Salons and spas often suffer from unpredictable client scheduling and little guarantee of stable, reliable income every month. Massage clinics have adapted the membership model to make massage membership a multi-billion dollar industry in just a few years. You can jump on the bandwagon and increase your revenue by starting your membership program today by using Transcend Online!

Membership Programs vs. Loyalty Programs

Although you need both, don’t confuse membership programs with loyalty programs!With a loyalty program, clients receive rewards like discounts and freebies for frequenting your business. (think “rewards points” or “buy 9 services and get the 10th free” type promotions.) Although a loyalty program is a great way to reward your clients, it does not provide any assurances they’ll return. Conversely, membership programs automatically charge clients on a regular basis (monthly or yearly) for their desired services. Think of membership programs as a monthly beauty or wellness expense that your client budgets for each month.

image001Membership Programs Benefit Everyone

For the client, these programs offer a discounted price on their favorite services and encourages them to stay on top of their needed treatments that you have prescribed for them. It also helps develop a stable, longstanding relationship with your business that they can rely on.

For your salon or spa, you will have stable month-to-month income from your members (typically six months or one year). You can also sleep at night knowing you have clients you can depend on, instead of just hoping clients will walk through the door or make another appointment!


Creating A Membership Program That’s Personalized For Your Salon or Spa

A personalized membership program ensures that your salon or spa stays on brand so your current client’s don’t feel alienated by a perceived change in your business model. Here are 4 steps to create your personalized program: 

1.     Consult Your Clients.  When deciding on what type of membership program would entice your clientele, take a look at the behavior of your clients (like service and purchase history) and create a program around that information. You might even consider asking your clients what they think about your proposed programs and jotting down their opinions. Specifically, you should focus on your customers when considering the following:

  • Checklist of completed tasks, with green felt penLength of Membership – 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. (But they may consider a bi-monthly membership.) Also, a one year commitment may be too lengthy if you don’t have long-term retention rates, so consider what would be most appealing to your current and prospective clients.
  • Services – Do your clients always schedule the same services or do they trust you with all their beauty or wellness needs? A simple monthly facial package may satisfy your clients but if they appreciate variety, consider offering a range of included services, either included or a list that they can pick from. Start with the most popular services you already provide and then branch out from there depending on the feedback from your clients.
  • Restrictions – Keep the days and/or times you are usually fully booked available for clients that are paying full price. (Allow the discounted program members to fill up your appointment book during the quieter hours.) Also, consider capping the total amount of memberships you’ll sell so the clients that pay full prices for their services aren’t squeezed out.



2.     Set Your Prices.  When considering the price of your membership, research similar programs in your area and see if you can discount the total cost of the service(s) by 10 to 20 percent so the value of your membership is easily determined. Depending on your brand, you may not want to be known as having the most expensive membership in town. However, if you try to gain an advantage by offering the least expensive membership, you might not be able to make a profit so avoid including any services with a low profit margin. Ensure that you know the exact cost of each service you offer in your program, from included product to wages and everything in between! 

3.     Establish Terms and Payment.  Most membership programs offer the option of a six-month or yearly membership term that have clients pay a monthly charge. When the term ends, you may wish to have the membership automatically renew but make it clear that they have to notify you should they wish to cancel.

Also, try discourage the accumulation of month-to-month services to be used at later times (aka “rollover” services). You can either prohibit rollover or cap the amount of services that a member can accumulate. This will ensure that you don’t have several unredeemed services out there long after you have received payment. (Of course, you can use your discretion in special cases to allow for flexibility in your rollover policy.) As for payment type, credit and debit cards are simple and easy to automatically charge regularly. Cash and checks are typically more suitable for individual services.

Whatever payment options and membership cycles you choose, make sure to have the important terms in your contract. Make the terms easily readable when your client signs up to avoid any confusion!

image003Remember To Market Your Membership Programs!

Once you have established your membership program(s), notify your existing clients via email so they can be the first to take sign up. Don’t forget to include information on the benefits a membership can provide and include a website link with more information.

After you notify your existing clients, you need to reach out to your community through your social media channels. Make sure to have pinned posts, ad buys and shareable content targeted at your intended demographic and review your analytics. (If you need help managing your social media, we recommend Social Beautify.) You should also create brochures and flyers that you can place at the front desk and around your community.

Matthew Wiggins

Matthew Wiggins

VP of Sales at ProSolutions Software

With over 20 years experience in the beauty industry, Matt teaches classes to salon and spa owners on business topics including branding, management, marketing and advertising.