16. The Salon: Adagio Spa & Salon in Barrington, New Hampshire
The Spa Director: Chris Nobile
The Challenge: Boosting services on Tuesdays, the slowest day of the week.
The Marketing Solution: For six weeks in the fall, they ran “Tack on Tuesdays,” which offered a substantial discount on specific services throughout the spa and salon. For example, if a client booked a classic pedicure, they could also book a manicure for $10, a half-off savings.
The Results: “It worked out really well,” says Nobile. “We ran an ad in the paper, and people were calling after seeing it, mentioning the ad. We’ll probably run it this fall again.”
17. The Salon: Bell Tower Salon • Medi Spa • Store in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
The Owner: Carolyn Helms
The Challenge: Although Bell Tower’s menu of services offered several pedicures, there were guests with severely cracked and calloused feet that wanted quick results without a
90-minute service. The marketing staff came up with the Beach Buff pedicure, but it was only months after the company had redesigned and printed their menu. As a result, they had to come up with alternate ways to market the service.
The Marketing Solution: The staff decided to market it internally, suggesting it as a gift for Mother’s Day during the gift card rush, recommending it to guests for their next pedicure service and announcing it during the on-hold recording guests heard when calling Bell Tower.
The Results: The pedicure was launched in May 2007. Nail services have increased 12.5 percent from the previous year, while retail sales have increased 62 percent from the previous year.
18. The Salon: Harmony Salon in Matthews, North Carolina
The Owner: Michael Randazzo
The Challenge: Strengthening spa service and retail sales.
The Marketing Solution: To move retail or boost awareness of particular services, the salon came up with special promotions that tie them all together. Four weeks in advance of a new promotional event, the salon starts pre-booking clients for the special service. The clients receive a discount, but must pay in advance. Harmony Salon’s latest promotion starts with custom-blending a body lotion for the client to take home and an introduction to the custom-blended line, followed by a one-hour facial, manicure and pedicure, then makeover. The salon offers $50 off, and if a client schedules a friend, the second service is an additional 10-percent off.
The Results: “During past events, we have done more than $1,600 in a day just in make-up sales,” says Randazzo.
19. The Salon: Hair Fitness, Inc. in La Porte, Indiana
The Salon Coordinator: Kathy Kusturin
The Challenge: Two pedicure chairs that were frequently standing empty.
The Marketing Solution: During the slow month of October, the salon decided to mark the pedicures down from $40 to $35. They advertised the discount through the local newspaper, with a sign out in front of the salon and posted the deal throughout the salon.
The Results: “We definitely sold more pedicures and the nail techs were busy,” says Kusturin. “Even people who had never had pedicures before were booking them.”
20. The Spa: Sharmaine’s Salon and Day Spa in Clearwater Beach, Florida
The Owners: Sharmaine Giorgio and Lori Fudens
The Challenge: To increase spa service sales during traditionally slow spa months such as August and September.
The Marketing Solution: Fudens examined the previous year’s sales statistics and determined that for this Florida-based salon, August was the slowest month for spa service sales. So this August, she ran a “$99 Spa Special” offering clients a combined package including the spa’s signature facial and signature massage for $99 when booked together. “The regular price for the two services combined would be $139, so the promotion represented a $40-cost savings to our clients,” says Fudens. “Plus, it’s great to receive two full hours in the spa for $99.”
The Results: The salon realized a 25-percent increase in spa service sales during their traditionally slow month. The promotion encouraged the salon’s regular clients to sample spa services, brought in new clients to the spa and increased the frequency of regular spa clients. “We had a number of clients who visit monthly for spa services come in twice or more that month to take advantage of the promotion and work on specific skin or muscle issues.”
21. The Salon: Vito Mazza Salon, Spa & Hair Restoration in Woodbridge, New Jersey
The Owner: Vito Mazza, Jr.
The Challenge: To tap into the market for men experiencing thinning hair and hair loss.
The Marketing Solution: “The newest technology of laser hair therapy has been a significant and profitable breakthrough at our salon. Men are looking for natural, drug-free solutions to combat hair loss. Laser hair therapy helps improve the appearance of thinning hair and hair loss, making hair appear thicker and fuller.”
