Updated: September 2020
Do your profits plummet in autumn as clients stretch their appointments out towards Christmas?
And October and November are going to be especially tough this year with the pandemic, and the economy taking a pounding.
Are autumn promotions right for your hair or beauty business?
But you’re not alone. Many hair and beauty businesses struggle to fill columns in the run up to Christmas, making late October/November a lean time.
It’s tempting to squeeze in a flash sale to get the cash flowing into your till, but are autumn special offers a sound move, especially with COVID-19 making business life unpredictable?
Let’s take a closer look:
Cut to the chase with autumn salon specials
Your loyal, regular clients already love what you do, so why throw your profit away by discounting?
It doesn’t make any business sense. It just hurts your bottom line.
And it gets worse.
Once you’ve discounted, clients can be disgruntled when salon prices go back to ‘normal’. So far from making loyal clients happy with autumnal offers, you’re paving the way to making them grumpy when the November sale ends.
There really is no need to cut your salon prices to coax them in, even in these COVID times. Let me show you how…
Add value to your offers. Don’t slash salon prices.
The secret to coaxing regular clients to book in these quieter autumn months is:
To show your gratitude for their loyalty with an added value offer, not a discounted price.
Don’t forget, your team are quiet and have time on their hands.
So put them to work. It costs you pennies. Far better than cutting prices and discounting.
How do you add value without cutting prices? Try:
- A complimentary file and polish for hands with every pedicure.
- An upgrade to an Olaplex treatment with every hair colour.
- Or add a complimentary mini-microdermabrasion to facials.
The marketing trick:
Add a free hair or beauty service which doesn’t cost you much money to do, but persuades loyal, regular clients to bring their appointment forward, or even better, book an extra visit in November.
But my salon clients love promotions and price cuts…
Here’s another way to entice clients to book that extra appointment when they are watching the pennies:
Scientific research reveals that people much prefer getting something extra for free rather than cheaper prices.
Hence ‘buy on get one free’ offers are so popular with the supermarkets and high street retailers. So offer something extra for free rather than a straight discount to your clients.
50% more works out exactly the same as a 33% discount in price. But when faced with a quick shopping decision most clients assume “50% more” is better value.
In one study, customers bought 73% more hand lotion when it was offered in a bonus pack of BOGOF than when it carried an equivalent discount.
Even though when you do the maths the two offers are identical value.
This “50% more” psychology is brilliant for time-based beauty treatments.
Book a 60 minute facial and enjoy an extra 50% free (30 minutes).
It works a treat for massages too.
You’re still giving added value (rather than price discounting) just like the earlier ideas. But you’re putting a different marketing spin on it to give the impression you’ve somehow cut your prices.
Want to know more? I look at the customer psychology behind this, and run through the maths in more detail in my blog here
Now upsell your salon services…
And it gets better:
Having tempted clients to book in November, while they are in salon you can:
The profit is in the offer conditions
Squeeze maximum profit out of autumn offers with clever terms & conditions:
- Should you restrict it to selected hair stylists/beauty therapists?
- Or to the quiet days and periods of the week?
- And always have a promotion end date to create a sense of urgency.
Market your autumn promotions
Now whip up interest in your fall promotions and get the word out.
1. Social media marketing
I’d invest in some Facebook advertising as organic (non paid) post reach is so low these days. Added value autumn promotions appeal to your regular clients so pay to get your advert seen by your Facebook followers, rather than a new audience.
And don’t forget to push the advert out to your Instagram followers at the same time. They can be scheduled together through your business Facebook Page.
2. Your salon website
Pop it on your website. This is the easiest place to include the small print, and ‘sell’ the offer benefits. Now drive traffic to this webpage with social media and email marketing.
3. Email marketing
Add the offers into your monthly e-newsletter as regular clients are the most likely to be tempted to book an extra appointment.
4. Your beauty and hair team
Encourage your team to spread the word:
- Get them onboard. Explain why you’re doing an autumn offer, and the benefits of adding value rather than just discounting.
- Why not run a mini competition with a reward for those therapists, stylists or receptionists who get the most clients booked in for the promotion appointments?
- Prompt your team to chat to clients about the offer by popping graphics – I like strut cards or mirror talkers – around the place to kick-start conversations.
- Remind reception to mention it to all clients as they pay. And why not add it to your salon voicemail message?
Effective autumn salon offers without cutting your prices
When your team are idle this autumn put them to work wowing your clients with treatment extras that cost you peanuts. And forget about discounts which just reduce the money going into your till.
Interested in learning more about hair and beauty discounts, deals and promotions? Try this blog where I dive deep into practical examples, tips and business ideas especially for salons, clinics and spas.