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25 Nail salon marketing ideas to grow your clientele

These proven nail salon marketing ideas can refresh your strategy and help your business maximize revenue.
By Emily Holzer | December 10, 2023
25 Nail salon marketing ideas to grow your clientele

High-quality nail services will keep clients coming back time and time again; however, strategic marketing efforts are still vital for getting new clients in your chair. Let’s explore 25 marketing ideas designed to help nail salon businesses grow.

Build your brand with social media marketing

Social media is undeniably powerful in the nail industry, but it can also feel overwhelming and oversaturated with content — especially if you are feeling unsure about whether or not your efforts will pay off. While it can take some time, patience, and consistency, low return from social media marketing often means you are due for a new strategy. Here are some marketing ideas for uncovering opportunities on social platforms:

1. Create and share your online portfolio

Your nail salon’s portfolio is a vital marketing tool for showcasing your talents and skills to potential clients. Think of your social media profiles as digital portfolios.

Like a standard portfolio, it is essential you keep it updated with your best work. The easiest and most effective way is to share the work you are already doing. You can request permission to share client photos during the booking process. This marketing effort works to provide a few benefits for your business:

  • Simplifies social media content creation.

  • Encourages clients to repost/share — enhancing your brand awareness.

  • Makes your clients feel supported and connected to your business, encouraging rebooking and client loyalty.

2. Discount “artist’s choice” services

Nail art offers a unique canvas for boundless creativity and talent. While you may be eager to share client photos on your social channels, standard appointments may not capture your full potential. If you want to earn more clients and high-value bookings for custom nail art, consider offering a discount to clients who will let you choose their designs to showcase your skills.

This marketing effort can pay off by boosting your online portfolio, attracting new clients, and encouraging high-ticket appointments.

3. Promote social media contests and giveaways

Social media giveaways are becoming increasingly common, as they offer a simple way to improve your nail salon’s online presence. During these marketing campaigns, your nail salon gives followers the opportunity to win a prize — often a free manicure, pedicure, or gift card. In return, your followers will help spread your brand’s reach and generate new leads. Some examples to get you going:

  • Comment and tag to win: Have clients comment on your nail salon’s post and tag their friends for a chance to win — providing new leads and spreading brand awareness.

  • Submit a photo or video: Have clients submit photo or video content highlighting your nail salon. This contest can boost your following while providing a seemingly unlimited supply of reposts for your social channels.

  • Sweepstakes giveaways: Unlike contests, sweepstakes simply involve an individual sharing their contact information for a nail salon giveaway raffle. In addition to creating excitement within your community, this practice can generate leads for nail salon email marketing campaigns.

4. Consider influencer or affiliate social media marketing

Local influencers may be able to help spread the word about your nail salon. Influencer marketing can be impressively effective, with this style of marketing expected to value $7.14 billion in 2024, thanks to its potential for a high ROI. There are a few tips for getting started with influencer marketing:

  • Start local: As a local business, this marketing option is only effective with influencers who have a following in your area. While big-name influencers can be quite pricey, local “micro-influencers” with several thousand followers will likely be more accessible.

  • Check your client list: Consider reviewing your client list for any noteworthy names. These micro-influencers can be more eager to work with your salon, being that they already enjoy your services.

  • Ask your staff: If you don’t find any names on your existing client list, members of your staff may be attuned to the local influencer scene and have recommendations on potential partnerships.

  • A quick search: In many cases, the easiest way to find influencers in your area is with a quick online search. With the rise of affiliate marketing, there are plenty of resources in place to help connect businesses with local influencers.

After you find the right local micro-influencers, reach out and offer an incentive to promote your business.

5. Don’t be afraid to test new social platform features

The social media landscape is constantly changing, and many users are understandably hesitant to go with the flow. Each feature release can feel more like a homework assignment — something new you have to spend time learning and mastering. So, many users avoid these features until they become more popular and familiar.

However, nail salons and other small businesses can actually leverage the discomfort that comes with new social media feature releases. Social platforms want users to become familiar with new tools, so they often showcase accounts that give them a try. For example, accounts that jumped on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts before they became mainstream were rewarded with additional traction.

