Set It and Forget It: A Client Retention System for Salons/Spas


Your salon needs a steady stream of existing and new clients coming through the doors daily if it’s going to thrive in today’s tough economy.

Most salons continue to throw whatever marketing money they do have at attracting new clients.

They’ll use Groupon and other heavily discounted promotional vehicles.

And these promotions work – admittedly not as well as when they were first introduced but you can still prime the pump with first time clients.

With salon retention rates for first time clients hovering around 30% – the hyper-promotional “Groupon” customer, when not followed up with after the initial visit returns at rates between 12-20%.

So if retaining new clients under “normal” circumstances weren’t enough of a challenge this new breed of promotional buyer back is an even bigger one.

Now that you’ve spent money, time and energy bringing them in, the question becomes “what are you doing to bring the first time visitor back?” Most owners don’t have a clue beyond a phone call or an email sent by an expensive “bolt-on” to their salon software program

Here’s a step-by-step solution on a low-cost, high return on investment strategy that will help you increase retention and improve salon profits.

Step 1: Send them a hand-written Thank You Card (and maybe a free offer too!)

When : Immediately after their visit
Why?: It shows the personal touch you give to your clients and makes your salon stand out. The personal connection of a handwritten card is meant to leave them feeling glad they came to you. You’ve increased the trust and “likeability factor.

Step 2: Email: “New Customer Thank You”

Subject: Thank you so much for being our customer!

When: immediately after visit

Why?: Another way of thanking them plus a chance to give them an offer.

Step 3: Send a Postcard that gives them something of value – Home Hair Care Tips and Tricks

When: 3 days after visit

Why?: This is education on how to get the most out of using professional products at home. It’s meant to further engender your caring of your customer, and to empower them to actually use the product you’ve worked so hard to get into their hands properly – after all nothing makes a customer more likely to get value from something than actually using it!

Step 4: Email: “New Customer: Unannounced Bonus 1”

When: 3 days after visit

Subject: 25/99/50 Reasons why people choose your salon

Why?: This email is about social proof. It’s just a boat-load of testimonials. They should be left with: “I really did make the right decision in going to this salon”

Step 5: Email: If you ever have a question between visits to the salon”

When: Day 4 after visit

Subject: Check out our Blog!

Why?: This email is meant to make your customer aware of your online forum, or whatever other resources you make available to them that they can access when they have questions between visits.

Step 6: Email: Unannounced Bonus 2”

When: Day 5 after visit

Subject: SURPRISE!

Why?: This is ANOTHER unannounced bonus meant to surprise, delight, and otherwise engender the good faith of your new customer.

Step 7: Call them

When: Day 6

Subject: Call and thank them

Why?: You (or a team member) call the new customer and thank them directly for their visit. It’s meant to show the personal attention you give to your customers. Once again you’re going above and beyond what they expect from you which will likely cause them to like and trust you even more. This strengthened rapport will leave them even more likely to come back

Step 8: Email: How’s your hair doing?

When: Day 14:

Subject: How’s your hair doing Cathy? ?

Why?: This email is just meant to check in on your new customer, find out how they’re doing, and if they need anything. Just a TLC check-in and will engender trust, good faith, and confidence in your salon and leave them feeling like you’re there for them.

P.S. It’s also intended to have them give you some feedback or testimonial.

Step 9: Email: “Tips and Tricks on your new purchase”

When: Day 21

Subject: Here are some Tips and Tricks on getting the most out of _________

The Intent: This is more coaching and training on how to get the most out of your product. It’s meant to further engender the good faith and sweet love of your customer, and to empower them to actually use the product you worked so dang hard to create, market, and then get into their hot little hand! Because, after all, nothing makes a customer more likely to get value from something than actually using it!

Step 10: Call

When: Day 30

Subject: Call and give ’em some TLC!

Why?: This is a task to have you (or a team member) call the customer and offer preemptive customer support….to check in to see how they’re doing and if they’d like to schedule another appointment.

Again, it’s meant to show the personal attention you give to your customers. The personal connection of a phone call is meant to leave them cared for and thought of.

Step 11: Postcard: “New Customer: Have I told you lately that I love you?”

When: Day 35:

Headline: Have I told you lately, that I love you…have I told you there’s no one else above you. You fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness, ease my troubles that’s what you do-oo-oo.

The Intent: This card is to (you guessed it) deepen the relationship between you and your customer and make a show your gratitude for having their business and to offer them a special discount for their next visit.

Note: You can of course change the offer however you like, I’m just giving you a suggestion.

Quotation: You get what you expect to get. The only question is. “What do you want?” – Jim Rohn

Andrew Finkelstein, President of the Beauty Resource, is a successful New York City-based entrepreneur, author, speaker, and coach who helps professional beauty businesses make a ton of money. Andrew’s E-zine The Finkelstein Report is the beauty industry’s #1 marketing resource with free articles, marketing tools, and valuable advice for salons and day spas owners. E-mail Andrew at, or call him at 212-831-2421 x202.
Author’s note: You’re welcome to use this article as content for your own e-zine or web site! Just make sure the article remains complete and unaltered (including author information and copyright line at the end), and send a copy of your reprint to


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