Making the most of word-of-mouth advertising: your own referral programme

By Jennifer - on May 03, 2019 comments

Salon referrals mondtotmond

It is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information for making a choice: word-of-mouth recommendations from people you know. We like to base our choice of restaurant, city trip or salon on other people's experiences; they are reliable. A positive review or referral by a friend is also probably worth more to you than even the most promising advertising by the business itself.

And that is how it is in the beauty branch as well - the best advertising comes from contented clients. A contented client is happy to talk to people they know about their good experience with your salon.

In this blog we explain how you can make the best use of this. The first few months of the year are a particularly good time to start this form of marketing. Because all those New Year resolutions mean booming business for health centres and sports clubs, but they are often less 'booming' for salons.

A boost for the quiet months

Of course, the basis of a good referral programme (clients who introduce new clients) is happy, satisfied clients. Word-of-mouth publicity is free, but achieving it calls for plenty of effort on the part of you and the team. Because you will only manage to achieve this by offering every client the best possible service, time and time again.

Once you have got this right you can set up your own referral programme. This makes it extra tempting for your clients to introduce people. The idea is simple.

referral programme tips for your salon

  • The first step: you think up a nice offer, for example a discount voucher.

  • The second step: a client recommends your salon to a girlfriend and can give her a discount voucher for a particular amount to be spent on services.

  • The third step: if the girlfriend uses the voucher in your salon your client who made the introduction receives a discount voucher for a particular product

A service or a product?

As you can see in the example, the new client receives a discount on a service and the existing client receives a discount on a product. Why do it that way round?

You want to offer new clients a service; because they are more likely to come back than if you sell them a product. You can always buy a product somewhere else, but the service you offer is unique.

Your existing client is already familiar with your services, of course, so you can offer them a nice discount on a product. It's possible that the client has never bought any products from your salon before, and this way you can attract their attention to the products that you sell.

How do you start your referral programme?

Naturally you should start by promoting your special offer or referral programme among your regular clients. You can tell them about it during an appointment. You could also promote your offer via an email. With the software from Salonized it is easy to send your clients an email or newsletter!

Is launching a referral programme worth all the effort it takes? Absolutely. Because research has shown: clients who come along based on a recommendation keep coming back longer as a client. In addition word-of-mouth advertising is cheaper than acquiring new clients via any other channels, and it is much more reliable for new clients because the recommendation comes from a friend.


Issuing newsletters is an easy, effective and personal way to keep in touch with your clients. Would you like to make a start? With our blog The perfect salon newsletter in 5 steps you can get started straight away!


Influencer marketing

The mass use of social media offers many opportunities in the area of referral marketing, because word-of-mouth advertising via social media has a much greater reach. Best of all is if you can get your satisfied client to talk about their experiences with your salon via social media, for example in the form of a review.

What do we mean by a greater reach? You only have to think about the rise of influencer marketing. In the case of influencer marketing, a person who has many followers on social media such as Instagram (the "influencer") influences their followers' (your target group's) opinions, emotions and behaviour. This might be via a photo, video or blog about a particular service or product. This way you can quickly reach your target group. Below you will see an example for the cosmetics brand Babor. Naturally this is mainly done by major companies, but the idea is the same if you can enlist the help of your satisfied client on behalf of your salon as an “influencer”!

influencer marketing example

Would you too like to get to work with salon software? Feel free to contact us to talk about the possibilities via the chat icon at the bottom of the page on the right. Or create a free trial account straight away, and discover all the possibilities of Salonized for yourself!

Jennifer Brunek

Jennifer Brunek

Growth Team

Jennifer literally skated into our offices – on her skateboard – as an intern, ready to grow her skills. She is now part of our Support and Growth Team and she has a wealth of experiences in online marketing to share with you.

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