Boost visibility with directory listing marketing

When clients Google local nail salons or look for options in the navigation system, how do you ensure your business comes up? While some of this magic can happen behind the scenes, your nail salon can boost its chances of success with directory listing marketing:

6. Optimize your Google Business Profile

Perhaps the most impactful and practical approach to unpaid marketing is optimizing your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business, or GMB). There are a few simple ways to do this:

  • Maximize your business descriptions — using every possible character within the 750 limit — to share details about your business. Google only shows the first 250 characters above the “read more” tag, so put your most captivating information first. However, the rest of this description is still incredibly impactful on your nail salon’s search rankings.

  • Update your service list in GMB to reflect your current nail salon services menu. While Google doesn’t display these in your profile currently, it still uses them to connect your business with potential clients. For nail salons (and other local service businesses), Google has a pre-set list of services you can choose from. Make sure you are taking advantage of every relevant opportunity on the list, and de-select any services you no longer offer. You can find Google’s guide to the services editor here.

  • Finally, you should keep your central business information up-to-date. Otherwise, you will likely miss or frustrate potential clients with a broken website link or inaccurate hours of operation. Read Google’s guide to communicating holiday hours and special closures here.

While Google Business Profile is perhaps the most popular directory listing, there are others you can optimize to ensure your business is well-represented across devices and platforms.

7. Leverage Yelp reviews for nail salons

Yelp is an online review platform that connects individuals with nail salons and other local businesses. With 2.7+ million individuals checking into Yelp daily, it is a helpful directory listing for you to optimize.

Nail salons can verify their free Yelp listing to get started. Once verified, you can keep central details (like your address, phone number, and service menu) updated. If you would like to take it one step further, nail salons can buy ads that will put the listing on top of relevant searches.

8. Keep Apple Business Connect updated

How do you get your nail salon to show up properly on Apple Maps? Apple Business Connect is the key. This platform keeps information current on Apple Maps and Siri voice searches. As the default navigation system for the 150 million US iPhone users, it is essential your nail salon’s business information stays up-to-date on the platform. Take a moment to claim your business on Apple Business Connect and update any outdated information.

9. Claim and optimize your Bing Places listing

Bing Places is Microsoft’s version of Google Business Profile. Thanks to Microsoft’s exclusive partnership with the popular ChatGPT AI tool, the company’s search engine has been on the rise — now with more than 100 million daily active users. So, when a potential client asks Bing Chat about local nail salons, will it respond with information about your business? The easiest way to help boost your nail salon is by claiming and updating your free Bing Places profile.

10. Explore the Nextdoor app for nail salons

While it often falls beneath the marketing radar, one in every three US households uses the Nextdoor app. Nextdoor is a hyperlocal networking platform — connecting people to other individuals and businesses in their neighborhood. You can claim a free business page on the Nextdoor app to share information about your nail salon, join conversations, and keep your business connected with the community.

11. Encourage reviews across platforms

While you would like to let your services speak for themselves, reviews from previous clients are proven to heavily influence potential customers. According to BrightLocal data, 85% of consumers look for a high average star rating when booking a local service, and 60% value high review volume.

So, how do you get more positive reviews for your nail salon? You can send a streamlined message when each sale is closed to encourage clients to leave a review. To make things even easier for clients, add a custom review link that sends clients directly to your business page.

Connect with clients using email marketing for nail salons

Email marketing is a helpful way to boost nail salon revenue and encourage clients to book. Here are a few ideas to help you keep your outreach fresh:

12. Leverage seasonal email marketing opportunities

Seasons, holidays, and special occasions offer an easy and captivating way to connect with clients via email. It is also the perfect opportunity to offer your nail salon’s solutions to seasonal problems.

For example, clients are more likely to need hydrating treatments and cuticle care during the dry winter season. Additionally, this is the perfect time for gift card discounts to help  boost holiday sales.

There are equally unique seasonal opportunities around every corner of the year, so consider sending out an email campaign that highlights how your business can help clients look and feel their best. If you are ready for some inspiration, read our list of 26 seasonal email marketing ideas.

13. Provide segmented promotions, deals, and discounts

It is no secret that clients love nail salon discounts. You can quickly rejuvenate your salon’s activity with a promotion, deal, or discount. However, many salons make the mistake of sending out offers in email “blasts” to everyone on their client list. This strategy can actually hurt you more than it helps.

After too many unopened emails from your business, mail platforms will filter your campaign into a promotions folder — or straight to spam. Additionally, most platforms charge per email. By sending a campaign only to the audience most relevant to your offer, you will save money on email marketing expenses.

