Corie Hengst is a New York-based associate editor at American Salon with several years of experience in print and online media. Always active in her passion, she has tackled writing projects over the years ranging from business books to greeting cards. Before joining American Salon, she was editor at a finance magazine. In her current role, she reports on a variety of topics in the professional beauty industry including salon services and hair and nail trends.
House of Cards
These salons are playing with a full deck—whether it’s a membership card for men, a punch card for styling services or a coupon to entice new clients, loyalty programs help fill appointment books.
Calling All Gentlemen
Spring, Texas-based Salon Matos Inc. encourages male guests to increase their visits by offering a membership-based Man Card for unlimited haircuts during a full calendar year from the date of membership purchase. Memberships start at $350, depending on the level of stylist requested, and also include a 10 percent discount toward color services, facial waxing and retail products. “By purchasing this card, the guest is then locked in with one stylist to avoid floating,” says Salon Director David Anthony. Through this system, Matos increased guests’ appointment frequency from an average of six to eight times a year to an average of 14 to 16. The systems also increased retail sales 3 percent salon-wide. Salon Matos Inc. also offers the Come Experience Card. This $10 cash value toward a new guest’s first service is intended to encourage bookings. “This is a great promotional tool to help stylists build salon business behind the chair,” Anthony says.
In addition to the Man Card and Come Experience Card, the salon has a savings incentive for guests who visit the salon for blow-outs: a punch card for 10 blow-dries. The cards start at $275, a 10 percent savings on the cost of regular-priced blow-outs. “This incentive program has generated more upgrades, or add-ons, to color services and increased our guests pre-booking salon-wide,” Anthony says.
Making New Friends
Pompton Lakes, NJ’s Salon SL also has a blow-out loyalty reward card; this system enables guests to fill up a punch card and receive the fifth blow-out free, says John Boutsis, co-owner of Salon SL. In 2012, Salon SL stylists attempted to increase referrals simply with verbal reminders to clients, but Boutsis says it wasn’t successful. Now they use custom-printed referral postcards and new client postcards. Existing clients and their referrals both receive thank-you postcards in the mail with a 20 percent discount coupon for their next salon service.
Boutsis says all of the loyalty programs at Salon SL have been very successful, and overall business has increased from 450 clients three years ago to about 1,640 today. “Since we implemented the loyalty/rewards programs, we’ve seen an increase of about 32 percent of our current clients who have gone out of their way to refer new clients to us,” Boutsis says. “And the most shocking increase has been from these new clients. For every new client our current clients have referred to us, the new client has referred two additional clients.”
Hypnotix Spalon in Wilmington, NC has a referral program that’s changed for the better as well, says owner Lorissa Stefanelli. Originally, guests were rewarded with a complimentary haircut for every three people they referred. Now, with the new and improved version, both the existing client and the referred client receive $10 toward services. “The new program has doubled our numbers since it was put into place,” says Stefanelli. ✂—Corie Russell