It is an amazing time for small and medium sized spa businesses today. Spas that take advantage of technology and online tools will make their businesses more successful and profitable. Finding and using technology that suits your business needs will streamline business practices, increase conversion rates and give your clients more control and convenience online. It is really a matter of deciding that you are going to take advantage of these online tools and then get started. Often, they are free to use when you sign up for other online services or can be utilized for a small monthly fee.
Rule #1: Build a dynamic website you control, adapt and change, not your web developer.
Don’t be fooled by flashy promises from web developers guaranteeing an over the top website that you can’t possibly manage yourself. It will be a waste of time and money. Spa websites don’t need to cost a lot of money and the best ones allow for easy updates to ensure that the most up-to-date information is always available to your spa clients.
Rule #2: Start with Email Marketing.
Why? It is the easiest, cheapest and most effective marketing tool for spas. Its effectiveness flows naturally from the intimate relationship you develop with your clients every day. Existing clients will make up the bulk of your list and will respond favorably if you are doing your job right in the spa. It is a communication vehicle that complements the service industry.
Give your front desk an incentive for adding email addresses to the list and make sure you double opt-in all new addresses to sidestep spam filters and to get your communication to those that really want to hear from you.
Rule #3: Use Online Booking.
Online reservation booking absolutely revolutionized the travel industry and it is transforming the way spas offer services to consumers. If you are not using an online reservation program then you need to get started. Many of these programs are FREE if you are using other services like instant gift certificates so take advantage of the opportunity to integrate it into your spa business.
It will increase conversions, track and manage your reservations in real time and can liberate your front desk to focus on rebooking clients who are “real-time” in your spa.
It also transfers control to the consumer, providing them with 24/7 access to your spa reservations.
Rule #4: Sell Spa Services Online to Increase Revenue.
The capacity to sell spa services online serves your clients and increases revenue for the spa. It is an ideal way to acquire new clients through gift certificates. Every client with a sister, brother or friend is a potential consumer of your online gift certificates. Make sure your clients know that you sell online gift certificates.
Rule #5: Use Social Media.
Social marketing is an easy and cost effective way to communicate with clients and potential customers. Encourage clients to check out your Facebook page by clicking directly from your spa website’s home page. Commit to adding content regularly and offer specials for those who find themselves on your Facebook page.
Twitter is a great social media tool to answer spa questions and establish a dialog with clients. If you have unexpected openings in your treatment schedule just provide a valuable incentive via Twitter for clients who respond quickly to fill the spots. If you are consistent, you will find that clients will be looking for your spa tweets every day.
Blogging on your spa website is a fantastic way to add new content and provide value to your clients and potential customers. When you write about relevant spa topics you position yourself as the knowledge leader within your spa community. Building new and relevant content also helps increase your search ranking online. Each time you add content about spa, Google takes notice and over time it will improve your rank for specific spa searches. If other websites begin to link to your blog as a spa resource it will also help to improve your ranking over time.
Rule #6: Treat your spa email list like Gold, and use it wisely.
The key to effective email marketing campaigns begins with your existing list of email addresses. If time and care have not been taken with the list beforehand you will end up with a mediocre result. Build a quality list by taking time to add only relevant email addresses, clients and potential clients, who actually want to hear from you.
Rule #7: Take advantage of these online tools to get noticed.
Take advantage of all the free services out there to promote your business. That means you need to get your website added to Google Map, Yahoo Local and Bing Local. Check out www.getlisted.org , to find out how you are currently listed on search engines and for information on local search and news. In addition, make sure you are on every relevant spa directory, www.joyofspa.com, so consumers can find you easily.
Rule #8: Get to know SEO and watch your online rank climb.
It is extremely important to focus on improving your spa website’s SEO(search engine optimization) because it has the potential to draw new customers to your website and spa business. Consumers perform millions of “local searches” every day and that number is growing. If your website is optimized for search, it creates the opportunity for potential clients to see your business first when they perform a relevant, local spa search online. For more information you can go to http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291.
Seth Gardenswartz/StephanyToman/Spa Kat
317 Commerical Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
800-940-0458 Ext. 803
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