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Only on SkinInc.com: Spa Visionary Susie Ellis Explains How Spa Evidence Can Improve Your Business

Posted: July 20, 2011

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The ever-mounting medical evidence behind so many spa and wellness therapies is THE MOST powerful marketing message you can present to clients. This is the evidence doctors use, and it's hard science, not soft, fluffy advertising messages. So use the data in your marketing messages and in your ongoing communications with your clients. Get creative with using the data (The sky's the limit—you could have staff use stats in e-mail signatures, rotate them on your site, print them in signage in the spa). Make the existing data and the new studies that will keep coming a part of your informational outreach to clients. For example, if a new study on massage comes out, get the news out to them and combine it with a promotion or offer.

More and more spas have an intake questionnaire/consultation on clients' health issues/concerns/specific needs and goals. After this intake/info gathering, customize a program/course of therapy specifically using the medical evidence to back up your recommendations. This can be done in an in-person consultation, or in an e-mail with a follow-up consultation.

Hold/create educational events where you teach your community and clients about how and why to use the new database. Combine this with free treatments that let people experience your offerings while understanding and being sold on their medical value simultaneously.

Embrace, and don't be afraid of, transparency. There are a few spa therapies, such as ear candling, that not only do not have the medical research to support them, they actually have negative medical research (they can harm). Spas and wellness centers need to use the portal smartly. You and your employees need to understand and communicate that the lion’s share of clinical studies have been devoted to the effects of new drugs and medical procedures, and not that beauty treatments are not part of the medical research. You need to clearly communicate that if you or your clients DON’T find studies on how a particular spa/wellness therapy impacts a particular health issue, it does not mean that the therapy is proven not to be valuable; it simply means the evidence doesn't exist. Studies that have been completed, whether the outcomes were positive, negative or inconclusive, are accessible at the four databases presented on the site.

Don't be intimidated by the new website! While these databases are clinical tools used by medical professionals, and you will inevitably face some confusing medical jargon, just jump in and use it!