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Gift cards, gift vouchers, gift certificates.

Whatever you choose to call them they are your salon or spa’s best marketing friend.


Boost salon gift voucher sales with the right mindset

It baffles me why so many salons regard gift cards as poor sellers and consign them to a dark cupboard out of sight.

Gift cards do work.


Think about it. Who doesn’t fancy being treated to a spot of pampering? For free.

But gift cards don’t sell themselves (sadly).

So first, change your gift card mindset, learn to love them and give them some TLC.


Powerful business reasons to sell more gift vouchers:

  • Upfront payment is a salon cash flow winner.
  • They introduce brand new clients to your business.
  • Gift cards help build local business relationships.
  • A handy marketing tool for adding value and saying thank you.
  • They solve clients’ gift dilemmas. Happy clients.


1. Give your salon gift cards sex appeal

It’s a salon gift card not a supermarket discount coupon. It needs to look the biz.

It may sound obvious. But I see so many frumpy, nasty-looking salon gift cards which proudly boast £50 on them.

Not good.

If I’m spending £50 on a pressie for my mum I want her to know I’ve spent it on something special. I want her to think she’s being spoilt. Not fobbed off with a last-minute convenience purchase.

Gift card carriers help salon sales

Whether you’re using a plastic swipe card or a printed paper voucher an attractive carrier is essential. Pop into any large retailer to buy a gift card and you’ll be offered a selection of carrier cards and envelopes.

Take a leaf out of their marketing book. Ask your designer to produce a handful of generic designs suitable for different giving occasions. How about something suitable for use at Christmas, Valentine’s Day and for men and women. And that’s for starters.

This voucher carrier should:

  • Reflect your hair and beauty business brand.
  • Be contemporary and high quality.
  • Ideally offer a choice of designs.
  • Be clear, but discreet, about terms and conditions.

Get them digitally printed (rather than litho) so you can order small quantities of different carriers. Your clients will appreciate carriers that are occasion specific. You could order coloured or metallic envelopes for a more celebratory feel.

Make your higher value gift cards gorgeous and tempting

For large gift card purchases how about a bespoke box (branded to your salon or spa would be even better) with a luscious satin ribbon.

It’s your birthday. Which would you prefer? A tasteful gift card nestling inside an eye-catching box or a dreary voucher printed on thin cheap paper?

No contest. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Remember you’re getting the money up-front.

A quick salon marketing word on voucher terms and conditions

Make sure your terms and conditions are clear (but discreetly placed) on the carrier card itself to avoid disappointment later.

I know many hair and beauty salons stipulate their gift cards are only valid for 6 months after issue. Personally, I feel that as you have already taken the cash up front whether someone chooses to redeem them in 3 months or 12 months is fairly irrelevant. To me it leaves a slightly sour taste if I am ‘instructed’ that I must spend it within a 6 month period.


2. How to promote your hair and beauty gift cards

Choose your marketing words carefully.

Focus on the benefits for the recipient of receiving a salon or spa gift card.

Words matter:

“A treat or essentials? Their choice.”

“A treat they will love.”

“The gift of pampering.”

  • In salon: Give the cards high visibility. They won’t sell hidden away under the reception desk or in the back office.
  • Social media: Ask your designer to create a striking gift card graphic to promote vouchers on your social media and boost engagement.
  • Salon website: Create a specific page for gift cards. Include how/where to buy the vouchers, the denominations available and any terms and conditions. Make sure you highlight them on your homepage too.
  • Email marketing: Include them in your e-mail marketing around Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s as well as a gentle reminder of what brilliant birthday and thank you present they make.


3. Don’t just sell gift cards. Give them away (sometimes)

Yes really.

It may sound counter-intuitive but you don’t have to sell your gift cards. They are a versatile tool to market your hair or beauty salon. All year round.

Here are 5 promotional ideas for giving away your spa or salon gift cards:

1. Gift cards to thank your salon big spenders

How much do your top 20 hair and beauty clients spend with you a year? Hundreds or thousands of pounds I guess.

Why not surprise them with a complimentary gift card when an appropriate occasion arises?

2. Sweepstakes with salon gift cards

Thank loyal clients at Christmas or on a special salon anniversary with a sweepstake. During November and December at every hair or beauty appointment the client gets a raffle ticket for a big-ticket gift card draw.

It’s a great way of reminding clients about your gift cards and thanking them for their custom.

3. Salon Promotions on gift cards

To encourage gift card sales try “Buy a £x gift card and get £5 off” OR “Buy a £x gift card and get a free xxxxxx.” This could be a low-cost (to you) hair or beauty treatment, a retail gift or discount. The options are endless. Just don’t give too much profit away.

4. Goody bag perks

When you run salon or spa events don’t forget to put low-value gift cards in the goody bags you hand out. These cards may get passed on to family and friends so you might win a new client.

5. Gift cards make popular salon Facebook giveaways

Use your gift cards to run an online contest on your salon Facebook, Twitter and website.  It’s a great way to draw attention to your hair and beauty offers and specials.


4. Have a flash sale on salon gift cards

I like to use this marketing idea with my salon clients in December.

We run a gift card flash sale for one day only. We ensure we advertise it fully well in advance on social media, the website, in-salon and in email marketing.

Running a gift card flash sale for your business

For this one day only offer two gift cards for the price of one, or offer a substantial discount on gift card purchases over £x.

The #SalonMarketing trick?

Make it clear that these particular gift vouchers can only be redeemed for salon or spa services taken in January and February. This is a winner for filling the quieter months at the start of the new year.


Selling more salon or spa gift vouchers is easy…

Just follow these three marketing steps:

  • Change your mindset towards the much-maligned gift voucher.
  • Spruce your gift cards up.
  • Be inventive in how you promote them.
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