The spa industry is enjoying record growth, and is now worth a huge $17.5 billion a year! But as with any industry, enormous growth creates enormous competition. To maintain competitive spas must differentiate and innovate their offerings.
In this post, we will provide you with refreshing spa marketing strategies promotions that will keep you current with guests and get your spa thriving, not surviving.
Let’s dive in.
Before you think of promotional strategies you need to hone in on your market.
You can’t be something for everyone, so pick a specific niche and perfect it.
To help you decide, look at the market and complete competitor analysis. What are your competitors doing well, and what are they not doing so well at? Work on something that is specific to you. Whether that’s alternative Asian holistic treatments or a health and wellness centre at competitive prices. If you’re not sure, analyse your potential customer base and find out what they want!
Once you’ve figured out your niche then you get clever with your wording.
Make sure you shout loud and proud about your alternative offerings. Madeline Johnson CEO of Marketing & Public Relations boasts that their most successful campaigns come from making headline-worthy treatments. They specialise in marketing for spas with a difference to make headline news. Examples of her work are the Seven-Hour Massage at Townhouse Spa in New-York and the 24K Gold Facial at Fairmount Spa.
Being different is what drives consumers to try new and unique experiences.
If you are able to make the contacts, offer free treatments to influencers for their endorsements.
Although this marketing strategy can be a little transparent when endorsing products, it can still work well in the service economy, as it’s all about exposure.
Bring in an influential potential customer and give them the experience to remember for free. They can showcase your spa, your treatments and experiences. Put out all the stops and really show what level of service you can provide. They will be your salespeople, influencing many more potential customers.
Without a social media presence, you can kiss goodbye to 37% of your overall potential guests.
There is a growing fear of missing out (FOMO) among millennials. Going somewhere popular is so important to 18-24-year-olds, that a staggering 57% of them saying social media has influenced their choice of a spa.
So how can you effectively run your social media spa strategies and promotions?
Like bees to flowers, selfie stations are magnets that attract the selfie masses for that perfect pic. People love to capture their experiences and sharing them to tell all. So setting up a selfie station with a dedicated hashtag will boost exposure exponentially for your spa- all for free!
This free marketing not only influencers others, but it also taps into the FOMO among the social crowd.
You can also incentivise your followers with social media competitions to win a free prize.
The key is to make sure the competition rules involve tagging up to 3 friends, liking the post, and following your social profile. With every new person tagged in the post, they will have to follow your profile, like and tag more friends to enter the competition. This will drive your exposure exponentially!
The winner of the prize can receive a free product that gets used in your spa, or even a gift voucher for a spa experience day.
You can expand on this tactic by giving the social media winner an exclusive experience, where they can share their spa day on social media. This exposure will allow you to repost their experience and inform all your new followers of your unique spa offering. You can create a whole social media campaign around their experience.
This type of social marketing works very well on Instagram. You can also run these campaigns on Facebook and Twitter too.
Another way to generate lots of online interest is not to talk about your business, but to share your insider best tips and secrets.
You can create interest and a loyal following by posting high-quality videos that your followers can use as follow-along tutorials.
So get out your therapists to run consistent content, whether it’s on facials, nails, hair tutorials or skincare! Make your videos with a unique edge, categorise them into different customer demographics or by treatments. Just think about how you can make your videos and tutorials unique and interesting.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and more, there are so many social platforms out there.
You need to decide which will work best for your customer demographics, and which platforms will have the biggest reach for your marketing styles. Don’t try to sign up to them all spreading yourself thin. This will dampen all your efforts and be less effective. Stick to around 2-3 social media platforms at most and perfect them.
Staying current on your dedicated platforms will have a far bigger effect than carrying out basic posts for many. So make sure you stay up to date with new and trending features. Take Instagram’s new IGTV video feature. This can be great for spa tutorials or sharing your beauty tips.
You can even use the Instagram stories, polls and Q&As to do behind-the-scenes looks at your spa, your therapists and upcoming new products and treatments. This is a great way to generate feedback, interest and a personal connection with your followers. All aspects that strengthen loyalty with your branding.
Creating videos is a feature added to almost all social media platforms. According to Fitsmallbusiness.com video is 70% more effective for producing conversions, especially when added to your website.