The Results: “Vito Mazza Salon, Spa & Hair Restoration celebrated 40 years this past June, and a large part of our growth over the years had been contributed to marketing to men with fine,
22. The Salon: Karen Allen Salon & Spa in Riverside and Temecula, California
The Owner: Karen Nguyen
The Challenge: To increase male service sales in coordination with the manufacturer’s new male-focused products
The Marketing Solution: To appeal to her male clients, she renamed some of her core spa services with a new male angle and launched a separate menu. “For example, our manicure and pedicures became The Executive Manicure and The Executive Pedicure, and we simplified the spa menu by dropping the lengthy service descriptions and categorizing massage and facials under Spa Essentials—then we simply listed the length of the service and the price. These are the same services that are offered to female clientele, we just made the language more appealing to men.”
Next, Nguyen created a separate pocket-sized male services menu in orange and a wood-grained texture. “It was designed to be discreetly carried in a wallet,” she says. “And research dictates that men don’t read further than seven lines, so we kept the services as a brief listing.”
The Results: Since creating and marketing the male-focused services, the salon’s male client population soared from 15 percent to 25-30 percent of the salon’s overall demographics. “We know the menus are working because men will call and book services by their new ‘masculine’ names,” she says. “We also experienced a much higher level of men’s holiday sales with gift sets created just for them. And, to continue to inspire service sales, we tucked a male service menu into each one of those gift sets.”
23. The Salon: Emerge Spa Salon in Boston, Massachusetts
The Owner: Joyce Hampers
The Challenge: Bringing men into a new spa.
The Marketing Solution: Hampers started by building a facility that would cater to men. On one of the spa’s floors, she dedicated a half a floor to the Men’s Club, a separate and distinct area that included a men’s locker room, waiting area, an area for barbering services and hot lather shaves, a separate male-only pedicure and manicure area, steam room and two treatment rooms. “Now, men walk in and are overcome by the fact that we created a special place just for them,” says Hampers.
When Hampers launched Emerge, her advertising campaign featured the Men’s Club. “We advertised in all of the major Boston periodicals, including Boston magazine, Boston Spirit, and The Boston Globe. And we worked with a PR company to secure feature articles on many of these same magazines. We even had a male reporter who came out and had several services and wrote an extensive article about the experience—he’s now a regular client.”
Hampers also sent special invitations to all the well-known business leaders. And, as a member of the Greater Boston Concierge Association, Hampers offers all local concierge members—many of whom are men—discounted services. In turn, they now talk up the Men’s Club to their hotel guests.
The Results: In the year since Emerge opened, Hampers is proud to state that more than 35 percent of her spa clients are male. “We even had a group of men organize a spa day Superbowl party in the Men’s Club—it’s definitely staying busy.”
24. The Salon: A New Technique in Simi Valley, California
The Owner: Lynda, Wes, John and Candace Miller
The Challenge: Keeping staff interested in selling retail.
The Marketing Solution: Poker Fridays, held four or five times a year, allows stylists to compete by selling retail. As a bonus, it gets the clients involved as well. When a stylist sells a product, they get to pick a card from the deck and tape it to their mirror, which prompts questions and discussion from clients. For each poker hand that is won, the stylist receives a prize, from items that include new tools or gift cards.
The Results: “It really helps the staff start talking about retail,” says Lynda. “Otherwise they get out of focus.”
25. The Salon: EOS Salon in Hoffman Estates, Illinois
The Owner: Heather Robak
The Challenge: Kick-starting retail sales.
The Marketing Solution: Every year between the months of March and May, the salon runs a promotion to entice customers to purchase their products at the salon. Every time a client buys three products, they get to put their name in a box for a drawing for a year’s worth of free services. The winner gets a dozen $50 gift
certificates—one for each month of the year.
The Results: “We’re also educating customers that when they buy retail from us, they are supporting stylists’ education and supporting the salon,” says Robak. She estimated retail sales jump about 4 to 5 percent when they are running the promotion.
26. The Salon: Renaissance Salon in Dover, Ohio
The Owners: Tod and Diane Carper
The Challenge: Building up their client e-mail list.
The Marketing Solution: Renaissance does a lot of direct e-mailing to clients to let them know about special promotions, says co-owner Diane. But getting current clients to sign up to the list has been difficult. “We can ask all day for people to sign up, but there’s no sense of urgency,” she says. To give clients a nudge, they bought an iPod Shuffle and anyone who signed up for the e-mails from December through February would be automatically entered to win the Shuffle in a drawing.
