Special Offer Ideas For Hair & Beauty Salons

special offer ideas hair beauty salonsWith almost 50,000 hair & beauty businesses operating in the UK alone, the industry is extremely competitive. Unless you are a huge brand who can do well on reputation alone, you are going to need to employ the use of various kinds of special offers and promotions to both grow your client base, and keep your existing clients coming back to you time and time again.

Your ideal customer

As a service based business, your ideal customer is the raving fan; the person who loves your salon, books treatments on a regular basis and tells their friends and family about how great you are. These people are like gold dust! Treat them right and their Lifetime Value (LTV) will be extremely high.

So before you even think about what special offers to create, you need to ensure that the services you are performing are top-notch, your salon is clean, tidy & welcoming, and all of your staff have great customer service skills.

Drive repeat business

In the absolute sense, running a salon is not a recurring revenue business model; each transaction occurs in isolation. But it is well known that is is much more expensive to bring in new clients (more on that below) and that existing customers will spend more money with you over the long term. 

This means that once you’ve got a new customer into one of your chairs, you want to start things off the right way by making sure you capture their email address from the beginning so that you can keep in contact with them periodically to tell them about your latest offers. We have a comprehensive guide to email marketing on this blog so be sure to read that.

However just because a customer has been in once and is now on your email list, doesn’t mean they are going to come back into the salon! Unless you run an actual membership system in your salon which is unlikely, you need to keep working at touching base with your list and keep them informed of what’s going on in your salon. 

There are many opportunities to run offers throughout the year. Let’s look at a few ideas:

Seasonal promotions

At the time of writing this post, summer has just landed here in the UK and we have just published a post on summer offers that you can run. Throughout the year each season brings in new trends and a shift in the kinds of treatments that people will want. 

Make sure to keep on top of this and use the seasons to your advantage. Decorate your salon in seasonal decor, use appropriate imagery in your marketing, craft new offers each season and post them to all of your marketing channels. If you’re not sure exactly what kinds of offers to run, simply visit our blog on a regular basis as we’ll put out posts each season that are packed full of ideas for you to use.

Celebrate prominent days

Think of how many important days there are throughout the year – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, May Bank Holiday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and so on. That’s just the very mainstream ones. There are other lesser well known days too, such as Women’s Wellness day which you might not even be aware of. 

Every one of these usually offers at least two ways to drive new business:

  • Create an offer around the day, perhaps tied in to a special kind of treatment or package and invite your existing customers to come in for a limited time to take advantage of the offer.
  • Invite people to purchase a gift card for a loved one, and hopefully bring in a new customer!

Like with the seasonal offers, just keep yourself updated by reading our blog and you’ll always know what is coming up.

client birthday offersCustomer birthdays

I hope you are at least capturing the email address of every person who comes into your salon right? But if you also ask for their date of birth then you also know when their birthday is. This means that you can create a personalised offer just for them on their birthday.

This is something that not nearly enough companies companies do so it’s a great way to really make your salon stand out from the crowd. Make sure you use good email management software that will allow you to personalise the email with the persons name. 

Bolster slow days

Most salons have one day of the week that is typically their slowest day. Perhaps you like it that way as you can take some time out to focus on other things in the salon but if you want to even things out a little and bring in some extra business on this day of the week then you could run a regular offer on that day.

It doesn’t have to be a discount; in fact this would probably be counter productive as the discount may wipe out the profit gained from the additional business generated on that day. How about instead use that day as an opportunity to offer some extra value in the form of an upgraded or extra treatment?

Your stylists will have more time on their hands to do a little extra so how about some of these ideas:

  • A free blow dry and style with a wet cut
  • A free Opalex treatment with every colour
  • A free head massage with an intense moisturising treatment

If this is an offer that you run every week then make sure it is prominently displayed inside your salon but don’t send out an email about it every week as that would soon become annoying to the customers.

Offer late deals

On the same theme as the point above, there are some days when your appointment book is looking a little light. It might just be that time of the week again, but it could be due to some cancellations, or perhaps some local event that is keeping people busy, or for a million other reasons that you could never know.

So what do you do? You implement a Late Deals system. This is something that we have created here at Salon Guru just for our clients and it is free to setup. You may have a particular stylist who is free and you want to offer £10 off a particular treatment with them. You can offer this via your website dynamically. This is actually easier to explain with an example, shown below.

salon late deals example

This comes from one of our clients, Stone Hairdressing in Kent. In the Canterbury local you can see that they have just a single deal left and that the others have been claimed. The Kings Hill location still has some available. 

