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 salon marketing opportunity?
I don’t think so.
A client’s birthday is a once-a-year marketing bonanza for hair and beauty businesses, yet blink and you miss it. You only get one opportunity each year so be prepared. Here’s how:
Wishing you a happy birthday
The slightest whiff of hardcore sales or commerciality on my birthday is a whopping big turn-off.
What I am looking for is a personalised sincere 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. And I don’t think a text or email properly ticks the birthday box.
You text my 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.
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 birthday card with its handwritten personal message from my stylist or therapist 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 salon discount.”
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.
A few things to think about:
- It should look like a birthday card. Not an advertisement for your hair or beauty business.
- Choose a design that’s suitable for both men and woman and different age groups.
- Use the inside left page for your birthday promotion. And don’t forget to include any 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.
Add that personal touch to your birthday greetings
A handwritten birthday message says “you’re important to us” but it does take more time. So ask individual stylists and therapists to batch 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 time well spent for a personalised communication and ensures it gets opened.
Are birthday discounts the best promotional route?
Most hair and beauty businesses opt to give a birthday discount.
This is a loyal client you’re trying to impress. Moreover, they’ve just opened a handwritten birthday card and thought “wow.” So why do you need to give them a discount?
The chances are they will return of their own accord, and pay the 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.
What’s the best birthday gift for your salon clients?
1. Salon treatment:
Give a hair or beauty service rather than a retail product. Why? Because it won’t cost you very much, but will have a perceived high value to your client.
2. Offer a choice:
Everyone is different and it’s a birthday treat.
3. Make it special:
Ensure your birthday pressie is different from your other salon or spa offers.
4. Don’t throw away profit:
Choose a service that can be carried out by a junior (cheaper) member of team if necessary.
5. Make life easy for your team:
Plump for a treatment that can be carried out at the same time, or at least on the same visit, as their next regular appointment. It is a birthday freebie after all and you don’t want it eating unnecessarily into salon time.
6. Promote different treatments:
Think twice before giving your most popular services as gifts – you want clients to explore your hair and beauty services. Birthday gifts are the ideal opportunity to get clients to try new services.
7. Target your best clients:
All clients are not equal so consider offering VIP (high spending regular) clients ‘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.
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 salon marketing.
- Do remember your GDPR obligations when collecting data.
Woo-hoo it’s my birthday
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. A pretty cup-cake or a glass of fizz are guaranteed to make your clients feel loved and pampered.
Birthday marketing celebrations
So don’t underestimate this once-a-year marketing opportunity, especially for your most-valued hair and beauty clients:
- Send a card not an email.
- Handwrite and personalise it.
- Give a gift not a discount.
- And cake and fizz to wow…