Are you making the most of your clients’ birthdays?

I suspect not.

Yes, I know, you’ve set your salon software to automatically email birthday greetings. But can you honestly say this is making the most of this freebie marketing opportunity? I don’t think so.

A client’s birthday is a once-a-year marketing bonanza for salons and spas. Yet blink and you’ll miss it.

 

Choose the right marketing tool to seduce your hair or beauty clients

The slightest whiff of hard-core sales or commerciality on my birthday is a whopping big turn-off.

What I am looking for is a personalised contact. Something that proves you’re interested in me – not your sales figures. Something thoughtful, that gives me a warm feeling and shows you care.

As you’ve probably gathered, I really don’t think a text or email properly ticks the birthday box. You text me with an appointment reminder. You email me with generic offers and promotions. But on my birthday you need to wow me, and a card dropping through the letterbox is more likely to hit the spot.

 

The birthday bonanza – a unique chance to market your salon

I know a card and stamp cost more. And it certainly takes a bit more effort. But isn’t that the marketing point?

When I open your birthday card with its handwritten personal message from my stylist or beautician I think, “ah how lovely. Someone clearly values my custom so much they have bothered to find time in their hectic day to spend money and effort on me.”

When I get a birthday email or text which is personalised (by computer) with my name I merely think, “okay, so I’ve got a discount.”

 

Are birthday discounts the best promotional route?

Most hair and beauty businesses opt to give a birthday discount. But stop. This is a loyal client you’re talking to. Moreover, they’ve just opened a handwritten birthday card and thought “wow.”

So why do you need to give them a discount?

You don’t.

The chances are they will return of their own accord and pay full price, without batting an eyelid, because your birthday card made them feel warm and wanted.

Instead of a salon discount, which is straight off your bottom line offer them a gift. It is their birthday after all.

 

Who doesn’t love a pressie on their birthday?

I always recommend giving an added value gift rather than a discount. A service, rather than a retail product, won’t cost you much yet in the client’s eyes it will have a perceived high value.

 

When deciding what to give as a birthday gift:

  • Offer a choice – everyone is different and it’s a birthday treat.
  • Ensure your birthday pressie is different from your other salon offers.
  • Choose a service that can be carried out by a junior (cheaper) member of team if necessary.
  • Plump for a service that can be carried out at the same time, or at least on the same visit, as their next regular appointment. It is a freebie after all and you don’t want it eating unnecessarily into salon time.
  • Think twice before giving your most popular services – you want clients to explore your hair and beauty services and try new ideas. So give a complimentary pedicure rather than a manicure. Or a back and shoulders massage. Or an in-salon deep hair repair treatment and hand massage.
  • Target your best clients. All clients are not equal so consider offering VIP (high spending regular) clients more of a pamper package as a gift. These are your most valuable customers and it’s worth spending a little more to keep them happy and loyal.

 

Tips for writing and designing a customer birthday card:

Shop-bought birthday cards are expensive and don’t help build your salon brand. Far better to ask your graphic designer to design and print an exclusive birthday card for your hair or beauty business.

  • It should look like a birthday card. Not an advertisement for your hair or beauty business.
  • Choose a design suitable for both men and woman and different age groups. You might want a couple of designs if you’re a larger salon or spa.
  • Use the inside left page for your birthday promotion. Don’t forget to include unobtrusive terms and conditions.
  • Have your birthday greeting, business name and space for a handwritten message on the right-hand page.
  • Pop your logo, contact details and social media on the back of the card. Discreet, but still there and promoting your brand.
  • Incorporate a deadline to add some urgency for making the booking and claiming the birthday gift.

 

Sending the greetings

A handwritten birthday message says “you’re important to us” so ask individual stylists and therapists to prepare their clients’ cards at the beginning of each week.

Then all you have to do is make sure they are posted as near as possible to the birthday – a late card loses much of its impact. I’d always write the envelope rather than use a label. Again, it’s a minute of time well spent for a personalised communication.

 

Getting client birthday dates for your marketing database

  • If you’ve not previously collected customer birthday data then start now. To spare clients’ blushes just ask for the date and month, not the year.
  • It’s easy to include a birthday section on your first visit form or have your receptionist ask clients when next checking contact details.
  • If a client is particularly sensitive about birthdays (and some of us are shy when it comes to celebrating milestones) then ensure you make a note and exclude them from your birthday marketing.

 

Don’t just stop at a card with birthday marketing

Making the most of clients’ birthdays for marketing your business doesn’t stop with greetings and a complimentary gift.

Taking it a step further is easy yet makes a big impression. When the client books in for their next appointment and complimentary birthday treat offer a glass of fizz perhaps, ask them about their birthday and generally make them feel valued and pampered.