With the start of 2018, you have an opportunity to begin the year fresh by creating your spa marketing plan in advance. A great way to gain new clients and retain clientele is to use holidays throughout the year to create special promotions.
Now let’s jump into the holidays with a few examples for promoting your spa practice. We’ll go through the big ones chronologically to keep things simple before looking at some ideas for marketing your business the rest of the year. Click the link for a document about Creating a Spa Marketing Plan to help you reach your spa marketing goals for your practice.
World Religion Day
As you begin the new year, you may choose to show your community that your business is open and accepting of all traditions by celebrating World Religion Day on January 21, 2018.
Consider hosting a nondenominational prayer or meditation time during lunch or evening hours.
Invite religious leaders from various denominations to take part in the session and to be on hand to educate people about their own traditions and meditation/prayer practices. If you feel it is appropriate, collect a donation from attendees to support a local charity or organization.
Remember to bestow your own blessing on all who attend in the form of an incentive toward their next purchase or service, or perhaps a gift that relates to world peace or unity.
If there were a holiday perfect for gaining referrals or doing bring-a-friend type promotions this is it. After all, who doesn’t want to treat the people they love to something special for Valentine’s Day?
Although it’s traditionally a holiday for couples, there are plenty of opportunities for promoting Valentine’s Day besides offering couples massages and chocolate-themed spa treatments.
Here’s one fun idea for your spa marketing plan: With every gift certificate or massage purchased during the month, ask clients if they would like to make a donation to the American Heart Association.
For each donation received, offer the client a red paper heart to post in your office with their name or the name of someone special. As a bonus, you could enter everyone who makes donations into a drawing to win a gift certificate or another prize.
You could also make your business a destination for couples or singles by co-hosting chocolate, beer or wine tastings—or even a “Be Your Own Valentine/Single Girls’ Night In” event on your own or with a neighboring restaurant.
For a small fee of $10 to $25, attendees could enjoy an evening of relaxation at your office or the partnering business. While some sip or snack, others could receive pampering treatments like foot or hand massages or paraffin dips.
You could also provide everyone who attends with a gift bag or savings certificates for your services. With events like this, it’s always good to have some specific call to action like “Schedule a 60-minute massage before you leave and receive a 15-minute upgrade at no charge.”
Mother’s Day is one of those no-brainer holidays for promotions because nearly everyone has a mother in their life, whether it is their own, the mother of their children, or a friend or family member who has kids.
As such, there are certainly many opportunities for spa marketing by creating special promotions for gift certificates or spa packages for this holiday.
For example, if you specialize in fertility or pregnancy massage, you could focus on mothers-to-be with packages or special offers highlighting those services.
Before the holiday, connect with an obstetrics doctor, a birthing center, Lamaze coach or lactation consultant to see if they would be willing to share your information with their clients or if they have anything special they could include with the package, like a free initial consultation or class.
If you have the space or personnel to offer couple’s massage, you could also try a “Mom and Me” special aimed at mothers and whoever they want to bring with them.
Often this is Dad, but could also be one of her kids (usually teens or adults), her own mother or sibling, or another friend who is a mother.
You can offer a special rate if you like, but it may be even nicer to include a gift of some type instead, like flowers, chocolates or lunch for two at a nearby restaurant.
Although less popular than Mother’s Day for gift-giving and overall pampering, Father’s Day can be a reason to create a promotion to grow your male clientele.
The stereotypical images for Father’s Day conjure up images of Dad on a golf course, beside a grill or grabbing a beer. Why not play on those ideas by finding ways to combine Dad’s favorite interests and hobbies with some relaxation?
One idea for your spa marketing plan is to partner with a mobile automobile care service that will wash, wax and detail—or provide an oil change—for Dad’s car in your parking lot while you give him a massage.
You’ll probably have to do a little extra work coordinating the details of this arrangement, so you may want to mark up the price or work out a referral commission on every car service you arrange.
If setting up this dual service seems too complex, another option is to simply bundle the price of the service for a local car wash with your massage and provide Dad with the gift certificate for that service at his visit to see you or with the gift certificate that gets purchased for him.
Another option is to provide a local car wash service with coupons or promotional certificates to leave in every car they clean during the month leading up to Father’s Day.
Regardless of how you set it up, this could be done as a promotion any time of year, which works equally well for men and women. It could also bring in new clients and a new revenue stream to both businesses.
Summertime Spa Promotions
Summertime is the time to kick back for lots of us—and this is especially true of teachers. These professionals give their all during the school year and are seldom appreciated fully for all they do.
During the month of July (or even for the whole summer), offer a special teacher’s discount of 10 to 20 percent off some or all services and products that you offer.
Once the teachers come in, be sure to send them out the door with a discount or Preferred Client card that can be used during the school year when they really need to relax.
You may also want to contact your local school system(s) about offering a year-round discount offer to all school employees.
You can also take things one step further by offering to speak at career day or teach the kids about relaxation or massage therapy when school is back in session.
Another common element in summertime—at least in most places—is hot weather.
