More Marketing Money Smarts

H. Leavy

Spa Professionals Join the Discussion On the DSA Forum!!!

It is normal that when the money gets scarce we immediately want to cut on spending … that is a good thing, but one needs to cut down on the right things.

We discussed some of these options throughout the month of March.

Marketing, PR and Advertising are usually items that go first – even in large companies. I think that is the biggest mistake a business can do. When the economy is weak, one has to be out there even more than ever, but naturally only in places where we know it works. Do you track your ROI of your ads, your email marketing, your PR efforts? If not, it’s time to start … how else would you know what works and what doesn’t? DSA Membership works and should be one of your priorities to stay connected and save with the many benefits our trade organizations offer their members!

With today’s technology some of the marketing that is being done requires only time and patience and learning … it’s called

Viral Marketing!

How much e-marketing are you doing?

Are you:

Using your client database to send out emails to promote open time slots to promote specific therapists at a special rate for short-term appointments?

Communicating with your clients that you understand without sounding desperate, but that they are missed and should not neglect their health? (NOW is the time to steer them away from the “pampering myth”).

Using your website as a marketing tool to make it easier for your web visitors to book appointments, buy gift certificates and products.

The DSA has several vendor members who offer special incentives to DSA member spas.

1155 University Blvd. SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

The Gift Card Café
800 The Mark Lane-Suite 802
San Diego, CA 92101

Use Newsletters

Email newsletters are a low cost marketing technique

Newsletters maintain constant contact with your core clients

Newsletters can be used as advertorials for your services and products

Emails can be used to broadcast exclusive special offers & discounts to enrollees The DSA has two email service members offering special discount to DSA members!

Constant Contact Email
1601 Trapelo Rd., Ste. 246
Waltham, MA 02451

VerticalResponse, Inc.
501 2nd Street – Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94107

Retail Sales

Take a good look at your displays – are they attractive and inviting to buy? What is your sales technique to get clients to take home the products they need to enhance their treatments and use for home care?

If your staff isn’t selling 15-20% of the price of their services, something needs to be improved. Your target should be 20%+. And don’t accept excuses from massage therapists for not selling.

How are your gift card/certificate sales?

Get listed on every website that sells gift certificates to your spa … here is a list of DSA members we recommend you contact – what do you have to loose?
24955 Pacific Coast Highway Suite C301
Malibu, CA 90265

Spa Addicts, Inc.
400 9th Street – Suite W6B
Hoboken, NJ 07030
866-HAV2SPA (428-2772)

Spa Finder
257 Park Avenue South – 10th Floor
New York, NY 10010

Spas Worldwide

1 Queen East Street

Toronto, ON M5C 2W5


189 Fifth Avenue – suite 1B
Brooklyn, NY 11217
800-929-7723 Ext. 32

Safeguard New Clients

Make them an irresistible offer to try you

Make them an irresistible offer to come back within the next 30-45 days

Survey them to measure if you are consistently superior or consistently mediocre

Survey them to measure if you met their expectations

Consider DSA Day Spa Accreditation to distinguish yourself from the crowd!

Form New Alliances

Partner with distributors & manufacturers

When your retail sales decline… does theirs

Ask about eliminating or reducing minimum order requirements

Ask about eliminating or reducing shipping fees

Ask for free samples for special events

Take advantage of product or equipment training for your staff during down times

Take advantage of special sales and promotions

Add gift certificate to flower delivery with your local florist

A new hotel in town? Go talk to the concierge

How about local merchant associations, teachers union, city hall, war veterans and dependents for soldiers presently serving overseas?

Special events get them in the door and will fill time on customarily slow days or evenings

Host a “Spa Awareness” open house where you give tours & introduce staff

Host a free Skin Analysis Clinic where you analyze the skin for free & recommend & promote the skin care products from your retail area and suggest future facial treatments

Host a free Makeup Clinic where you teach clients how to apply makeup while you recommend your retail makeup items & skin care products & facials

Host a Massage Awareness event where you offer free or discounted chair massages or reflexology and recommend specific future massage or body work treatments

Hold a charity event to spotlight your community involvement

Partner with fine dining establishments

An exchange of gift certificates for simultaneous free drawings gives both of you free advertising where high end clients gather

Now it is your turn to come up with some more innovative marketing ideas that have worked for your spa, saved you money and brought in new clients! Share with us your successes (and mistakes), so we can all learn from each other!

Remember – You Are Not Alone

Become A DSA / IMSA Member Today And Tap Into Our National Spa Networks And Save!


4 Responses

  1. Hannelore, thank you for your tip to utilize Gift Certificates as part of a spas marketing arsenal. And, I also appreciate the suggestion to cater to the families of men and women serving abroad.

    I am walking as part of a fund raiser in June 7 – 8, 2008 this year in New York City and am part of the “Miles For the Military” team. I encourage NYC spa owners in particular to contact me on how to donate Gift Certificates / Cards or render free massage services to the walkers at the event, thus becoming part of the media-covered event.

    This would be an excellent opportunity to couple philanthropy and marketing / PR.

    Aditi Paul, DSA Business Development Director / 201-255-4454

  2. Thanks Aditi for caring … the families of our service men need support and nurturing, which day spas are so good at!
    Good luck with your walk to raise funds for Miles For the Military.
    I also had a call from Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City who are looking to have NYC day spas getting involved to offer services during their upcoming fund raising event – here is a bit of details about this event:
    The Rock & Run on the River requires donated spa services of up to (12) masseuses and (12) massage chairs for our Survivorship Area and Cool Down Lounge from 9 am to 12 pm. In return for sponsorship, companies will receive recognition on select event collateral, signage, and print materials.
    For more information contact:
    Stephanie Peña
    LeadDog Marketing Group
    159 W. 25th Street, 2nd Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    t: 212.337.6710
    f: 212.741.5013

  3. Hannelore,

    Your comments are a “Survival Guide” for these economic times. I guess the message is clear. Get back to good old fashioned basics of good business practices.

    The Day Spa business is just like every other business in that it relies on “partnerships” with clients, suppliers, and peer professionals.

    Day Spas that have invested in building these relationships through open dialogue will reap the rewards during this economic storm. Now more than ever it is important to reward your loyal clients, talk to your suppliers about special deals and promotions, and network with your peers through a professional organization that knows your business, such as the Day Spa Association.

    Rosemary Weiner
    Chair, DSA Advisory Board
    Owner, The Brass Rose Spa

  4. I think these are wonderful tips, Hannelore. I’d like to remind people that marketing is really anything that touches the client from your print ads, web site and business cards to the way you answer the phone and greet clients coming in the door. There are so many little things that make a big difference.

    Unfortunately in the daily grind and stress of running the business and managing employees, we often lose sight of these details and even what we are trying to accomplish with our marketing.

    I suggest that all spa owners make sure they know what their specific purpose is for each marketing tool they use. For example, if you send out an email newsletter or update, do you make it clear that you want clients to book an open appointment or purchase a gift certificate online (and then make it easy to do so)?

    When you talk to potential business alliances and cross-marketers, do you know your desired outcome (i.e you want to post your brochures in their store and vice versa)? When you get new clients in the door for a promotion, do you invite them to schedule appointments or ask them to rebook after their first visit?

    The clearer and more focused your internal and external marketing efforts are, the more likely you will be able to reach your goals and improve your business. Take some time today and everyday to make sure you are on track. And make every “touch” with the client something they will remember fondly and want to come back.

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