creating the ultimate rewards and salon loyalty program

Creating the Ultimate Rewards & Salon Loyalty Program

Discounts on Discounts

Think about walking into your favorite retail shop, excited to cash out on some new items knowing that you’ve racked up points and you are about to receive a killer discount or some awesome free products. A retail store with a good loyalty program will keep you coming back, and keep you excited about shopping there. This marketing strategy can be used in your salon too! When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, a salon is not that different from a retail shop. Curating an efficient salon loyalty program will keep your clients coming back for more hair service and products. Not only will your clients come back more often, but they are more likely to spend more with your salon more often when they have a loyalty account. Once you curate a valuable loyalty program, you will see just how profitable it can be for your salon. It doesn’t take too much effort to market and get clients to sign up! Here are some simple marketing tactics to start up your loyalty program and get your clients on board!

1. Create A Valuable Loyalty Program

What do your clients spend the most on? Services or products? What can you afford to offer a discount on? Most salons will offer a discount on products because they cannot take money from the stylists for service discounts. Some salons will even provide a free treatment as a loyalty reward. Brainstorm to figure out what can you offer the clients that will keep them coming back to spend more without you losing money.

2. Deliver and Wow Your Clients

Many stores offer a loyalty card that will keep you coming back, but you never reap the benefits of the points you collect. This is because the store never reminds you of your points or when you are eligible to receive rewards. Some companies believe that customers just like the idea of collecting points, but don’t care about receiving rewards. Don’t be a salon that offers no rewards to your loyal customers! Remind them to use their card at every checkout, and let them know when they are eligible to receive a free product or a discount. Trust me; it will pay off in the end!

3. Don’t Lose Money

I cannot stress this enough! Do not lose money trying to get more clients. A key factor to the success of a salon’s loyalty program is doing the math behind the reward program to ensure you aren’t unnecessarily losing cash. Don’t give discounts on products that your clients will pay full-price for anyways. For example, if you created a promotion that says “Book 4 blowouts, get the 5th one free”, this would cause you to lose money because a blowout is a basic and affordable service that your clients were paying full price for anyway. If your clients regularly get haircuts but only splurge on hair color a few times a year, offer then discounts on hair color after a certain amount of haircuts. A great alternative is to allow your customers to gain points per dollar, and once they reach a certain threshold, reward them with a free treatment or product. Use this as an opportunity to expose them to treatment or product that they have never used before. This could be a new service or product or an existing service or product that is costly and doesn’t get purchased often. Allowing them to experience it for free will make then want to pay full-price for it later.

4. Make It Personal

Analyze your target customers. Who books the most appointments and spend the most in your salon? This is the group of people you’ll want to cater to. If the bulk of your salon clientele is Caucasian women between the ages of 55-65, you might not have success offering a discounted balayage or holographic color treatment as a loyalty reward. Allow your clients to use their points on products similar to the ones they know and love. 5. Make Them Remember Believe it or not, most customers will forget all about their loyalty points. You want your customers to use the loyalty program so they will see the value in it and spend more with you. If they are constantly gaining points and don’t know what to do with them, they won’t have a reason to stay loyal to you. A few ways you can remind your customers of their loyalty membership are: reminding them at every checkout to use their card, sending them email updates on their points, printing their points out on recipes, Etc.

6. Reward Referrals

Although a loyalty program is geared towards existing customers, adding a referral reward is a powerful way to bring new customers in. If your clients already love your salon and their rewards, they are sure to tell their friends anyways. Offer additional points when a client refers a friend to sign up for your referral program. Your client will feel appreciated for bringing new clients in, and your new clients will love the first-time discount!

7. Reward Your Employees

Reward your employees when they sign someone up for a loyalty program. It is your call on how to reward them, but I heavily advise you t give them something they want. Most employees aren’t interested in a free product that you were going to toss anyways as a reward. Don’t be afraid to hold a brief meeting with your employees and ask them what they would like as a reward, and pick the one you can afford. Rewards can be something simple like a point-for-point system where the employee gets points whenever they sign up a new customer. Maybe for every 50 cards, your employee signs up, they get a $25 gift card. Brainstorm to find what works best. Curating your rewards to your employee ensures that they are enthusiastic about getting those loyalty cards out!

How To Promote Your Loyalty Program

There are many ways to promote and market your loyalty program, but here a few easy options:


Make a pop-up on your website’s homepage that lets the visitor know about the loyalty program. Offer then a percentage off or double points on their first order with the loyalty card. You can also remind the customer on the checkout page of your website right before they place an order or book an appointment. Ask the visitor for their card number or ask them to sign up before they purchase to ensure they get a discount.

Social Media Page

If you have a client that loves your salon, visits frequently and loves the loyalty program, ask if you can do a quick video of them saying how much they love their loyalty card. A little testimonial video for Instagram and Facebook will catch the eye of prospective clients. Once they see a client enjoying the service, they will want to sign up as well.

