3 Promotions You Should Be Running Right Now

Samantha Georgson, director of Marketing for Inspired Enterprises, Inc.

Right now, many salons are still closed or unable to operate at full capacity. In the past months, they've had to furlough stylists, managers and guest service representatives, who are currently at home waiting for updates about re-openings. They've had to cancel thousands of appointments, and everyone is left missing their team members, their guests and their way of life.

With so much on the line, and so little flexibility considering our current situation, we’re forced to get creative in terms of how we earn revenue during this time. While you may still be unable to offer actual services, many of you are likely thinking, “How much can we really do?” Well, we’re here to help. Here are three promotions you should be running right now: 

Invite Your Clients to Pre-Pay for Their Appointments by Purchasing Gift Cards

No matter your state’s regulations or the reality of your future opening date, you could and should, be bringing in extra income with gift card purchases.

Your clients miss you just as much as you miss them—trust me. And they’re all looking for ways to support you, your business and their favorite stylists during this time. They’re going to purchase gift cards to your salon if you make them readily available and we even have a few ways you can up the ante and increase incentive.

At Be Inspired Salon, located in Madison, Wisconsin, we’ve created three gift card packages that encourage clients to spend a certain dollar amount at our salon while we’re closed. We have a Platinum Offer, in which guests receive a $100.00 shopping pass to use in Q4 (October, November and December) which could go toward any of our retail products, tools or cosmetics, plus a free signature manicure at the new all natural nail salon opening up just down the street (typically valued at $35.00) when they invest in a $400 gift card to the salon.

Notice how I let the client know what they get before I went into exactly what they have to do to get it—it’s all a part of the strategy.

Then, we have a Gold Offer, in which guests get a $20.00 shopping pass (again, only to be used on products, tools or cosmetics, not the same as gift card and not to be used on services!) and the free signature mani from our new neighboring nail salon when they invest in a $200 gift card.

Finally, the Silver Offer, in which guests receive a $20.00 shopping pass to use at their leisure when they invest in a $150 gift card to the salon—short, sweet and only $50 less than our previous offer to encourage this still substantial amount of spending.

If you want to incentivize your guests to invest in a gift card and pre-pay for their future visit at your salon, this is the way to do it.


Next Up, Product Promotions

Now it’s time to talk about slinging products despite being closed. This one could vary depending on your state’s regulations, but don’t worry, you’ve got options on options.

If you’re allowed to be open for curbside product pick-up—do it! Yes, of course, you’ll have to foot the bill for at least one team member to be there to manage orders and facilitate the pick-up process, but if you can afford to do so, this is a great opportunity to earn some extra revenue and get your products into the hands of your clients while you’re unable to service them.

If you want to put a cap on the output required for this process, you can limit the days or times that clients can actually come and pick up their orders. Hear me out—you could accept orders all week long at any hour of the day, but only permit clients to stop by the salon for pick-up on Fridays from, say, 10-1PM. This way, you’re able to facilitate sales while limiting the amount of time actually spent clocking hours at the salon.

If you’re unable to bring people to you, you could also look into offering product delivery. This could potentially be a little bit more expensive depending on how you operate, but you could either have your own team members packaging and delivering orders themselves, or you could look into having your products shipped via USPS or another local delivery service.

Alternatively, you could also get in contact with your distributors directly and see what kinds of options they have for delivery and whether or not you’re able to get some kind of a kick-back for your role in the sale.

Now, give your retailers some grace, because this is uncharted territory for all of us, and many of these companies, especially those that don’t sell directly to clients and opt to distribute exclusively to salons, have never had to map out the delivery process before. However, for some, this is a learning curve that they’re choosing to take advantage of, and you can too.

For example, at Be Inspired Salon, we proudly carry three amazing product lines, including DevaCurl, Surface, and KMS. In the beginning, none of these brands had the capabilities to offer delivery directly to our clients, or at least not in a way that would reward the salon for facilitating the sale. So, we had to pivot, and while we have no plans to end our relationship with any of these beloved brands, we decided to take on a new product line that we strongly believe in, and we welcomed Eufora into the Be Inspired Salon community.

Eufora put together a fantastic partnership program in which each salon gets their own unique code to promote. When clients use it, they get free shipping directly to their home and the salon gets a substantial kickback that we can then split amongst our team.

Because we had never used this product line on our clients, our team was able to participate in a virtual education session in order to learn more about the benefits of each product and to be able to speak to specific client recommendations. The results were amazing and we’re already so excited to build on our relationship with this amazing brand once we reopen.

Now, DevaCurl has also come up with an amazing partnership program for our curl community. In a similar fashion, our salon was given our own unique promo code to promote which gives guests a 10% savings on their first order and we receive a kickback for being the middle man.

No matter where you’re at in terms of being able to sell products, you have to find what is going to work best for you, your team and your budget.

Encourage Your Guests to Wait & Win

Finally, you can encourage your guests to step away from the box dye and the at-home bang trims with a “Wait & Win” campaign. It’s a simple as it sounds—your guests could win big by simply waiting for their favorite stylist.

This campaign falls right in line with all of those #rootingformystylist and #showyourroots campaigns, and we’re totally here for it, but the incentives have been raised.

For example, at Be Inspired Salon, our guests have the opportunity to win a $900 gift card to use when we reopen–HUGE! Why did we go so big? Well, the truth is, we still don’t know exactly when we’re going to be able to open our doors, and even when we receive the okay to start accepting guests back into the salon, we don’t know at what capacity. So, our winner could still be waiting a while until we’re able to get them in but we hope they’ll continue to wait for us and we’re willing to show them just how much we appreciate their patience.

For that reason, we’re going to keep this campaign going for as long as we need to, and we’ll be selecting our winner two months after our first official opening date in order to give everyone the chance to participate.

Now, the best part about this campaign is the sense of community that comes with it. We’re keeping it super fun and light-hearted and encouraging all of our guests to share their #waitandwin progress with us in our Friends of Be Inspired Salon Facebook Group. If you haven’t already created a Facebook Group for your salon community, guests included, click here to read why this is such a creative platform for staying connected with guests during this time, and all of the ways in which you can benefit from this group even when it’s back to business as usual.

So, moral of the story is, despite, or even better, in light of our current situation, we are forced to get creative with how we’re earning revenue which can sometimes be a challenge, but we hope that these three promotions inspire your creativity and encourage you start brainstorming ways in which you can continue to bring home the bacon—bring it on!

About the Author: Samantha Georgson is a writer, blogger, content creator and digital marketing maven. She is the Director of Marketing for Inspired Enterprises, Inc., the parent company to three incredible beauty industry brands – Beyond the Technique; an education platform for salon owners and beauty industry professionals, Meet Your Stylist; an innovative salon software that matches clients with their perfect stylists at your salon based on behavioral economics, and Be Inspired Salon; an award-winning salon located in Madison, Wisconsin.


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