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5 Must-Have Marketing Strategies for Salons & Spas

Five salon and spa marketing strategies to gain more clients, boost online presence and increase revenue.

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With a deep exhale and a drop of their shoulders, your guests sink comfortably into their chairs, ready to settle in for the treatment that will leave them feeling confident and satisfied.  

Now more than ever people need that place to go where they feel welcomed, safe and at peace.  

You built your salon based on a passion for helping people look and feel their best. You’ve created an oasis for your guests to slip away from their day to day lives and take time for themselves.  

But, with the hair care industry packed with more than 80,000 salons and barbershops, it’s essential to make your brand stand out from the crowd.  

In this post we’ll provide five timeless salon and medspa marketing strategies and why they’re significant for your business.  

5 must have marketing strategies for salons and spas

Why is a Marketing Strategy Important?

Marketing is connecting with new and existing guests and letting them know that you’re there to help with their hair or skin care needs.  

You may be the best in your city, but if people don’t know about you your business won’t succeed.  

A smart marketing strategy helps you deliver brand awareness and get more customers for your salon or spa.  

Strategy 1:  Referrals and Reviews

People shop based on what they know and who they trust. That’s why referrals are the number one place to start when considering the best salon and spa marketing strategies to implement. Additionally, this is something you can put in place today, regardless of if you have two locations or fifty.  

Know more about: salon marketing software

Existing Guests

Acquiring new customers comes with a price tag. It is anywhere from 5 to 25% more costly to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. You can nurture relationships and expand your business through referrals and referral programs.  

Think back to when you were starting out. Sally comes in and says she was referred by Betty. You’re so happy! Wow, now you may want to offer Sally a discount and/or send Betty a thank you gift card.  

But how do you determine what dollar value makes sense for your business? How do you decide who gets the referral bonus? And if Sally trusts you enough to refer, how many other clients could have referred, if only you had asked.  

A formal referral program, one that is easy for your guest to use, increases your opportunities to win referrals. And you want to win referrals.  

Here’s why.

How does a guest spending 15-25% more on their first visit sound? Surprisingly good, right? Referrals are free advertising that pays. A referred guest will spend more on their first visit, are more likely to refer others, and spend more over time.  

Networking

Connecting with other local, industry-related businesses can be mutually beneficial. Not only are you keeping dollars within your community, but you’re building life-long business connections.  

What could that look like?

Think company-wide initiative with a location-by-location twist. Your salon manager(s) could reach out to a local hair accessory company to create a co-branded piece, or your spa manager(s) could collaborate with a smoothie shop for a co-branded smoothie, or pop-up event. The options are only limited to what business you would want to be associated with. For more information click the link below!  

Want to take your referral program to the next level?

Download the Free “How to Create a Successful Referral Program” Guide.  

Strategy 2: Generate Online Awareness

Your online reputation matters, as much, if not more, than your offline one. 90% of people look at reviews before buying. So that means, that 90% of your potential new guests are reading Karen’s “worst haircut of my life” one star review. Sure, Karen is entitled to her feelings and that may have been a learning experience for the provider, but you don’t want that to be the only story people are reading about you online.  

That’s why you need to know your online reputation, be able to manage it, and drive the narrative you desire.  

Do that with:

Review Sites

Get more reviews by asking for them (see #1 of our salon and spa marketing strategies). Ask your guests for feedback immediately after their service. This may help you prevent a negative rating by solving any issues in real-time and may encourage more positive reviews. People are more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one. That’s because humans are hardwired to look for the negative. So, once you’ve established there are no issues, ask for a review on sites such as Facebook, Yelp and Google.  

Google review on yelp

Stay on top of reviews to know what people are saying, and if you can, engage with them. Save positive reviews for email, social media, or other marketing campaigns. Social proof is important.  

Social Media

Speaking of social proof, let’s look at social media. On average people spend over 2 hours every day on social media. To expand your reach and generate brand awareness, a social presence is key. What are your guests doing while they’re in the chair? You guessed it, looking at their phone, scrolling Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok. Are they seeing your salon or spa in their feed? A successful marketing strategy must include social.  

Ready for a hot social media tip?

Find out which platforms your ideal guest uses most often, get to know it, and stay active there. Building awareness takes time so be patient, stay up to date on the platform and stay consistent.  

Unsure where to start?

If you’re unsure where to start with number two of our spa and salon marketing ideas, as a visual business, consider using platforms that use photo and video, such as Instagram and YouTube, to highlight your provider’s skills, your salon amenities and more. Read more tips to boost your social media presence on the Zenoti blog.  

SEO/Google Visibility

Google is the #1 search tool (followed by YouTube), with over 86% of the market share. If 90% of people are looking at reviews before purchasing, they’re using Google to find them.  

