During the off-season, when most salons see a decrease in traffic, it’s easy to diminish (or eliminate) marketing efforts. But marketing shouldn’t be constrained to just the seasonal months. Salons need to be thinking long-term and use the off-season to set themselves up for a hugely successful peak season. Here are a few ways to wisely utilize the off-season time.
Keep making and posting content. Just because your customers might not be visiting your salon during the summer months doesn’t mean you should stop feeding them entertaining and educational content. Use this time to educate them about smart sun exposure, how to get an even tan, what products to use, etc. By providing your customers this valuable content, you’re helping to build solid relationships that will withstand the off-season and bring them to your salon when those summer months fade away. You might even gain some new customers if your content is extremely valuable.
Continue being social. When you aren’t seeing your customers on a regular basis, it’s even more important to maintain those social media relationships through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram – wherever your customers are following you. Use these venues as a way to keep yourself in the minds of your customers so you’re the first they think of when the season returns. You can also use social media to offer some specials to drive some off-season traffic into your salon. And social media is a great place to post some confidence-building and educational content.
Keep emailing your customers. It might seem like it’s pointless emailing your customers during the off-season, but it’s smart to continue emailing them in some capacity. Since it’s the off-season, it’s probably best to email less frequently than you would during the peak season. Make sure you’re sending out content that is worth opening. Although you might not have a huge return on your email campaigns during the off-season, they really can help set you up for success when your customers are ready to get back in a tanning bed.
Generate some hype. Even though your customers aren’t frequenting your salon as much, you can still get them excited about coming back when the peak-season returns. If you’re making some renovations over the summer, share that with your customers! If you get a new piece of equipment, let them know about it! You might even offer some early bird specials on membership to lock people into your salon months before they’re even considering your competitors. If you’re excited about your salon and what you’re doing, your customers will be excited, too.
Offer specials. The off-season is a great time to offer some exclusive specials, especially on non-UV services. There are plenty of people curious about sunless tanning, but probably aren’t willing to take the jump at your standard price. The off-season is the perfect time to introduce your customers to the other services your salon has to offer.
Just because things might be slowing down doesn’t necessarily mean your marketing should. The effort you put into your off-season promotion could be what makes or breaks you when the peak season comes around. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but it should definitely be present. If you aren’t connecting with your customers during the off-season, there’s a good chance that somebody else is.