These 3 Salon Intro Offers Will Help You Retain New Clients
By Denise Prichard
As a salon owner, you realize that attracting new customers can be one of your biggest struggles throughout the year. You’ve already taken an important step by integrating salon software to make your business stand out to beauty-driven customers and to give them easy access to booking your services, but how do you get those clients to commit to your business?
By now, you know that customer loyalty is the backbone of almost every service-based business, therefore, bringing back your existing customers should always be one of your top priorities. 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.
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. Here are three appealing salon intro offers that will attract new clients without forcing you to make a significant financial sacrifice.
1. A multi-appointment package at a discounted rate
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.
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 slightly 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 haircut will stay fresh for eight weeks, they’ll have a better idea of the value (and duration) of a three-session haircut 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 haircut every eight weeks, have a three-haircut package that expires after six months.
2. The “price is right” package
The key to a successful intro offer is to remove the pricing barrier that may have previously kept new clients from visiting your salon. But since the goal is to retain new customers who are interested and willing to come back (even at full price), you’ll also want to ensure the entry price isn’t too low.
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 no more than 30 percent.
Don’t price too cheap or offer their entire visit for free: 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 their entire visit for free. 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.
3. Add value to a service instead of discounting.
Why not gift your new client who came in for a color service with an additional treatment that costs you little to no money in the long-run? With this particular tip, I’m speaking for personal experience. If my stylist hadn’t thrown in a complimentary Olaplex treatment with my color service when I started seeing her years ago, I would have saved a significant amount of money on my visits with her.
However, because she threw that treatment in for free during my first visit, I get it every time I see her because it improves that health of hair and I know my color and my cut won’t look as good without it. In fact, I even purchase a bottle of it from her (at full cost) each time I visit her to keep my color and cut looking fresh. In this case, adding value to your client’s treatment can be a cost-effective way to hook your client since they are likely to ask for that treatment each time they sit in your chair.
Bottom line—if you want to attract new customers you need to provide them with an incentive to try your services. By using the tips outlined above, your client list will start to grow in no time.