7 top tips to create an effective marketing plan

Whether you’re time-poor or lacking resources, you might not be focused on marketing your salon enough. If that’s the case, you could be missing out on valuable growth opportunities. But with access to online booking platforms, Google, and social media, it’s easier than ever to ace your salon marketing. We’ve put together seven tips to help you create a fresh marketing plan that will transform your salon.


Map out what your marketing plan needs to deliver

Ultimately, marketing is about selling. But how you do it and arrive at the destination ‘sale’ matters. Sales promotions, offers, and incentives are an important part of your marketing mix, but why not try to look at marketing from a wider perspective?

Marketing is a method of informing clients, giving them choice and adding value to your relationship. Finding a good marketing mix is the best way to achieve those goals. Here’s what your marketing plan should do for you:    

  • Generate awareness: Potential customers need to know you’re there, so you need to make sure you’re prominent both in your local area and in online searches for your services
  • Create understanding: There are likely lots of hair, beauty and wellness businesses in your area, so people need to know what you specialise in and why they should choose you for that service over your competition
  • Position your expertise: Demonstrate that you understand your craft and how this relates to the needs and expectations of your clients and community. Introduce your team, showcase their expertise and share how they’re helping people look and feel their best. This will help potential clients identify with your business on a personal and emotional level
  • Share valuable offers: Incentives and promotions to retain clients, attract new ones and boost sales should be an important part of your plan 
  • Measure your results: To evolve your marketing approach, you need to know what works and what doesn’t so you can build on your successes and learn from mistakes 


Structure your plan

There are plenty of ways you can build and execute a marketing strategy, so try to keep it simple and manageable. Your marketing plan should follow a few objectives. It should be:


Pick a specific goal and focus on it. One aim might be to increase customer loyalty. If that’s the case, try following up with your clients after every appointment to thank them and get their feedback. You can offer support, correct any issues and incentivise them to come back soon.

Or if you want to run a seasonal campaign or gift experiences, promote them in advance. Using email marketing and texts via your online booking platform will help you to implement these campaigns and evaluate their success.  

Another specific aim might be to win back 50% of clients who have not returned. You can use your reporting tools to track this, and reach out to past clients to encourage them back.


Wherever possible, you should measure your activity and outline what you’ve learned from your successes and failures.

For a print ad, it might be circulation. For digital and social activity, look at your campaign’s potential reach and then actual reach to establish effectiveness. Measure the results of your marketing emails and texts, too, and look at Google Analytics and your social media insights to measure campaigns and determine which were the most successful.


Create a set of marketing activities that are achievable and realistic. For example, a blog might be part of your plan, but don’t commit to 10 posts per week if you don’t have the time or resources to achieve that. For social media, set goals based on your content mix and the number of posts and stories you can realistically maintain. Always make a plan you know you can keep up with.


When creating your salon marketing plan, make sure activities and campaigns are consistent with your values and long-term objectives. So, if it’s your goal to become the top colour salon in your area, build your marketing plan around that and make sure all activities support it.


Timing is essential to ensure you get the most out of your marketing plan. Setting launch dates, prioritising tasks and assigning responsibility is a big part of this. For example: if you have a Valentine’s Day campaign, make sure you launch it at the right time to generate awareness, interest and sales, ideally a few weeks in advance.


Implement your marketing plan

When you’ve settled on your plan, take or assign responsibility to ensure it’s implemented and managed effectively. Most marketing plans will span a number of channels, like your website, social media and PR, and they should all be activated via your online booking platform. Make sure you promote your campaigns across as many platforms as possible to maximise their reach and return on investment. This could include in-salon marketing and point-of-sale, as well as more traditional forms of marketing like local advertising.

Evaluate the effect and results

Once you’ve launched a campaign, review and evaluate it. Look at results like reach, open rates, click-through rates, site visits and bookings made. This is vital to learn from all your campaigns, build on their success, and learn from what didn’t work.

Evolve and adapt to keep your marketing fresh 

There are some features of your marketing plan that will always be consistent, like seasonal and event-based campaigns. But don’t settle for doing the same thing year in, year out. It’s important to look outside your business, see what the latest trends are, ask clients if they’re looking for anything you don’t already do, and continually refresh your marketing calendar. Involving your team is a great way to get ideas based on their discussions with clients, friends and colleagues. 

Don’t overlook the obvious in search of something unique

You can spend ages trying to think of completely unique marketing ideas, but don’t overlook the obvious, especially when your online booking platform makes it easy to implement and automate marketing features. Text messages, email appointment reminders, follow up thank you messages, and blast marketing features are at your fingertips. 

Run a colour promotion to clients who come in for a cut and style, but have never had a colour service. Or set up your online store to introduce clients to your colour care products. Invite clients who’ve not experienced your beauty services to try a facial. And if you introduce a new product, service or treatment, make sure you add its launch to your marketing plan. 


Maximise your website, social media, and online potential 

Your website projects your image, tells your story, positions your expertise and introduces your salon, services and team. Create a website that excites clients, and inspires them to talk about your business. Add a blog to position your expertise and show you understand the latest trends and treatment techniques. Link to your booking platform with a “Book Now” button to generate online appointments and make sure you push your latest offers and campaigns.

Use social media effectively, too. Time content and stories to line up with your marketing plan and add active links back to your website and online booking platform to fill your calendar. On Instagram, which doesn’t support active links in your content, use a free resource like https://linktr.ee as your bio link so visitors can click to your website or book an appointment, as well as using the ‘Link’ feature in your stories.

Finally, setting up a business profile on Google and collecting reviews ensures you’ll show up in local searches and make your way up the rankings.

No matter how you tackle building your salon marketing plan, make sure it’s aligned with who you are as a brand and business. That way, you’ll always be confident in your messaging, and your clients will understand who you are and why they should book with you.

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