7 Keys to Spa Marketing in Tough Times

Most salon/day spa owners/managers are schooled in the operations, the human resources, and the finances of the business; however, not the marketing. Marketing is the fourth leg of the chair. Without it, the business falls down.

Remember, the big secret to a successful promotion is presenting a special benefit to a specific audience. So how do you do that?

Know your audience.
Since you want to make the right pitch to the right people, you have to know them. You have to learn what motivates them. Believe me, it's not just getting a bargain although everyone no matter what walk in life they come from likes a bargain. It's a matter of the "right" bargain. To get to know your target:

  • Listen to them.
  • Use surveys.
  • Talk to your customers.

Be Specific
An attractive promotion is precise. It contains one message, not multiple messages. Give your audience the facts, use quantifiable claims, and stay focused. Stay away from "getting the word out there" promotions. They may work for the long-term and for large businesses, but I advise against them for a service oriented local business. People may remember your name; however, your objective is to get people to take action now!

Use a Powerful Headline
Your headline is the most important part of your message. A good headline grabs your audience's attention. A less than good one does not. You only have one chance to grab them, so zero in on the people you want to reach.

  • Find a way to incorporate the word "new" into your headline.
  • Build your promise into the headline.
  • Make the promise as specific and advantageous to the target as possible.

Sell the Benefits
Remember, your audience walks around the world tuned into the station W.I.I.F.M. (What's In It For Me). They want to hear/see recognizable benefits or advantages. Again, know your target and what they consider are benefits and advantages. For example, convenience and speed are benefits that appeal to professional people.

Use your USP
Discover your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and use it in your marketing. Your USP is the thing that makes your business different from your competitors. It helps you stand out in a world of commoditized services (massage, facials, and haircuts) and products (shampoo, conditioners, and color). If you don't have one, create one.

Reverse the Risk
People will stay away if they think the risk of trying something rests squarely on their shoulders. Most likely, you run a business where you do all you can to make a client happy and would refund their money, if all else fails. Why not tell them your promotions come with an ironclad money-back guarantee. Sure, there will always be that 2% of people who will take advantage of your offer and want their money back, but think of the 98% who won't.

Close the Deal
You want your ad to compel your audience to take immediate action. Tell them they must do it right away, "make your reservation today," or "this Monday and Tuesday only."

Finally, well-conceived, pin pointed promotions create additional business for you and create an enormous amount of positive energy, energy that is a wonderful antidote to media's daily doses of "doom and gloom."

By Andrew Finkelstein, The Beauty Resource www.thebeautyresource.com