A few years ago we wrote this post on spa marketing tips to help such businesses create a comprehensive promotion strategy. We’ve heard from many businesses who have made the mistake of assuming any promotion requires a massive investment, but luckily this is seldom the reality. By planning ahead, you can overcome the lulls of seasonality and engage in some of these cost-effective efforts to help customers discover and choose your business over the crowded competition, and keep returning for years to come!

Since our original post, we continue to receive an overwhelming amount of interest and questions on the topic. This isn’t an easy challenge to master, so we decided to revisit it with updates to include the latest innovations, best practices and trends to make your efforts even more powerful.

Boost Customer Discovery with these 3 Day Spa Marketing Strategies

1. Optimize presence with your website, free online directories, and review sites.  Your website will often serve as a first introduction to your business. While prospects often discover your business through third-party sites and directories, your business site is the first destination they’ll arrive at where you can control the look and feel of the experience, as well as the messaging. So think about everything you want your site to reflect and determine business values or mission statement. Make sure it has all the necessary information about your services offered, pricing, gift cards or certificates, as well as operational info, including hours, address, phone number and best contact email. Consider ways you can set yourself apart, whether by including profiles for all the skincare specialists and masseuses so prospects will already feel familiar and comfortable with them. Determine how often you plan to include updates, and commit to that cadence. Outdated offers, pricing or news on the site can quickly turn prospects away, and can look unprofessional. Make sure to link to your social pages, any press coverage or community awards you can highlight, and products you’d like to promote. Incorporate as many photos as possible, so prospects can know what to expect, and even start daydreaming about the pampering they’re planning.

promoting spas 2017Next, be sure you list your business in all the relevant directories. It’s important to think of various subsets of such directories and ensure inclusion in both industry-specific lists, as well as regional lists as well. Some examples specific to both day spas and salons are: Spafinder, Spaindex, Allure, Spavelous; and some regional examples include NYMag spas, Appalachian Spa, etc. Try searching for “day spas in (your area here)” and see if any other directories come up. These are a great source of free advertising, and are a popular starting point for any potential future customer.

Finally, it’s essential that you claim your profile across various review sites. On your Yelp page include photos and information about your business that is accurate and up to date. With 88% of consumers reporting that they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family or friends, they’ve become an essential component of any buying decision, as well as a crucial starting point for due diligence. As with any luxury experience, what customers are really looking for is someone they can trust. More on that in the next section!

2. Be where your customers are.  Create a Facebook page for your business, and consider joining other popular networks including Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter.  However, it is important to remember that it is not mandatory to have a presence on each of these networks. It is far better and more valuable to be active and nurturing your communities on one or two of these, rather than infrequent posts or interactions on all. Before you create profiles, create a strategy for each, as well as a regular cadence for posting. Visual platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat) are a great fit for day spas and salons that wish to inspire envy with their luxuriously pampering offerings, as well as salons who want to show off the latest, styles and trends.

Add new posts several times a week, if possible, and encourage customers to like or follow your social pages.  you make less updates to your day spa site, your Facebook or Instagram page is where you can post daily specials or seasonal promotions, new staff members, spotlight products and services, or relay extended holiday hours and anything else that comes up!  You can also use your social pages to distribute any content, resources or how-to’s you’re creating and extend their reach. Get involved in community groups on Facebook, and be sure to highlight any events.

3. Optimize for local intent. If you’re involved in any SEO efforts, make sure that you’re optimizing for your local community and area. It is a tall task for any single-location to set its sights on the top position for “Best Day Spa”. But it is quite a different story to target “best day spa in Calhoun County, TX”. Put yourself in your client’s shoes, and think about the terms you would search for, and use that to aid your efforts. Any differentiators or specialized offers can also help you claim the top spot. Leveraging any trend or fad with local intent can also help drive customers in-store.

Whether capitalizing with Pokemon Go! or utilizing a former favorite, Foursquare, to utilize their Specials tool to generate promotions that will pop up on a user’s smartphone when they check in to a nearby location, be on the lookout for the next prevailing trend.  These can help bring in customers who happen to be nearby, and when they check in at your location, they can download the discount, even if they just make an appointment for another day.