The easiest way to get the word out about your sale is with a personalized email marketing campaign to a limited audience. For example, if you are sending out an email deal for gel nail art manicures, you can filter your client list for those who have previously had this service. Then, use this marketing opportunity to highlight your limited-time deal, provide clients with promotion details, and link directly to your online booking tool.

14. Communicate nail salon business updates

Do you have any new services, specialists, or nail salon amenities? These business updates are all candidates for an email marketing campaign. This practice can put your salon at the top of clients’ minds, creating excitement about new services and encouraging them to book an appointment. These updates can also improve customer experience by providing valuable info that sets client expectations about changes within your nail salon.

15. Consider direct marketing outreach

Clients get inundated with emails daily. The more emails your business sends to a client (especially when irrelevant to their nail interests), the more likely they will tune you out or unsubscribe. Rather than sending out a large email campaign, consider direct email marketing options. This process involves sending a personalized (and often far more effective) email to an individual nail salon client on your list.

For example, can you think of any previously consistent acrylic nail clients you haven’t seen in months? Direct email marketing may help get them back into their old nail salon routine. You can use a client retention report to help find direct marketing opportunities.

Boost recurring revenue with nail salon membership marketing

Membership programs offer a seamless marketing option that will have your services sell themselves month after month. This option provides reliable, recurring profits for your business alongside must-have deals for clients — it’s a win-win opportunity.

16. Create and maintain nail salon memberships

You can create membership programs for almost any nail service. Simply determine a fixed price for a service option that customers will be billed for automatically each month. In exchange, clients get additional incentives or discounted pricing from traditional service costs. For example, nail salon memberships may include:

  • Unlimited gel manicures ($150)

  • Two gel manicures per month ($80)

  • Monthly mani/pedi membership with unlimited touch-ups ($110)

  • One free monthly add-on for members

  • A first-month discount to encourage new signups

  • Discounts for any additional services members book

  • Priority scheduling for appointment openings by selecting members first on the Intelligent Waitlist

You get the idea. There are countless different ways to tailor nail salon membership options to your business. Collectively, membership programs offer a proven way to support existing clients, keep them coming back, and boost their lifetime value. For more information, you can view our webinar on adding, customizing, and managing nail salon memberships.

Give your nail salon’s website a facelift

Your website is an online lifeline between your business and its clients. Even the smallest website improvements can have a significant impact on your unpaid marketing performance:

17. Implement fast, seamless online booking

Successful digital marketing requires a positive online user experience. For example, let’s say your marketing efforts successfully bring clients to book an appointment on your website. However, they find that your site takes seemingly forever to load. Then, your online scheduling tool is glitchy or unresponsive. It won’t be long before the potential client becomes frustrated and turns to another business instead.

Conversely, an efficient online booking process will help interested clients transition from skimming your online service menu to sending you a deposit within minutes.

18. Highlight your nail salon’s value proposition

Why should clients choose your nail salon over others in the area? What makes your business stand out? Whether it is your stylish nail art, your exceptional customer service, or the array of upgrades you offer — ensure this value proposition is front and center on your website.

Your site is also the main target of most cause marketing efforts (AKA when you connect with clients by aligning with their values). Whether you support local nonprofits or promote equality, inclusivity, accessibility, or sustainability in your salon — these connections can help you share your cause and earn new clients.

For example, consider highlighting any eco-friendly products you use and the waste-limiting practices in your nail salon. This green marketing can help attract new clients to your business.

19. Allow clients to personalize services to increase appointment value

In many cases, clients know exactly what they want from their nail service. Personalized service bookings can help clients communicate these preferences while maximizing your salon’s revenue from every appointment. You can personalize your services by presenting additional options and add-ons at every step of your booking flow. Let’s explore the benefits of personalized nail salon bookings:

  • Additional information for nail techs: When you know just what your client wants before an appointment, you can use any downtime to prep the materials and ensure you are ready to go once your client arrives.

  • Balancing your schedule: An intelligent booking platform (like Mangomint) will adjust your appointment duration to accommodate any upgrades — ensuring a balanced schedule for your business.

  • Including additional revenue opportunities: When you provide additional service options (from hand massages to cuticle treatments), you encourage customers to book longer service sessions with higher ticket values.

  • Improved customer experience: When your client’s nails turn out exactly as they had envisioned, they leave happy and feeling their best. This feeling is the kind of customer experience that will have your clients coming back for more.