The Results: “In November, before we started doing this, we had four people that signed up,” says Diane. “Once we told them they could win a Shuffle, in the month of December we had more than 30 people. So far in early January, we have had another 30 people.”
27. The Salon: Brown and Deline Salons in Ypsilanti, Michigan
The Owner: Cathrine Brown Issel
The Challenge: To overcome the overall sales slump during February.
The Marketing Solution: Although February is slow for this northern salon, the month also marks the anniversary of one of its locations. To celebrate and spark sales, Issel created Super Saturday, which she now holds annually on a Saturday preceding Valentine’s Day.
“We offer 10-percent off any gift card and 10-percent off any add-on service such as a deep conditioning treatment or a clear gloss. We also post great promotional prices for specific staff members who are trying to build up their client base,” says Issel. “The first year we simply marketed it with fliers, but we’ve gotten more sophisticated by talking it up with individual clients, posting mirror talkers and including information in shopping bags.”
On the day of the event, Issel also offers special sales incentives to staff with an award for the highest retail sales and highest add-on services sales. She keeps it lively by awarding Starbucks or other giftcards each hour for the individual with the highest sales that hour.
The Results: “The first year we were excited when we hit our sales goal of $6,000 for that day, but by creating more hype for the event, this year our daily sales hit $52,000 for the two locations—with one of those locations hitting $34,000. Our clients now look forward to this event and ask about it in advance.”
28. The Salon: Experience: Salon Spa Esthetics in Pensacola, Florida
The Owners: Phil and Barbara Fennell and Steve and Judy Izzo
The Challenge: To combat the typically January/February slowdown and simultaneously build the books for new protégés that are coming onto the floor.
The Marketing Solution: From the middle of January through February, the salon runs promotional ads that state the salon is so convinced of its quality of color that it’s willing to offer new clients complimentary color service for the price of a hair cut, which is $40. The two caveats are that the appointments must be booked with one of the new protégés and if the requested color service exceeds $90, the client has to make up the difference. When the new client comes in, they receive a thorough consultation, including a separate color consultation and a quote for the service so there are no surprises upon checkout.
“When a service provider is less than 50-percent booked, I’d rather give services away than having people sit there and be idle. But this promotion allows us to recover the cost of the hair cut which is high for our market, and many of these clients turn out to be corrective color clients,” says Phil.
The salon either runs ads in a local regional woman’s publication or a city magazine, and they frequently run “scatter ads” in the Sunday paper. “When we run in the Sunday paper, we’ll run our big ad in the Life Section because we know it’s well-read by the female readers. But then we also run small, 2x3-inch ads in the Home and the Health sections that simply state our name and say, ‘See our ad in the Life Section.’ Those smaller ads only cost me $75 a piece, but they really work—people will come in and say, ‘I saw you all over the paper.’” Phil says each time he does this promotion he spends less than $2,000 on the entire campaign.
The Results: The last time the salon ran this campaign it attracted more than 130 new clients. “And when we tracked retention after 90 days, we had still retained 67 percent of these new clients,” he says. The campaign has proven so successful that the salon plans to run it a second time in the summer if they have more new protégés hitting the floor.
29. The Salon: LaBarberia Salon & Spa in Cleveland, Ohio
The Marketing Manager: Kristen Scharfeld
The Challenge: To reach out to the less fortunate.
The Marketing Solution: “In an effort to show some love, kindness and appreciation, LaBarberia hosts a community outreach event a few times each year called Shear Glory, where we offer complimentary hair cuts to those in need,” says Scharfeld. “LaBarberia is also a Locks of Love Salon, offering free hair cuts to those willing to donate their hair to the non-profit organization, which provides hairpieces for disadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss.”
The Results: “Our commitment to exceed these clients’ expectations each and every time they walk through our doors is by far the best idea we’ve had yet!”
30. The Salon: Vito Mazza Salon, Spa & Hair Restoration in Woodbridge, New Jersey
The Owner: Vito Mazza, Jr.
The Challenge: To turn Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday downtime into a Thursday/Friday/Saturday market.
The Marketing Solution: “We do this by offering clients extra incentives for booking their appointments on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. We’ll usually send an e-mail blast through the Constant Contact system on a Saturday to book up those days for the week ahead. We also have our client service representatives trained in knowing what appointments are available for the day and provide incentives to them for selling these slots in the appointment book,” says Mazza.
The Results: “Constant Contact is a great e-mail system that is relatively inexpensive for the return on investment.”