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Rake In Gift-Card Sales: 3 Must-Have Tools

Most people who buy salon gift cards tend to do so during two major times of the year: Mother’s Day and the winter holiday season. But not all salons know how to fully leverage these annual gift-giving occasions. Or maybe they do, but don’t have the right structure in place to reach or support interested buyers.

IM helps salons around the world sell more gift cards. So when our clients have major success with affordable, easy-to-implement digital gift-card campaigns—we notice, we pop the champagne (!) and then we dig into what they all have in common so we can replicate the secret sauce.

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Here’s what we found out! To crush digital gift-card sales, salons need to: 


If people aren’t used to interacting with your brand online, they probably won’t see a promotion you advertise online, either. A strong digital foundation gives your campaign its best chance of being seen by interested people who can buy from you right then and there. 

This foundation has three parts: 

Adaptive website with a click-to-buy shopping feature. 

If your promotion grabbed their attention online—but they have to call or come in to buy—they’ll probably move on. When people on any device can immediately click onto a purchase page, you sell to more impulse buyers, convenience shoppers, introverts, and people with short attention spans. (Noooo judgment on those last two.) 

Active presence & local following on social media.

That means posting on Instagram 5+ times/ week and to Facebook 2-3 times/ week. It means engaging with local accounts to grow followers and page likes among your target audience. (That is, people in your area who show interest in your content.) If you’re doing that, your gift card campaign WILL be seen when you post and boost it on social. 

A strong email database with up-to-date information.

Emails remain a great tool for promoting to existing clients (yes, really!). But they can’t work if you don’t have client email addresses, or if you’re sending emails to long-dead accounts. Make sure your team is regularly adding to and updating your client contact information. 


This suburban Chicago salon raked in gift-card sales at the end of 2021—not once, but twice. Their foundational strength played a part: Spa Bleu has a high-functioning website with click-to-buy shopping; a years-long investment in social media management; and an efficient system to keep clients’ info current. 

Spa Bleu ran a limited-time gift-card presale in October, netting more than $58K. Most buyers redeemed the cards before December—then bought even more gift cards during the salon’s holiday promo, to the tune of $85K+. Spa Bleu’s grand total for the quarter: $143,560 sold in gift cards alone.

Shop Early Promo


You’re not Groupon, so nobody should expect a discount from you. FOMO buying is, indeed, a thing. When you offer special deals on rare occasion only, people jump at the chance to score. On the other hand, if you’re always offering deals or showing up on coupon sites, guests start to expect it and sales start to dip.


Devotees of this luxury spa in suburban Jackson, MS know that Aqua’s sumptuous services never go on sale. So, when Aqua strategically offers special deals 2-3 times per year, their audience responds in a big way—snapping up gift cards both for themselves and others.

Aqua’s Summer Promo ran for two months during August & September, generating great cash flow during a typically slow time of the year.


Gift Card Promotion


Not all salons, clients, and promotions are created equal. Plan a promotion that would most likely succeed with your clients in your salon.

How? Run your numbers. Pin down your average gift-card sale amount, then create a promotion that incentivizes people to spend a bit more than that. Push them just enough to drive up your sales, but not so much that they run the other way.


This San Antonio salon’s average gift card price was under $100. When they ran a special offer for 20% savings on $100 gift cards, it netted them about $20K in four days. Not only that, but the campaign had an all-important lingering effect: it got people used to buying (and receiving) higher-dollar gift cards from K. Charles.

K Charles Gift Cards

It’s not magic!

Any salon can profit nicely on digital gift-card sales at any time, with the right groundwork and strategy. Take an honest look at where your business stands with every specific point we listed above. Identifying weak areas and working to resolve them will help your business on many levels, not just gift-card sales. 

Need to get your salon positioned to profit on digital gift-card sales? We got you. Email hello@immarketinggroup.com or call (985) 792-0991.

Want ready-to-go Mother’s Day campaigns or strategy chats for a custom promo? We can do that, too. Email hello@immarketinggroup.com or call (985) 792-0991. For Mother’s Day and beyond, we’ll start wherever you are, make a sales goal and help you hit it.

People are definitely out there buying salon and spa gift cards. They should be buying them from YOU.


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