“Clients looking for technology based treatments are searching for quick results. They tend to want to come in and get out in a flash,” says Christie Lavigne, director of skin care at Oasis Day Spa in New York City, N.Y. “They book their services at lunchtime or right after work, they rarely linger in the spa.”
If that might be true for many tech-treatment seeking clients, others might want to combine that escape from everyday stress they get with softer services such as facials or massages with a more “aggressive finish.” Know who your clients and potential clients are. Take the demographic and your location into account. Family oriented communities might tend to have housewives available during school hours, while business districts might bring you more of an evening clientele.
Go local and partner with other businesses. Len Seward, owner of ibeautiful health clinic in Hindsdale, Ill., offers technicians of the local mani/pedi salons a free microdermabrasion or microcurrent treatment in exchange for having them refer their clients to him.
“We primarily market our ‘standard’ service offerings (skin care, massage, etc.) to our existing clientele (and far beyond), through social media, print, etc.,” says Lavigne. “We attract the bulk of our clients through these avenues because we offer these typical ‘day spa’/relaxation services.”
Yet clients who will go for technology enhancing treatments fall within two categories: the savvy ones, they know what they want and they’ve done their research; and the soon to be convert, those are clients who want to see results, whom you need to work a slightly different kind of “marketing magic” on.
“We’ve put a lot of money and effort into our website,” Seward says. He reasons that clients who’ve done their research for their treatment of choice go online to find just the right locale.
In order to get clients to your door, you must maximize your presence online.
Not only should you have your website in top shape, but also consider spending some money to come up high in search lists.
Investing in a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might be a good decision for your business, which has proven to be the right way to go for many spas. Lauren Olson, founder and CEO of Radiance Advanced Skin and Body Care in the Woodlands, Texas, can attest to that. “Our biggest return on investment is definitely the Internet,” says Olson, who hires a company to get high-ranking placement in search results for her website. Spa Director Dr. Lisa Jenks of Genesis MedSpa in Colorado Springs, Colo., concurs, “I spend a lot of money to be sure we come up high on all those search lists.”
Invite current and prospective clients for some pampering and treats at your spa. Many locales offer free events where clients are treated to food, drinks, and complimentary treatments. “Our in-house events vary. About every two months we have a makeup party or peel party,” says Jenks. “During these, we either do simple makeovers or 2 percent lactic peels, provide wine/cheese, etc., highlight several products that are on discount for that event only and maybe have something like chair massage, hand microderms, etc. During this time, the esthetician explains what the microderm is doing and how that is incorporated into our facials.” These events allow you to set yourself apart from other locales, show your professionalism and savoir-faire with technology.
LUNCH AND LEARN
It’s another form of in-house events but the perks are a bit different.
Here spas try to promote their more “aggressive treatments” by offering lunches to their clients as they lecture them about a procedure or even demonstrate it. A raffle is often of the order where a client gets a chance to win the treatment that’s being presented.
Discounts are also offered to clients who sign up for the procedures within the next few days.
“During a lunch and learn either the rep or I give a 15 minute presentation with a PowerPoint,” says Jenks. “Sometimes, if it’s a procedure we’ve been doing for a while, I’ll have a client who’s had it talk to the group about her results/experience. We have everyone fill out a raffle because often there are several new people and we want to capture their info.”
Sometimes giving something away can bring much back into your business
Donate some gift certificates to non-profit organizations for their silent auctions and gain new clientele
(see our article “Marketing Your Spa through Giving” in the December issue). “We donate gift certificates […] and all of those are for our medical-grade facials,” says Jenks. “We get a lot of new clients who are willing to visit us for a facial and then move on to more aggressive treatments.”
REWARD YOUR CUSTOMERS
Get new and loyal clients coming back by rewarding them for their patronage. “I do offer 10 percent off anything that a new client purchases within two weeks of their first visit as a way of thanking them for coming in,” says Jenks. “I also offer $50 referrals fees to my clients. There’s no limit on those and so quite a few of my current clients try hard to get friends in my door!” Olson just started a loyalty point reward, where clients get points, among other things, for referring other people.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Groupon, our spa specialists seem to agree, is among the major no-nos. “I used Groupon once and it was a disaster,” Jenks says, to which Olson adds, “I’ve know spas that have gone out of business because of Groupons.” Not only does the company have spas give a huge discount on their prices, but also takes a major cut of the earnings left—at times leaving little if nothing to the spa. “It’s important to keep in mind that it’s impossible to make a profit (or even break even) when you discount a service to below what your basic expenses are for that service,” says Lavigne, adding, “most important […] it cheapens your brand.”
Television and radio advertising don’t seem to rank high either. “I have never gotten return on TV or on radio ads, and I’ve heard that is true of many other medspas,” Jenks says.
Keep up the chatter on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, as well as the email blasts, and get planning on these in-house events where you’ll get to meet and earn the trust of the bulk of your technology treatment driven clients.