Can you imagine ringing in the New Year with an extra $10,000 in your salon's revenue? That's exactly what happened to us when we tapped into the power of gift cards during the holiday season. In this episode, we share the ins and outs of this game-changing strategy that not only boosted our cash flow but also attracted new clients and encouraged increased spending.
Hold on to your salon chairs as we reveal trade secrets on how to effectively market these gift cards, create buzz-worthy promotions, and leverage online sales. We walk you through the benefits of adding an expiration date, and where to snag some slick plastic gift cards online. We also share some innovative ideas on how to display your gift cards that'll have your clients reaching for their wallets. Plus, we shed light on upselling techniques that will help you squeeze out the most sales from each card, and how to handle those pesky expired ones. So, if you're ready to maximize your salon's revenue this holiday season, this episode is a must-listen!
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Yes, the holiday season is upon us and I have to ask does your salon sell gift cards? Did you know that if you aren't selling gift cards, you could be leaving one of your salon's biggest growth opportunities on the table? Yeah, today we're going to talk about that. Well, hey there, welcome to the Salon Ownership Made Easy podcast. As a former salon owner, I know how tough it can be to deal with things like hiring new team members, managing your KPIs and fixing everything that seems to break in the salon. It's enough to drive anyone crazy. But don't worry, I'm here to help you navigate the ups and downs of the industry. Let's face it beauty school didn't prepare us for the real world of salon ownership, but with the right techniques, systems and mindset, you can achieve amazing success. With over 30 years of experience and four successful salons under my belt, including two that hit over seven figures, I've learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn't. So buckle up and get ready for some practical tips and real talk. Let's do this All right. So, with the holidays upon us, you forgot to start thinking now. You should already have your holiday decor up. You should already have your marketing in place. You should already have your packages or your retail ordered and stocked and you should look like the place to shop for beauty items. But what about gift cards? Did you know that 61% of people would rather receive an experience as a gift? Yeah, so a gift card to your hair salon can be an experience for them. Yeah, of course, think about your gift cards as being one of your biggest winning sales moments. We used to have a Black Friday sale in our salon that if you bought $500 worth of gift cards, I think you got $100 free additional one. If you bought $250, I think you got $50, something like that. I'm making up the numbers right now. And if you bought $100, you would get a $25 or $20 gift card. So you could buy for yourself and get a free one to gift away, or you could buy for your friend and then you would have a free one. But we would have people actually be waiting for our Black Friday sale just for our gift cards. They waited on it yearly. Yes, I know right, and I remember one year we forgot to turn it on. Oh my gosh, but that's a whole other story. So Black Friday starts at midnight. It just runs for. I think we just ran it for 24 hours. We might have ran it for the whole three days, but I do remember one year we made over $10,000 in sales just with our gift cards. This is nothing to sneeze at, okay. So let's talk about why gift cards are important, how you can go about promoting them, where to order them for goodness sakes, all those kind of things. First of all, why do you want to sell gift cards? Well, it brings revenue into your business right away. You don't have to wait for somebody to book their appointment or not show up for their appointment. It's just a great way to boost your cash flow, and then you could quickly invest it back into the salon. Also, your gift cards let your regular clients get new clients for you. Okay, so every time they buy a gift card for their friends or family, they're bringing new clients into your door. That's a win, right? You don't have to make any effort whatsoever marketing your salon, and then you have this opportunity to start strong relationship with your new clients, who already have heard great news about you because their friend just gave them a gift card. You win them over and they become regulars and your clientele grows. Gift cards also encourage clients to spend more. Think about that. Have you ever got a gift card somewhere and didn't spend more than the gift card? Okay, so if you had a $100 gift card to a restaurant, I know you go into that restaurant. You're not saying, hey, I only have $100 to spend. Heck, no, you say I'm going to take the steak because I have $100 to spend. It's almost like free money and you always spend more than $100. You always spend more than the gift card. Most people think of gift cards as they get to treat themselves to this experience, not just a haircut. Maybe. It's this great opportunity for you to upsell and you don't even have to persuade them, because they've already got it in their mind that they're there for an experience in your salon a deep conditioner, a gloss, eyebrow wax. Of course, talk to them about color services and things like that, but if they're a brand new client, you probably want to take baby steps. But it doesn't mean you can't upsell something right Now. Think about this your gift cards actually win over your holiday season gift shoppers. What does that mean? You've got to tell them that this is the perfect gift for their friends, their loved ones, for people who that are hard to buy for, if you can get this on your website, that they could just click a button and buy a gift card. Just with a click of a button. Oh my gosh, that is appealing. They don't even have to leave the house, they don't have to get out of their PJs, they could just buy a gift card. We used to offer this that you could either print it on your computer a paper gift card, which is fine, they could pick their images or the banner or whatever or we can hold it for them and we would have it in a little. I think one year we did envelopes with really nice ribbon around it and then one year we bought boxes and we put our gift cards in the boxes to make it look like a little present. So how do you go about selling gift cards? Because we just mentioned the website and that's a real easy, passive way of doing it Half gift cards all over the salon. We used to decorate our Christmas tree with our gift cards just so the clients would see the gift cards, because they have to see it. They have to know that you have a gift card options and then have gift cards at your front desk and you can have the different plastic gift cards with different images on them. You know it doesn't have to be just for the holidays, like Christmas. You can have birthday or congratulations or anything like that. You can also have them at different price points. Now, we didn't have price points. They can. They could buy a gift card for any amount $5, $5,000. It does not matter. And plus, you want to make sure that your gift cards have an expiration date. Why do you want that? Because you want them