6 Salon and Spa Advertising Ideas to Boost Your Client Base
Reading time: 8 minutes
The biggest key to growing your salon or spa is increasing your new client base AND retaining current customers. The most effective way to do that is through thoughtful, creative and successful advertising. The health and beauty landscape has certainly changed in the past two years and it’s likely time to rethink your marketing plan (In fact, your short-term marketing plan may need an update).
To help you advertise your business in today’s climate, we’ve put together these marketing tips for marketing your salon or spa.
1. Create Online Promotional Events
Promotional events can showcase your salon or spa with online tutorials and product demos. Feature new styles, hairdressers and products your salon/spa uses and sells. Consider offering free treatments (e.g., massage therapy, hair services, makeovers) and promotional discounts for future services. Have your clients be a part of a promotional event by posting before & after selfies to social media with a specific hashtag created for the event.
Create a small business beauty network in your community by inviting other business owners to join in on the action! Sync up with local businesses that cater to a similar audience (florists, bridal boutiques, restaurants, etc.) and work together to design an online marketing plan. For instance, cross-promote your businesses by advertising their offer(s) on your social media and digital platforms. In return, they can do the same for your business.
You can also create giveaway contests via social media, with each local business providing goods and/or services prizes. Invite the business owner to your salon or spa to enjoy the promotion — for free. Working together to create promotional ideas is a great way to grow your clientele and theirs.
Networking can go a long way when done right but cross-promoting is not a one-time marketing method. You will need to develop a long-term relationship with local businesses, which will encourage long-term relationships with customers. It’s a win-win for everyone!
2. Advertise With Direct Mail
53% of Americans have tried a new business because of direct mail. With people continuing to spend more time at home, direct mail is the perfect advertising vehicle to attract potential clients, introduce new stylists and promote new hours or services (40% of day spa/facial clients responded to a direct mail ad in the past 30 days).
Direct mail isn’t a one-size-fits-all marketing method. There are multiple formats to consider, depending on the goal of your advertising campaign:
- Coupons – For more than 50 years, coupons have been Valpak’s signature product. They’re affordable (around 3-5 cents per home), effective and give consumers a reason to try your business.
- Flyers – A larger-print format of the Valpak coupon, flyers (and circulars) are perfect for salons/spas that need more advertising real estate to promote service menus and special sales events.
- Targeted postcards – Targeted, trackable and affordable, our turnkey postcard solution mails to the same high-income households as the Valpak envelope (with limited inventory per mailing area).
- 1-to-1 custom postcards – A 1-to-1 marketing solution that hyper-targets your audience, based on a number of factors, including age, income, home ownership, distance from your salon/spa and more.
- Event mailers – Valpak’s event postcards help you create memorable connections with event-specific messaging (like new movers and birthdays). Event mailers fit any budget and marketing plan.
Keep in mind, consumers are more likely to respond to postcards than any other type of marketing mail. Including a coupon with your mailer also bumps up the predicted response by 12.1%.
3. Use Social Media to Highlight Your Business AND Clients
Today, social media is an important marketing tool and shouldn’t be overlooked when planning your advertising budget: 74% of purchasing decisions are influenced by social media. Clients expect to engage with a brand and personal engagement fosters feelings of connection.
Consider holding monthly promotions or contests (like mentioned in section 1). Highlight current customers and have them describe a positive experience they’ve had with your business.
Visual content has a huge impact on reach, engagement and sales — users watch a total of 100 million hours of video content on Facebook every day. Share videos or photos of your business’ updates, announcements, client testimonials and promotional giveaways. Research popular hashtags and include them in your posts to help reach your ideal audience. Welcome new stylists with a short introduction video or photo. Show off your stylists’ skills with before and after photos of their work. Most importantly, be authentic!
Another way to connect with consumers is through influencers. Finding beauty influencers to speak on behalf of your brand provides engaging content for your social media platforms and extends your reach. This will come with some sort of trade off for the influencer: either a monetary fee (usually for influencers with more than 10,000 followers) or free merchandise for micro-influencers (social media accounts with less than 10,000 followers).
