Expert Advice

Sweetheart Deals

Victoria Wurdinger | January 9, 2012 | 3:30 PM

With a bit of love and attention, your Valentine’s Day promos can boost biz beyond February. Take these ideas to heart!

If you want more new clients by February 14, and want to show existing ones the love, too, start marketing now, at least four weeks in advance. It doesn’t matter if you are snail mailing or posting on Facebook, you need to build awareness and direct clients to specific offers.

Identify your “sweetheart” services you want to focus on. Many clients will want to come in before February 14 for fresh cuts, color, smoothing and manicures. And of course, they’ll buy gift certificates. For the big day itself, get creative! Think beyond the typical spa couples’ package and other pampering services. Consider leveraging the current popularity of blow-dry specialty salons by setting up a special blow-out area within your salon. Staff it with your assistants or junior stylists. Let current clients know they can book pre-evening styling. E-mail an offer to your top spenders first!

Lots to Love Hopefully, you’ve already asked your distributor about gifts with purchases, bath and body care sets, and seasonal red, pink and white nail polishes. But what about special edition appliances and tools (a red-hot flat iron, for instance, makes a great gift or gift-card companion).

Check your cosmetics, too; there’s no better time for a Kiss and Make-Up promotion that kicks off with a complimentary make-up application.

Other check-list musts: order extra gift certificates, bags and red tissue paper; gather ideas from your staff; plan your window displays and set up your system to track results.

Put extra effort into events and promotions that will achieve higher response rate or pay off more in the long run. Many salons report great success with promo messages that include or focus on before-and-after hair color makeovers. Consider an idea like this: promoting the fact that “Red is the New Blonde” or some other color trend twist. Easiest place to do it? Your Facebook page or Twitter. Tie in current celebrity makeover mentions, and leverage the merchandising and info your color product partners provide. Promote temporary color changes, too—especially red and pink—right before V-Day.

More Engaging Ideas Ten percent of marriage proposals in America happen on Valentine’s Day. Clients anticipating that big event might like special occasion hair to match. Promote your updo specialist as well as your blow-out pros.

Other ideas that have been highly successful: Teach couples to give one another a scalp massage at your back bar. Tie-in hair treatments for the full effect. Before the clients leave, suggest a buyfour- get-one-free treatment package.

Beauty packages and full-fledged events are also big, especially for singles. Think “Be Your Own Valentine” parties. Show current clients they’re your Valentine by letting them draw red envelopes, which each include a special offer for the future. Give more and add value, as opposed to discounting, and they’ll remember who loves them most.

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