For long term repeat business, get each customer’s phone number and email address before they walk out, PERIOD!!! Along with their birthday (year not required!). These will be used for email marketing and text message campaigns, and will go a long way toward building a loyal clientele.
1. Where are your customers looking?
All those people walking around outside, they’re staring down at their phones. Someone is probably walking right past your salon door…the smell of floral shampoo wafting up their nose…but they are too busy searching for salons online to notice. It’s a good idea to get your location ONLINE, since a whopping 94% of customers search the Internet before hitting the pavement.
There are a handful of great services that ensure your location will be discovered by potential customers in your area. Some are free groupon, Yelp, local directories like Yellow Pages and Google Business.
There are also great low-cost location-based marketing tools to help you attract local customers, with tools such as location based targeting, so people in the area get notified of any specials or promos you may have.
2. Find local partnerships
Photo studios and gyms are your friends and most are open to cross-promotions. Print out some hair removal promos during the summer, just for the gym folks, in exchange for keeping their special promo on your front desk. Offer to model some of your work to the local photo studio, who might need them for their portfolio— in exchange for being able to use some of the images on your marketing materials, website, or social media platforms.
3. Build Loyalty
Salons rely on repeat customers for the bulk of their business, so it’s a no brainer to reward customers for their loyalty. Punch cards are super effective, since most clients will immediately see the value in a ‘buy 5 get 1 free’ type deal. However, gone are the days of paper punch cards and client files. Today’s clients want punch cards, and pretty much everything else, on their smart phones. Look for loyalty platforms that are robust and easy to use.
Your loyalty program should offer location based marketing, virtual punch cards, an easy way to set up and disseminate specials and promos, and ideally also have an email and SMS marketing function.
Your customer-loyalty strategy should also incorporate elements that will promote word-of-mouth marketing, such as “free upgrade” for clients who bring a friend.
SMS or Text Message Marketing is underrated, especially because it is so effective! The idea is to send hair or nail promotions directly to your customers’ cell phones, where they have a 99% chance of being seen. Use SMS marketing for occasional promotions, such as Birthday specials, where you customer is more likely to be receptive to getting a % off coupon, along with a personalized birthday wish.
Treat these platforms as mini-websites, and be sure to include your address, a short description of your salon or spa, and a great profile picture. After that, it’s all about posting images and calls to action— and you’re in the right business for that!