I’ve just been reading a fascinating article on the effect of salon discount coupons and vouchers from one of my favourite marketing experts – Roger Dooley – a specialist in neuroscience marketing. If you’re interested in how your salon clients think and behave, do take a look.

Here’s a salon friendly resume of Roger’s article and research. Food for thought indeed.

Use discount coupons in your salon marketing

Coupons and vouchers are a very popular salon marketing tool. Interestingly, this research reveals that clients who receive a discount coupon or voucher are more relaxed and happy. And happy, relaxed salon clients are more likely to re-book, stay loyal and spend more.

Just to be clear – I’m not talking about group discount incentives like Groupon for salons and other similar schemes here, which, to be honest, I’m not very keen on for marketing salons. I think they just encourage bargain hunters for a one-off salon visit and drive prices down.

What I am looking at here are discount coupons designed for an individual salon with a specific target audience and marketing purpose in mind.

Happy hormones soar…

In the research, 50% of the clients received a money-off coupon, while the other half didn’t. Researchers found that levels of oxytocin, a hormone related to emotions like love, trust and happiness, surged when clients received a discount coupon.

In his article, Roger was surprised to see that when people received a coupon their hormone levels soared to levels even higher than when they received a gift, were cuddled or kissed! So get out there with your salon vouchers / coupons!

Here’s a quick summary of the results. Researchers measured money-off coupon / voucher recipients compared to clients who didn’t receive one:

  • 38 percent higher oxytocin levels
  • 11% higher level of happiness (self-report)
  • 32% lower respiration rates
  • 5% slower heart rates

Make this work for your salon business

  • Send clients a coupon by post early on in your relationship with them. This will boost their ‘happy’ hormone level and may translate into a longer term positive association with your salon. Trust levels for your salon are also likely to be enhanced. Even if the client doesn’t use the discount.
  • A money-off coupon on your salon website which clients can download can form part of an email marketing campaign. Inexpensive to run, delivered straight to their inbox and highly measurable.
  • A salon birthday card with a discount voucher inside would help those happy hormones flow.
  • Or you could try sending a discount coupon by post to lapsed salon clients. The surge in oxytocin levels when they open it might just be enough to make them pick up the phone and re-book again.

Discount coupons have to be used sparingly and with caution. However, get your target audience and terms and conditions right and you could just make your salon clients very happy. Don’t forget they’re better than a cuddle according to research!