First, you must learn where to market and advertise your salon. I feel it is important to advertise on a variety of sources because of the diversity of guests. They don’t all function the same way. I use both internet and print sources to target all generations. Some sources of print include local area publication such as “Lake Mary Life” and “Lifestyle” which are local publications in my area. Look for a reputable source in your area if they are available.
Furthermore, the internet is just as important if not more important with the development of social media. It is one of the largest FREE marketing sources for a business. We use social media (Facebook, twitter, Instagram) along with the Salon Ratay website (http://salonratay.com/) to reach the internet audience. Your salon’s website needs to speak about what your image is like and how the brand experience will be in your salon. It all comes down to the details because that is what really makes a first impression. For example, I also have a simple clickable logo on the website’s homepage with a promotion specifically for new guests only because, remember, most people on your website are going to be inquiring potential clients. One online advertising experience I had that did not work was using the “Google Ad Click”. I had less than a 2% return, and you had to pay every time someone would click the link. That type of advertisement definitely did not work for Salon Ratay! I also would like to touch on the use of “Groupon”. In my eyes groupons are for the “one timers”, the people that are only interested in a deal and don’t usually come back. That is why I have never chosen to advertise my salon on “Groupon” because those aren't the clientele we look for. Salon Ratay is a destination not a location.
In addition to advertising for new clients, it is also important to continue to encourage current guests to return. We have a loyalty program at Salon Ratay in which guests earn reward points on each a la carte service they receive, and once they reach a certain amount of points they are awarded with $10 off any retail products bought in the salon. I feel this system shows our appreciation and gratitude to returning guests for their loyalty and commitment to their service provider and Salon Ratay, and also helps increase the sales of retail. Another way we market for new guests at the salon is through our referral card program. Referral Cards are given out by every service provider to every guest they see. How they work is if the existing guest refers a new guest with the card to the colorist or designer in to the salon they receive $20 off their first service, as well as, the existing guest also will receive $20 off their future service. I believe for Salon Ratay the referral card program is the number one way to build business. This past year we received our highest return in nine years on the cards; we received a 56% return of new guests, and the best part about this type of advertising is it is at no expense!
In conclusion, when creating a marketing strategy for your business it is vital that your staff is on the same page as well. Both you and your staff should monitor frequently how well each advertisement or promotion worked or did not work. This ensures you will continue to improve and adjust your marketing program and strategies to secure continual growth of your business.