In today’s highly competitive spa industry, success is reliant upon effective marketing with a focus on the client experience. Improving market conditions continue to increase the number of skin care professionals and spas at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent.
Regardless of whether the skin care professional works alone or owns a large spa, their time is valuable and they need to ensure that they are working smarter, not harder, when executing their marketing plans. As a worker in the service business, skin care professionals must focus
on new client acquisitions and maximizing client loyalty to stay ahead of the competition.
CLAIM DIRECTORY LISTINGS
These days, without an online directory presence, a business is basically nonexistent. In order for potential clients to find a business, they must be listed on one of the top websites, including Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp, or Facebook. Professionals should put Google Places at the top of their directory presence priority list. Google consistently outperforms every other search engine and receives nearly six billion searches per day.1
When setting up the spa’s directory, be sure to optimize the listing by fulfilling all of the necessary contact information. Include high-quality pictures of the spa and its retail products and do not forget to include keywords within the description so that the business pops up when people search for spas.
When potential clients are seeking a new spa, they will explore review websites, such as Yelp, as part of their research. The latest statistics and trends show that out of the 90 percent of consumers that read online reviews, 88 percent of them trust the reviews as much as a personal recommendation.2 To ensure success, having an active profile on Yelp is a must. It is also important to aim for a five-star rating. Encourage satisfied clients to post reviews on the spa’s online review pages, which will help improve the spa’s ranking in searches. Alternatively, if a negative review is received, proactively respond to that review and help to resolve the issue.
UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA
Potential and current clients are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram consistently throughout the day, making these platforms great for highlighting the business and advertising deals. Allowing people to check in to the spa is essentially free advertising. Shoot a quick treatment demonstration video that features a client and tag them in the post with the location. This video will receive maximum exposure and engagement. Spas can also promote
specials, post before and after pictures, and invite guests to events. Setting up social media pages is fairly simple and can offer an abundance of exposure and great return.
E-mail marketing remains one of the most effective tactics in conversion and retention. Create long-term success by building on the current client base and keeping clients loyal and engaged. Ensure that a software system is in place that has a marketing and customer relationship management program integrated. These types of software provide the easiest way to track a client’s data and purchase history; they also allow professionals to send e-mail promotions based on the client’s personal preferences. Marketers consistently rank e-mail as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention.
Nicole Mathews, associate marketing manager for Dermalogica says, “Skin care professionals must utilize e-mail marketing campaigns to drive foot traffic to their spa center, in addition to promoting online purchases. To stand out in the flood of e-mails clients receive, businesses should employ impactful subject lines that encourage opens by inviting clients into the space for personalized experiences. Offering special, seasonal promotions or hosting exclusive in-store events will not only keep clients coming back, but also increase their loyalty to the business.”
Skin care professionals should utilize their software to examine data and track their performance. Tracking is the key to determining
if the spa is meeting its goals and if they need to tweak their strategy. These reports will easily allow professionals to measure data such
as what products or treatments are ranked highest and how many clients are rebooking services.
Long gone are the days of using a paper calendar book and pencil to schedule appointments. Be sure to choose a system that enables online booking. Clients love the convenience and capability of browsing services and prices, choosing their own appointment times, and being able to book an appointment online at their leisure or after business hours. Choose a spa software that has appointment scheduling and online booking integrated for a seamless client experience.
It costs between four and 10 times more to acquire a new client than it does to keep an existing one. Some sources state that the cost of acquiring a new client is over 30 times that of keeping one. Retaining current clients is crucial to increasing overall profitability.
Encourage clients to rebook their service before they leave the spa. Offer them a reward or discount to schedule their next service. Incentives are simple ways to secure a commitment in advance and keep clients returning on a regular basis.
OFFER SERIES PACKAGES
Coax clients into returning to the spa more often by offering a package or series bundle of services at a special price. Packages are an effective way to increase sales while promoting the professional and client relationship. Combine a service package with retail credit to encourage clients to purchase products with their treatments. Series clients are also more likely to purchase products post-service since their services are pre-paid.
Reward programs have a bigger impact for long-term success than discounts and promotions. They solidify client loyalty instead of offering a one-time deal. This program should be easy to track and rewards should be attainable. Three out of four Americans participate in some kind of rewards program.3 Professionals can think of their favorite rewards program and model the spa’s program after it. Clients will feel invested in the professional and the spa by working to achieve reward status, which, in turn, will solidify their loyalty.
Everyone loves a good party! Create excitement by planning events to educate and entertain clients. Pick a theme and invite local like-minded businesses to partner and offer their services or products. Invite regular clients and encourage them to bring a friend or even host their next girl’s night out at the spa. Offer express treatments, products, and rebooking incentives.
For service providers and business owners, success relies upon the client’s satisfaction. Nowadays, with social media, clients can post reviews and speak about their experiences, reaching large audiences. As a result, marketing and client service go hand-in-hand. To ensure an exceptional client experience and effortless execution of the marketing strategy, the most important thing to remember is the client. Keep clients satisfied and the spa will stand out from the competition.
1 Vreeland, E. (2015, July 22).
The Ultimate List: 50 Online Local
2 Saleh, K. (n.d.). The Importance Of Online Customer Reviews [Infographic]. The Invesp Blog.
3 ACI Universal Payments. (2012,
January 23). Loyalty Programs Influence 84% Of Members.