How to Create High Impact Partner Promotions

Do you want more new clients for your salon/day spa? Well what right minded owner or manager wouldn't want more new clients—none that I know. To bring more new clients into your salon/day spa try collaborating with another non-competing business, retailer, or group in your community.

The first step on any partner promotion is to be absolutely clear on your own marketing position. Why? Because you can then choose the partner that best fits your business' profile.

Remember, when done correctly, these types of promotions can enhance your salon/day spa's reputation, character and personality.

Also remember that your partner's favorite radio station is WIIFM (call letters for "what's in it for me"). So be sure to sell the  benefits of your promotional idea, not just the features!

Here are four essential factors to look at when thinking about strategic "partnering."

  1. Size: How many people will you reach? The more people who view your promotional message, the merrier.
  2. Communications: What are the ways your "partner" has to spread the word about the joint promotion? Do they have newsletters, membership meetings, bulletin boards, etc.? Remember, the greater the number of impressions, the better.
  3. Work Force: Do they have enough people to spread the word and handle part of the workload?
  4. Image: Is their image consistent with yours and that of your employees and clients? Make sure the image matches the one you want to portray in your marketplace.

The tactics for partner promotions include cross promotions, joint promotions, and vendor-allied joint promotions.

Cross-promotional partnerships usually involve equal trade-offs.
Keep in mind these promotions are local, so choose a partner that is in your trading area. Examples of cross-promotions for your salon/day spa are:

  • Distribute a realtor's card while they give newcomers or first time buyers your menu, flyer, and special invitation..
  • Sell gift certificates at discounted prices to high-end retailers and they reward customers who purchase high-ticket items with a gift of your product or service.
  • Give free certificates to partners to present to their clients as a reward or incentive. This generates goodwill for both parties and adds new faces for your business.

Joint Promotions may involve a large number of partners; however, it may be best to limit the number of partners. You'll keep it manageable and get the maximum focus on the participants.

For example, you may want to co-sponsor a 10K race for the cure with your local running shop and jamba juice store. You could give a portion of each service or product sold during the week of the race to the charity. The running shop provides special gear to the participants, and sets up and staffs the course. The jamba juice store provides the drinks along the run.

Then you get the local paper or weekly free sheet to be a co-sponsor and publicize the event..

Vendor-Allied Joint Promotions with a major supplier stretches your promotional budget and is a friendly image-maker.

Think outside the box on this one. For example, beverage companies will share the costs, if you agree to display their products enough to increase their brand exposure.

Also, regularly inquire with your distributor about national promotions that the manufacturers have going on. I don't know about you, but too many times I've seen salons/day spas not taking sufficient advantage of all their manufacturers have to offer—including co-operative advertising money. Remember, it's also in your manufacturers' best interests when you sell more of their products.

Your clients and employees can also be a source of joint promotions. They belong to groups that could be very interested in mutually advantageous joint promotions. So remember to get the word out there that you're always looking for opportunities to help your salon/day spa by helping others.

Again, make sure that whatever organization or business you work with, it is mutually compatible with yours. Please don't forget to track the results so you can evaluate each promotion!

By Andrew Finkelstein, The Beauty Resource