Do something fun for your clients by hosting an ice cream social. This can be an enjoyable way to show some appreciation to your clients and staff members during a slower day or week. Make the event a fun break from work to cool down during lunch time or in the middle of the afternoon.
At the end of the summer, you may want to add in some Back to School or Fall into Relaxation promotions as well.
My favorite winter holiday is Thanksgiving. There’s just something so appealing about focusing on gratitude and sharing it with others.
As such, I came up with a simple Thanksgiving promotion for my spa that you can implement next year or anytime you want to cultivate some positive thoughts.
Using our spa’s Facebook page as the medium, I posted something I was grateful for every day during the month of November and invited our clients to do the same.
For each post they made, clients were entered in a contest to win a free one-hour massage and other fun prizes, which we drew for at the end of the month. We promoted this via Facebook ads as well as through an email newsletter.
The main goals were to gain new Facebook fans and to create engagement, community and feel-good vibes all month long. As a bonus, I gave everyone who participated an incentive to come into the spa for another service, which introduced participants to something new.
As in the example above, not all promotions have to be about offering a discount or sale—or even trying to increase the number of new clients or appointments you see.
Another example of this is a different gratitude-based promotion we do annually at my spa. During the month of November, we give each client who comes in a small gift. One year we gave away rose quartz hearts, and another year we gave small stones engraved with inspiring words like inspire and relax in organza bags.
Last year we chose mini organic aromatherapy soaps, which we also sell.
Using the Thanksgiving season as a time to thank your clients for their loyalty and business is a perfect fit.
What really touches me about this promotion, besides the deep well of love and gratitude I have for our clients, is the reactions we get.
Some clients have literally welled up with tears because they didn’t think anyone would remember them for the holiday. It’s a feel-good promotion, and no doubt contributes greatly to our repeat clientele.
Wintertime Spa Promotions
Over the last few years, a huge focus for holiday shopping has centered around Black Friday as well as the lesser known Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
While logic would dictate that these are all one-day events, most of these promotions start well before and last long after the actual calendar dates occur.
You can do this, too. Whatever holiday promotions you plan, let people know to save the date or invite them to pre-order their Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday certificates, specials, programs or packages.
Another option to consider for the gift-giving holidays is a gift with purchase for anyone who purchases a gift certificate of a certain value or for a specific service.
For example, if you have a stress-relieving massage, you could create a gift certificate package that include a small bottle of lavender aromatherapy oil, bath salts or an eye pillow.
If you offer spa services like salt scrubs or body polishes, you could put together a gift bag that had take-home sizes of the products used in the service.
In many cases, sample sizes of products can be purchased for a small fee or obtained at no charge with a wholesale purchase to make including a retail product simple. Whichever you elect to do, be sure to build the price of the products or other gifts into the package.
New Year’s Day
Help clients get off to a grand start next year by finding ways to them to stick to their own goals and resolutions such as self-care.
Prepare your clients for the year ahead by designing and printing a year-long calendar of your upcoming specials, promotions or classes.
Incorporate photos of products and services you offer or staff bios each month as well as tips for your clients to relax or pamper themselves at home. You could also add a special coupon or offer on each page that the client can clip and save.
Granted, this takes a bit of planning in advance, but it will give your clients something to look forward to all year and will keep you on their mind.
Other Occasions and Holidays
For example, for the month of August alone there are several celebrations listed which could be easily tied to massage therapy, including:
- National Golf Month
- National Simplify Your Life Week
- National Smile Week
- Be Kind to Humankind Week
- International Forgiveness Day
- Left Hander’s Day
- Creamsickle Day (ice cream social anyone?)
if you or your clients are passionate about causes related to animals or pets, go to avma.org and you’ll find that there are many pet and animal-related holidays every month including:
- National Train Your Dog Month (January)
- National Dog Biscuit Day (February)
- National Pig Day (March 1)
- National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day (April 30)
Any of these events could provide opportunities to join forces with a local vet, pet store or boutique for a variety of promotions aimed at pet owners or animal lovers.
You could also opt to do something on your own to raise money or collect food for a local animal shelter or rescue group.
Similarly, there are many days, weeks and months dedicated to raising awareness of medical conditions, from arthritis to fibromyalgia and cancer. These observances are good ways to educate your clients and potential clients about the benefits of massage therapy for people living with such conditions.
For example, May is Arthritis Awareness Month and October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. What educational promotions can you think of that would highlight the benefits of massage for addressing arthritis or for cancer survivors? Visit healthfinder.gov for a list of health-related observances in 2018.
You can also create celebrations and promotions around events in your life such as the anniversary date of your business or your birthday.
Your creativity combined the sense of fun and excitement you create around any promotions you do is a huge part of making them successful.
Felicia Brown is the owner of Spalutions and provides business and marketing advice to massage, spa and wellness professionals. She is the author of Free & Easy Ways to Promote Your Massage, Spa & Wellness Business and Creating Lifetime Clients as well as several other books. She has been a licensed massage therapist since 1994 and owns A to Zen Massage, a wellness spa in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her articles for MASSAGE Magazine and massagemag.com include “You Can Gain Many More Spa Clients—If You Follow This 4-Step Plan.”