Marketing Ideas That Your Salon Can Get Started With At Zero Cost

Marketing is the key to growing any business.

In the beauty industry where there are so many incumbents, it is necessary for your salon to stand out from the competition in order to survive. Marketing helps with that.

It’s rather astonishing, but till this day many businesses still believe that marketing is redundant and a waste of budget. Like what Henry Ford said, “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” Marketing and advertising is the best way to grow your brand presence and get more customers. It is the engine of growth for your business. Regardless of budget, your salon should have marketing strategies in place, and in this article we’ll be discussing some actionable marketing strategies that you can use to get more sales for your salon. In particular, we’ll be discussing organic marketing strategies that you can do without spending a single cent – many salons don’t have enough budget for expensive marketing and this article hopefully helps them to get started on your marketing at zero cost.

Get More Reviews and Testimonials

In marketing, social proof is very important. Human psychology dictates that people are more likely to trust your brand if they see that others trust it too. 91% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. It’s a herd instinct for us as humans to see what others are saying about a brand and its products before we try them for ourselves. Credibility and trust is everything, especially for new customers who have not heard of a business before.

Knowing this, you should look to get more customer reviews and testimonials in order to boost your brand credibility. Make it easy for customers to leave a review, and encourage them to do so. Some places that you can get people to leave reviews easily include your website, Facebook and Google Reviews. You can even take it one step further by incentivizing customers to leave a review, giving them a small discount or some sort of incentive for them to leave a review for your business – it’s a win-win situation for both parties this way.

With these reviews, you can even use them in your marketing efforts. Display them prominently on your website, perhaps even dedicate a page solely for reviews if you manage to collect enough of them. Other than that, you can also use your reviews and customer testimonials in your ads. 

If your business is already doing well to satisfy customers with your products and services, getting them to take less than 5 minutes to leave a review should not be an issue, yet it can go a long way to getting new customers who are not familiar with your brand to trust your brand and take their first step to buy your product or service. This strategy costs little to nothing to implement, and with enough reviews, can definitely help to influence buyer decision and bring more sales for your business over time.

Referral Programs

The strongest form of marketing is word of mouth marketing. Let’s look at the facts. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. Word-of-mouth is even more effective than paid ads, resulting in five times more sales. Still not convinced? On average, word-of-mouth drives $6 trillion in annual global spending and is responsible for 13% of all sales. If you want to win the marketing race against other salons, you need to unleash the power of word of mouth marketing.

Having a good referral program is a great way to enable word of mouth marketing. Having a program that rewards your existing client base whenever they refer new business to your salon goes a long way in getting more customers for your business. Think of it as having your customers acting as brand ambassadors or sales team. If your salon provides great service that customers love, they’d most likely be happy to recommend it to their friends and family. Why not give them a little incentive for them to help spread the word?

Before jumping into creating your referral program, ensure first that you are delighting customers every time they step into their salon. After all, no one would want to recommend to others something they don’t like or enjoy. The first step, therefore, is to ensure that you’re providing a great experience to customers so they genuinely appreciate your business.

Once you have happy customers, you can provide an incentive for them to make the referral. Some ideas include providing a complementary service, discounts for products or of a future service, and gift bags. These are some simple suggestions, and you can get creative with it.

Having a strong referral program can be a very effective low-cost way to get more customers for your salon, and your salon should definitely get started with this!

Loyalty Programs

Like referral programs, it’s always nice to recognize great clients. A loyalty program is a rewards system offered to returning customers. It’s also a simple yet great way to ensure that you get repeat business from returning customers. According to Forbes, it is five times more expensive to acquire a new customer as compared to retaining an existing one. Besides, returning customers spend 67% more than new customers

There are a few ways you can go about creating a loyalty program for your salon. Understanding your customers, their preferences and spending habits is essential to create an effective loyalty program. Are they looking for discounts and money-back offers? Free products or services? Priority booking? Analysing your current data you have on hand would provide you with clues on that.

After that, you should then decide your salon’s objective for setting up a loyalty program. Some objectives to aim for include:

  • Getting more repeat visits to your salon
  • Delighting customers and building trust
  • Getting them to spend more 
  • Increasing the number of new customers

There are several types of loyalty programs, and you can adopt one based on your targets and feasibility

  • Point-based loyalty program
  • Punch card loyalty program
  • Tiered loyalty program
  • Paid loyalty program

Once you’ve decided on your loyalty program offering, simply reach out to your customers via social media, text and emails to let them know about it. It’s also important to train and incentivize your staff to promote your loyalty program to your customers

Don’t underestimate the power of these organic marketing methods

Sure, paid marketing strategies do work better at times, but organic methods can work equally well if implemented correctly. Organic marketing is also the easiest and best way to start since it requires zero or little cost and can reap in huge return on investment, though it would definitely take more time to see results. If your salon is getting started with marketing, be sure to give the above a try and measure the results and tweak your strategies along the way to suit your salon.