Say Thank You With a Discount

We’ve been talking about getting our holiday plan together and about putting it into action. Hopefully you’ve taken my advice and have made your list of clients you wish to give a holiday card to. I hope you have gone to Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, etc., to pick up your holiday cards. You should start writing your cards thanking your customers for their loyalty and business during 2011.


Some nail technicians prefer to write their cards out week by week so it is less intense. I too did that in the past. However, when a client came in to drop off a card or gift unexpectedly I didn’t have my card ready for them. I felt bad that I did not have something to give them to reciprocate. Write your cards over a few days and make sure you keep the script simple with a few sentences. This will help you to avoid developing writer’s cramp or writing a novel in each card.


So what else can you put in the card to say thank you to your clients? How about a business-sized card with a special offer? Last year in my salon, we offered a card for $10 off an upgraded pedicure or $20 off an upgraded manicure and pedicure. We chose to give the discount on upgraded services. Why? This will give our clients an opportunity to try an upgraded service they may not have tried before. Also, in my salon our upgraded service/add-on is more than $10 so our nails techs are come out ahead financially.


This year we are giving our clients a business-sized card for $10 off any service with _______ (the employee can fill in her name). This is a more universal approach and keeps it simple. This card will work with all of our departments, regardless if they are a nail technician, stylist, massage therapist, or esthetician.


Be creative; think about the needs of your clients. If your client only gets pedicures with you, offer her money off a manicure. Hint: Not just a basic manicure, an upgraded manicure like a paraffin treatment, gel polish application, or specialty manicure. If she never gets her feet done with you, offer her money off a paraffin pedicure, gel polish pedicure, or specialty pedicure. You can do whatever you want — offer a complimentary upgrade, it’s your choice. Also, in my experience dollars speak louder than a percentage off.


Here is the kicker: The offer on the cards is valid for January and February only. This works well for us because it’s after the holidays when our books are usually slower. We find that many clients come less frequently or completely quit coming after they receive their holiday credit card bills. They tell me their husbands say, “Something has got to give until we pay off our holiday debt.” Unfortunately, it’s usually me. Because clients are paying off their debt, I end up with fewer visits. So this card is also a nice reward for your clients when they are paying off their holiday purchases.


There are a few things to remember to put on your holiday cards: “Valid January and February 2012” or “Valid 1/2-2/29/2012.” Yes, it’s a leap year. This is your call to action; this makes the card worth its weight in gold since it’s only valid for a short time. If you don’t put an expiration date on the card or put an expiration date that is six months later, clients forget about the offer or lose the card. This will make them use it and keep you busy over the quieter months until the busy spring break season starts.


Decide if you are able to use the card with other offers. On our card I also add “Not valid with any other offers or promotions.” Take a few minutes to design a card — use clip art, add an offer and expiration date, insert your salon name and number, and you’re all set. I make them on my computer and have a print shop print them out for me. They only charge a few dollars. They print them on nice cardstock, cut them, and the quality is amazing. It’s worth a few dollars or you can do the printing yourself.


Holiday offers to keep your clients coming back and to keep you busy after the holidays — one more way to help you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!


— Jill

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