This article was originally posted on SignPost by Pamela Jacobson.
In the highly competitive and crowded day spa industry, effective marketing can make or break your business. Typically, spa and salon business tends to fluctuate from one season to the next, and from year to year. An effective marketing plan can help you get through the thin times, and make the most of the good ones.
Before you start raising your prices in order to pay for an expensive marketing campaign, however, consider these simple but essential low cost ideas to help your customers find you, encourage them to visit, and keep them coming back.
Get Found With These 3 Day Spa Marketing Strategies
- Optimize the World Wide Web. Claim your Yelp page and add photos and information about your business. Ensure your business is listed in every Day Spa directory that shows up on a Google, Bing and Yahoo search, and don’t forget Google+, Bing Local and Yahoo Local, for starters. All of these listings are free advertising so take advantage of them. Encourage customers who visit your page to provide their email address in exchange for a 10% discount on services or some other bonus. Then you can send them a newsletter or notices of specials and promotions.
- Leverage the social media frenzy. Create a Facebook page for your business, and an account on Twitter. Add new posts several times a day, if possible, and encourage customers to like your Facebook page. Since your day spa website doesn’t change often, your Facebook page is where you can post daily specials and promotions, new products and services, new staff members, extended holiday hours and anything else that comes up. Make it informative by posting beauty tips and tricks, relaxation techniques and more. They can be techniques used by you and your staff or ideas you find online. If you post a link to the blog where you found them, that blogger will appreciate the promo.
- List your business on Foursquare, and utilize their Specials tool to generate promotions that will pop up on a user’s smartphone when they check in to a nearby location. This will bring in customers who happen to be nearby, and when they check in at your location, they can down load the discount, even if they just make an appointment for another day.
Get Customers with These 3 Day Spa Marketing Initiatives
- Optimize your web page. Your website is quite often the first thing people will see before they visit your spa. Does it look inviting? Include lots of pictures, but rather than purchasing generic clipart, get some professional (and flattering) photos taken on the actual premises. People like to see what a spa looks like before they visit. You can also place these photos on your Yelp site and your various local directories and listings. Create a comprehensive menu of your services, with a full description of each one.
- Offer a variety of combination packages, such as a facial and a manicure, or a head-to-toe facial, massage and mani-pedi. This will get customers to try services they might not otherwise purchase. Mother/daughter specials and girlfriend specials can bring in twice the business. A first time, new customer “try me” package is especially effective to introduce new customers to the full range of your services.
- Get referrals. A referral incentive program is a must. It keeps your customers happy and helps you build your business. Instead of just offering a discount, try offering a free service that your customers may not use that often. This way they’ll not only get a reward, but you can acquaint them with some of your other services. Don’t forget about business referrals, from dermatologists, hair salons and other professionals, especially those you do business with. If your salon provides a catered lunch, put some business cards and menus from the caterer or restaurant on your counter and ask to leave some of yours on theirs.
Get Repeat Business with These 3 Day Spa Marketing Methods
- Sell services in a package of five, or ten or more, at a corresponding discount. This keeps the customer coming back to get the treatments and you get the money up front. Or start a “frequent buyer” program, with incremental rewards each time a customer reaches another milestone. After a while, your customers will have so much invested in reaching their reward status that they’ll never go anywhere else. Consider giving a gift card as a reward, so that they can give it to a friend if they desire.
- Start a birthday club, and encourage your clients to provide their birth date along with their email address. Then you can send them a birthday greeting with a special discount or free service. You can also send them a thank you email after their first visit, and ask for their input as to how they liked your services. Ask what could be done better, and if they respond with criticism, offer them a discount to come back and try it again.
- Give every customer the royal treatment. There’s no substitution for excellent customer service. If a promotion should get out of hand and you find yourself inundated with new customers all coming in for a discounted service, do your best to manage the situation and don’t overbook. Customers who feel they’re being slighted because they have a coupon are quick to complain on Yelp. Remember, the whole point of offering the discount is to bring in new clients. Give each one the same outstanding service you give to those who are paying full price. If even a small percentage become regular clients, it will have been worth it!
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Do you have additional marketing methods that have proven successful for your business? Please feel free to contribute in the comments section below.