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In June, the industry is typically prepping for the Slow Season; but as you see, I put a big question mark next to that phrase. All across the U.S., tanning salons have been booming with the busiest Busy Season some have ever seen – something that could never have been predicted. Will we see a big tanner drop-off for the summer?
As an owner or operator, the best thing to do is be prepared. In years past, warmer weather brings membership cancellations and freezes. Tanners say “See ya’ next year” to their beloved salons in hopes of maintaining their color outdoors. Let’s explore a few ways to keep them tanning through the summer.
Summer is a great time for a “Tan ‘til 2022 for $99” promo. Offer this on base-level beds – the sooner a tanner buys it, the better the deal is. Almost every large U.S. chain offers something similar, so you know it works.
The sun may be shining now, but how do tanners plan to keep their summer color? What about being ready for fall and winter holiday events? This is a great deal on unlimited tanning for a low, set price. They can always upgrade to higher-level sessions; but this is an ideal and affordable way to start converting seasonal tanners into year-round guests.
While we can’t convert all tanners into year-round members, these promos can help prolong the season!
The 90-day Upgrade – PlanWhatever you usually charge to upgrade a Level-1 package to a Level-2 for the month, cut that number in half. If it is usually a $20 upgrade, offer three months of tanning at the next level for a one-time fee of $29.99, or let tanners jump two levels for $49.99. I recommend this promo because again, you are extending the tanning season for these seasonal customers. When their upgraded package expires, it will be time to start tanning again for the holidays and they will want to extend it.
100% Lotion Rebate – This may sound crazy, but I’ve seen it work very well in many salons. Create a promo that gives guests their purchase amount back in “tanning dollars.” For example: buy a $50 lotion, get a $50 credit toward upgrades and sunless sessions (not for monthly EFT draft or other product purchases.) This promo succeeds because tanners are less likely to cancel a membership if they have free money “sitting” in their account. This is also a great incentive to get guests to purchase lotion during the “Slow Season.”
$5 Hold/Freeze Option – It still amazes me how many salons don’t offer this! If a guest is set on canceling for the summer (even after being offered the above incentives), offer a “Hold/Freeze” deal. Basically, instead of canceling, they hold their membership for a monthly $5 draft. I recommend allowing them to hold for up to three months, and if they want to extend after that, then they need to come to the store (not call) to do so. Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘why would a tanner want to pay $5 a month instead of canceling?’ A couple of reasons, actually. When they “unfreeze,” they don’t pay a re-enrollment fee. The second incentive to hold/freeze instead of cancel is when they reactivate, the $5 monthly fee becomes credit on their account. So, they hold their account for three months, then come back to resume tanning and find that the $15 they were charged became a credit to use toward upgrades or products. It’s a win-win, because customers don’t want to leave money sitting unspent.
As we enter a “hopefully not-so-slow season,” it’s crucial to maintain our EFT drafts – the bread and butter of our business. While we can’t convert all tanners into year-round members, the above-discussed promos can help prolong the season by maintaining customers who may have opted not to keep their memberships through the summer.
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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