A recent poll of SpaTrade's 6,500 members revealed that, overwhelmingly, spa business managers rely on two marketing tactics above all others. When asked which marketing tools were the most useful in their businesses, 28% of respondents stated that direct mail promotions were the most effective, closely followed by public relations activities at 23%. Far behind these leading tactics were email promotions (with 14%) and on-site promotions (9%). The least-noted marketing tactics were the spa's Web site (7%), and radio (6%) and newspaper (5%). Advertising and off-site promotions brought up the rear at 3%.

"It's interesting to note that the reliable standards of direct marketing and public relations seem to be the most valuable to spa management right now," said Nancy Griffin, CEO of SpaTrade. "For several years, many businesses have tried hard to convince spa owners that the road to success lies in having a hot Web site, or using cutting-edge email marketing tools. But our recent survey told us that spa managers are still pursuing the 'tried and true' marketing communications methods."

Since SpaTrade started offering our SpaTrade Path to Profitability Reports on various aspects of the spa industry, people that we interviewed have told us exactly what they need to know in order to make their businesses more profitable. As we plan our upcoming issues of the SpaTrade Newsletter, we want to be sure that we are giving you business tactics and tips you can use in your spa business. Since last month's poll revealed that direct marketing and public relations are still very important tactics that our members rely on, you can look forward to seeing upcoming articles on how you can use direct marketing and public relations efforts to boost your visibility and revenue. In addition, we will be providing information on inexpensive, high-impact ways you can make your Web site and your email communications deliver more value to your customers.