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Acne Through the Ages

By Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS; Tracy L. Drumm; and Terri A. Wojak
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
teen professional skin care client with acne

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Teens. As any parent of a teenager will tell you, to market or speak with a teenager you must simplify your message. To treat teens with acne, you have to start by fighting through the noise around them, and get their attention. Aim to create campaigns or messages that have a clear focal point with easy-to-follow instructions. Think “short and sweet” when writing copy for an age group that has grown up expressing themselves in less than 160 characters. Avoid lengthy descriptions and remember, visuals are a great tool to grab this demographic.

Skin care prescription pads are just what the esthetician ordered for this market. A small piece of paper to guide your young clients through their treatments is an easy and effective way to not only help the teens at checkout, but also to ensure their success with the products at home. This sheet of paper that resembles a prescription pad is simply the blueprint for the client’s recommended care. This young person, who is likely a first-time client, may have just invested $50–200 with your facility. It is an important part of your retention plan to set clients up for success by recommending the correct products. Easy treatment plans with three direct steps are a great starting point for teens, and remember, products such as cleansing pads that eliminate extra work will rank highly with this group.

Young adult. Progressing from teens to young adults entails a similar strategy. It involves forgetting phone calls and voice mails and, instead, getting into your clients’ inboxes. Many spas have realized a secret to speaking with and successfully marketing to young adults means making it easy for them to stay in contact with you. Look to implement ways to regularly update clients on announcements such as monthly specials, and your facility will enjoy retention numbers like never before. The key is to make it hassle-free for your team to regularly communicate and easy for your audience to quickly read your messages.

Staying active in the young adults’ calendars and budgets is as easy as speaking their language. In today’s fast-paced world, reaching clients and staying current with them often requires sending monthly service texts and e-mails to clients to confirm appointments, and reminds them when they are due for more treatments. Other outreach necessities include newsletter and birthday messaging services that allow you to announce new specials and treatments, and to reward clients with gift certificates. If this type of communication is out of your facility’s depth, there are services, such as, that work with you to provide these opportunities to your clients.

Mature market. Your mature clients have grown up during the evolution and explosion of the beauty industry. They have likely seen and heard thousands of pitches and promises from beauty companies, and are seasoned shoppers. When speaking with this group, focus on facts that tell a story rather than trying to sell a service. Showcase not just the results the client will see from your treatments, but tell the story of what these results mean. Aspirational marketing is simply focusing on human elements, such as the quality-of-life changes clients can hope to expect after your service. Rather than simply talking about achieving clear skin, your messaging can show what clear skin really means for the lives of these clients. Whether it highlights confidence or self-respect, have your marketing efforts for the mature audience tell the story of how acne treatments improve and change the lifestyle of other clients.