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A Cheat-sheet for Salon and Spa Owners: What are good ways to find new customers effectively?

Proven and working salon marketing ideas and tactics to acquire more new customers for your beauty business

Lilit Nersisyan

Nov 10, 2019 · 11 min read

acquire new salon clients

A Cheat-sheet for Salon and Spa Owners: Where are Your Most Valued Clients?

Me: Hey 👋, do you know where do you get clients from?

**Salon owner: **Who cares?! Isn’t it already good that I have clients?

**Me: **🤦‍♀️

Well, let’s see why it is essential to know where your salon clients learnt about your business, which are the possible channels of salon client acquisition and what you should do to use those channels more efficiently.

💡 **Client Acquisition Channel **is “the place” from where you get clients. Examples are Facebook, Instagram, other Social Media platforms, Google search, business directories, billboards, referrals…

Everything starts with knowing who your clients are. Understanding the clients is the key to establish a strong relationship, build loyalty and ensure client retention. And the understanding where they are coming from is essential for improving your marketing strategy and optimizing budget spends.

There are a lot of options for acquiring salon clients, while the marketing budget is limited, so finding the best performing channel is vital for the business.
Let’s say you budgeted $500 monthly on your salon marketing and have the following options
1. FB Ads
2. Instagram Ads
3. Print flyers and distribute them
4. Pay for Google Ads
5. Ads in some local magazine
6. Place billboard on the street
7. Give incentives for referrals

As you can see there are plenty of options.

There are several approaches: the good, the bad and the ugly.

**The Ugly 🤯: **What is the worst thing to do with your budget? Do everything at the same time. Why? Simply because the return on the investment (or ROI) on each of these channels will obviously be different.

After all, you plan to spend $500 to get more business.

**The Bad 🥵: **The second approach is to invest in channels that you kinda FEEL are the right ones. The truth is that no successful marketing campaign has been done that way, ever!

So what is the right answer 🤔? Find the best channel with the maximum return and invest in that! Easy said than done. Well, how to know which channels are the best ones? Let’s dive into the salon Client Acquisition Channels together and figure it out. Let’s start with listing the main acquisition channels.


There is a high probability that your potential customers spend most of their free time on Facebook.

They browse, read, share, comment and make engagements online. If you have a business page on Facebook, the clients can directly ask you questions, see your stylists’ best works and book appointments.

Facebook Ads🎯

Nowadays word-of-mouth and providing excellent service are not enough for getting more salon clients and retaining the existing ones. Paid advertising is the channel that will provide a flow of clients for your salon.

Thousands of salon owners prefer Facebook ads as an advertising channel.

If created strategically, with the right target audience, timing and catchy media assets, Facebook advertising can deliver amazing results.


Instagram is a powerful tool for salons to use and engage their clients.
It is also considered the best social media platform for the beauty industry.

Instagram, with its more than 500 million daily active users, might be the best performing client acquisition channel for salons and spa.

Instagram Ads 🎯

The favourite platform for beauty industry businesses also offers a platform for paid ads. There are very few salon owners who have never tried to boost a post on Instagram. In addition to post boosts, the story ads have come to make the platform more engaging and attractive.

Google 🔍

All brick-and-mortar local businesses (salons in our case) should be available to those clients who are typing “a good hair salon near me” on their smartphones.

Millions of people search for salons and spa every day. Google search is an excellent channel for getting clients. If your salon appears on the first pages of Google search, you're most likely to have clients from it.

Google Ads 🎯

Google is another powerful ad platform for the salons who want to offer their services directly to people who search for a “beauty salon near me” “experienced hair salon”, “best nail salon” or, let’s say, “a medical spa”.
Google also shows ads to people who watch Youtube videos, read emails in Gmail or browse other websites.

Referrals 👍

Referrals are essential for any business, but for beauty salons, they bring awesome results and can skyrocket your salon business.
Salon clients who have been referred by a friend are more inclined to become a loyal client.

Besides, referrals are the most cost-effective channel of salon client acquisition because they are free. If you provide quality services, use quality products and have exceptional customer support, word-of-mouth marketing and referrals will provide a decent flow of clients for your salon.

Flyers and Brochures 🖨️

Some salon owners include printing flyers and brochures in their marketing plan.

Fliers are usually handed out during the events or are put in the fliers stand or brochure holder in the salon. Generally, they contain contact information, so that people could easily book a visit.

Billboards 🖼

Some salon owners decide to invest in billboards, which are usually costly, especially digital ones.

Billboards can be eye-catching and can attract clients who walk or drive by. They are usually put in public and touristy areas to maximize impact.

Yelp 📍

Yelp is perhaps the most popular business directory for salons and spa.

