Spring is here, and with it the potential for new business. For 1993’s first season, promotional campaigns can focus on one of the numerous holidays, from Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day, or take advantage of spring fever and encourage clients to “get in shape for summer” with a pedicure promotion.

NAILS talked to nail technicians around the country to find out what sells best when the snow melts and the grass grows.

Sabrina Stahn, nail technician for Regis Corporation (Minneapolis, Minn.): The number one thing I promote in the spring is pedicures; my second largest promotion is gel nails because they are more flexible. I suggest them for brides and women with active lifestyles.

The most successful spring promotion I had was a “spring kick-off” offering a discount on a pedicure through direct mail and suggesting clients come in to see the new spring colors. A lot of the regular clients responded, but this very successful campaign also got many of our occasional clients to come in for a pedicure. It was a great way to dust off our mailing list.

Mary Jo Sinnen of City Looks (Wayzata, Minn.): In the spring, we promote full sets of artificial nails by running coupons in the local paper. The response has been very good for that promotion, bringing in numerous new clients.

Our year-round referral promotion, “Your friends can come in handy,” has been successful. When a client has three friends come in on a referral to a particular stylist, the client receives $3 off the nail service and a package worth roughly $8, consisting of a nail strengthener, remover, cuticle pusher, those types of things.

Cindy Trew, owner of Trew Nails (Chicago, Ill.): For spring, we just do a word-of-mouth pedicure, promotion, no actual advertising. For Secretary’s Day, however, we offer gift certificates and donate 30% of the profit to a scholarship fund. We have been doing that promotion since we opened in 1990 and generally sell more than 300 gift certificates.

Janet Adams, owner of Nailway Express (Baltimore, Md.): We heavily market gift certificates through all of the spring holidays, starting off with Valentine’s Day. During the spring, we also sell gift certificates ad shower gifts, and many brides purchase them for their wedding parties. In turn, those bridesmaids often become customers.

Gail Gallant, nail technician who specialize in doing nails for photo shoots (Glendale, Calif.): For spring, promotions center on new colors, manicures, and especially pedicures and oil treatments. The oil treatments are a great way to prepare dry winter skin for the upcoming beach weather.

It is very effective to combine a pedicure with a manicure. Clients who normally do not get a pedicure seem more receptive to the idea when they are receiving a manicure especially after you point out they will soon be wearing sandals. (Photo by Christopher Augustine)

Peter Ha, owner of Peter’s Nails (Kensington, Md.): Luckily, there isn’t much competition in my area, so I just advertise in the local newspaper. A successful coupon for the spring is $5 off a pedicure of you get a manicure the same day. Other coupons that generate a lot of response are $10 off sculptured nails and a special price of $35 for a facial.

Mari D’Allessandro, owner of Elite Nail Co. (Altamonte Springs, Fla.): In the spring, we promote pedicures in the local paper with a discount coupon. The advertisement also mentions the new spring colors. Instead of generating a lot of new clients, the pedicure coupon seems to appeal to current clients who don’t normally get a pedicure. For Valentine’s Day, we often suggest nail art to our clients.

Kim Greenberg, a principal of I Natural Cosmetics and Skin Care (Boston): For spring, we launch a new color line for the eyes, lips, cheeks, and nails. We try to add a festive air to the store with lots of fresh flowers, balloons, and colorful, bright signs. Our complimentary spring makeover brings us new clientele and is a bonus for faithful clients. At the end of winter, everyone is ready for something new.

For the various holidays, we may run a gift with a purchase, and a direct mailing or discount on a facial gets clients who have hibernated all winter to come in.

Gift certificates are always successful at Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day; in fact, they are good business year-round. People should definitely play up gift certificates. They are a prepayment of service, and an expiration date creates a sense of urgency. Clients always come in week before the certificate expires.

Tricia Wilson of Valley Beauty Salon (Sun City, Ariz.): Spring is a time to change and try new things, so we promote the new spring colors. For the clients who haven’t altered their nail color in eight years, I often suggest a new style, like a French manicure, for the spring.

When the holidays come around, especially Valentine’s Day and Easter, I recommend nail art, perhaps a heart or spring flower. This is most effective if the client happens to have a new outfit with a design that can be copied onto the nail.

We have a referral program, however, where the client who does the referring receives a gift certificate for $5 worth of free nail art, and the new client gets 10% off her first visit. For the client who does the referring, I like to give her a service she doesn’t usually choose, like nail art. It helps broaden the types of services a client selects.

Other than that, I give free nail art to the hairdressers, always something special and eye-catching. I will also give free nail art on occasion to well-placed customers – like a receptionist in a doctor’s office, whose hand are visible and who can give a lot of referrals.

Jody Seagers, educator for Creative Nail Design (Carlsbad, Calif.): When I worked in a salon in Atlanta, our best promotions were a service with a service. For example, if a client bought a package of five manicures, she would receive a free facial, which would get clients started in the skin-care program. In the spring, we didn’t do much advertising. Our clients brought in more clients, although we did sell a lot of gift certificates.

Last Valentines’ Day we had a very successful “Men’s Night Out.” A few weeks before Valentine’s Day, we offered gift certificates for a manicure and/or pedicure for a specific night – men only, no female clients. For the pedicures we had private rooms for the guys.

We served beer and wine and introduced the men to massages, facials, and reflexology. Then we did a lingerie show and many of the men purchased gifts for their wives.

We originally only had one night planned, but it was so successful we had to do it three times. A lot of the men made future appointments, so it generated numerous new male clients for the salon. It was so successful, the salon is doing it again this year.

Vernita Gray, owner of About Nails Etc. (Milwaukee, Wis.): We promote facials to slough off old dead skin. For nails, we promote spring polish colors and hand masks to slough off winter-ravaged skin. We really push natural nail manicures because if clients want their nails to grow, spring is the time to do it. The warm air coming in really helps natural nails grow.

For our “Spring Blues” special, which appears in our annual spring newsletter, we offer a manicure/pedicure/facial package at a special price. We stress to clients that now is the time to make a new commitment to a new you and educate them on the changes in skin and nails due to the new season.

Diana Brians, co=owner of Djon’s (Dixon, Calif.): We promote body wraps to get people in shape for sunbathing. We use a health-type body wrap that removes toxins from the body. This is something new for us. We also promote facials to get clients’ faces ready for the sun and educate them on our skin care products. We also explain to clients that swimming in chlorine requires a change in shampoo. We promote skin and hair plasma, which are moisturizers that protect against sun damage.

For nails, I really promote French manicures for a natural, light look that’s clean and refreshing. It’s a nice change from the winter reds and dark autumn polish colors. We also push spring polish colors.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.