You can set these up yourself in just a couple of minutes and allow people to take advantage of those last minute deals. This can massively increase your revenue if your stylists would have just been stood around twiddling their thumbs!

salon late deals2

Loyalty Rewards

Having some kind of loyalty system in place is pretty common among businesses that serve customers on a regular basis. The idea here is that every time a customer buys a treatment from you, they gain a stamp or some points towards a goal. Once they have accumulated enough stamps or points they are then entitled to some kind of reward.

A very simple idea would be something like, buy 4 treatments and get 50% of the 5th one. There are many ways to structure a loyalty scheme and it would take a full article to go into depth about it but it’s something you should most definitely think about employing.

Ideally, you’d have an expiry on the card to instill a sense of urgency.

Welcome back deal

Sometimes you’ll get a customer that comes into your salon once, but they just never seem to come back again. If you have them on your email list then presumably they have been getting your emails but nothing has enticed them back so far. It might be that they have moved out of the area and just not bothered to unsubscribe from your list.

It might be time to try giving them a very special offer, something that is much better than the usual deal, in order to win them back and hopefully turn them into a regular client.

welcome back offers

Now you have to be careful here – don’t discount so far that you end up in a loss because they might just take advantage of that one offer and then you don’t see them again for another six months! 

If you do get them back then treat them as you would a new customer. Put your best stylist on them. Use the opportunity to ask them what brought them back in on this occasion and was there any reason they had not been back sooner? Don’t be afraid of criticism as this could provide you with some crucial feedback on how to improve your services.

Discounting the right way

It’s very tempting to just offer discounts all the time. If the salon down the street is doing a 10% discount today, you could beat them with a 15% discount right? There is a real danger in competing on price alone. It erodes your profit margins and in a business which is not infinitely scalable due to time (you can’t treat thousands of clients in a single day), you’ll just hurt your bottom line.

Having said that, discounts sure look attractive to the average customer. The trick is to offer a discount in such a way that still increases your profits over the long term. If it doesn’t achieve that then what is the point?

The new customer discount

One situation in which it is general worth having a large, blanket discount is when you have the opportunity to bring in a brand new customer. Salons very much rely on repeat business and if you can suitably impress your new client on their first visit then they may end up spending a lot more money with you in the future, thus paying for that initial discount many times over.

You’ll want to advertise this new customer discount everywhere you can – in your salon windows to pick up passing foot traffic, on your website, in your social media and any advertising that you do.

However, for those clients that are already in your email list, resist the temptation to offer a discount unless there is a real reason for it. If you have a client who regularly books in every few weeks to get a hair treatment for example, then don’t just offer them a discount on their next one as you’re just reducing profit. They were obviously happy to pay the full price anyway.

One thing I want to add on the subject of new client offers is that there are some salons that put in the T&Cs of this offer that the discount is only applicable when being treated by one of the more junior members of the team. This is a mistake! 

Think about it… you have a brand new client sitting in your chair and this is somebody who could potentially bring in a regular income stream for years to come. You want to make a great first impression on them. Do you really want to risk having your junior staff work with this client on their very first visit? No.

Put your new customers in the hands of your best stylists. If they later decide to take the cheaper option with a junior team member they are making that decision themselves, but get the first impression right!

salon new client offers

Immediate rebooking discount

We’ve already established that we want our customers to come back to us time and time again but how many people come in for a treatment and then disappear for months at a time? One thing you can do here is to be proactive in actually asking the client to book their next appointment with you when paying for the current one.

Normally, many people would say that they would rather just book nearer the time as they won’t necessarily know when they are free, but alas, if they are indeed busy, they may forget to to do.

Create a sense of urgency by offering a small discount up front for booking the appointment right then, and make sure this is not available when booking at a later time.

Client Referrals

What is the best way to get a new client in the door? As a referral from somebody else that they know and trust. When a friend recommends your salon that recommendation is going to be far more powerful than any kind of advert that you could create. It is well known that if somebody has a negative experience they will tell far more people about it than when they’ve had a good experience. 

Obviously your customers will come away from your salon elated by your excellent service right? But what we want to do here is actively encourage those happy customers to tell all their friends, family and associates about you too. This is where an extra incentive can come in.

As well as offering a discount to the new customer that is being referred, you want to also offer some kind of thank you gift to your existing customer that referred them. This can take many forms. You might want to give them some kind of discount on their own next treatment or some kind of freebie. 

