Spread the love this Valentine’s day
26 Jan 2012
Written by Alice Smithson
The end of January approaches and Christmas and New Year feels like a lifetime ago. Those extra pounds on the waistline and lack of them in the bank mean we could all do with a bit of cheering up.
Valentine’s day is the answer. We all want to look our best and Valentine’s day gives us all a great excuse for pampering, whether we’re in a relationship or not. So, here are our ideas for boosting sales and appointments this February.
Using salon software, it’s easy to sell and redeem vouchers against client accounts. Tap into the market for last-minute gifts and advertise your vouchers and promotions locally. Many local design companies will design and print good quality vouchers for you at a very low cost. Check that the terms and conditions specify when the voucher expires, usually 12 months after the date of issue, as this can be a cause for complaint if clients try to redeem their vouchers beyond that time.
Creating tailored packages of products and services can be a great way of really making the most of the gift market. Make it simple with female and male gift packs which include a mix of discounts on services and some homecare products. Positioning your gift packs on an attractive display where clients can see them will mean they’ll be encouraged to buy them for their partners or even friends and family, bringing you new clients without having to spend anything on marketing.
Promotions & discounts
A straightforward Valentine’s discount is the simplest option of all, but bear in mind that this may not be the most effective way to maximise profits. Often, clients don’t need a discount, and can be enticed in with something else, like a free deep conditioning treatment. Bear in mind the economic climate in your local area and make an informed decision about whether you need to discount your services and by how much.
Always record discounts given in your client record card within your salon software system. You can then review how much extra revenue you took and how the promotion affected the overall profit you made on services during the promotion.
What to Promote
Before you decide which products or services to include in your promotion (or to simply include everything your salon offers), consider where your profit comes from.
Most hairdressing salons make the most profit on simple cut and blow dry appointments and make less on longer, more technical services like colour. Similarly, beauty salon owners need to consider how long appointments last and what equipment and resources are taken up in delivering various treatments. They may find that low-tech treatments which can be performed quickly, like waxing and tanning, will allow a higher volume of clients and a larger profit margin per appointment.
Marketing your Valentine’s Promotions
Aside from your shop window and other local businesses, there are many other low-cost, or even no-cost, means of advertising your salon. Gyms are busy places right now, as are doctor’s surgeries, which are busy dealing with the usual winter colds, flu and viruses, so advertising here will be sure to help you to spread your message.
The local paper is the obvious option for advertising, often at reasonable rates. The potential problem here is that it can be difficult to know how effective your advert has been, unless you use a special promotional code or request that clients bring the advert in with them to claim the offer.
Using a barcode on advertising means that you can scan it into your salon management software, giving you better tracking and a record of how many new and existing clients made a booking as a result of seeing your Valentine’s ad.
Text and Email marketing
If your salon is computerised, the chances are that you’ll have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of clients records available to text and email blast. You can select groups of clients based on whether they are regulars or haven’t visited for a particular length of time. You can also target men and women separately and exclude any clients who already have appointments booked-in, so you don’t discount where you don’t need to.
Text messages cost around 6p each and emails cost nothing at all, so this really is a great way to get your message across without busting the budget. Remember to make your message clear and concise; what are you offering (not necessarily a discount, perhaps advertising your vouchers or packages instead), and when and how can the customer claim. Don’t forget to include your salon phone number so that clients can call straight in. Spaces will be limited!
Good old fashioned postal mailers have their place here too, but consider the cost of them compared with text and email _ you will pay almost 40p per client just for postage and that’s after you have paid for design, printing and materials. Postal mailers also take much longer to put together, so need to be well thought through.
A good strategy here might be to select a small group of clients _ perhaps your top-spenders _ and send them a gift voucher to give to someone they know. This way, you’ll gain new customers, while your clients have something of value to give away which they haven’t had to pay for. Everybody wins.
Who to Target
Collecting as much information as you can about your clients throughout the year will give you more choice when it comes to who to contact with your promotional messages. Did you know you can set up alerts within i-salon telling your team to fill in incomplete record cards when booking in clients’ appointments?
Male & female
The simple message here is ïdon’t forget the blokes!’ As well as letting all your female clients know of your Valentine’s promotions, you can send a text to all the men on your database letting them know that they can buy vouchers and gifts for the special lady in their lives from you.
You may want to target all customers initially, then as the date comes closer to February 14th, whittle down your marketing list so you’re sending a different ïlast minute’ message to people who live close-by.
Even if your offer remains the same for all age groups, you may want to alter the wording of your message or the types of products you promote. Again, this is possible when you apply a filter within i-salon when you build a marketing list.
Contact us for more information about i-salon software and good luck with your seasonal promotions!
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