Promotional discounts or incentives can be great assets to your salon by bringing in new customers or enticing your current customers to make additional purchases. They can be valuable to customers and beneficial to your business — assuming, of course, that you do it right.
There’s definitely a wrong way to do promotions. You can make them so valuable to your customers that it ends up hurting your bottom line. You can make the deal so complicated and restrictive that customers don’t even bother trying to redeem it. Or you can make the savings so minimal that it’s not enticing enough for anyone to even give it a second look.
When you do promotional campaigns effectively, it should be a win-win for everyone. Your brand is being promoted, you’re getting customers and potential customers to sample products and services the might not otherwise try and you’re gaining some valuable data. So the next time you plan on throwing a deal out there, keep these tips in mind:
Pick a promotion that gets people in the door. One free tan or 10 percent off a lotion purchase might be enticing to some, but to the general public it’s probably not even worth leaving the house for. Make sure whatever promotion you decide to offer is providing a real value for the people you’re targeting. What’s going to get people excited enough to go out of their way to come to your salon? How about a free gift card, free week of tanning or impressive discount? You want to make people excited, but…
Be realistic about what you’re offering. This is important for a couple reasons. First, you don’t want your promotion to sound so unbelievable that it’s…unbelievable. People will assume there are strings attached or other stipulations if the deal sounds too good to be true. Second, you don’t want to give everything you have away for free. Promos only work for your business if it gets people in your salon to spend money. If what you’re giving away for free or at a discount completely fulfills their needs and desires, your customers have no reason to stick around and spend more money.
Prepare your staff. Discounts get people into the store, but then it’s your staff’s responsibility to turn redeemers into customers. Communicate the purpose of the promotion to your staff, and explain how it works into the sales process. Show how this coupon naturally leads into additional purchases. Also make sure your sales staff knows that even if this person only ends up coming in to redeem the coupon and wants to make no additional purchases, they need to be treated like they’re your best customer. The experience they have with redeeming that coupon could determine whether or not they come back to your salon in the future.
Don’t allow the promotion to become a barrier. Your promo may contain important rules that allow you to prevent abuse and protect your profits, but when it comes to the expiration date or service restrictions, be flexible. The goal of the coupon should be to get a customer or potential customer into your salon so you have the opportunity to give them a positive experience and build a relationship with them that will last long past that one interaction. Being rigid with the rules is only going to lead to making a customer mad instead of making a customer loyal. The hardest part is getting them through the door; once that’s accomplished, take reasonable steps to keep them there.
Measure the results of the campaign. It’s important to know if your campaign accomplished what you set out to accomplish. Did it bring more people into the salon? Did it increase lotion sales? Did it increase upgrades? Did it result in more memberships? You have to take a look at the redemption rate, but also at the increase in revenue as a result. Most point-of-sale software has the ability to assign coupon codes to make tracking easy. Do the follow-up work to determine if the campaign was a success or a flop, and if you should consider doing the campaign again in the future.