How To: Run Full-Hearted Salon Promotions

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From the standpoint of a marketing agency it can be both baffling and frustrating to observe a salon client running a salon promotion in a half-hearted manner. 

Salon owners can be quick to surmise that marketing is a waste of money when a promotion disappoints; yet poor execution, rather than the promotion itself, is usually to blame. Many salons run marketing promotions with the goal to grow business and bring in new clientele. Yet, when the first time client walks through the salon doors the opportunity to turn the "promotion guest" into a loyal client is lost. 

How and why is the opportunity lost? There are three main offenders. First, the guest is not asked to fill out a client card to allow future correspondence. Second, the guest is treated like a “bargain hunter” and subsequently given a half-hearted service. Third, the guest is not rebooked for a follow-up service. 

Here are some tips for future salon promotions to ensure they will be a success.

1 – Hire Professional Concept & Design
To appeal to the right market all promotional materials must be professionally written and designed. From the marketing concept, to copywriting and imagery, a marketing professional is well trained and experienced in the field of marketing. Leave the job of marketing to the experts.

2 – Train VIP Treatment 
Train your team to treat every customer as a VIP every time. No team member is to make judgment on a client, or to treat them like anything less than a VIP. Make your team aware the standard of service you expect all clients (including promotional clients) to receive, and to deliver that standard every time. 

3 — Train Team Promotion Terms & Conditions
To make the most of your salon promotion it is essential your entire team is aware of the promotion terms and conditions. The team should be prepared to confidently share and answer any questions about the promotion.

4 — Train Team New Client Card & Re-book Implementation
Re-train or refresh your front desk team on the salon’s re-booking protocol prior to running the promotion. In any promotion you run to attract new clients you will find not all of them will re-book, but 

5 – Evaluate Promotion Results
Salon promotions are designed with distinct marketing goals such as re-booking, brand awareness, increasing retail sales, or advertising a new service. Don’t expect it to do anything else. Determine which promotions work best for your salon to run in the future.

6 — Immeasurable Brand Awareness
If the response to your salon’s promotion is less than anticipated, don't forget to calculate the immeasurable brand awareness created by your salon campaign. Potential or future new guests have taken notice of your salon name or location for future reference. Raising your brand awareness in the community can bring in referrals for months to come.

7 — Implement Promotions Full-hearted
The final ingredient to a successful salon promotion is a salon staff that participates full-heartedly.

The Beauty of Salon Email Marketing

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Let’s have a little heart-to-heart about the BEAUTY of email marketing. Only a small number of salons are profiting from this potentially powerful marketing tool. Why? Because very few understand HOW to do it. The typical salon owner assumes it’s going take too much time and money for a salon promotion to be profitable. Yet, when a salon implements an email marketing “system” a salon promotion can be blasted out to your client list in minutes. So how do you start email marketing and get results for your salon or spa business?

Follow these steps:
1. Build your Dream Database
A healthy email database isn’t about masses of contacts, but the level of engagement you derive from the list. An engaged audience is one that will open, interact and show interest in the communications from your salon. Sound like a dream? It’s not - build your dream database by creating periodic reasons to subscribe, interact, and continue the “conversation” with your salon such as a sweepstakes and special offers to email guests only. Make sure you are collecting emails every single time someone steps foot into your salon and continue re-marketing to them down the line. Continue nurturing your salon email database and creating email offers and specials your clients are looking for. Remember, these emails are for them, not you.

2. Create Compelling Subject Lines
When writing your email subject lines remember to use persuasive language to get that interest or ultimately that “open” from them. Remember that your recipients care about themselves, so write subject lines that reflect what’s "in it for them".

3. Maximize Exposure
Turn your offer into a campaign. A great campaign requires more than one contact to maximize exposure and profits. Each promotion should be re-delivered to inboxes, you can't assume that there is only one time, on one day that all your potential clients should see your email. Instead put a strategy in place to get maximum results. Reschedule the same offer to pose as a reminder to book or “lead up” to a holiday offers and special events.

Note: If you send a lot of promotional emails, caution sending a monthly newsletter. Consider instead a quarterly newsletter so the volume stays at an acceptable level.

4. Make an Offer that Sells
Email marketing is all about limited-time offers. Make a great offer, with great savings, and it will sell. Encourage guests to purchase with “buy it now” bookings. Increase gift card sales by combining 3 or 4 services into a Beauty Day specially priced at 25% off. Create packages at several price points; offer high priced items like “A Year of Hair Color” or “A Massage of the Month”. Remember that - when the gift is right - gift givers can be very generous with their money. Online packages and gift certificates help you work smarter, not harder and can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line.

5. Include Multiple Levels of Engagement
Make sure every single email you send out to includes a link to your online booking system (so they can act on any offer immediately), links to gift card buy it now options, and links to all of your salon social media channels. Other ideas for engagement: a link to a cool beauty or fashion video, a how-to hair demonstration, or various articles on beauty and hair trends.

The beauty of salon email marketing is that its the easiest way to stay in touch with your guests and potential guests - everyone has an inbox they check every single day, multiple times a day. The question is why AREN'T you using email...?