What to include in a day spa pre-opening campaign

Guest blog: Charlie Thompson, co-founder of membership model The Massage Company on how to carefully carefully plan your pre-opening campaign to ensure a balance between local activity, digital marketing and third-party support

In my experience, spa pre-openings have been primarily dedicated to the operating processes and training principles for the brand. However, with the market changing and becoming more competitive, it is equally important to drive a fully fledged pre-sale activity programme, similar to the health club industry and it’s successful pre-opening campaigns.

Providing online accessibility and convenience is critical. Mobile-first development and a smooth transaction process must be attained at the beginning. It will take about three months before any online ranking will be naturally or organically optimised. Face it, you will be buying your early customers, so prepare a strong marketing budget and go for it.

Balancing the three elements of local activity, digital marketing and third-party support are going to be critical in the early months. It’s important to blend them carefully, starting with digital, moving to your own activity locally and then increasing support from thirdparty providers as you move into month three and beyond.

Our industry is well served by booking experts for both single treatments and spa packages, so you will get great information from them to choose from. You should also expect to open with three weeks’ worth of business on your books. There is a utilisation percentage that must be achieved in the early months to keep your team eager and you need to explain to them that it will be hard work from the start, so get your working culture right.

Charlie Thompson is chair of the UK Spa Association and co-founder of membership salon model The Massage Company. He is part of the “Ramping up a successful opening – day spas” Situation Room at the World Spa & Wellness Convention in London on February 24-25.