In addition to influencers, social media advertising and Google ads are also paid services that help you reach a larger audience of new clientele.
4. Grow Your Database
Building a customer database gives you an open door to promote sales and offers to an audience that signs up for your promo emails, digital newsletters, offers and events calendar. Using email addresses collected from social media, in-store contests, events and online contact forms, you can create a digital marketing campaign that will reach current and potential clients. You might even win back some former clients too!
It’s crucial you keep the content fresh. Original content that’s frequent and cutting edge will create excitement among your ideal audience. They will share your content with friends/family, potentially leading to new followers who won’t want to miss out on your posts. And remember to offer something of value that aligns with what you sell or services you provide. The following are the most effective offers for health and beauty:
- $____ adult cut (Reg. $____)
- $____ shampoo & haircut (Reg. $____)
- XX% off any haircut & style
- Free manicure with purchase of a pedicure
- XX% off any mani-pedi
- $_____ manicure & pedicure (Reg. $_____)
- Free massage with purchase of facial
- $_____ for massage/facial combo
- $XX off any 60-minute massage
People want to be recognized for their repeat patronage, so implement a loyalty program to reward frequent customers. Give them early access to new products, services and special promotions. Send birthday postcards and anniversary emails that include a free offer. This blog has a helpful infographic on the best offers that work.
5. Be Mobile-Friendly
People are more mobile and connected than ever before — 85% of mobile users now own a smartphone — and expect to land on a website that is easy to navigate and responsive to whatever device they are using. A mobile responsive salon website scales the content to fit any size screen to ensure a pleasant user-experience.
Attention spans are shorter now, thanks to the deluge of digital content and mobile internet access. Focus your content and make sure it grabs the attention of your visitors immediately and that your site loads quickly (under 3 seconds, to be exact). Be sure to include digital codes/coupons if your salon/spa sells products or goods. And along with posting engaging content, include a link to an online booking portal.
When done in a strategic, respectful and relevant way, SMS (text) marketing can be successful for salons and spas. In fact, 64% of consumers want businesses to communicate via text! With your customers’ permission, text is also a great way to book appointments, send offers, reminders and promotions. According to a recent survey, the top 5 reasons consumers opt-in to a brand’s text messaging are:
- 77% coupons or deals
- 50% personal alerts
- 48% being in the loop
- 33% more meaningful content
- 31% no need to visit a physical location/website/app for information
With today’s technology, your salon software for booking appointments should also be able to send reminders, follow-ups/thank you’s and post-appointment surveys. However, you must be in compliance with SMS and text message laws and regulations.
6. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Lastly, providing excellent service is the foundation of a successful business. You also need to build a positive reputation within your community (remember to try networking with companies that have a similar client base!).
Word-of-mouth is powerful and can make or break you and your business. Current clients giving referrals to friends, family and acquaintances are valuable in building and maintaining your new client list. Provide your business card to your current salon clients to hand out to people they know who also frequent salons and spas. You can even include a discount or a free service on the business card as an incentive to new customers. Don’t forget to reward the referrer! Repeat customers are repeat customers because they are pleased with the service or products they receive.
Your online presence needs to measure up to great service too. Managing your online reputation by swiftly handling complaints, questions and other issues can elevate your business to new heights. For example, if your business is listed on Yelp or Tripadvisor and you receive a negative online review, don’t close the page and pretend you never read it. Promptly reply to the customer and objectively validate their concerns. Don’t get too defensive – potential clients can be turned off if they sense you’re blaming the reviewer. Even if you feel your salon/spa is in the right, do whatever is necessary to rectify the situation — it will be noticed and you could be rewarded with loyal customers.
Boost Your Salon/Spa Revenue
Valpak marketing consultants can assess your current situation and provide beneficial feedback and support as you navigate the current environment. Our reps have the knowledge and experience to help you successfully communicate your safety measures, offers and services to ensure local consumers feel comfortable doing business with you.
Valpak’s team of experts can help reach untapped audiences by helping you develop a direct mail or digital campaign. Contact your local Valpak office to get started.
Sources: USPS National Virtual AIM Meeting, June 4, 2020. AudienceSCAN® 2021.