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Summertime salon marketing presents unique challenges as client schedules are disrupted with vacations, travel and school-age kids to entertain.

Increase engagement by meeting client needs with summery salon marketing promotions and perks.

The four P’s of traditional marketing are:

  • product (what you sell)
  • placement (vehicle for selling and positioning in the marketplace)
  • price (the cost of products)
  • promotions (sales and marketing, or how you attract and retain clients)

Defining these 4 P’s is marketing 101 for any business. You can take this same principle and apply it seasonally. For instance, last year we published an article on salon holiday marketing ideas that included four P’s unique to winter and holiday months. This time we’ll take a look at 4 more P’s of salon marketing, this time geared for the unique situations that clients find them in during the summer.

So what are the special circumstances that affect salon clients during summertime?

  1. Sun and surf

Clients may be spending more time outdoors during warm summer months in the sunlight with longer days as well as taking vacations to sunny destinations, swimming in pools, lakes and rivers, and more. Increased exposure to the great outdoors can impact their hair, scalp, skin, nails, etc.

  1. Schedules

Varying schedules due to vacations, family and friends who might be coming to town vacationing themselves, kids who would normally be in school being home, and other factors can impact the ability of salon clients to adhere to established appointment times and pre-booked appointments.

  1. Special occasions

Summer is often host to special occasions, including family and class reunions, weddings, anniversaries, and so on. Any one of these events can result in a client wanting to book an appointment so they will look their best.

  1. Significant changes

Summer is peak moving season, in part because many people with kids want to move during the summer to be ready for a new school year. More than 40 million Americans move annually, and more than half of those moves occur between May and September (Allied Movers). Not only does this mean that new prospective clients could be moving to your area every summer, you might also be losing clients and need to replace them to keep your book of business steady. In addition, new residents may be changing jobs and desiring a new, improved look to give them more confidence in landing a new position.

With that in mind, let’s talk about 4 P’s of summertime salon marketing that can help salon owners, salon suite lessees and booth renters attract new salon clients and build your book of business.

4 P’s of Salon Summertime Marketing for Salon Owners, Salon Suites and Booth Renters

  1. Prove it

You don’t want to lose a good client just because they need to change their appointment due to special situations that commonly occur during the summer. If your clients truly are #1 with in your book, prove it!

Send an email and SMS text marketing message to clients reassuring them that if they need to make a change in a pre-booked or standing appointment this summer, you’re ready to help them find a time that works for them. List any open time slots and invite them to reply back with an RSVP or request for appointment change.

If a client does contact you to reschedule an appointment, be accommodating. Don’t make the client feel as though they have done something wrong; instead, reassure them that they are important to you and look for a way to accommodate their scheduling needs. The client should never feel like you are the more important person in the relationship!

  1. Provide Recommendations

The environmental factors that impact client’s hair, skin, nails, scalp, etc., during summertime months mean opportunities for your salon to sell more services and salon retail. Use social media and email marketing to make recommendations to clients and personalize recommendations of add-on services and salon retail products during consultations.

  1. Promote Packages

The special occasions in your clients’ lives represent services that can help you build your book of business and make a name for yourself when it comes to party looks, wedding parties, mother of the bride and bridal looks, formal occasion looks for class reunions, and more.

Likewise, with kids going back to school in August and September, back to school haircuts and other services present a prime promotional opportunity for your salon, salon suite or for you as a professional booth renter.

New client packages, job-seeker makeovers and other special offers can also help you attract prospective clients among those who have moved during the summer and are new to your area.

  1. Perks

A lot of stylists and beauty professionals give small client thank you gifts during the holidays. Why not repeat this for your best clients during the summer, with a summer-themed client gift or free-with-purchase incentive item? In addition, and especially if summer months bring any kind of slowdown to your salon, consider extending extra perks in return for new client referrals. You can also reinforce interest in your summer-specific promotions and personalized recommendations with free or specially-priced add-ons, VIP pricing and other client perks.

Why over pay for Salon POS – salon point of sale solution or equipment? We would be happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation quote for salon credit card processing solutions including salon POS equipment and salon loyalty marketing, or financing options with a salon cash advance:

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How to get your Groupon.Com on, and use daily deals for customer acquisition.

Many business owners have successfully extended offers on daily deals platforms to gain new customers and grow. Take a strategic approach to avoid potential pitfalls and get the most return from your marketing investment.

The prospect of participating in a daily deal program such as groupon.com, land other daily deal sites in order to quickly gain access to hundreds – or even thousands – of new customers has enticed thousands of US business owners into the daily deal game.

