As a salon owner, you know how important it is to market your business. From local ads and Facebook groups to Instagram Stories and email marketing, there are a number of ways you can get potential clients through the door.
One you may not have thought about before is Groupon. For salons, Groupon can be an extremely effective client acquisition tool – if you do it right. The trick? Attracting would-be clients with deals, so all you have to do is what you do best to earn a returning customer.
The idea is to offer basic services at a discount from your usual prices so that Groupon users feel enticed to take the deal. Since you’re using this as advertising, you should price the deal low enough to be attractive, but high enough to cover your costs. You don’t need to turn a huge profit on Groupon appointments, since the goal is to use the couponed service as a “trial run” that can convert them into full-time clients. On that note, don’t use Groupon to sell retail products at a discount, unless your margins are so high you don’t mind the cut they’ll take.
On Groupon, it’s easy to get stuck in a race to the bottom. ButGroupon’s users fall into a few different groups: those who exclusively use discounted services, and those who are looking to save some money while trying new services. The former group isn’t likely to be in your target market, but the latter can be convinced to give your salon a shot with a coupon, so your excellent service can turn them into a recurring client. You can go a step further and offer an incentive to return, like giving them the same Groupon price for their next service if they come back.
You don’t want to be the cheapest option in town, since you’ll likely attract the Grouponers who never intended to become clients anyway. Setting a price that covers your costs, maybe with a few extra bucks to spare, goes a long way to earning the trust of new clients. Remember that you’re trying to attract new clients: there shouldn’t be a drastic difference between the discount and the full price, but there should be enough savings to motivate them to take advantage of the deal.
Groupon’s business model is to take a cut of every transaction done using their platform. Remember, you’re forming a partnership with them. They’ll start high, because they want to make as much money as they can. But you don’t have to take their first deal, and you should be ready to walk away if the price isn’t fair. If they’re taking 50% or more off every transaction, then the partnership likely isn’t worth it. Don’t be afraid to make what you're worth!
Make sure you’re thorough with the terms and conditions you set for each deal. Deals should have valid uses, redemption rules (e.g. once per year), and expiration dates, and they should stipulate who can use them and when. You don’t want to give people an opportunity to game your deals, nor do you want old coupons floating around without expiration dates.
This is the most important tip on the list: treat Groupon clients the same way you’d treat others. Remember, your goal here is marketing. A basic service through a Groupon deal is essentially a trial run for a new client to see if they like your style, space, and services. You want to put in your best effort to help retain them in the future and build a trustworthy relationship. The last thing you want are negative Yelp or Google reviews detailing bad experiences had by Grouponers.
Groupon can unlock new markets for you very quickly, so you want to make sure your salon is set up to scale. GlossGenius’s smart and stylish booking and payments app can help you manage appointments made online through your website or social media, send automated text and email reminders, and even help your clients rebook immediately if they liked their service.