Yelp app has 21 million unique visitors and 69 million via mobile web per month.

Salon owners register their business in Yelp, where clients can get their address and phone number and review the services they’ve got.

Yelp Ads 🎯

Yelp ads are another efficient channel for digital ads. As a rule, people turn to Yelp when they are looking for something they need urgently, and Yelp Ads bring the business directly to their attention.

Other Directories 📒

Registration in other local directories can be a good option to reach a very specific and target audience.

When your salon is listed in the local business directory, you have more chances to show up before your potential clients who are looking for a beauty salon like yours. Among the most popular business directories are Google Places, Yell, Yellowpages, BBB, Tripadvisor and Thumbtack.

TV and Radio 📺 📻

TV and Radio advertising is considered old-school traditional advertising and marketing tactics.

However, many salon owners prefer to make use of these channels to advertise their services. Compared to TV advertising, radio advertising is more cost-effective.

Magazines & Newspapers 📰

Though publishing about your salon in local magazines is often called outdated marketing tactics, many salons choose this way and expect clients to learn about them also from this channel.

Walk-by 🚶‍♀️

If your beauty salon or spa has a noticeable, compelling and inviting outside sign, it can help to attract clients to the salon.

For many salons out there this is one of the most essential client acquisition channels.

So, what’s next?

Let’s assume you are active on social media, run an advertisement campaign on Facebook, do email marketing, content marketing, have some posters with contacts in public places, and your clients recommend your salon services to their friends.

You invest some money, a lot of time, efforts and resources and you have clients. Is this where you should stop? Definitely not. It is vital for your salon to know which of these channels provide the best results, which one is the most efficient and stick to it.

Step 1: Collect 🧩

Well, start from a simple question:

Where did you learn about our business?

You can ask this critical question directly to your clients when they visit your salon and have some of the services. The trick here is to gather the information somewhere, not to forget and make use of the collected data afterwards.

Another option for collecting the information is to have printed surveys and ask the clients to fill them in.

But if you need that done automatically, this is were RetentionForce can help you.

Step 2: Measure 📊

This part may seem a little complicated, and it’s time-consuming yet essential for getting awesome results.
You, as a salon owner or a manager, have to analyze and measure all these gathered data.

First of all, count how many clients you got from each channel. The channel with** the highest number** obviously wins.

The next important metric to measure is **Customer Acquisition Cost (**short CAC) - i.e., how much you pay for each client from the channel. This is simply calculated by dividing the budget you spent on the channel by the number of clients.

**Example: **A Facebook ad cost you $200, it had let's say 150 engagements, 20 link clicks and at the end 4 clients who actually visited you (conversion).
The CAC = $200/4 = $50

Going further you may want to measure the average **Lifetime Value **(or LTV) for each channel. This will show you which channels bring you the most valuable clients. This article by HubSpot would help you with the calculation. Now, if you want this done for you automatically this is where RetentionForce can help again.

Let’s say, you found out that the roll-up banner placed in the beauty school did not bring you clients or brought very few.
But you pay a monthly fee for the placement, not to talk about printing expenses. Or maybe the overwhelming majority of the clients come from referrals.

This is a piece of mega-valuable information for you, so take it with you, and let’s pass to the final and the most effective step, optimization.

Step 3: Optimize 📈

Remember: your time is too valuable for spending it on channels that eat up your resources and have low efficiency. Start getting rid of them.
Define which are the best performing channels for your salon and focus on them.

If let’s say, you found out that your best performing channel is the paid ads, double the budget and welcome more clients. If your clients are mainly your Instagram followers, start thinking about more creative and effective ways to engage them in that particular platform.

Step 4: Repeat 🔁

When you have collected, measured and optimized the channels, redistributed the marketing budget, you shouldn’t stop here.

This should be an uninterrupted circle, a circle that will ensure a constant flow of clients with minimum efforts.
When you choose one of the channels and start investing, it may be saturated in a course of time. In that case, you should start researching for the next well-performing channel and get clients again with minimum expenses and maximum efficiency.

A Bonus Step 🎁

When you already have some clientele, you should invest most of your efforts in **retaining them! **Retaining existing clients is much more efficient than acquiring new ones. In other words, retaining means maximizing their **Lifetime Value. **In the next article, we will share practical insights on how to effectively retain salon and spa clients, so stay tuned!

There are plenty of options and channels which can be used to attract clients to your salon. And using them all simultaneously is not a good idea. Start from asking questions then collect and measure the data, optimize your marketing budget and repeat the process periodically.

Feel free to reach out if you need any help with the process ❤️


Written by

Lilit Nersisyan

Digital Marketing Specialist, Strategist, Content Writer at RetentionForce.