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Memberships are a growing trend in the salon and spa space, so it’s no surprise the topic came up in our webinar Achieving greatness in 2023: Data insights and strategies to fuel business growth (watch it on demand here).

For the webinar, two experts discussed the strategies behind the benchmark data that defines greatness across the industry: David Crisalli, former CEO of Massage Envy, the largest massage chain in the U.S., and Sarah Simonelli, Zenoti Director of Customer Success and former Director of Operations at luxury group Tricoci Salon & Spa.  

The pair talked about the memberships trend during their presentation, and continued the discussion while answering questions from the audience. For salons and spas looking to start a membership program, here are top tips from the experts.  

Why memberships, why now?

Memberships and subscription-based services have risen in popularity in recent years. The entertainment industry initially led the way with services like Netflix and Spotify, and the model is now universally accepted among many consumers.  

Sarah offered some salon-specific details: “We’re seeing an increasing trend of memberships for recurring and maintenance-based services. For example, blow-dries and manicures.”

Memberships provide a valuable tool to boost guest retention – and guest spending. With a membership program, you can reward guests for higher spends or more frequent visits, and encourage them to try new products and services. As a result, you have a head start on keeping a full appointment book and earning higher collections – and loyal guests are likely to identify that special treatment that will keep them coming back.

As David shared, “Memberships create an inherent stickiness with guests. They can make the business fly a little faster when done well.”

Girl in white top getting her nail done at a busy nail salon

Three steps to getting started with memberships

There is no one-size-fits-all model for memberships. Before you implement a membership program at your salon or spa, take some time to consider how it can be equally beneficial to your business and your guests.

1. Map out your membership goals

From Sarah: “Look at your objectives. Is it to drive appointment frequency, increase utilization, earn recurring revenue… or all three?”  

By setting and continuously referencing clear business goals, you’ll create a membership program designed to meet those goals and drive your business forward. For example, if you want to boost appointment frequency, you could set up a membership program that offers a certain number of visits within a time frame. If you want to improve staff utilization, promote add-on treatments to increase service and visit duration.  

2. Decide on a membership payment structure

Depending on the services you offer, you’ll want to consider different payment structures.

One of the reasons membership models are so appealing to salons, spas, and medspas is because they usually deliver recurring monthly payments. Membership programs act as an excellent strategy to ensure predictable revenue throughout the year – even during quiet times.

What if your guests are hesitant about a regular commitment? As Sarah explains, you can also offer memberships for an upfront, one-time payment: “You can start in a less aggressive way with a one-time membership fee, which pays for benefits like savings on services and retail.”

3. Clearly communicate your membership program

Once you’ve set up a program and payment structure, there’s one more essential component: communication. If staff and guests don’t fully understand and appreciate the benefits of the program, it could flop – no matter how valuable it is. David says, “Keep in mind that providers generally don’t come from a membership-centric culture. They need time to really understand that model.”  

Crisalli suggests providing comprehensive staff training on the sales process and how to communicate the value of the membership(s) succinctly. Once your team is on board, utilize all your marketing channels to promote the program to guests.  

Why Zenoti is the top choice for memberships

Built for flexibility, Zenoti gives you the freedom to tailor membership programs to your business needs and guest preferences. Whether you run a small, boutique brand or a multi-location franchise, you can create your perfect mix of service and product benefits, and turn them into flat or tiered (think bronze, silver, gold) membership programs. Guests can pay for their membership via an upfront or monthly recurring fee.  

Promote membership benefits in-store and across emails, SMS, social media, and your webstore. Once member sign-ups start rolling in, you can rest easy knowing program management is effortless for staff and guests alike:  

  • Manage memberships centrally or per location.
  • Membership benefits are automatically applied to invoices.
  • Guests can utilize their memberships across any location.
  • Guests can share membership benefits with friends and family.
  • Service history, balances, and redemptions are easily visible to members via your webstore or mobile app.

As David notes, “Zenoti has pioneered memberships in the software space. They really nailed and scaled this particular aspect of revenue generation and member management – they’re best in class.”

For more of the latest strategies for salon and spa success, watch the full webinar on demand.  

Find out how to get started with your membership program.


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Karin Moestam
Zenoti Copywriter
Karin has worked in the intersection between beauty, wellness, and technology for years. She loves helping brands succeed by sharing her knowledge about industry trends and best practices. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or enjoying nature alongside her giant dog.
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.

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