Word of mouth and referrals are powerful marketing tools in the hair salon business. A well-designed referral program can attract a new client who's unhappy with her current salon or a customer who needs styling for a special occasion. Track how many referral cards you give out and how many new clients the cards bring in to measure the efficacy of the program.
Find the Right Tools for the Job
Choose a software program to create your salon referral cards. Microsoft Office offers several business card templates that you can use to print your own referral cards. If you prefer, customize a design on a site like Zazzle or VistaPrint and pay to have the cards shipped to you.
A standard business card size is 3.5 inches by 2 inches. You can stand out as a creative stylist by using an odd-sized referral card -- like a 2.25 inch by 2.25 inch square card -- but few templates are available for non-standard size cards, and the cards may cost more to print.
Design the Card to Reflect Your Salon
Your referral card is a reflection of your business, so make the front of the card stylish and professional looking. Consider a solid-colored background for a minimalist look, or use one of the stock photos designed for beauty salons available on the Internet.
Include a phrase or sentence to indicate that the card is a referral card. A basic phrase like "Refer a friend" does the trick but don't be afraid to be creative. Fun possibilities include:
- The greatest form of flattery is a referral.
- We know it's not easy sharing your beauty secrets ...
- Spread the word and we'll reward you.
Motivate the Client to Endorse You
Create an Incentive
On the back of the referral card, offer an incentive or reward for your client to refer you to a friend. You could write, "Refer a friend and you'll both receive 10 percent off a full-priced service." Other incentives include a free service after a certain number of referrals, a free product or an add-on service. BehindtheChair.com suggests that you offer both individuals a "free gift" and let them choose from available incentives when they arrive.
If the reward isn't valuable, clients won't bother referring friends. Salon Plaza suggests offering a free service for every three referrals.
Add Identifying Information
Put basic identifying information to the back of the card:
- Salon name, address, phone number and website address.
- A blank space for the name of the referring client.
- A blank space for the name of the referred individual.
If other stylists work at the salon with you, write your name on the referral card so the individual is referred to you rather a random stylist at the salon.