Front Window

Hire a graphic designer to make an attractive, eye-catching window flyer advertising your loyalty program. The flyer should include the benefits including the first-time purchase discount and long-term benefits.

Checkout Area

Always request a loyalty account from your customer at the checkout. If they say they don’t have one, let them know that they can receive a discount if they provide you with their name, email, and birthdate. Don’t ask for too much information at the checkout, as this will make the customer impatient and increase wait-time for other customers in line.

Stylist’s Stations

Put another flyer or sticker on the mirror corner on your hair stylist’s stations. When your clients are getting their hair done, they will ask the stylist about the flyer and want to sign up. Focus your marketing on your existing customers. Market your loyalty program in your salon, to your salon’s online followers, and your customer’s referrals. Marketing a loyalty program to people who don’t visit your salon will be a waste of money because they know nothing about your salon. They don’t know what they are loyal to.

Offering Extensions

If you read this blog regularly, then you’re probably just as obsessed with hair extensions as I am! Selling hair extensions in your salon can be very profitable, and rewarding your guests for purchasing extensions from your salon will ensure you maximize each extension service ticket. If your salon offers sew-in installs, clip-in extensions, or even wig installs, you should encourage guests to buy extensions from your salon by offering them double points. If your salon offers hair extension services but isn't very popular, providing double points is a way to expose your clients to extensions. Alternatively, you can allow your clients to use some of their points on hair extension services when they purchase hair extensions from your salon.

My Favorite Loyalty Programs and Why I Love Them

Aveda Pure Privilege

Aveda Pure Privilege is a tier based loyalty program that encourages guests to purchase a product to receive points that you can use for discounts on services, products, and customers can even get a spa vacation at the highest tier. It offers guests points for every purchase, and for little things like downloading the Aveda Pure Privilege app. This app adds another incentive for clients to spend more at Aveda Salons by adding the seven-tier reward system. Add tiers to your reward program will make your customers excited when they pass a new tier because they know they will receive new with higher discounts and more free products.

Ulta Beauty Ultamate Rewards Program

Ulta Beauty offers a point-for-dollar rewards program that allows customers to use their points earned from past shopping sprees and salon services on future purchases. The best part is, this loyalty program is completely free and allows you to use points on already discounted items. Ultamate Rewards comes in 3 tiers, Member, Platinum, and Diamond. A basic member gets to enjoy earning 1 point per dollar, a free birthday gift, and coupons, while a Platinum and Diamond member get to enjoy everyday free shipping, 2x the points, and a beauty services Rewards Card. It sounds pretty sweet to me. I always prefer to buy my everyday beauty goods from Ulta because I know I can use my points later as a discount. When I worked at Ulta Beauty a while ago, women would rack up points and get $600 off! Yes, you read that right! Ulta Beauty gives $600 discount to those that have the point sets. Ulta Beauty Ultamate Rewards Program also allows customers to earn points on their everyday items that they will purchase anyways. Ulta Beauty also does not incentivize customers to purchase new products to receive points. Once the customer’s points or saved up, they can use them on any product in the entire store including sale items. The Carl Michael Salon also allows clients to accumulate points from their everyday transactions while incentivizing clients to book appointments and refer their friends to the salon. It’s a win-win!

Carl Michael Salon

The Carl Michael Salon offers a salon loyalty program that tracks points from client’s everyday transactions. Using only the client’s email, Carl Michael rewards clients for purchasing products and services. Carl Michael rewards client’s for signing up for the loyalty program, reserving appointments, referring new guests, booking services, purchasing products, and even purchasing gift cards! Carl Michael values points 100 points per one dollar. Once the client accumulates 2000 points, they will receive a $20 discount. I love each of these loyalty programs because they reward the clients with valued products or services. Aveda Pure Privilege allows customers to earn points on products and services they already know and love. Aveda does not incentivize customers to purchase new products just to receive points. Once the customer accumulates enough points, they can receive discounts or save up to cash out on a 3-day spa trip. How fancy.

Do Your Research and Impress Your Client

If you are considering launching a rewards program for your salon, be sure to plan accordingly and do your research! This article is a great start, but each salon is different and has different needs and cultures. While the purpose of a rewards program is to get your clients coming back more often and spending more, it is important to remember that the program is still for them. Remember that your clients should feel appreciated and valued by your rewards program. Don’t pressure your guest to use points when they don’t want to and don’t make them feel like you are trying to sell them something every two seconds. It's okay to encourage clients to use their points on more luxurious products or services that they only splurge on a few times a year. But you will see a more consistent return when you allow guests to accumulate and use points on everyday products that they know and love. If you are a salon manager or owner and you have a loyalty program, comment below and help our readers out. We’d love to read your advice! If you frequent a salon with a loyalty program, comment below what you love about and what you wish would change.
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