If just one month accounts for 19%+ of yearly retail sales, there's a lot your salon or spa can gain (or lose) when creating your holiday marketing plan. Although the season is already swinging - there are always a few takeaways you can use this year (or next!). The following article is from Milady Pro's website.
How To Create A Holiday Marketing Plan
Unfortunately, holiday marketing plans don’t appear on desks like magical plates of sugar cookies appear for Santa (can we get an elf to help us out?) Fortunately, this guide is here to explain everything you need to know about creating the perfect plan.
Review: If this isn’t your first holiday season, look back on last year’s results. What promotions did you run? How did they do? Did you host an event or participate in one? What was your client volume and did it increase from previous years?
Research: Are there any holiday promotional ideas or programs you took note of last year that you are interested in running this year? Have you gone online and searched for ideas? This can be something you can delegate to your team so you can get everyone looking for ideas.
Brainstorm: Have a meeting with your team to review last year’s results and to share ideas gathered for the upcoming season. As a group, pick your favorites.
Preparation: Take the ideas and delegate tasks and responsibilities; such as designing post cards, shelf talkers and posters, and purchasing decorations. Keep in mind your monthly marketing budget should be a minimum of 2% of total sales each month so you have a parameter that you can manage from.
Operations: From an operational or procedural standpoint are there any adjustments that are needed based on what occurred last year? Do you need to hire part time staff to support call volume and customer service? Do you need to lengthen your hours of operations? Are there any systems or scripts that can support the front desk team?
Inventory: Did you have too much or too little of it last season? Based on your projections and promotions this year what will you need? Get a handle on this now and place your orders early to insure receipt processing. Conduct any new product education for the team that's needed between now and mid November.
Tracking systems: Insure that you refine or create tracking systems to help you gauge progress during the season. It is also a good idea to be clear about who will be responsible for tracking and when results will be reported and shared. Generally, tracking should be managed on a daily basis and results shared each week. If it’s a contest you can share the results daily and cheer your team on. Use your judgement and be consistent.
Team Incentives: Lastly, for all of the work being put in to make the holidays successful, what will you offer your team to motivate them to keep producing amidst the pressures and long hours of the season? It’s a good idea to tie an incentive to a marketing promotion being run or a gift based on the amount of gift card sales generated. You can also create a team incentive for overall sales goals such as average ticket goals being met or the total number of add on services generated. The goal here is to give your team that extra boost they need to make it happen!
Updating Your Service Menu
Updating your service menu with specials and holiday promotions is crucial to a) bringing in new customers and b) upselling existing customers. Here are some ways to update your menu with a mix of new services, client-favorite services, and specialty products.
Create a menu that outlines shortened versions of customer-favorites, like express facials, peels, etc. If you plan to use specialty products in these services, make sure the names and descriptions explain.
For example, if you ordered a marshmallow scented sugar scrub for the season, you might advertise something like this:
Example: The Hot Cocoa Body Massage Melt your holiday stress away with this 30-minute massage and body treatment. A scrumptious marshmallow sugar scrub will leave your back feeling silky and smooth, followed by a 25-minute massage using our decadent, deeply nourishing, chocolate body lotion.
Don't forget: when you update your service menu you should also be thinking about your gift certificate plan. Don't think gift certificates account for that many sales? Think again.
Managing Holiday Retail
If retailing is your least favorite job responsibility, see our Make More Money with Retail online class. If you just need a few ways to refresh your retail plan, bundling is one of the most effective marketing strategies. It's simple…bundle a few products or services together, tie it all together with eye catching packaging and voila – sales go up! With more holiday shoppers selecting gifts based on a price range, bundles at different price points offer.
Here are a few tips to help get your business ready for bundling season:
Create Bundles to Fit Everyone’s Budget: When creating your bundles, it is important to be price conscious and create a variety of bundles that will attract a large range of buyers. From the client that is looking for a quick little gift for their child’s teacher to a luxurious gift for a close loved one, the possibilities are endless. Try bundles at incremental price points, like $15, $25, $50, $75, $100, and $200.
Think Creatively: The sky’s the limit to your creativity when it comes to bundling. Not only bundle your top selling products, but mix top selling products with items that might be moving a little slower. Cross-sell products by mixing hair care, skin care and body products together. Offer your clients bundles that include services and products. Remember, the holidays are an ideal time to promote Gift Cards, so make sure to include them in bundles.
Eye Catching: Put time into wrapping your bundles. Clear, snowflake-printed, or colored cellophane are great choices for wrapping bundles: it allows customers to see the products included but also saves them the time of wrapping the gift at home. Want to go the extra mile? Have a few different colored ribbon spools and small gift tags at your front desk. Ask your customer what color ribbon and card they’d like to have their bundle wrapped with. These small extras provide the added value customers seek when they shop for gifts and they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness as well as the ease of purchasing a gift from your salon or spa.
Advertising Holiday Specials
Now that you have your bundles packaged and gift cards placed at the front desk with care, you need to consider your promotion. Advertising can be stressful for even the most business-savvy beauty professional (that’s why we created this easy online class to help.)
If you consider yourself a marketing pro, you already know that you should utilize digital marketing channels to advertise your holiday specials in addition to traditional marketing, like signage. Here are two you should focus on:
Social Media: Share marketing promotions, specials and event announcements via your social media accounts. Try to make your posts extra engaging by including videos and photos. According to a report by HubSpot, “When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.”
Make sure you have a calendar planned with:
a) what special/promotion you plan on advertising
b) day of the week and time of the day
c) who on your team is going to schedule the post or post it live on the day you have scheduled.
It might seem silly to plan this much, but having all of the details laid out will make it easier for you and your team to stick to the plan and make social media advertising part of your regular marketing routine.
Email Marketing: If you aren’t actively keeping track of the name and email addresses of current customers and friends/family of customers that purchase gift certificates, start keeping track!
Here are two emails you want to send.
General Announcements: How would your customers know about your specials, bundles, and promotions if you don’t tell them? Send out a clean, concise list of your specials.
Buy Again Emails: If you have a list of customers that purchased gift cards the year prior, send them an email that outlines your different gift options: gift certificates, bundles, etc. You can also sweeten the deal by adding in a complimentary service/product if they purchase a gift within a certain time period.
Ex. Purchase a gift certificate between November 20 and December 1st and receive a complimentary mask of your choice!
Wrapping Your Plan Up
Now that you've put your plan together, it's time to implement! Be sure to keep track of everything you try this year so that next year, you know what works best for your business, your team, and your customers.