When people Google “salon near me” or “best haircut near me”, you want to be at the top of that list. Reviews, location awareness, and being seen as trustworthy and reliable and are vital for new customer acquisition. Get noticed:

  • Sign up for Google My Business
  • Have an active and up to date website
  • Have an active social media presence
  • Ask for, and manage reviews  
  • Keep an updated profile on review sites like Yelp  

Strategy 3:  SMS Campaigns

SMS

Do you sleep with your phone right next to you? If you do, you’re part of the 90% people aged 18-29 who do so.  

Image showing SMS marketing statistics

Over 90% of people look at their phone before bed and 50% of people check their phone immediately after waking. That’s why the third recommendation in our breakdown of salon and spa marketing strategies is to be one of the messages they see! Send a text reminding them of upcoming appointments, thanking them for their business, asking them to refer, and more.  

Read the Zenoti blog for best-in-class practices to get the most from your SMS marketing.  

Strategy 4: Loyalty Programs and Memberships

Retaining existing clients has significant impacts on your business, they recommend you, are more likely to forgive mistakes, and spend 67% more than one-off guests.  

Set your business apart and create brand advocates with loyalty programs and memberships.  

There’s nothing like going to a coffee shop only to find out your drink is free or scanning the bottom of your grocery store receipt to see how much you saved. There’s a reason programs like these exist. For over 70% of people, a loyalty program is a meaningful part of their brand relationship.  

Type of programs

  • Flat: everyone earns the same and gets the same benefits (i.e., 1 point per dollar spent, $5 off with every 100 points). These programs are easy to understand and have a low barrier to entry.  
  • Tiered: guests still earn points based on dollars spent but the higher the tier – the better the benefits (i.e., $5 off with every 100 points, $12 off with every 200 points, etc.). This type of program may be more beneficial as it can help you direct desired behavior (i.e., offer higher points for lower margin products or services to drive sale). In fact, 50% of people are known to change their behavior to reach or maintain a higher tier.  
  • Membership: typically involve a monetary fee or signing up for a newsletter in exchange for perks, benefits, or discounts (i.e., pay a $10 annual membership fee and get 10% off haircuts). This type of program is beneficial for relationship building. Also, you have the opportunity of collecting earnings with a fee-based program.  
  • Gift Cards (GC): not a program but rather an important incentive or a stand-alone offer. Offer a GC as a reward for loyalty points earned, as a thank you for signing up for a membership, or for referrals. Gift cards keep dollars within your business, are fun to give, and keep you connected with your guests.  

Zenoti customer, EvelineCharles, proudly displays the GC purchase option in their site header. Why not do the same?

Whichever type of program you decide on, ensure you have a real-time salon management software partner with strong data security, like Zenoti, who can automate the program and reporting, while maintaining your guest’s privacy.  

Strategy 5:  Influencers

According to statistics from Later.com, over the next 6 years social commerce is estimated to increase by 31.4% every year, reaching $604.5 billion by 2027.  This is where influencer marketing comes in.  

Influencer marketing is working with individuals to promote your products and services. Influencer levels range depending on reach (how big their audience is) and engagement (likes, comments, shares) and can offer a variety of services at various price ranges.  

Whomever you choose to partner with, authenticity needs to be top of mind.

Jane, the macro influencer, who has never had extensions before (and isn’t willing to get them), wouldn’t be a good fit for your salon if you specialize in extensions. No matter how many followers she has.  

To connect with influencers, build out your campaign then reach out to the people you want to work with, with genuine interest not a cut/paste DM.  

Nano Influencers:

An influencer doesn’t have to have the little blue checkmark to be important. A nano influencer is your everyday person with a social media account, and some followers. A few hundred followers are a few hundred more eyes on your business, and that matters. Often, since their audience is relatively small, they have a very authentic and trusting relationship with their followers. Good news for you, because it means they are highly likely to take their advice and visit your salon or spa.  

Micro Influencers:

Subject matter experts who are typically more active in social media. They have an engaged following and understanding of how to photograph and/or caption a piece that’s intended to be a #ad.  

Macro Influencers:

These people have a large following and are often considered “internet famous”.  

Mega Influencers:

Typically, mega influencers are celebrities or public figures.  

Help more people to feel good and find great with a marketing strategy that includes supportive tools like Zenoti. And don’t forget to get your free download “How to Create a Successful Referral Program”.

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Emily Martin
Zenoti Copywriter
A self-confessed bookworm with a passion for languages and weaving together words. Happiest when immersed in nature, either on horseback or skis, or curled up with a good thriller. Emily's writing focuses on sharing trends and insights impacting the beauty and wellness industry.
Cullie Poseria
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fitness
Coming from a healthcare family, growing up as a competitive athlete, and being trained as a filmmaker, and MBA, Cullie brings diverse experience to her storytelling and digital business-to-business product marketing. Her writing focuses on sharing trends and insights from her experience in software, entertainment, wellness, and fitness.
Emily Martin
Zenoti Copywriter
A self-confessed bookworm with a passion for languages and weaving together words. Happiest when immersed in nature, either on horseback or skis, or curled up with a good thriller. Emily's writing focuses on sharing trends and insights impacting the beauty and wellness industry.

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