
- Create the ad groups you want to target in Facebook business manager
- Drop the key promotions into an calendar so you have a plan for the year.
Always on promotions
These are the offers that you can always have bubbling along in the background. Promote these through free channels including: your website, your social media, your mailing list, your salon team, offline marketing.
What: A new client offer to attract people who have never been to your salon before.
Why: If you want to attract clients who haven’t previously visited, especially in these financially challenging times, they’ll need a referral or an incentive.
When not to use it: If you don’t have a follow-up plan (I like to call it an onboarding strategy), to turn a one-off visitor into a regular client.
Details: A set amount off a key service (it needs to be an absolute minimum of £10, I’d recommend £20 depending on your price point). Alternatively, offer a % off. I recommend 25%, so there is room to increase it at special times
How to promote it: On your website, as a Facebook offer.
Refer a Friend Offer
What: An incentive to encourage your clients to recommend you to their friends and family.
Why: In an era when we are SO dependent on recommendations, it makes sense to let your clients do your marketing for you.
When not to use it: If you don’t have 100% confidence that your salon experience is one to shout about. If you’re onboarding process isn’t in place.
Details: A percentage off the newcomer’s first visit and a percentage of your client’s next visit.
How to promote it: On your website, in the salon, stylist scripts, and to your mailing list (more than once a year!).
Local Business Offer
What: A special rate that is offered to staff from local businesses. Always arrange this in advance with the HR department or shop owner.
Why: Right now ‘location’ is the biggest factor in people choosing a salon. So if you’re the convenient choice and there’s an incentive for them to keep coming you’re onto a winner.
When not to use it: If your prices are too cheap and it will remove your profit margin.
Details: A small percentage (5%) or a small amount £5 off all services over a set amount.
How to promote it: On your website, to the other business’ internal comms list, on LinkedIn.
We Miss You Offer
What: An incentive to attract a client who has not visited your salon for 6 months.
Why: It’s so much cheaper to keep an existing clients than attract a new one.
When not to use it: If the client has only visited once before. If the client has only ever used offers and low value services.
Details: Don’t get caught up in money off for this one, but give some added value based on the service that they’ve had most recently and then add a lower value service as that little bit extra. Only use this once per client. You don’t want people to get used to this and use you as a back-up salon.
How to promote it: Subtly! By text and/or email to the person only.