How to do offers in your spa successfully
Effectively managed, offers and promotions can bring in new customers and boost revenue, without cheapening your brand, says Pure Spa & Beauty founder Becky Woodhouse.
There are many reasons to run offers, including filling white space in the diary, keeping customers coming back, attracting new clients, and rewarding loyal customers. Every hour that your therapists are not booked with clients costs you money so if you can keep them busy more often you will generally generate a higher profit – even if there are times when you are discounting to get customers through the door.
The key to a successful offer is understanding why you’re doing it, making sure that what you offer is relevant to your customers, carefully selecting how you communicate it, measuring the success of your offer, and building on it. When it comes to how to roll the offer out, ways that we use at Pure Spa & Beauty include email and text strategies. Emails and texts to your existing database can be a low cost and effective way to communicate an offer, particularly as they target clients that already know and like your business.
It is, however, important to make the communication as clear, concise and relevant as possible and to make sure you don’t bombard clients with messages. If you do they may get annoyed and unsubscribe. You also need to make sure you’re complying with any relevant regulations, such as the Data Protection Act in the UK.
Discount sites such as Groupon and Living Social get a lot of bad press but used as part of an overall marketing strategy, they can be highly effective. There are a few guidelines, however. Only use sites that cater for your customer base; they should be able to provide you with a profile of their visitors so you can see if the site will attract the right customer base for your spa.
Make sure you know exactly what you’re giving away so you’re not losing money and never agree to a loss-making deal, no matter how much you come under pressure. Read the small print on the contract so you know exactly what you’re signing up for and what the costs are. Put a cap in place on the number that can be sold of an offer, to create limited availability and ensure it’s a genuinely great deal.
Having a loyalty programme is a great way to reward regular custom and encourage clients to return.
Reward regular custom
At Pure, we run the Treat programme, which allows customers to earn points each time they visit, and these points can then be redeemed against free treatments. We also run special promotions for VIP customers throughout the year and have a “refer a friend bonus” that gives clients extra loyalty scheme points if they refer someone, as well as giving the friend bonus points on their first treatment.
This type of reward helps turn clients into brand ambassadors for your business and create word of mouth – which is the best way to attract new customers.
It’s also a good idea to consider corporate discounts. We have Club Pure, which gives employees of local businesses a discount at our spas, and this has proven great for attracting new clients. We also offer courses where clients receive six treatments but only pay for five, for example.
Track and communicate
Regardless of the type of deals and offers you create, it’s important to communicate them to the right audience, to ensure you get the best conceivable results at the lowest possible expense for your business. As mentioned, there are many different ways to communicate your offers, including discount and deal sites, emails, text messages, advertising, publicity in local press, communication on your own website and through the social media platforms you use.
The key is to find the most effective way to reach your target audience, so the best option is to try a combination of communication tools to see what works for you. Be inventive. Using different communication methods for different offers does, for example, mean you can have multiple offers running simultaneously without cheapening your brand, as each of them is focused on a particular set of customers.
With any offer, think about how you’re going to measure its success. This may be as simple as giving clients a code to quote when signing up to the offer, running it for a set period of time and tracking how many bookings you’ve had from it. You could also ask reception to keep a tally of how many people are coming in as a result of a particular offer.
No matter which method you choose, you should always keep a record of all the offers you have, the dates you ran them, how much they cost, and how many bookings they generated. That way you can build up knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and use that to run future promotions even more successfully.
Becky Woodhouse is chief executive of Pure Spa & Beauty, which offers beauty and spa treatments in seven locations across Scotland. Woodhouse, who set up the award-winning business in 2001, has a background as a chartered accountant and previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers.