The transformative nature of New Year’s resolutions creates a great opportunity for hair salons looking to attract new customers. Come January, a large segment of the population is committed to self-improvement—be it a fresh hairstyle or an inspired fitness regimen.
To cater to this group of motivated consumers, you’ll want to be prepared with an attractive, easy-to-implement intro offer—one of the most powerful tools for bringing new clients into your salon.
Keeping in mind post-holiday budgets and the 30 percent of the population resolving to “save more and spend less” in the new year, you’ll need an intro offer with optimized pricing that entices, rather than intimidates.
When implemented properly, your intro offer will bring a fresh set of clients through your salon doors that can—with the right retention plan in place—be converted to regulars.
The best way to test the efficacy of your intro offer is by ensuring it has the following features:
- A Discounted, Multi-Appointment Package Keep in mind that a successful intro offer is designed to bring customers in at a discounted price with the intent of creating an optimal experience that will help them see the value of returning at full price.
When designing your intro offer, consider these package tips:
- Offer more than one appointment. For most clients, building a good rapport with a stylist and developing a sense of connection to the salon takes more than one visit. To keep your first-time clients coming back, create a package that offers multiple sessions at a reduced rate. For example, if your intro package includes three haircuts, you’ll have three opportunities to build a strong relationship with that customer and, ultimately, win them over.
- Include a frequency recommendation. Include in your intro offer a clear suggestion for how often clients should book for optimal results. For example, if you determine that a client’s blowout will last a week, they’ll have a better idea of the value (and duration) of a three-session blowout package.
- Have a clear expiration date. The sooner you’re able to book an appointment with a new client, the better. And the more frequently you’re able to see them, the better chance you’ll have of retaining them. This facilitates your stylists’ ability to nurture lasting relationships and allows clients to see results and the value of your services sooner. So, if you’re recommending a blowout once a week, have a four-session blowout package expire in five, rather than 10, weeks.
While the location of your salon, its nearby competitors, community reputation and other factors all play a role in determining the price of your intro offer, here are a few general guidelines to consider:
- Offer a significant discount. Removing the pricing barrier for new customers means offering an enticing deal. A multi-appointment package, for example, should show value by featuring services at a price that’s significantly lower than the cost of the same service priced independently—but not so much lower that the customer won’t be willing to return at full-price. Ideally, you’ll want to reduce the price of services included in an intro offer by about 50 percent.
- Don’t price too cheap or offer freebies. Since your end goal is to bring in new clients who are also interested in your full-priced services—not just your intro offer—avoid pricing too low or offering free services. While cheap and free may entice more customers into your salon, chances are most of them will be unqualified leads, resulting in low retention.
- Avoid having too many pricing options.While your salon software can easily facilitate the creation and management of multiple packages and promotions, make sure you don’t have too many intro offers in place at once. This can create confusion and indecisiveness for customers, which ultimately results in reduced sales. Instead, create just one intro offer per service category offered by your salon. So, if your business provides hair and spa services, provide one offer related to each service type.
- Facilitate new offers. From creating multiple-service packages and discount pricing to pre-booking appointments and processing payment, you’ll want your salon software to be able to easily accommodate current promotions and be intuitive for your staff.
- Track. To understand the success of your intro offer, you’ll need the ability to analyze your sales. Having a powerful salon management software platform that allows you to create business goals, design offers and run reports to determine their success, lets you easily see what’s working and what isn’t.