So start your storytelling through video by uploading spa journey videos, your guests enjoying their experiences and even those popular beauty tips we mentioned earlier. We've written a great post on how to use storytelling to sell your experiences.
Be organised, considerate and smart when it comes to your marketing for your spa. Think of seasons, what treatments are most popular when, and deliver exactly what your guests are in search of.
During Christmas time think of the boost in parties and how you can promote complementary treatments. Or in the summertime, treatments for detoxing and preparing those all-important beach bodies.
Larry Oskin, President of Marketing Solutions suggests this simple layout:
You can carefully run campaigns in an organised and thoughtful manner. This way you maximise the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, instead of posting random content as you go along.
People are attracted to the word ‘Free’. It turns heads and engages attention.
Providing free aspects to offerings incentivises cautious people to try something new. When it comes to spas, people are highly nervous about trying something new, usually because of the large cost associated with the experience.
But don’t go throwing the word free around easily. Be mindful of your branding. If you are a 5* spa with luxurious treatments, you want to stay well away from the word ‘free’. Use the word complimentary instead.
If you are competitively priced, with lots of offers and deals, go ahead and use the word free. It’s all about using language that suits your demographic.
So let’s now look at how you can promote ‘freebies’ and create attention through clever marketing strategies.
You can use the free prize giveaway tactics already mentioned above in the social media section.
As we’ve already mentioned word-of-mouth is one of the highest drivers of new customers to a spa. People trust people. So providing an incentive for people to share and expose your experiences will be highly successful.
The best way you can do this? Offer current customers a complimentary gift voucher when they recommend a friend who spends more than a certain amount in your spa.
Delight your guests with going that extra mile through your treatments.
What makes your facials a better experience than your competitors? Maybe it’s the complimentary hand or scalp massage. Or maybe you can give them a parting gift of a little sample product used in their treatment. Surprising your guests this way will make them feel they get more value for their money. Creating more value for your guest will stick in their memories, and they will leave feeling more satisfied with their experience.
With the enhanced experience and perceived higher value for money, guests are more likely to come back to you again and again.
An increasingly important aspect of marketing is your digital presence.
So appearing on search engines easily will go a long way to having people find your spa, and be able to get more information to visit you.
A great inbound marketing tactic is to have a blog with targeted keywords, to ensure you get website visitors. You can make your blog interesting with educational content for the health and beauty industry. The importance of your blog needs to be focused on creating valuable content, and not about plugging in sales for your products and services.
Ensure you use popular keywords. These are terms that readers are searching for online. You can find great blog writing guides online.
Don’t forget to have social share buttons on individual articles, enable readers to share your content. You can also provide helpful downloadable guides and PDF’s, which you can capture email addresses to add to your email database.
Retargeting ads are different from Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, as they cleverly only target those who have visited your website. This way you have more control who your ads target.
This is important as only 2% of website visitors convert on the first visit. By using retargeting ads, you are redirecting past visitors back to your website, and reminding them of your services.
From here you can use clever marketing tactics to customise ads based on which pages visitors looked at. So if someone was looking at massages, you can send out specific retargeting ads offering limited-time discounts for massages.
Revisiting online reviews and responding to them in a timely and positive manner will make a huge difference to your reputation.
Make sure you set alerts, so you get notified of online reviews. This way you can respond within good time and reverse any online damage.
To get yourself generating customer reviews sign up for Google My Business, and claim your Google Knowledge Panel. This will enable you to appear for local SEO and hyperlocal marketing. Which means that when people search for spas near them you will show up in their Google search.
Studies show that business with online reviews has 12.5% more conversions.
Google advertising is becoming expected of businesses. The first thing people do when hearing of a new experience is to Google it, to help them decide if it’s worth going.
Having a page on Google My Business allows businesses to have more control over what shows in the search results.
It allows guests to easily find your website, contact number, address and more. If your search appears more easily than your competitors, then you’re more likely to be chosen instead.
Look to creating win/win relationships with all your guests by encouraging customer loyalty.
You can achieve this by aiming for personable experiences. There are many ways to achieve this such as birthday clubs, loyalty programmes, product freebies, referral bonuses and more!
Encourage a personal and caring relationship to develop between therapist and guest.
There is a limited amount of time for your therapists to make a lasting impression and connect with their clients. They only have time within the treatment to understand the guest’s needs and wants. That’s why you should ask personal questions on each guest’s consultation form.
