When designing promotions, it’s best to look at the big picture and incorporate your specific service promotions into your overall promotional plan.
Promoting pedicures and promoting your salon go hand in hand (pardon the pun). When designing promotions, it’s best to look at the big picture and incorporate your specific service promotions into your overall promotional plan. Many of these ideas can easily be adapted for pedicure promotions that will help generate business for your salon and are alternative strategies to discount offers.
Look at the big picture. Sit down and plot out your promotions for the coming year on a calendar. Mark your salon’s traditional slow periods during the year and make sure you have promotions planned to overcome your seasonal slumps. Take advantage of your peak business periods to promote for your down times. If you plan ahead, you won’t be faced with slow times. After you make a plan, post it for your staff to see what’s coming next. You can also create a fun calendar on a computer and turn it into a flier you can give to clients in the salon and use as a direct-mail piece.
Listen to your clients. Ask one or two regular clients to lunch and talk to them about what they like about your salon and the services you offer and what promotions they’d like to see. Clients love to tell you what they think, especially if they know they’re helping to make the salon they love even better. You might also conduct a client survey (see “Get to Knew Your Clients,” May 1995, page 108).
Brainstorm with your staff. Sometimes the best ideas come from your own employees. Also, staff members are more inclined to support the promotions they help develop. Plan a staff brainstorming lunch, or run a contest for the best promotional idea.
Develop a mailing list. Mailing lists can be developed in several ways: You can copy addresses off personal checks, hold a business-card drawing with a weekly winner, or simply have clients fill out a card asking them to be on a mailing list. Make sure you state on your mailer that you will be happy to remove clients from your mailing list at their request.
What should you mail? Gene Juarez Salons has had great success with postcards announcing promotions, gift ideas during the holidays, service introductions, nail care tips, etc.
Start a referral program. Design service-discount certificates for your clients to give to, their friends. When a client certificate is redeemed, send the referring client a thank-you note with a discount on her next service or a retail purchase.
Use Station Signs. Take advantage of your captive audience by posting signs at nail stations and in the lobby and restrooms. Signs can promote pedicures, add-on services, gift certificates, retail products, service specials, and more. At Gene Juarez, our signs are posted in the form of a question to encourage dialogue between the client and the nail technician. For example, a sign promoting pedicures might say, “Do you know how a pedicure can relieve stress? Ask your nail artist.” Use a computer to make your signs look professional and mount them on colored poster-board.
Promote gift certificates. What better gift to give a friend than a relaxing pedicure! Develop gift certificate packages in a variety of price ranges and give them an enticing name such as “The Royal Treatment.” When designing a package, try pairing a manicure with a pedicure or a pedicure with a facial; don’t forget to include the add-on services, too. By cross-promoting services, you introduce clients to services they may never have tried before.
Promote your packages to your clients through salon signs, posters, and postcards. If you have a larger budget, target men by advertising in the sports section of the newspaper, in business journals, or on a sports radio station. You can target them as clients, or you can offer to take care of all the women in their lives with gift certificates. Make purchasing gift certificate’s even easier by letting customers purchase them over the phone with a credit card, then gift wrap it and deliver or mail it for them.
Offer package deals. Encourage clients to buy packages of services by giving them free like-service with a minimum purchase. For example, give your client six pedicures for the price of five. You can also offer clients an extra incentive to purchase a frequent-user card by giving a free add-on service with each pedicure visit.
Another version of the package deal is to offer clients a sampler card that gives them credit toward a free service or gift when then complete the card. The sampler card may include one pedicure service, one manicure service, an add-on service, or anything else you offer such as tanning or skin care. Sampler cards encourage clients to try all the services you offer.
Create add-on services. Raise your average client tickets $5-$10 by developing add-on services that enhance the results of their pedicure, such as paraffin foot treatments, foot scrubs, and aromatherapy foot massage. These luxuries add only a few extra minutes to the service, and offer you a great retail outlet as well.
Turn services into an art form. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so take pictures of your services and make them into wall art or posters. Show your clients what you do and how relaxing a pedicure can be. You can even do before-and after photographs with foot or nail makeovers.
List your basic services on all your printed materials, including on business cards, letterhead, fliers, retail bags, and store signs.
Support your community. Donating your pedicure services to charitable organizations for auction is a great way to support your community and gain publicity at the same time. Also, put together a presentation on how nail care enhances your professional image that you can offer free to local groups. Bring price lists and discount certificates and hold a business-card drawing for attendees with a free pedicure as the prize. Then add these people to your mailing list.
Keep track. Develop a system to keep track of the responses you receive from your promotions. By doing so, you can determine which promotions are most successful for your salon.
Promotions keep clients excited about your salon and encourage them to try all your services. Regular, well-planned promotions can also turn traditionally seasonal services such as pedicures into year-round successes.