PLANNING THE PERFECT IN-SALON PROMOTION
In these economic times, to keep your salon busy and profitable, you need to give your customers a reason to come back and stay loyal. One way you can do this is by creating an outline of promotional sales and events that will increase your customer’s excitement in addition to providing a stimulating environment over all.
By creating a memorable experience, your salon can have the advantage of differentiating itself from the competition. There’s no limit to the number of amusing and creative promotions you can accomplish to entice your customers to come back, purchase products and packages as well as tell their friends about you and the salon. To do this, you have to be different, creative and unique, maybe even a little crazy! In other words, whatever it takes to get those customers in the door and stay loyal to your salon. When developing this exciting environment and preparing for a retail event it’s important to stay organized while always thinking within your budget. Remember, this doesn’t have to be an expensive venture; the more you utilize what you already have and think outside the box to incorporate what is readily available, the better!
Step One – Create Three Files for Your Retail and Promotional Ideas
File One: This file should contain all of your advertisements from past events and sales. Save all of them including those events that may not have been as successful as you would have liked, just make sure to separate them. This will help to remind you of what not to do, so you don’t make the same mistake twice.
File Two: This file should have all of your ideas. Collect ideas from other staff members, businesses and other promotions that get your attention. Most promotions run by other businesses can be adjusted to work for you with just a little creativity. Remember, most great ideas are not original; they are simply recreated in a new format to fit the needs of the particular business.
File Three: This should be your “crazy idea” files, those things you came up with during a long, sleepless night that sounded like a good idea … until the next morning. But even if these ideas sound outrageous by the light of day, write them down anyway and throw them in this file.
Step Two – Review your Files
Three or four times a year, take out your promotional files to jumpstart your brain and get started planning for the following quarter. Pull out all of the ideas you like and start planning three to four months worth of enticing promotional events in advance. Next, write down more ideas about each promotion and put them in order of when you plan to implement them.
Step Three – Brainstorming Session
Plan a staff meeting to discuss your ideas and get feedback. Make sure you plan plenty of time, make the meeting fun and tell your staff you want their creative minds working. By involving your team, you will find they will be more likely to have fun with it as well. Bring a huge calendar and place the events on it as they are presented; you can always move the dates around and rearrange them later. When you’re done with the meeting, you will have a great start on your plan of action.
Step Four – Execute Your Plan
Decide how you will advertise and promote each event. Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive; it just has to get the people’s attention and draw them in.
Give it a Try!
Need a little help with a promotional idea to jump-start your brain? Try this VIP Appreciation Night, for example. It’s based on the old adage, “80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.” If this is the case, why wouldn’t you spend the extra time to keep these customers feeling important and coming back? Here are a couple ways to give them the special appreciation they deserve, and make your other customers feel special too.
Hold a “red carpet,” VIP Appreciation Night that allows all of your customers a free upgrade, tan or something special treat. When it comes to your true VIP customers, pull information from the computer to see who the top spending 25 percent, as well as all clients on your EFT program, and send them a special coupon for extra savings and/or a free gift. Don’t forget to decorate your salon for the event, and begin promoting it about two weeks in advance. This will create an exciting atmosphere that everyone will be talking about!
No matter what special event you plan, don’t forget to contact your distributor 3-4 weeks in advance with the details so Supre Tan can send you out a complimentary Promotions Package to help support your special day!
Marketing on a Budget
Would you like to market your salon without breaking the bank? Of course you would! After all, using inexpensive but effective marketing strategies creates a bigger return on investment, which is why you went into business in the first place. If you’re marketing funds are feeling a little strapped for cash, here are some great ideas you can begin implementing to grow your business; many can be implemented with little to no money, yet can help turn pennies into profits while helping to grow your clientele.
Take advantage of Social Media
As more salons realize the value of social media, they’re practically flocking to Facebook. Creating a Facebook presence for your salon increases interaction between you and your clients while also providing a popular and easy way for potential clients to find you on the Web. (Practically everybody is Facebook these days.) And the best news is that the marketing opportunities are endless, especially for salon pros relying on a traditional marketing calendar based via holidays, seasons and sales cycles. The best approach is to explore your options and have fun while remembering to be creative and think outside the box. For example, try offering a free gift to clients who join your friends list and provide you with a personal message regarding new ideas, suggestions, and feedback. The possibilities are endless!
Attract Customers with Flyers
Community message boards – such as those at grocery stores, gyms and gas stations – can be an inexpensive way to access new clients. While many people dislike finding flyers under their windshield wipers, everyone is always looking for an excellent deal. Create an incentive that will get heads to turn, such as offering a free week of tanning or five free tans for new customers, and place it on a colorful, eye-catching flyer with tabs or cards attached. Make sure to keep the message sort and simple while still providing who, what, when, and where.
Create the Word-of-Mouth Buzz
For many salon owners, word-of-mouth advertising is a great way to build their business; however, many salon pros mistakenly assume they can sit back and let this just happen. It doesn’t work that way. The best way to create good word-of-mouth advertising is by creating an award-winning experience that your clients will want to tell their friends and family about. And it never hurts to ask you clients what they think, either. Provide them with referral cards in turn for a free gift, tan or upgrade.
Barter with Local Businesses
Bartering isn’t “old school,” it’s actually a great way gain new and exciting marketing opportunities. It usually works best with local gyms and restaurants – particularly sandwich and pizza places – that are willing to place your coupons and flyers on their take out menus and delivery food, or place them in locker rooms and bathrooms. It’s very easy to do, and will only take some time on your end to network and work with your fellow business owners. The results could be much better than having to pay for the same type of promotions elsewhere.
Enhance Exposure with E-mail Marketing
Today’s technology has made e-mail marketing one of the most popular ways to promote your tanning salon. All with a simple e-mail, you can connect with your current clientele as well as obtain new and potential customers. The best approach is to gather each and every client’s e-mail address by providing them with a motivating coupon or flyer. On the e-mail itself, try to use graphics to enhance your message, and make sure to keep you message clear.
As you can see, it’s creativity, not cash, that makes a successful promotional campaign. Try any and all these tips for marketing your salon on a budget and expect nothing but big returns!