By Grant Miller, salon consultant
One of the most common questions I receive from salon owners regarding their marketing is, “When marketing to a customer, what is the best thing to offer them to get them into my store?”
Previously, I wrote one of my most instructional articles which discussed the importance of having an “irresistible offer,” or offering something that is so irresistible that anyone thinking about tanning would be foolish to pass it up. But once you understand the importance of the irresistible offer, what exactly should the offer be?
Early on, I learned a very important lesson from one of my most influential marketing mentors, Dan Kennedy. This was the concept of using the “right bait to capture the right critter.” For example, if you place a big salt lick block in your backyard, you’ll expect to attract a herd of deer. But if you hand a big piece of cheese in that same backyard, all you’ll probably attract is a bunch of rats.
The same thing goes for your marketing message. You need to the right bait to attract that perfect prospect. With that being said, though, there is never one irresistible offer that works for every customer and situation.
The hardest customer to attract is a new one, so that’s why I will use the most attractive bait to find one of them. Since a tanning client most likely requires multiple visits to your salon, don’t be afraid to literally give it away or to go negative on the first transaction in order to attract them.
One of my best client attraction offers was a month of tanning for only $5. The only condition was they had to be a brand new customer to my salons and a local resident.
To attract other segments of customers I would change the bait. For example, if I had lost inactive clients I might offer them a free week to come back. Since an EFT client is typically your most valuable critter, I would do almost anything to reactivate one of them. This could be everything from waiving an enrollment fee, providing a month of free tanning, giving free lotion when they sign back up or possibly all three.
The big lesson is, depending on whom you are trying to attract, the bait or offer will vary. Make it irresistible enough to maximize your chance of attracting the exact group or client you’re looking for. The better and more irresistible the offer is, the better your chances are of capturing that very profitable new or lost client.
Don’t make the mistake of being too thrifty either. Remember what the lifetime value of a client is and be willing to make a reasonable investment to get them. Most of your competitors will not do this, so this is your change to really stand out and get new and old clients back into your salon.