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Bringing in Promotions
By: Wendy Lewis
Posted: January 28, 2011, from the February 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Promotional fliers and mailers can feature seasonal themes to keep them fresh and intriguing.
You survived the downturn of 2008–2009 and made it through 2010. Your next challenge is recapturing the momentum for 2011 and beyond. But consumer spending is still in a holding pattern in many markets, forcing those in the spa industry to think more carefully about what clients really want, as well as how to give it to them.
A stand-out business
To establish a strong point of difference, one effective promotional strategy that works in any economic climate is to enhance customer service. Rather than hastily reacting to an onslaught of discounted treatments and aggressive product promotions, consider reworking your service offerings to add more value.
Many spas and medical spas have turned their sales volume around by giving clients more for their money. Whether it is through vouchers for future treatments, a series of two-for-one specials or holding 10% off Botox days, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And a gesture doesn’t even have to be grand to be effective. Something as simple as offering a complimentary hand massage with a skin treatment or a trial size of a new eye cream can go a long way to enhance client loyalty.
It’s also important to keep your business at your clients’ top-of-mind. According to Janice Worth, owner of Anushka Spa and Cosmedical Centre in Palm Beach, Florida, “We try to communicate to our 15,000 clients approximately eight times a year by sending beautifully designed 6-by-8-inch mailers to their homes. Our September and October pieces accounted for driving about 15% of overall revenue in those months in actual advertised promotions, and the dollar volume generated amounts of about $45,000–60,000 in revenue. However, we also see there has been an approximate 15–20% uptick in clients who have been dormant for three to six months. Just putting our face in front of them reminds them to make an appointment.”
What to try
There are a myriad of creative options available when trying to appeal to the new reality of consumer belt-tightening, and cross promotions can offer many benefits to clients while also introducing them to new services. Typically, promotions should also only be offered for a limited time, and they should be changed frequently to avoid getting stale. If you offer the same promotion for months on end, you are essentially lowering your fees rather than using the special promotion as a way to generate new interest. Consider adding something into the treatment fee to entice clients, such as a complimentary lash enhancer with every facial peel. The additional service will likely not end up costing you more, and it serves to build goodwill with your clients.