Marlo Asks: Reward Programs
“What rewards programs do you offer at your salon, spa or barber shop”
Owning or working at small, entrepreneurial businesses like salons and spas can make it tricky to effectively advertise to new clients. On one hand, you don’t want to spend a fortune on marketing, but on the other hand, your income largely depends on establishing regular clients and bringing in customers. Finding the “spending money to make money” sweet spot can be tricky, so Marlo Beauty Supply asked pros to discuss the most effective rewards programs out there: What rewards programs do you offer at your salon, spa or barber shop (referrals, frequent visitors, etc.)? Whether you’re well-versed in punch cards, discounts, and social media advertising or are looking for new ways to amp up your income, here are some handy tips to keep your business booming:
Phone a Friend
One of the most popular answers on the #MarloAsks poll was to offer discounts for each new client referral by establishing a referral program. This method is particularly effective, because each party benefits; your regular client gets a discount for spreading the word, new clients receive a first time discount at a trusted salon, and you gain new clientele while strengthening your existing network. Most pros answered that discounts are taken off when an existing client refers a certain number of new clients (e.g. “for each person a client refers, they get 10% off,” 3 referrals for half off the next service, or “refer five friends and get a free blowout”). One pro answered that it’s helpful to keep a record on hand so new clients can “name drop” the person who referred them. This way, you know to give your clients their discount when they return and you can keep track of new clientele.
In a world where Facebook, Yelp, and Google reviews can make or break your business, satisfied customers are everything. Some pros offer discounts (i.e. $3 off the next service per review) or point systems (i.e. 10 points per review) for each review and/or picture posted on social media. Others simply welcome “free” marketing by establishing a positive, customer satisfaction-focused social media presence. If your clients are content, they’ll take to social media to sing your praises!
Pack a Punch
A classic ice cream shop incentive to dish out “free” scoops, the punch card method is a tried and true way to keep customers coming back. Many pros commented that they use punch cards to both honor loyal customers and lure new clients into becoming regulars. Most punch cards operate on the “buy 9 get the 10th free” method, while others are slightly more intricate (e.g. “buy 5 manicures/pedicures get the 6th half off,” “purchase 5 waxes, get $2 off your next service,” and “1 point for every $1 spent on services”).
Other pros threw the punch card method to the wayside for a more unique approach. One pro offers “Nail Memberships” for loyal customers, in which each status (i.e. Gel, Enhancement, Very Important Client) has different perks and discounts. Another pro, Lee Ann Miley, cleverly devised a “Customer Loyalty Program” point system in which each 100 points earned = $10 off the next service:
In addition to collecting answers from licensed pros about reward programs in your salon, we found several low effort, low cost apps that can result in more marketing, scheduling, and rewards for your business:
Rewardster aids all types of small businesses in tallying reward points, sending text promotions, creating a strong social media presence, and marketing to new customers. Once you establish an account, clients can download Rewardster for free and “subscribe” to several businesses, including your salon. The app sends time sensitive promotions, important events, and even birthday wishes to your subscribers! New clients with the Rewardster app can search within the database to find your business and subscribe.
With Super Salon, you can book appointments, send text reminders, create promotions, facilitate loyalty programs, market via email and Facebook, track employee performance, and streamline customer ratings. After a free demo, Super Salon has package options starting with “Basic Salon” for $125/ month. Depending on your salon needs, this investment could pay off big time with just one all-inclusive, straightforward system for you and your clients.
Looking for a cheaper trial? Try Simple Salon, deemed the “#1 booking software” worldwide. More booking than rewards-focused, Simple Salon offers online scheduling, text reminders and confirmations, performance reports, easy to enter client records, a Point of Sale system, and immediate re-booking reminders. If you’re sick of no shows and late cancellations but also want a pinch of marketing pizazz, this app is for you. After a free month, the “Standard” package is offered for $56.99/ month.
Finally, Phorest Salon Software is the perfect app for up and coming salons. With three package options (“Starter,” “Grow,” and “Complete Advantage”) you can work your way up to more perks as your business thrives. Basic benefits include text and email promotions, online appointment bookings, charges for no-shows, appointment reminders, automatic review requests, social media marketing, client records, loyalty programs specific to your salon, staff management, and a Point of Sale system. Once you decide which package is right for you, you can visit the Phorest site to request a quote.
Whether your business is brand new or has been up and running for years, reward programs can bring in business or simply say “thank you” to loyal customers. It may take some trial and error, but establishing a rewards program that’s right for both your business and your clientele can make a huge difference.
A range of beauty professionals, salon owners and gurus participated in the #MarloAsks poll, resulting in a variety of helpful tips about rewards programs.
Look for future #MarloAsks polls on social media!