If there’s one person I would never mess with, it’s the person who holds the health, well-being and beauty of my hair in her hands. Here are five pieces of marketing advice I would give her in order to capture more sales during the holidays.
As a small business marketer, I’m often in the position to use the phrase, “if it were me…” when talking to salon owners and hairdressers about how I would go about building a bigger book of client business, promoting gift cards, selling more retail or getting people to come out to events, leave positive reviews, support fundraisers and so on.
When it comes to my own hairdresser, all the more so. Every five weeks she applies “the hot sauce” to my hair (as I like to say) and works her magic. As a result, I look – and feel – 10 years younger and 10 pounds lighter when I walk out of the salon. Which, after all, is what any reasonable client wants in a stylist!
She’s important to me, and it’s important to me that her business does well. When she asks me for advice, you can bet that I’m going to give her the best advice I can. The holiday season provides a lot of opportunity for salon growth, and I thought about what I would say if she asked me for some new ideas to plump up her salon holiday marketing strategy; so here goes.
The 5 Holiday Marketing Ideas I Would Give My Own Hairstylist
(And the first one is the one I know she’ll hate the most!)
1. Get some content online – on a website or blog – in order to attract local holiday shoppers.
56% of consumers will do some of their holiday shopping on e-commerce sites this year – the most ever. In fact, more than half of those shoppers will spend more than half of their budgets on e-commerce sites. The percentage of consumers who research local holiday shopping and local holiday gift ideas online is even higher!
Every hairstylist needs to recognize that the internet plays an integral role in the journey that every new client takes to find them, as well as in the holiday shopping process.
Add content to your blog and/or website like:
Local holiday shopping ideas in (your city)
Best places to get holiday gifts in (your city)
Salons with holiday special offers in (your city)
Santa’s list of shopping ideas for people in (your city)
Every time you add content to your blog and/or website that references your local geographic area and includes key phrases that “real people” would type into an online search you give your business a new way to get found!
2. Promote salon gift cards in every way possible.
62% of Americans put gift cards on their list of preferred gift items – more than any other gift category. Your clients may know you sell gift cards and gift certificates, but remember that they are being bombarded with holiday marketing right now. You need to put together in-salon gift card displays, ask each client at the point of sale if they would like to buy a gift card to give to a family member, friend, co-worker, teacher or coach, and use social media and email marketing to remind them again throughout the holiday shopping season.
Selling more gift cards does more than just boost your sales once. 41% of people say that they visited a new business (like a new salon) only because they received a gift card to shop there. Plus, gift card redeemers usually have to come back more than once to exhaust the dollar amount on the salon gift card or salon gift certificate, and 7 out of 10 are likely to spend 20% more than the value of the gift card, too!
3. Add gift-like items to retail inventory.
I love the Kevin Murphy Hydrate shampoo and conditioner that I buy at Hair Etc. in Buckley, Washington from my stylist, salon owner Alethea. And as much as I know its value to me personally, as well as its monetary worth, it’s not necessarily something I would ever give away to someone else as a gift. During the holiday months, you can boost retail sales by adding inventory to your salon’s retail wares that are items people would perceive as gifts and buy for others (or to gift to themselves).
Examples would be point of sale holiday cosmetics and clutch bags that many salon distributors offer this time of year, as well as holiday nail polish and lip gloss displays; but you don’t have to restrict yourself to the type of things you would expect to find in a salon. Scarves, costume jewelry, unique bling-ed-out travel mugs and bags, and that’s just off the top of my head. The key to success for you will be knowing your clients well enough to choose some items to sell during the holidays that they would love, and that they won’t be seeing in department and discount stores.
By the way, having these types of items in your salon also provides you with some additional reasons to engage your clients via email during the holidays or add photos and promotions to social networks. Having these items featured on your website or blog provides one more way for local holiday shoppers to find your business, and gives them another reason to come and visit your salon.
4. Give people the emotional payoff they look for this time of year through a give-back.
Many people look for opportunities to give back in ways that benefit their local community. For instance, the church I attend coordinates a community give back called “Big Give” wherein 1,000 Thanksgiving meal kits (turkeys, potatoes, stuffing, and other good stuff – all you need to make a complete Thanksgiving dinner for 4-6 people – or more!) are given away the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This project supports the local community and directly benefits local food banks as well, since they are often hit extra hard this time of year.
This is the kind of give-back project that could get your clients excited. One, they can see how it directly benefits people in need. Two, they can give money toward it and know that 100% of the donation is going toward the cause. Three, they can get personally involved in helping at the give-away event. Four, this could grow into a bigger give-back that benefits local food banks all year long, if your clients are interested in doing more.
5. Always be thinking about the Bounce BACK!
Many salons are busy through the holidays and then find that the early months of the New Year become very slow. Selling gift cards to be given away as holiday gifts is one way to ensure continued momentum into the new year, but there are others, too.
Be sure that you are capturing email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers and getting permission to send clients and customers special offers. As you go into 2015, you will be able to put New Year offers, VIP packages, and upcoming events into their phones and in-boxes, so that you can stay top-of-mind and pave the way for future sales and booked appointments.