to use it within a certain timeframe. You can put a two month expiration date on there If it's a holiday gift card, because you want new people in right January and February, or we used to always just have one year after the purchase date Purchase date. If we had somebody that had one of our gift cards and it had expired, we honored it anyway. You know, come on, I mean, it's still money. Somebody actually did pay money for that and that just makes you feel better. I know there's people out there who say, heck, no, I'm not doing that. But no Again. How do you sell these gift cards? Do you use your email marketing campaigns, because that is huge. If you have a Black Friday sell, you need to be hinting at it. I mean like November 1st, november 1st hey, we got our Black Friday sell. Hey, be on the lookout for our gift cards. Did you know they give cards? Blah, blah, blah. You know you have to shoot it in their ear and you have to do it pretty consistently, I would say, especially in the month of November. At least twice a week you need to have an email going out reminding your guests that you sell gift cards for the holidays. This leads me back to running exciting promotions on your gift cards. If you're not going to do a Black Friday sell because maybe your salon's closed on Black Friday and you don't have anybody to man the desk. Fair enough, I hear you. We didn't either. We were closed on Black Friday, but you have to have a way that they can buy them. So we had it online and we told everybody that go online, buy your gift cards. You'll get your free one in the mail as soon as we come back from holiday break. And people just knew that's how it was. We had a few phone calls that people would say hey, I bought a $500 gift card and I didn't get my $100 free one. Well, they didn't read the small print. But that's okay. There's always going to be a few people like that. The more ways that you can get the word out about your Black Friday sale or your discounts you can run this sale all through the holidays if you want to the more you can get the word out, the more you're going to sell. It makes sense, right? So just make sure you blast it. Email blast everybody. Make sure every time somebody checks out, you make sure to confirm their email so you have it, because that's the only way it's going to work is if you have their email and you want to make sure that you tell them every time they check out If they're coming in to get their hair done, you want to tell them when they're checking out hey, got anybody that's hard to buy for, we've got gift cards. Put it in their ear. Also, add gift cards to your marketplace profile. A lot of salon owners they forget that. Oh yeah, you can get on there and you can play around with things. If people are browsing online, maybe make it the very first place they go buy a gift card and whenever you run a promotion or any kind of sale on your gift cards, clients can really see how your prices are affected and how much they can save. Okay, so just on your marketplace profile, you want to make sure you're saying, hey, we've got a special going on right now. Also, what you can do, too, is you can give your gift cards away every once in a while. Surprise your guests, say you're giving them a treat. You know everyone should have their top clients and you know your top clients and, depending on your clientele, it could be the top 100 clients, the top 50 clients, the top 10 clients, I don't know. A great way to make them feel appreciated and seen is to give them a gift card. Say this is my gift to you. It'll just keep them coming back, and it could be $20. It could be $10. I don't know, it doesn't have to be huge, but what a great way to give them something for the holidays. That way you're not out anything. Guess what A lot of you go to the beauty supply and you buy hand lotions or finger files or trial size shampoos or whatever, and that costs money. It really does. But a gift card to you doesn't cost you anything. It makes them actually come back the next time to use it, and studies have shown they will spend more money if they have a gift card in their pocket. Maybe they'll get that retail item that they were thinking about. Who knows If you're thinking okay, denise, this all sounds good, but where do I go to buy those plastic cards? Well, you can look up plastic gift cards online, and there are a ton of places that sell gift cards. Let's see. I'm looking it up right now. You can go on Vista Print, you can go on Uprintingcom, you can do Dura card plastic cards Just Google it. There's a ton of them out there. Plastic resource I think that's the one we used to use and you can actually get a barcode on the back of it so it just scans it in. Or you don't have to. You don't have to at all. You can put your logo on there, or they have different images that you can do. There's all kinds of things that you can do. Anyway, if you don't have gift cards already pre-ordered for the holidays I think it might be a little too late this year you can go to Vista Print and create a card stock one for this year If you don't have one. That works too. We did that first couple of years. We were open. We actually just printed them ourselves, and it was a $5 off coupon for all of our holiday Christmas cards for all of our clients. We just printed them off on a colored printer and stuck them in the Christmas cards. That's a great way. And that's a gift card and that's a great way to give gifts to your guests. You can also print off gift cards and it could just be a blank line and you could just say this is a gift for blank and you could fill it in or have them fill it in for the amount of this amount and you would just have to hand write it. But those work put it in a nice envelope, make it look special, put a bow on it, I don't know make it seem like it's a great thing. We used to also do this when people would spend more than $100 on a gift card. We would wrap it up in a little box and I think, oh, we did this around Valentine's Day. We actually there's small little heart chocolates that you can buy at Walmart or Target or wherever. Little tiny, they're like $0.97, maybe $1.97, I don't know. We included one of those with the gift card, so you can get creative. I mean, make it easy for your guests to buy a gift card and make it so they want to. So when they see, oh, that's a cool idea. So maybe for the holidays, maybe you have a cool candy cane. Or go to the Dollar Tree and get ornaments, tie it to the ornament. You can get creative. I know you can. We're in the creative business, we're pretty good at that. I hope these gave you some good ideas on how to get your gift card program going, gave you some ideas on how you can promote it. And if you have questions about retelling or the fear of retelling, I would go back and listen to episode 141. That might give you some suggestions. If you have questions, please reach out to me. Until next time, remember, when you know better, you do better. Thanks for hanging out with us on today's podcast. We hope you found it interesting and learned something new. If you liked what you heard, hit that subscribe button so you don't miss out on future episodes. We're always open to your feedback and suggestions for topics to cover in the future, so don't be shy. Drop us a line on social media or shoot us an email. Thanks again for listening and we'll catch you on the next one.