Giving your therapists a chance to determine what their guest’s needs are prior to the treatment can go a long way. On the consultation, forms ask guests, “what do you want to achieve out of your treatment?” “How do you want to feel after your treatment?” “What do you want to change and improve in your life?” Asking these personal and deep questions gives your guests a chance to communicate with their therapist what they want out of their spa experience. Whether they want to relax, look better, release muscle tension and so on, your therapist has prior knowledge of this and can alter the treatment accordingly.
Once knowing the goal of the treatment, the therapist has an idea of the aftercare that the guest will have an interest in. So if their goal was to reduce stress in their life, the therapist can suggest a home care routine that will aid in this. This is a win/win scenario, as the guest feels cared about and listened to while taking home tips and advice to improve their life. While the spa has an opportunity to upsell products and develop customer loyalty.
This extra care and guidance will showcase the overall health benefits of a quality spa experience, whilst deepening the care and bond between therapist and client.
Offer a spa membership. You’ll find that people like the exclusivity of benefits they get as a member whilst feeling part of a group.
It is important to provide members with exclusive pricing, events, and deals that aren’t available to non-members.
Your benefit is the continuous extra revenue from membership every month. Whilst your members get to enjoy the sense of belonging to an elite group with its exclusive offerings.
Hosting events is a great way to spread excitement and create a buzz in your local area. Including your local area is important as this is where you will generate a high percentage of your customer base. – Especially with regular guests!
Hosting events allows new people to try out your experiences and get them interested in your offerings that they otherwise may not have heard about.
You could offer ladies nights, happy hours, or brunch events. These help put you on your local map while keeping you within the mind of the local community.
There are other ways to engage with the local community too. Sign up to bridal shows, have a booth at local festivals or for an exclusive VIP event. You will effectively build awareness, and strengthen relationships with the local area.
A huge 60% of customers actually want to receive promo emails from companies they love. Contrary to the feeling that email campaigns are becoming outdated.
To keep those loyal guests returning, it is important to keep your email lists up to date and comply within GDPR. Remember it is illegal to hold onto someone’s details for longer than is necessary, or if they have not permitted you to use their contact details.
So on your blog sign-up, or on spa consultation forms make sure you check your guests are happy to receive promotions and deals and to be connected through email.
You can send out monthly newsletters, promotions and discounts on treatments, your newest blog post and events. Just ensure you use a call to action in each email. To make your job easier, invest in an automated email marketing software. There are many email marketing tools out there that can help you create effective campaigns with little effort.
One of the most effective and powerful ways to encourage repeat business, introduce new guests, and maximise revenue is to offer spa gift vouchers and cards. There are so many spa marketing strategies and promotions you can introduce through selling gift vouchers and gift cards that will skyrocket your revenue. One of our clients - The Celtic Manor Resort makes over £2.4 million in gift voucher sales alone.
The unique and profitable aspect of a gift voucher is the extra revenue they can generate your business.
With the experience economy on the rise, consumers are now preferring to gift experiences over physical goods. That’s where businesses in the service economy are thriving! Not only can you provide your guests with an experience that can be presented in a gift voucher, but you also make more revenue from selling gift vouchers than booking direct services.
This is because 10-15% of purchased gift vouchers are never even redeemed. Which means free money for your spa. While the experience has been bought, you’ve never payout for the service cost of that voucher. So you get to keep 100% of the profit made on the unredeemed gift voucher sales.
Guests with gift vouchers also spend up to 72.1% more than regular guests.
A massive 60% of guests have been introduced to a new brand by receiving a gift voucher. Which has resulted in 17.7% of these new guests becoming loyal guests. Gift cards one of the most effective methods of referrals for your business. So it is important to treat guests with gift vouchers just as special as full paying guests.
Gift voucher add-ons are an amazing way for your guests to personalise experiences. It is possible to amend gift vouchers through our system to add on extra items to make the gift more unique and special. We have noticed that just over 5% of our gift voucher sales include an add-on product. Over time this 5% advantage can generate a high amount of revenue.
Read our blog post on more benefits to including add-ons to your gift vouchers.
We hope this post has inspired you to think of unique spa marketing strategies promotions and ideas to suit your business.