7 Salon Marketing Tips for the Back-to-School Season

This post originally appeared on Sola Salon Studios

All good things must come to an end. With summer winding down, it’s time to capitalize on the busy back-to-school season. From collaboration with your community to sales that are too hot to resist, here are our top tips for engaging your scholastic clientele and their parents, too.

Understand Your Audience

When you think of back-to-school, your mind might automatically go to elementary-age students. As you formulate your school-themed marketing campaign, don't forget to include students of every age. By targeting students, you’ll capture the elementary school crowd, of course, along with adolescents, tweens, teens—even college kids returning to campus this fall. And, you might discover that a few of your more mature clients (moms with older children; retirees, etc.) are pursuing degrees this year, too.  

Markdowns & Retail Incentives

If you have seasonal items to clear from your shelves, now’s the time to put those products on sale. While you’re at it, consider offering a small discount on anything that can be marketed as a school-year essential: a great shampoo for student-athletes or a gel that simplifies morning primping. Go a step further: When a client books a service with you this month, reward them with a special 10 percent discount on one of your back-to-school products.

Start A Rewards Program For Frequent Customers

Punch cards are a proven way to attract repeat business. Why not create one specifically for your student clientele? Punch cards work best when you can offer a discount or freebie after a set number of visits. Print off a stack of cards, then ask students to present theirs at every visit. After a set number of appointments, follow through with a free kids cut or 10 percent discount on a service—or offer a free product picked out specifically for the cardholder.

Collaborate with Other Small Business Owners

Cross-promotion benefits everyone involved. If there’s an ice cream shop around the corner, partner up to deliver a certificate for a free cone for every kid who gets a haircut in your salon. Or, track down a local coffee shop and entice college students and adults with a free cup of coffee.

Have a Back-To-School Open House

Invite guests into your salon or studio by hosting an evening centered around the upcoming school year. Stock up on fall essentials—quick-and-easy hair and makeup products, essential oils that boost concentration, trendy new masks for the school year ahead—and invite clients (and their friends) to drop by and peruse your latest products and offerings. Give a tutorial on easy hair and makeup techniques students can employ on hurried mornings. You could even host a raffle and auction off a free spa treatment or a back-to-school care package!

Target Students on Social 

It’s no secret that kids influence household purchasing decisions. Use social media to your advantage and engage potential customers by advertising your back-to-school marketing efforts on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok. Lean on your clients to help spread the word. Encourage guests to share your promotion on social media for a chance to win a free treatment with their next service. Also, consider hosting an Instagram or TikTok contest asking clients to post pictures after they’ve visited your salon for the chance to win a prize. Pro tip: Creating a hashtag for your back-to-school campaign will help you easily track down who's participated in your contest! 

Don’t Forget About Mom and Dad

While sending kids back to school is often bittersweet, some may say it’s more sweet than bitter. The moms and dads who have had their hands full all summer (or longer for those who've tackled homeschooling since March 2020...) are finally able to put themselves first again. Provide them with a complimentary cocktail or a 5-minute scalp massage to help them wind down from all the summer craziness. Remind them that their time in your studio is their time to relax and unwind, too!