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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted February 4, 2019

Last week we shared our post ‘How to Run a Successful Salon Promotion’ on our blog, and the result has been astounding. So many of our members have found value in the information we shared, and many have asked us to do a deeper dive on each area – and so, we will be bringing you a series of blog posts sharing how to best run a salon promotion, right down to the nitty gritty detail.


At the core of any promotion is the offer – what you have bundled together to get your customers (present or future) to buy from you. It’s important to consider what you are offering in your promotion and what its appeal is to your target market.


If your customers are mostly in salon for regular appointments, trying to force them into salon between appointments is unlikely to work. If your salon has a more transient population, then special offers and discounted services may work better. The key is to work to what appeals to your target audience, and sometimes the only way to work that out is by trying different concepts.


Generally speaking, your promotion will usually centre on one of the below:


Percentage Discount

To run a percentage-off discount promotion, you must truly break down the numbers of what a particular service or product costs you. The biggest trap salon owners fall into is discounting services and losing money on a promotion designed to make you money.


Work out the average cost of any product, cost of time for staff, opportunity cost by having a discounted client in the chair vs. having a regular client in the chair and the cost of any extras to your service. Once you know the true cost of your service, work backward to the sale price to find the margin. Once you work out what your true margin is on any service, you can calculate a discount. Make sure to leave at least 15% margin on any service and discount the rest – typically, salon owners operate on a margin of 30-45%, and so you have up to 25% to discount.


Dollar Value Discount

A dollar value discount works in much the same way, but on a tighter margin, sometimes saying a saving of $50 sounds better than a saving of 15%. It is still key to work out exactly how much you can discount well ahead of promotion time to ensure that you stay profitable while the promotion is running.


The problem you face with a flat discount on services is that it does have a tendency to devalue what you do – so customers will only buy when your service is on sale. That’s why value-added promotions or seasonal offers tend to be favored by salon owners, as they try to avoid commoditising their services.


Value Added Service

These a great way to expand customers service use within your salon or to entice clients towards new service offerings. Bundle deals, bulk purchases, buy one get one offers etc. all fall into this value-added service market. The key is to offer a discount on one of the services while the other is offered at full price. In the case of a new service, like IPL or a new range of extensions, an introductory offer where the client purchases a full price cut and colour and receives a set of extensions for half the usual cost offers great opportunity for salon owners. Not only do you get people in for a new service, which you can then promote to gain more of this kind of work, you will likely get ongoing business from a product like extensions – maintenance, colour matching etc. and they are likely to recommend your services to their friends, who are likely to be interested in a similar aesthetic. This kind of offer offers great potential earning for a salon.


Seasonal Offer

Seasonal offers could combine any of the above promotion types but are likely to be done in conjunction with calendar events like Valentine’s Day, Christmas or Mother’s Day. This both informs the kind of services which you are offering for the offer and encourages recollection for your customers that this key period is hey, driving them to a more immediate purchase.

Running a seasonal promotion is a great way to bulk your appointment for key periods. Because they are ‘themed’ as such, they don’t need to be as heavily discounted to demonstrate value for customers and give you an opportunity to trial new experiences in salon, whether that’s new product or offering seasonal grazing platters for your customers. If the promotion is wildly successful, this might identify a new market for you moving forward or new ways you can expand your service offering.


Working out the right hook to grab people with is key to getting your promotion up and running and making profit for your salon. So long as the numbers stack up on your promotion and the offer appeals to your kind of customer, you stand a good chance of making good profit by running a salon promotion. Stay tuned next week when we talk about the timing of promotions and how to optimise it for best success in your next salon promotion.

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