However you want to structure it, a lovely way to put this offer together is to create custom referral cards. These are rather like gift cards except that they can be personalised with a ‘To’ and ‘From’. Make them very cheap to buy (just cover the cost of the materials to have them produced), and create a range of cards with different designs. 

You want to actively encourage your customers to spread the word. If they know there is something in it for them they are going to be out there doing your marketing for you! 

Bring a Friend Offers

This is very similar to the above client referral. The main difference is that with this offer you will have two people come into the salon for a treatment at the same time, and both will get some kind of discount. 

refer a friend offers

You do have to be careful with this though as it could be easily abused. You might want to add some terms into the offer such as ensuring that at least one of the two people have never used the salon before. If they are both existing customers then you’re not gaining anything and are just eating into your profits.

Back To School

Kids school terms are broken up by many holidays throughout the year and very often the parents will want their child looking neat and tidy for the new term and will bring them in for a hair trim. What do the parents do while their kid is in the chair? Just sit in the waiting area on their phone?

This is a wasted opportunity. If the parent has to take the time to come in with their child and wait for them to have their hair cut then why not have theirs done at the same time? What you can do here is offer up some kind of family package such as giving the child a free trim if the parent also has their hair done or offering some kind of bulk offer such as a blanket X% discount on the whole bill if at least 3 people are being served together.

It’s worth repeating here – do your math beforehand to make sure than you are in a higher profit overall and aren’t discounting so heavily that the offer is not worth running.

Discount a related treatment

Discounts should be used when you want to entice the customer into buying something that they might not have normally tried. So for example, if they use your salon for hair cuts but only ever have a basic wet cut, you could offer a discount on a blow dry and style to get them to try out the extra service. If they like it, they might add it to their regular visit and increase what they are paying on every future visit.

If they are coming in for a manicure, try offering a discount on a pedicure as well. You get the idea.

2 for 3 offers

If your salon offers a range of different treatments you might want to target those customers who tend to come in for just a single treatment and offer them some kind of package deal such as 3 treatments for the price of 2. You can also do this with sales of products as well.

What you need to make sure of here is that the profit on the 3 items minus the discount is still higher than if they had bought just a single item without a discount. Always do your math when putting together any offer like this!

Think outside the box

Most of the special offer ideas that I have written about so far are pretty standard, and the chances are that you already use at least a few of them in your salon already. If you want to stand out and be a little different then take a look at these ideas too.

Copy a celebrity look

One of the regular features you’ll see in many fashion magazines is a ‘Get the look’ section. Here they will take a particular celebrity, pick an outfit or two and show where you can buy clothes that look similar but at a fraction of the price.

You can do the same thing in your salon; particularly with hair, but also with makeup, nails, brows etc depending on the particular celeb in question. You could have a celebrity of the month for this promotion, and it will work best with people who have been trending in the news recently. 

Specialist appreciation days & offers

Remember back in 2020 when the Covid pandemic was in full swing and there was a surge in appreciation for NHS workers? Many business started running special offers just for those people who worked in the NHS to show their appreciation for the work that they do.

Even though Covid may be (mostly) in the past now, but you might still want to do something special for NHS workers, or perhaps for a particular group such as nurses. 

But why stop at the NHS? If you are based near a University, who not offer student discounts? What about people in the Miltitary, Police or Fire services? Let’s not forget about our elders – it’s not just the younger generations that want to look good; you could have a day just for the seniors in your community.

By showcasing particular groups of people in this way you are showing that you care. Whether you offer a discount, or a free gift or just some extra time for a chat (popular with the older folk), you are separating yourself from all the other salons out there by doing something a little bit different. 

senior appreciation haircut

Selfie promotion offer

Social media is booming in 2023 and Instagram in particular is gaining in popularity all the time. It is also selfie paradise and many people post selfies of themselves every day whether or not they have just had a great new hairstyle or makeover done!

If they do this and tag your salon in the post, you’re getting the best kind of promotion possible – a personal recommendation with real, photographic evidence! 

This offer is easy to implement. Simply ask the customer to create a post on Instagram or whatever social media platform they hang out on, tag your business in the post and then you can send them a voucher for a discount on their next treatment, or give them a freebie in the salon if they do it there and then.

If you want to take it a step further you can tell your customers about this promotion when they first come in and ask them to take a ‘before’ photo selfie and post that alongside the ‘after’ photo.