6 Steps for Launching a Membership Program
Now that you know a membership program is beneficial to your business, how do you get it off the ground?
1. Know your clients.
As with any other initiative, your decisions should be focused on your customers. Take a look at the service/purchase history of your top clients and understand their tendencies. Don’t hesitate to bounce ideas off of a few of them.
The following membership details should revolve around your clients’ behaviors:
Term/Cycle – How often do clients typically return? If clients typically get a haircut every 6 weeks, they probably would not be interested in a monthly membership.
Benefits – What are the most popular services? Do they always use the same services/products or do they like to switch it up? If they appreciate variety, then consider setting membership benefits as a credit to their account or offer a range of included services that they can pick from. Are there opportunities to increase visits or to add on minor services while they are at the salon or spa (e.g. free bang trims in between cuts, scalp massage)?
Bonuses – Are there any particular experiences they want? For example, if they appreciate spending time with a close friend, it may be a good opportunity to offer a discount to their friend when they come in together.
Restrictions – When are you typically fully booked? You may want to keep these days/times for the clients paying full price and encourage members to book during the quieter hours.
2. Create packages.
Based on the abovementioned factors, develop a few membership packages. A common marketing tactic is to offer a range of products, or in this case, memberships. While price conscious customers will likely opt for the cheaper package, the majority of people tend to select the middle. Your top clients may go for the most exclusive offering.
3. Check Your Prices
Ensure that you will still make a profit after any discounts or free services/products. In order to do this, ensure you know the costs of running your business (remember wages, taxes, and any overhead such as property leases or utility bills). Do not include any services or products with a low profit margin.
4. Set a maximum membership capacity.
Only allow enough memberships to fill your appointment book. Again, you do not want to alienate other loyal clients who are willing to pay full price for services by prioritizing discounted services for members. Plus, scarcity increases demand.
- Post signs around the waiting area and place small stickers on mirrors.
- Encourage your stylists and receptionists to tell clients about the membership program.
- Send an email or text message to clients.
- Post about it on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
- Run a contest. Have clients sign up for a membership plan for a chance to win their membership fee back.
6. Inform Members
Keep them up to date with any special offers. Ensure they know what is and is not part of their membership plan. Give them a hard copy, or potentially even have them sign a “contract” so they can’t claim they were unaware of restrictions. You may also want to include a clause to give you the right to cancel/change the membership program (with notice) if it is not working out the way it was meant to (clients can sometimes find a loophole in the program so you will want to ensure that it cannot hurt your business). You may want to consult a lawyer.