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Last updated: November 24, 2021

10 Ways To Increase Appointments, Prebookings and Retail Sales

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Instagram via @kristiemason08

Increase Prebookings, Retail Sales and Tickets With These Tips

Living through a pandemic means you’ve definitely experienced slow periods. And even if you haven’t, we know the busy holiday season is often followed by a downturn in bookings. That’s why we’re giving you a bunch of ideas for making more money now, through the holiday season and even into the post-holiday slump. Keep scrolling for tips on prebooking, promotional ideas and retail sales!



1. Offer bundles and BOGO deals.

Up your retail and increase clients’ likelihood of returning to your chair with product bundles or BOGO promotions. The numbers don’t lie—only 3 percent of new guests who DON’T purchase a product will return, while new clients who purchase three items average a 90 percent return rate, according to Surface Founder and CEO Wayne Grund.



For pre-holiday sales, promote products that help get clients’ hair healthy for the holiday season, such as moisturizing or hydrating lines, masks and self-care items. These are great gift ideas, and marketing them as “buy one for you, get one for a gift” is super appealing to clients.


You can also bundle products with a service. For example, get an in-salon treatment today, and include a take-home mask in the guest’s service cost. This will feel like a special freebie to her, and give you the chance to upsell.


BONUS TIP: Bundle best-sellers with products you want to clear from your inventory, or with services that don’t take too much time and effort to do.



2. Offer super specific promotions.

Are you noticing some slower days, or are some stylists experiencing big gaps in their books? Get these spots booked up by offering very specific promotions that still make a profit while enticing guests with special deals.



Offer to upgrade every color service with a treatment, booked on your slowest day, or with a stylist who needs more clients. Keep the terms of the deal very focused, and give the deal an end date to promote urgency. OR, give a special deal for a specific timeframe, like the examples below!


Instagram via @salonpk
Penzone Salons & Spas offered this promo on their salon IG, with details in the caption. The promotion was valid for five days only, and could not be redeemed on services with senior-level artists/therapists or on certain services like smoothing systems, hair extensions, permanent makeup or eyelash extensions. Instagram via @penzonesalonsandspas


3. Do the math for your clients.

If you’re offering a special package or bundle for clients, make sure they understand the value they’re getting for free. 



If you’re offering three products for the price of two, include the amount they are saving in the signage or promotional material. So, if your promo is to offer three $20 products for $45, don’t just say “SALE: 3 for $45,” also say, “You Save $15.”


4. Offer incentive to prebook.

Prebooking is vital to keeping your books steady. It’s one of the most important key performance indicators for your business, and increases client retention and frequency of visit. So give clients a reason for prebooking.



When she’s in your chair for her pre-holiday appointment, tell her your holiday gift to her for being a loyal client is offer a complimentary service on her next, prebooked appointment. A conditioning treatment or gloss are inexpensive and quick add-ons you can offer to make her feel special.


BONUS TIP: Offer the complimentary service for only January and February to entice customers to come back sooner.



5. Make it simpler to prebook.

Like we said…you should do the math for your clients. If you recommend they return in 4 weeks for a treatment and gloss refresh, then 4 weeks after that for a full highlight and cut, it’s easier if you show them when those dates are.



We love this trick recommended by John Paul Mitchell Systems Global Business & Artistic Director Robert Cromeans and pictured in action by @kristiemason08. Every day, have the next 4, 6, 8 and 10 weeks mapped out in dates, so your clients can see when those time periods are while she’s sitting in your chair. She’ll be thinking about prebooking the entire service!


Instagram via @kristiemason08


6. Hold a raffle or drawing.

A cool incentive for clients to fill your books during any slow season (not just the January slump) is to offer a drawing for a free service.



Any client that books a service in January is entered in a drawing to win a free service to be used any time the rest of the year.


BONUS TIP: Make it even juicier for clients by entering their name multiple times! For example, for every service a client books in January, they are entered into the free service drawing. So if she books a cut, she gets one entry. If she books a cut, treatment and eyebrow wax, she gets three entries.



7. Run a social media contest.

An easy way to get more social content AND entice clients to share your work and come back to your chair: Run a contest on social media!



Put up signs and share on your channels that any client who takes a selfie of their hair and tags you/your salon will be entered to win a free treatment, product bundle or other prize. 


Instagram via @_avesalon


8. Organize a supplies or toys drive for a local charity.

The holiday season is a natural time to host a charity event, and this method is a way to give back to your community AND give clients the chance to win a special prize, suggests Elite Beauty Society. Now more than ever, people are happy to support local businesses with strong missions and local charities, so bringing together both can build good will with your community. 



Partner with an organization that is collecting supplies, food, toys or other needed items, and let clients know you’re taking donations. Offer a special service to clients who bring in a certain number of supplies. For example, if you donate 10 food items to the holiday food drive, you get a free treatment or arm/hand massage with your next appointment.



9. Try a unique giveaway idea.

‘Tis ALMOST the season for a fun client giveaway idea! Why not surprise a few clients with FREE services? 



@liketheriversalon celebrated Random Acts of Kindness Week by surprising 5 clients with free services! The catch: The client would find out if they were a winner at the END of their already scheduled appointment. This is so genius!


Instagram via @liketheriversalon


10. Gift cards, gift cards, gift cards.

A huge push on gift card sales is a pretty foolproof way to guarantee sales NOW and appointments LATER…if you do it right and have some fine print in place. 



SEVEN Salon in Seattle sold $70,000 in gift cards in one day last holiday season, and their plan was genius. They offered $100 gift cards for $70 for one day only (with restrictions in place), and enjoyed year-long benefits:


  • A client with a SEVEN gift card is going to come to SEVEN Salon, no matter what.


  • If a client doesn’t love their hairdresser, he or she is still going to come back to SEVEN and the salon has the chance to match that client with another service provider.


  • Some clients lose their cards, so redemption isn’t 100%.


  • When purchasers gift the cards to others, the salon gets new customers.


  • Instead of experiencing a slow January and February, the salon enjoys steady business from gift card customers.


Read the entire strategy for SEVEN Salon’s gift card sales: CLICK HERE.