March 2009

Elizabeth Brown

Three Months of Marketing | Elizabeth Brown


Three Months of Marketing

Anyone who knows me will tell you I bring sunshine into the room 99 percent of the time.

It’s the other one percent you have to watch out for… the one percent when my dander is up.

It was triggered recently when I was reading a trade magazine and email articles that gave me great February marketing ideas – and only three months too late!

Doesn’t it bother you by the time you get inspiration for a great idea for your business; you have already missed the opportunity? You needed the idea two months earlier to plan, purchase retail, generate marketing and sell through your packages or promotions.

What you need is ideas to infuse creative energy and breathe life and fun back into the salon now – not something to file away for next year. Who knows if you will still remember where the file is.

Out of that moment came the idea for me to write this new column: Three Months of Marketing. It gives you time to create compelling offers and to create email, direct mail, and signage for marketing. It gives you time to purchase salon-branded items for sale or give away to expand retail and extend your brand outside the salon, and the time you need to purchase retail displays and products that support your activities and generate additional revenue.

So let’s talk about the next three months.

March is Employee Spirit Month; if you have salon-branded shirts, wear them, every day or at least every Friday. To infuse positive energy into co-workers, surprise each one with a small thank you note, gift or an anonymous secret admirer treat left at their station. Create certificate-style awards for staff members and utilize huddles to recognize them in front of their peers.

Or go big. Choose a day to close an hour early and hold a cocktail style awards party.

By the end of March identify and purchase retail for April’s Music Lovers Month. Plan Mother’s Day retail, gift and package ideas. Order supplies, salon-branded gifts or give-away items and products for April and May activities.

Build a robust client and prospect database with both email and street addresses. If you have not yet begun this effort, do it now. Make it your goal as a stylist, or your goal for the salon as a whole to collect 100 percent of client email and street addresses and put them into your salon-management software or into an excel spreadsheet.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Make April a haven for Music Lovers in your clientele. Use email and postcards to invite clients to a special client appreciation Music Lovers Party. Purchase Point of Sale displays for the event that support your theme. Partner with a local restaurant, wine shop or caterer to provide refreshments for your event and cross market to their patrons. Hold one – or several - drawings during your party and give away some hot music and hot products. Give free “Rockstar Style” consultations, have a special offer ready and take bookings. Or collect client and prospect data all month for a drawing to be held at the end of the month. It’s not about the give-away, it’s about the follow up. Send a bounceback Backstage Pass package offer to everyone.

By April 10 start email and postcard marketing for Mother’s Day. Make sure you have signage throughout the salon and inexpensive bag stuffers printed on bright paper. A register or station display with lip gloss, nail polish or eye shadows are great Mother’s Day gifts suggestions. Create packages and retail promotions that sell through in pairs – mother-daughter, sisters, grandmothers, mentors.

When you sell through gifts in pairs you book two appointments instead of one, and chances are one of them will be new to your salon. Plan Father’s Day promotions and packages and order the supplies and retail you need.

May - Mother’s Day and full-on spring with graduation just around the corner. May is also Date Your Mate Month – another great opportunity to sell through gifts and packages in pairs. Find a restaurant to partner with you and create a cross-promoted “Date Your Mate” gift package.

Create “twofer” offers and packages for the salon that your restaurant partner will also promote to their patrons. Create tent cards for their tables and your stations. Collect entries in-salon, in-restaurant, and online (if possible) for a drawing. Share your entries with the restaurant and vice versa.

It’s not about the give-away, it’s about marketing to future clients captured through the contest. Draw one winner and give the salon/restaurant gift package away but make sure everyone who entered gets a bounceback offer from you. Complete planning for and begin marketing Father’s Day on May 11th.

Elizabeth Brown is the founder of Be InPulse Marketing and Design in Auburn, Washington and the author of 12 Months of Marketing for Salon and Spa. Email the author at