Salons and barbershops are unique for many reasons, but what really sets them apart is their business model.
Most companies that provide professional services do not charge their employees to rent their cubicles, nor do they allow their employees to collect payments from customers directly and retain a percentage of that income. In fact, the majority of businesses out there do everything within their power to minimize or eliminate the need to work with independent contractors. Instead, most companies hire employees.
Interestingly, salons and barbershops don't function the way that typical professional service businesses do. In fact, the owners of these establishments are more like landlords, and the stylists that work for them are each business owners unto themselves.
The salon or barbershop owner rents out their grooming stations to the stylists who work there. Overhead expenses are oftentimes shared among all stylists, and there are other relational peculiarities between owners, stylists, and customers.
Of course, since the owner receives a percentage of their stylists' fees, they have a vested interest in the success of their stylists. But technically, their stylists are independent contractors who set their own rates and manage their own customer bases.
If a stylist does not book enough appointments, then he or she will not be able to keep up with the rent and other expenses associated with working at the salon or barbershop.
As you can see, building up a loyal customer base is vital to the success of salon and barbershop stylists.
Are you a stylist who wants to strategize an effective, sustainable method to retain customers and boost sales? Or do you own a salon or barbershop and you're interested in launching a sound marketing strategy to promote your stylists, attract new customers, increase appointment bookings, and grow your business?
Either way, implementing a customer loyalty rewards program is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods you can launch to attract and retain customers, and build your business.
However, not all loyalty programs are created equal. If you're currently shopping around for a loyalty program that will support the unique needs of salons, barbershops, and their talented stylists, then consider Loyal~n~Save. Our premium loyalty platform is user-friendly and technologically advanced. Customers love our mobile app and the gamification of our rewards structures. And stylists love the positive impact our loyalty program has on their customer base.
In fact, the customizable rewards structures that our platform offers are so well suited for salons, barbershops, and their entrepreneurial stylists that we wanted to dedicate a blog article to 6 loyalty ideas that have worked for our salon clients in the past.
Check out these rewarding ideas that you can implement at your salon as soon as you sign up for our customer loyalty rewards program right here on our merchant website.
LOYALTY IDEA #1
Provide Big Discounts for Monthly Subscriptions
Monthly subscriptions are not commonly offered to salon and barbershop customers, which is why this customer loyalty rewards program idea works so well.
Offer your loyalty members a flat monthly subscription that regular, non-loyalty customers do not have access to. Assign a fixed amount of rewards points for participating in the monthly subscription. For example, if the subscription costs $35 per month, then every time a loyalty member pays $35, they earn 500 points. Lastly, decide what services will be free or greatly discounted for subscribers so that they have exclusive access to a full menu of fun services.
Here's what a subscriber could have access to at your salon every month:
- Up to 8 free blowouts
- 25%-off 1 haircut
- 50%-off roots touch-up
Here's what a subscriber could have access to at your barbershop every month:
- Up to 8 free straight razor shaves
- 25%-off all styling products
- 15%-off up to 3 haircuts
Just make sure that your subscribers understand the terms of service. For example, you might require them to give you 4 - 6 hours' notice for free services such as a blowout or straight razor shave.
Lastly, make sure that the rewards items that are available to redeem are awesome. Your subscribers will accumulate 500 points per month just for participating, so be sure to include some big-ticket items for redemption, such as an Amazon Echo or even a Google Chromebook, that your loyalty subscribers can work towards over the course of the year.
LOYALTY IDEA #2
Reward Members with Products to Get Them Hooked
A portion of your salon or barbershop income is actually from retail sales. Even if you only sell a few styling products, you want your customers to buy those products from you and not at the local drug store, which is where this loyalty idea comes into play.
Your customers might love the hair mousse or pomade that you style their hair with before they leave the styling chair, but they haven't been inclined to buy the products you use on them every time they come into your salon or barbershop. We have a clever loyalty idea to help get them hooked on your styling products every day, which will result in them buying those products from you. Offer styling products as rewards items to your loyalty members.
Make quality products like these available for redemption at your salon:
- Hair mousse
- Hair accessories, including headbands, barrettes, and clips
Make products like these available for redemption at your barbershop:
- Beard wax and other beard styling agents
- Masculine-scented essential oils
The trick is to make sure that each styling product doesn't require too many points to redeem. You'll need to do the math and calculate an appropriate number of points per styling item to ensure you won't lose money. But as a general rule of thumb, it should not cost a customer more than $200 to have enough rewards points to redeem a container of pomade.
Ideally, if a newly enrolled loyalty member books a cut, color, and blowout with you, that appointment should earn them enough points to walk out of your salon with a canister of free hairspray. Then, they can either continue to book appointments, earn points, and redeem free hairspray, or they can purchase the hairspray from your salon at the retail price. Either way, you win!
LOYALTY IDEA #3
Offer a Free Service for Successful Loyalty Referrals
Today's consumers trust recommendations from their friends and family more than anyone, which is why it's a good idea to reward your loyalty members for the word-of-mouth marketing they do for your salon or barbershop.
You can incentivize your loyalty members to spread the word about your salon or barbershop's loyalty program by offering them a free service in exchange for a successful referral. Meaning, if a loyalty member gets their friend to enroll in your loyalty program, then the referring member should get a valuable freebie. However, we recommend that you color outside the lines when it comes to this loyalty idea because there isn't a one-size-fits-all model.
