8 Promotions your Salon can do Without Discounting

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There’s no doubt that competition in the hair and beauty industry is fierce in today’s world. No matter where you are in the UK city, town or village, you will undoubtedly see a host of hair and beauty salons within a stone’s throw of each other.

Many in the industry have taken to offering discounts to entice customers through their doors. This seems to have become the norm, but it can have a major impact on your bottom line. Discounts have their place now and again, but at some point, you worked out what your optimum price structure was based on your overheads and profit margins.

Overly discounted offers can make a major dent in those margins and leave your salon out of pocket. Not to mention that you may inadvertently turn clients off from your salon by offering too many discounts. Many people see their hair and beauty treatments as a luxury item, a treat that they invest in once a month. They don’t want the most heavily discounted salon to do their hair. They want the best stylists and pampering experience.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of ten of the best promotions your salon can run to entice clients through the door without denting your bottom line.

Add value to your customers rather than reducing your price

It has been proven that customers of all industries prefer to have what they perceive as a freebie rather than a monetary saving. You should be looking to offer your customers more rather than charging them less with this in mind. Add in a mini treatment, head massage or glass of prosecco. Salon clients want to feel pampered and special, and what better way to relax than a head massage and glass of prosecco when having your hair done.

Customer referrals

Nothing is quite as flattering for your business as a client referring you to a friend. Make some client referral business-sized cards. Let your client add their friend’s name to the card to make it feel truly special, almost like a gift. As a bonus, you could offer an upgrade or mini treatment for first-time customers as part of their first visit experience. These referrals often turn out to be loyal customers, so make sure their first visit is a special experience.

Happy hour

Bars and pubs have been taking advantage of their quiet times and turning them into busy times for years. As a salon, you will undoubtedly have days of the week or half days that you are quieter than other days. You can use this to your advantage by creating a buzz around your happy day or happy half-day on your socials. Rather than offering discounts, you could add a free glass of bubbly, free mini treatment or a take-home product.
Create a loyalty scheme.
In much the same way your favourite coffee shop does, why not offer a loyalty scheme? For example, buy five and get the sixth treatment free. Technically this could be classed as a discount, but your customer has to spend a lot more to get the offer, and it builds value for them.

Add a take-home gift

This doesn’t have to be an expensive product that you send your customers home with. You could put together gift bags full of free samples to make it cost-effective. If you have a regular customer who you think would benefit from a certain product, sending them home with a freebie is likely to increase your product sales. Once a client tries a product and realises they can’t live without it, they’ll come back to keep buying it from you.

Create package deals

Most salons already have cut and colour deals or cut and style deals. Treatments seem to be priced as an entirely different entity. Try packaging treatments together on your price list. This gives the illusion of a discount that people are more likely to buy, and voila, you have upsold two or three treatments instead of one.

Use an automated email marketing campaign

Build relationships with your customers through an email marketing campaign. This can be automated, and you will have all of your client’s details when they register. Your email marketing strategy doesn’t have to include discounts and is one of the most effective ways to reach clients.

  1. If they book online, send a confirmation email welcoming them as a client.
  2. A reminder email a day before their appointment.
  3. A follow-up email to check they are happy after their appointment.
  4. Reminder email every six weeks to schedule their hair appointment.
  5. Happy birthday, emails.

These email marketing campaigns build real relationships with clients and get them through the door without the use of discounts.

Create demand

Make your salon-exclusive by creating demand. You can leverage holidays and big events to do this on social media. Market your salon as having a rare opening just in time for Christmas or countdown to vacation time slots are filling up fast, so be quick. This is a great way to get clients through the door. They will feel lucky to have the chance to get into your salon and relieved they were able to secure an appointment on the run-up to the busiest times of the year.

Promotion doesn’t mean pricing low

Remember you are providing a valuable service, and you are good at what you do. Don’t be tempted to undersell yourself through discounts. Quite often, it can have the opposite effect to the one you were going for. Salons who discount excessively run the risk of looking desperate and lacking clients. Trust in your product and get imaginative with your promotions, and you will have customers desperate to get a seat in your salon.

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