Attract More Customers with These 3 Day Spa Marketing Initiatives

1. Collect Contacts. Customer contact info is the lifeblood of any marketing efforts. This allows you to keep in touch, and continue to provide meaningful interactions that will win over their longterm loyalty. Both email and SMS marketing have their respective merits and strengths, but before you can start driving results with either, you need to collect email addresses and phone numbers, by having customers opt-in. Make this as easy as possible, both on your website, blog, and across your social pages. You can even encourage customers to provide their email address in exchange for a 10% discount on services, small free gift, or some other bonus.  As a reminder, Mia does this automatically for Signpost customers, by creating rich profiles on any customer that calls, emails or transacts at your business, and then sends them the emails and texts promotions that they’re most interested in to boost revenue.

2. Segment contact lists to ensure personalization. Customers are only interested in receiving email and SMS updates that are relevant to their preferences and interests. If you have a customer who only ever comes in for facials, it could be a mistake to flood his or her inbox with special massage offerings. By segmenting lists, you can ensure that every message you send will have its desired effect and warm reception. This also allows you to get creative in the types of promotions you run. Experiment with approaches; 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 bachelorette 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.

3. Maintain a digital reputation customers can trust. As mentioned above, review sites have become the starting point for most consumers in search of the best spa or salon in their area. However, with access to more options comes more indecision and fear of making an subpar selection. To combat this anticipated regret, consumers will pore over review results, hoping to banish any doubts before moving forward with the best, informed choice.  92% of consumers will hesitate to purchase a service from a business with less than four stars. So, follow these best practices for optimizing your online presence and managing your reputation.

Drive Loyalty with These 3 Day Spa Marketing Methods

1. Create and distribute content that will keep them engaged in between visits A content strategy is one of the best (and low-cost!) efforts to keep customers and prospects engaged and happy in order to ultimately convert them into a first time or repeat customer. Ensure it’s 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.  Just remember, if you include other’s work, post a link to the blog where you found them to give credit to the blogger, who will appreciate the promotion. You can expand your subject matter to also include tips for relaxation outside the spa, ways to destress at work, and more! Don’t be afraid to get creative and track your site’s visitors to see which posts and topics your audience finds the most compelling. You can use this to guide future topics.

2. Reward customers for loyalty. This can be either through a formal, structured loyalty program, or a more informal model. Customers want to be acknowledged and feel that their patronage is appreciated. Show your gratitude by rewarding them with incentives or free gifts. Again, it’s important to get creative and offer rewards that will actually motivate your customers. 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. Consider giving a gift card as a reward, so that they can give it to a friend if they desire. Or, try hosting VIP events, where members of your loyalty program, or of a designated status within that program are invited to bring a friend for half-price or free treatments. This not only adds to the fun and enriching experience of your existing customer, but could also win new customers. You can create a theme for these, such as girl’s night out, mother/daughter pampering, or a romantic couple’s package.

3. A referral incentive program is a must.  In addition to any events or promotions that you hold to get customers’ friends in the door, don’t forget to think through the full picture when building out your referral strategy. You will have to choose whom to reward, and what type of incentive you’d like to use. Some offer a discounted first service for any new customer referred, while others choose to reward both referrer and referee. Find the right balance and approach for your business, or consider a small gift in lieu of a discount if that isn’t an option for your business model. Next, determine what types of campaigns you want to run to get the word out about your referral program. Be sure to remind customers in your email newsletters, on your website (where you might even consider including a page with an easy lead form for customers to refer friends), across your social pages, in any printed materials you use (pamphlets, postcards, and services menus), and more. Make sure you get the word out, so your customers can take advantage of your referral program.

Don’t forget about business referrals, from dermatologists, hair salons and other professionals, especially those you do business with. It’s important to think through what complementary businesses in your area would be a good fit to partner on cross-promotion efforts. 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.

Last, but perhaps most importantly….

Give every customer the royal treatment.  There’s no substitution for excellent customer service.  While growing a business is exhilarating (your hard work is paying off!) it can also be overwhelming. It’s tough to scale with an influx of new customers, but you must take the necessary steps to ensure that the customer experience does not suffer. Remember, every single successful business begins with impeccable service that delights each customer!