But does this marketing tactic pay off? Here are some of the statistics about daily deal programs as noted on scoredealz.com’s Daily Deal Infographic, citing data from factbrowser.com and hubspot.com:

  • Nearly 10% of all US consumers regularly purchase daily deals (and there is room to grow, because 41% of US consumers haven’t even heard of daily deals yet)
  • 80% of daily deal email subscribers have purchased at least one deal in the past six months
  • 48% of daily deal subscribers use them regularly and repeatedly over time
  • More than 1 in 10 daily deal subscribers use them even more frequently as time goes on
daily deals for customer acquisition

And the number that may interest business owners most:

  • 55% of businesses running daily deals actually make money from their promotion, in addition to gaining brand awareness and the opportunity to acquire new customers for the long term 

Of businesses that participated in daily deal programs, 58% said they did so primarily for customer acquisition. But does it work?

  • 68% of customers who bought daily deals returned without another discount being offered
  • 41% of customers who bought a daily deal said they were “certain” they would use the service again
  • 88% of customers who took advantage of a daily deal offer spent more than the deal’s value when they visited the participating business
stats on daily deals for customer acquisition

Business owners that want to use daily deals to grow need to have a daily deal marketing strategy, not just a great offer.

4 Ways to Use Daily Deals to Boost Customer Acquisition

It’s true that daily deal programs can bring an influx of new customers into a business; however, there are pitfalls that some business owners don’t foresee at the outset. Before offering a daily deal of your own, make sure that your business is prepared, so that you can avoid potentially negative outcomes, such as these.

1. Loyal customers, left out of the offer, experience dissatisfaction or even anger at having to pay regular price.

If your offer is limited to new customers only, you run the risk of offending regular customers who have to pay full price for the same products or services. Consider mitigating the impact by giving loyal customers options to:

  • Take advantage of a separate but equivalent type of offer; such as a move up or add on offer
  • Redeem special offers of their own or temporary “VIP” discounts
  • Receive additional loyalty or purchase points or rewards during the offer period

2. Loyal customers can experience dissatisfaction, or even anger, if they perceive that daily deal redeemers are taking their time slots, making it difficult to book an appointment or negatively impacting their customer experience in some way.

To avoid the bottleneck that booking dozens – or even hundreds – of daily deal offer redeemers could create:

  • Plan to book only a given number of daily deals per day / week; for instance, if you sell 100 daily deals, set aside 25 appointment times per week over 4 weeks, rather than trying to accommodate them all within days of offer purchase.
  • Pre-book regular customers or pre-sell products to them so that they feel like they are your first priority.
  • Expand staffing and hours of operation in order to accommodate the additional traffic – a merchant cash advance can be used to cover additional operating expenses such as hiring temporary staff, paying additional staff hours or overtime, keeping the lights on for more hours during the day and the other operating expenses that accompany increased demand.

3. If your daily deal sells like wild fire, you may find that your business does not have the retail inventory or products needed to fulfill them, or depleted inventories might lead to dissatisfaction for regular customers who cannot purchase from you as a result.

In order to avoid this potential pitfall, you should plan to stock up on retail and product inventory against the number of daily deals you anticipate selling. You may also be able to work with your own suppliers to create contingency and quick order options that allow you to quickly restore waning inventory or purchase the products you need to fulfill customer’s services.

  • A merchant cash advance can provide you with the working capital you need to pay vendors and suppliers for retail and product inventories you will need to honor the daily deals.

Depending on your product or service daily deal offer, you may need to plan weeks or even months ahead in order to have enough retail or product on hand to fulfill new customer orders (and continue to serve existing customers).

4. Cash flow and profit margins will be negatively impacted for a short period of time while your daily deal runs — potentially for up to 120 days.

When daily deals are being redeemed, operating costs are likely to increase while profits decrease (because you are selling products or services in the daily deal offer at about 25% of their regular selling price, when you take into account a 50% discount and 25% – or more – going to the daily deal program administrator).

  • A merchant cash advance can be used to cover the temporary cash flow shortage created while you operate for several weeks at reduced profit margins.

Remember, there will be a gap of 3 months – or even more – between the time that your daily deal is sold and the time when the daily deal program administrator forwards you the portion of proceeds due to you from sale of the daily deals on their site. It’s important for you to have sufficient cash flow while you are waiting for your share of the proceeds. If you can successfully up-sell and cross-sell additional items to new customers attracted by the daily deal, this can help to bridge the gap as well as reduce the hit to your margins in offering products or services at such a low rate.