Marketing your salon after COVID-19
Effectively marketing your salon in this post-lockdown reality is going to significantly differ from how you used to do it. Gone are the days of promoting your salon events, your exclusive pampering sessions and group visits, which were in part the pride of your salon. With new regulations being imposed on salons in the UK, salon owners need to evolve their marketing tactics in order to stay ahead of their competition and make a profit. But what exactly should you focus on marketing, and how should you do so? First, let’s have a look at what laws significantly affect your salon and its functioning.
The most impactful regulations
The recent government regulations serve one main purpose – to mitigate the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in salons. With that being said, these protocols must be rigorously followed in order to ensure the safety of your clients and staff – you can find the entire government guidance here. However, there are a few regulations that have simply flipped the hair and beauty industry upside down, which include:
- Having to operate in an appointment-only system
- Not being able to provide food or drink for clients (besides water)
- Having clients fill out a health screening questionnaire
- Maintaining social distancing in waiting areas (if not possible, introducing outside queues is required)
- Having to rigorously clean and disinfect everything all the time
These regulations have a significant impact not only on how you run and manage your salon, but also on the amount of time you can spend with each client and the quality of your customer service. So what exactly should you promote in order to get customers through your doors? To answer that question, you need to get a bit creative – or just read on and see what we’ve come up with!
What should I promote?
Each salon is different – some focus more on promoting the quality of their treatments and their exceptional products, while others are all about the customer experience. Whichever aspect is the pride of your salon, remember – the way you work will be affected by the most recent regulations. But that doesn’t mean you should refrain from promoting it! Here are some other areas that you should focus on marketing in order to draw crowds to your salon.
Tip: when creating a hair or beauty salon marketing plan, you need to accurately identify your audience and their needs – more on that here!
That’s right, your safety measures can be used in marketing your business. However, there are two trains of thought – promoting your own safety measures you’ve implemented (in addition to those required by law) and a lack thereof. This approach requires extra wit and good knowledge of your clients. If you intend on introducing your own regulations either way, this campaign may not work, but if you’re open to providing additional safety measures for the sake of your clients, you should start a poll. Ask them if they would prefer that you enact more safety regulations, outside of those required by law. Most at-risk customers will appreciate the fact that you care for their health and will be more likely to book treatments. Getting the word out about your exceptional safety measures can help you make more profit. Many salons have noticed a steady drop in bookings after the second week of being open, which may be in part due to customers less-frequently booking treatments over fears of putting themselves at risk. By promoting your additional regulations, you have a chance of bringing some of them back!
On the other hand, there are clients who are just plain sick of all the safety regulations and want to enjoy themselves. Not being able to have a coffee at their favourite salon and being rushed in order to make room for the next client can be infuriating – but when a salon requires customers to wear PPE, not use their phones or even speak, some clients may actually decide to skip on them. If you’re lenient in regards to safety measures, well then, get the word out! Let clients know that you don’t require additional safety precautions outside of those enforced by law. With that being said, consider introducing luxuries back to your services, such as coffee (served outside in to-go cups, only when the client leaves after their visit) or an outdoor selfie station. These seemingly minor additions will make clients feel a little less stressed and help you to make a profit.
A great addition to your salon’s offer is introducing an online store, where clients can purchase all of their favourite products online. But why is this option so great? Can’t clients just come into the salon and purchase whatever they need in person? Of course! But with an online store, you have far more potential for making a profit.
Prior to being treated in your salon, your clients must fill out a screening questionnaire that assesses whether or not they pose a health risk. If a customer fails to pass the screening, they cannot come into the salon, and you don’t make a profit. If you use Versum’s Screening Questionnaire feature, your clients can fill out the survey prior to coming in for their visit – that way, both you and the client are instantly informed if they need to cancel their booking or if it’s safe for them to arrive. And this is when the online store makes its debut – customers who must stay home can order your products directly from you, which helps you make some profit on the side.
But for most salon owners, introducing an online store might seem like a bit too much work – after all, you need to think about your domain name, plan the costs of operation and of course making time for shipping your products. That much work can outweigh the possible profits, however, Versum comes with an easy to use Online Store feature, which makes adding products, pictures, descriptions, costs and shipping options a piece of cake! You can find more information on your retail store in Versum here. If you have clients who are eager to change their image, but cannot visit your salon, make sure they know about your online store and the products you offer in there!
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and start selling it! Government regulations call for more social distancing and less of the luxuries we took for granted prior to COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and host unique social events that don’t break the law! Create humorous events, like a “Queue café” outside of your salon – clients waiting in line to get treated will be offered coffee in disposable cups. If you’d like to create a two-for-one event, host a prize giveaway. Certain cups will have a prize written on the bottom – anything from a free hair-care package to a gift voucher should suffice. Also, consider decorating your salon interior with a touch of humour – place mannequin heads in your waiting or reception area to discourage people from grouping there, and leave notes on them like “I was a walk-in”, or “I didn’t follow salon procedures”.
Salon marketing during COVID-19 restrictions – marketing mediums
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what aspects of your business you’d like to promote, you’re now ready to jump into the deep end of marketing. You have the possibility of targeting 2 groups of clients at this time – those who have already been to your salon, and those of have yet to find out about you, however, you may also want to target both (which is also the priciest option).
If you’re looking to bring clients back with tempting marketing campaigns, you ought to send direct messages to them, informing them of your latest events, changes and promotions at your business. If you use Versum, sending a bulk message (either SMS or email) to all of your customers requires just a few clicks. Sure, you can post on social media or use ads, however, direct messages are a much more personal medium.
If growing your customer list sounds more tempting, then you’ve got many options to choose from, including Google Ads, Facebook (including Instagram) ads and social media posts. The difference here is that you don’t have contact details to these potential clients, and so, you’re required to find them by making use of ads that target people based on their location, age, gender, interests and other factors. Although accurate for the most part, temping new customers with ads requires good knowledge of their needs.
The final and one of the most effective marketing mediums in the hair and beauty industry is a loyalty program – which benefits both regulars and first-time customers. If you use Versum’s Loyalty Program, the feature rewards regular customers who invite their friends and family to your salon with a number of points, which can be used to purchase neat prizes at your salon. See where we’re getting at? Let’s say you want more customers during the “Queue café” event – you write to your regulars, informing them that if they invite friends and family to the salon during this event, they’ll earn even more loyalty points. And if your prizes are tempting enough, you’ll see a significant increase in both regulars and new customers! Keen to test out this and Versum’s other features? Sign up today and grow your salon anew!