For help getting started, you can offer advanced add-ons in your online booking flow with Service Customizations. This feature lets you create upgrades that seamlessly integrate within your service menu and ensure your schedule and price reflect the appointment’s needs.

Earn new clients naturally with word-of-mouth marketing

Referral marketing is a powerful tool for nail salon businesses. It rewards your most loyal clients while helping your nail salon stay fully booked. Let’s explore some word-of-mouth nail salon marketing ideas:

20. Host “Bring a Friend” events

If you provide high-quality nail services, clients will be excited to share the experience with friends and family members. However, you can help speed up these referrals with a special promotion. “Bring a Friend” events, for example, can be successful for word-of-mouth marketing, especially in social businesses like nail salons.

These events encourage your clients to schedule a service while doubling the potential revenue of their booking and providing you with new clients. In return, your existing client and their friend each get a small discount, such as 10% off their nail salon services.

21. Flex your creativity with unique promos

Anything that can get clients talking about your nail salon can promote word-of-mouth marketing. For example, you can hold nail polish mixing events and reward the best new creations. Or, consider highlighting the most creative nail art requests each month. These kinds of promotions can engage clients, flex your creativity, and showcase the spirit of your brand.

22. Launch a referral program

The simplest way to mobilize word-of-mouth marketing is with a referral program. Potential customers are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family members — especially when it comes to beauty services. In fact, 93% of customers consider referrals more trustworthy than traditional advertisements. Best of all, these programs offer benefits for everyone involved:

  • Referrers: Your most devoted clients will be rewarded each time they help someone new find your nail salon — with gift cards, discounts, or whatever reward structure your business creates.

  • Referred clients: These recommendations alleviate the need for new clients to extensively research local businesses. You could also sweeten the deal by adding a discount to your referral program that rewards new clients for sharing their referral source and giving your nail salon a try.

  • Your business: This strategy can improve your existing client loyalty and satisfaction while effortlessly growing your clientele. Additionally, referred clients are most likely to be a perfect fit for your business (and perhaps become repeat customers), as they were recommended by someone who knows both your nail salon and the new client well.

You can read more about managing your referral program in Mangomint here.

Boost nail salon service promotions and gift card discounts

Your nail salon services are at the heart of your business. By enticing audiences with promotions, you can make the most of every marketing opportunity:

23. Create nail salon package deals

Selling packages can help you secure an upfront payment for a high volume of appointments. These packages could be for a wide variety of use cases:

  • Individual packages like “Get your next 5 manicures for the price of 4” and similar offers can reward clients for sticking with your business. This practice also provides your salon with a steady income in an often unpredictable industry.

  • Group packages can fill up your entire nail salon in a single booking, such as birthday, bachelorette, or wedding party nail appointments. Before offering group packages, remember that these bookings may require unique accommodations. For example, it is often easier to reserve time outside of your standard business hours to ensure all your stations are available at once.

  • Service bundles, like “Save 10% when you get a manicure, pedicure, and add-on treatment,” can help increase your average ticket value and boost the revenue from your appointments.

24. Attract new clients with limited-time add-on deals

Discounting your core nail salon services can get new customers in the door, but these deals can bring some trouble later. Most prominently, core service discounts devalue your work, attracting customers who may simply be sold by the low prices rather than your high-quality services. As such, these clients will be unlikely to return without a promotion, failing to provide any real revenue for your business.

Instead, keep your core pricing the same but increase the value of the appointment with limited-time add-on deals. This will attract clients who align with your service prices. Then, it will ensure they have an exceptional customer experience with an elevated service value, making them more likely to return in the future.

25. Consider nail salon gift card discounts

Nail salon gift card discounts offer an easy promotion to boost revenue on any occasion. These discounts also work to bring new clients into your business. For example, when a gift card is on sale, clients are more likely to buy one for friends and family members. These gifts will connect your business to new (and potentially recurring) clients in your area. You can find more captivating gift card promotion ideas for your nail salon here.

Mangomint software for nail salons

As your marketing efforts help grow your nail salon clientele and profits, you will need the right management tools on your side. Mangomint is here to help. Our nail salon management software is built to streamline, improve, and ease your daily operations using advanced features built with you in mind. If you are thinking about switching software, consider starting a free trial or booking a live product demo with Mangomint today.

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