June 26, 2017

Suite Success Secret #72

​6 Musts for Salon Suite Back-to-School Marketing Plan

Thought Process
With 12 weeks or less between the last day of one school year and the first day of the next, now is the time to finish up your Salon Suite’s back-to-school marketing plan.
Action Steps
Use these ideas to build a Back-to-School marketing plan to attract key segments of new clients and grow your Salon Suite during summer break.
For parents, the back-to-school shopping season is a significant one. Total back-to-school/college spending is over $75 billion dollars. Back-to-school spending at $27 billion, up 55 percent over the past decade and back-to-college spending at $48.5 billion, up 18 percent since 2009 (National Retail Federation SlideShare). On average, U.S. households spent over $670 on back-to-school shopping in 2016.
And it’s not just about students and parents. When you factor in the many educators, administrators, and operations employees represented by schools and colleges in North America, the numbers of people who are in the market for back-to-school supplies, clothing and – yes – professional beauty services and products are exponentially higher. With that in mind, let’s explore some ways your Salon Suite can capitalize on the time of year by attracting new clients and boosting sales in the weeks leading up to the start of a new school year. 

​6 Salon Suite Marketing Musts for Back-to-School Sales and Client Attraction 

​1. Get off to an early start.

In some states school doesn’t get out for summer until mid-to-late June and classes may start again the week before Labor Day. If you wait until August to launch your marketing plan, you might be starting too late.
Make sure you’re aware of when schools and colleges in your area start back up so that you can time offers and advertising appropriately. You should also keep in mind that some colleges may not start until late September, so your marketing for K-12 and college age audiences may have different time frames.  Plan to start up your marketing and advertising about 6 weeks before kids (or college students) will go back to school.
2. Be creative to break through the clutter.
Your clients will be absolutely inundated with back-to-school ads during summer months. Your offers and events need to be unique – so they stand out from the rest and uniquely valuable – so that clients perceive they are preferable to the rest.
3. Refine your focus.
A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work to help you attract all types of back-to-school shoppers. Your Salon Suite’s marketing plan should include ideas for how you will reach different audiences with:

  • Elementary, junior or high school student services
  • Services for undergrads going to college; and,
  • Services plus care package bundles for undergrads going away for college
  • Services and products for teachers, administrators and other school district or college employees

4. Feature a Give Back
Give backs create goodwill and can help your Salon Suite get the attention of local consumers and press alike. You can hold hair cutting events or have contests where winners get VIP treatment and services including amazing hair styling and makeup.
Another way to give back is to donate a portion of this year’s back-to-school sales to a local charity that helps school-age kids. You can also designate your Salon Suite as a point of collection for school supplies and then donate them to a school nearby.
No matter what type of give-back project you decide on, make sure that you publicize your work. Send an email to the local newspaper, contact your schools’ parent-teacher associations and reach out by email, phone or direct mail to local school officials to help get the word out.
5. Create ready-made retail product care packages.
When a parent brings their child in for a back-to-school haircut (or when providing services to teachers, administrators and other school employees) you can increase retail sales if you have product bundles ready to go in specially-priced fun totes or gift bags.
6. Have a follow up plan.
Any time a new client comes to you because of a back-to-school promotion you have an opportunity to win them over for the long term. Decide ahead of time on an offer you can extend to get them to rebook or that you’ll send to them by email afterward. Make sure you collect email addresses so that you can follow up with offers like:

  • rebooking on a regular basis
  • referring a friend
  • repurchasing products (like for college student care packages)
  • rebooking college student services during school breaks (Thanksgiving, winter, spring, etc.)

Teachers often share referrals. If you’re able to extend a permanent educator’s discount on services and/or retail products it can help you retain school employees who took you up on back-to-school offers for the long term and assist in word-of-mouth client referrals. If you offer a teacher or school employee discount, make sure that you send your Salon Suite’s menu as well as a copy of your school employee offer to the offices of schools in your area. Ask them to place your menu in teacher’s lounges and include your information in employee newsletters. 

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