For example, here are some examples of the rewards you can offer for successful loyalty referrals at your salon:
- 1 free haircut for 5 successful loyalty enrollments
- 1 free blowout for 2 successful loyalty enrollments
- 1 free hair extension weave for 20 successful loyalty enrollments
And here are some examples of the rewards you can offer for successful loyalty referrals at your barbershop:
- 3 free straight razor shaves for 1 successful loyalty enrollment
- 1 free beard & mustache trim for 3 successful loyalty enrollments
- 1 free cut & color for 10 successful loyalty enrollments
In order to truly encourage your loyalty members to successfully refer their friends and family to your loyalty program, we recommend that you do not put an expiration on their referrals. For example, even if it takes a loyalty member 3 years to successfully refer your barbershop loyalty program to 10 of his friends, you should still reward him with 1 free cut & color.
LOYALTY IDEA #4
Make the Most Out of Holidays & Seasonal Events
Holidays and seasonal events mean parties, and when people go to parties, they want to look their best! Your customer loyalty rewards program can help you make the most out of every holiday and seasonal event if you try this fun loyalty idea.
First of all, you'll need to plan ahead and promote this rewards opportunity to your loyalty members prior to the actual holiday or seasonal event. What is the actual loyalty idea? We're so glad you asked. The suspense is killing us, too. Invent brand-new, exclusive services for the upcoming holiday or seasonal event you want to cash in on. Is it Valentine's Day? Offer an exclusive "Cupid's Hearts blowout" service that will weave one thread of little red hearts into the customer's hair, for example. The services can be full-priced, but keep them highly affordable, and most importantly, make sure they're only available to loyalty members!
Here are more holiday-themed ideas you can try at your salon during the next holiday or seasonal event:
- Add a thin streak of red to your hair this Christmas, earn 50 points
- Add pink beads to your braids this Valentine's Day, earn 150 points
- Get an updo hair style with green feathers this St. Patrick's Day, earn 250 points
Try these holiday-themed ideas at your barbershop to boost sales during the next holiday or seasonal event:
- Get the Dapper Dan look this Labor Day, includes straight razor shave, beard & mustache trim, and hair styling, earn 350 points
- Get the Pioneer Package this Columbus Day, includes beard kit with essential oils, earn 200 points
- Get the Grateful Guy look this Thanksgiving, includes cut & color, straight razor shave, and free pomade styling wax, earn 400 points
The trick to succeeding with holiday promotions is to make sure you properly market your holiday-themed services to your loyal customer base. Send out an email marketing campaign, use in-app push notifications, and be sure to use in-store advertising so that all of your walk-ins and regular customers hear about the awesome services that are only available to loyalty members.
LOYALTY IDEA #5
Celebrate & Reward Your Loyalty Members on Their Birthdays
If you aren't using your customers' birthdays as an excuse to promote your salon or barbershop, you're missing out! There's no better way to show customer appreciation than by celebrating your customers' birthdays.
First of all, whether a customer is a loyalty member or not, you should definitely wish them a happy birthday via email, SMS text message, or with an actual birthday card that comes in the mail. Acknowledging your customers' birthdays is a thoughtful, selfless way to show them that you care, which will always reflect positively on your brand. But for your loyalty members, we recommend that you take birthdays to a whole new level by both celebrating and rewarding your loyal customers for being alive and awesome.
Here are some ideas you can try at your salon to creatively say happy birthday to your loyalty members:
- Send a Happy Birthday email that gives 300 rewards points to celebrate their big day
- Send a Happy Birthday SMS text message that offers a free blowout & hairstyling within 30 days
- Mail out a Happy Birthday card with a 25%-off discount code for any services they book within a month
Here are other loyalty ideas you can try at your barbershop to creatively say happy birthday to your loyalty members:
- Send out a Happy Birthday email that offers a free day of grooming if the birthday boy schedules his appointment on his actual birthday
- Send out a Happy Birthday SMS text message that gives 200 rewards points to celebrate the big day
- Mail out a Happy Birthday card with a 50%-off discount code for the next service they book
There are so many other fun birthday ideas you can try to reward your loyalty members. You can also amplify the promotional gains of celebrating customer birthdays by using Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites to say Happy Birthday and celebrate the rewards.
You can even gamify the social celebration by tagging the birthday boy or girl and stating that any followers who repost the birthday message using a specific hashtag will automatically add 20 rewards points to the member whose birthday it is! The more people that share your branded birthday post, the more rewards points the birthday boy or girl will accumulate, which will give him or her something to brag about online—you!
LOYALTY IDEA #6
Use Facebook & Instagram Stories to Promote Your Loyalty Program
If you subscribe to our loyalty blog and have been keeping up with our articles, then you know that a customer loyalty rewards program is not going to promote itself. It will always be up to you to keep the momentum going and make the effort to get the word out about the rewards of joining.
One great way to do this is via the Stories feature on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories are slightly different, but they each accomplish the same thing. The Stories feature allows users to post photos and video clips on their feeds that vanish after 24 hours. Well, okay, they don't permanently vanish. After 24 hours, the story is moved to the Stories Archive section of the social profile where it can be viewed anytime. But you get the point.
You can use Facebook & Instagram Stories to promote your loyalty program and the special, exclusive rewards that are coming soon. In fact, you can use Stories to promote every loyalty idea that we covered in this article!
Want specific Story ideas that you can use on Facebook & Instagram to promote your salon or barbershop's loyalty program? Try these:
- Post a short video about how your new monthly subscription works and how much money the average loyalty member can save by participating
- Post a timelapse video clip of a loyalty member getting a cut, color, and blowout, and looking fabulous afterwards
- Post a video about your upcoming holiday specials, including any freebies, that are exclusive to loyalty members
Be sure to include a CTA, or call-to-action, in your Facebook & Instagram Stories so that visitors know how to sign up for your loyalty program and act on the specific loyalty deal that you're promoting in the Story.
Did you find this article helpful? Ready to partner with Loyal~n~Save to improve customer retention and boost sales at your salon or barber shop? Check out the Salon & Barbershop Industry page on our website, subscribe to the Loyal~n~Save Blog, and contact us today to get started!
This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.