Cheap Marketing Ideas – 7 inexpensive ideas from a spa owner
So you have opened your Spa doors and you now sit in your beautiful Spa eagerly awaiting customers to come flying through the doors and make you lots of money. For some Spas in very visible, high-traffic locations such as hotels, this does happen. More often than not though, the process takes a bit longer and requires marketing. Even if your Spa does start with a bang, it’s always wise to have a marketing plan in place and to keep up your marketing initiatives. You never know when the next economic dip could arrive unexpectedly or perhaps the competition moves in next door! Here are seven inexpensive marketing tips for assisting you in making your business a success.
1. Own a website
You must have a website in this day and age and this needn’t cost you a fortune. Don’t be shy to shop around for website quotes. Ask to see previous work and find a web designer who is both a good designer and who has search engine optimisation (SEO) knowledge. It’s no use just having a pretty picture online that no-one can ever find, so be sure to quiz your potential designer on their SEO knowledge and design your site with content in mind rather than beauty. Of course, your site has to look visually great, but it should also be optimised for the web in terms of content and keywords. For example, when someone types in “Spa” or “Dayspa” into Google, you want your website to pop up on the homepage.
I would also recommend writing the content for your website yourself initially. This will help you to clarify what you want in terms of your navigation and other elements on your site. For example, a booking request form that gets e-mailed to you and a “subscribe to newsletter” box.
2. Market your website through online marketing tools
The next step is to marketing your website online. This is really important as most people go online as their first port of call when researching new information. Rather be found on the web than not! Here are a few inexpensive things you can do to market your business online (You may need an expert in web design to assist you):-
-Submit your website to search engine directories to start getting organically ranked by Google. If your website has been search engine optimised with the right content and keywords, you should start to get ranked quite highly on Google within six months.
-Register with online directories and booking services – they do their own marketing on your behalf and send you clients. Many of these are commission based businesses, so it won’t cost you anything.
-Social Networking – start a Twitter and a Face book profile and update regularly. (go online and research how to do this)
-Google Adwords. If you have a marketing budget, set some money aside for Google Adwords. Again, go online and research this cost per click marketing option.
3. Build your own database as fast as possible
So many spas I have consulted to in the past do not keep a record of their own clients. This is a marketing crime. The quickest and best way to start increasing your revenue is to market to your own customers first. These people are already frequenting your establishment so it should be an easy sell to get them back again. (Provided they had a positive experience the first time).
So, build your database. Capture their e-mail and cell phone details and then send them regular updates – for instance on your Specials. Which brings us to the next point…
4. Create a Specials/Promotions Calendar to market to your database.
There are twelve months in a year, make sure you have twelve specials lined up, especially for “Special Events” such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day etc. Do not forget these important dates where people are looking to do something extra special with someone they love. And don’t just do whatever everyone else is doing, be creative! Think of your own specials that will set you apart from others. You needn’t always think “Discounts”. You can also think “Added Value”. For instance, purchase a full day spa package and receive a French manicure set for free!
5. E- Mail & SMS your database
Now that you have your database and you have your specials lined up, how do you get the information to your clients? Through e-mail and sms marketing tools. E-Mail and/or sms your own database every week or at least every month with your weekly or monthly specials. Don’t spam them every day as this will become irritating, but once a week is acceptable and once a month is a must.
There are quite a few mailing and sms’ing tools out there that offer great rates and also have stunning newsletter templates to choose from. I use Graphicmail which is very user friendly and has great support and offers a 3 month trial, so give it a bash. Alternatively, do research on the internet and choose one that best fits your needs.
6. Gift Vouchers
Gift Vouchers are another great way of marketing your Spa so make sure you offer them. Print out Spa Gift Vouchers and keep them in a very visible location, for instance, at reception where people pay. This will remind them to buy their friends or family gifts where they otherwise may not have thought of it.
Selling Gift Vouchers is a great way to “soft market” your business to new customers while at the same time generating revenue. You should also consider selling Gift Vouchers online from your website. Your web designer will be able to assist you with this.
7. Public Relations (PR)
Paying for magazine or newspaper advertisements is extremely expensive and needs a great deal of repetition in order to be effective, so a great way of getting into magazines for free is through Public Relations (PR). Invite Beauty Editors of the top 10 female focused magazines to visit your establishment for a spa treatment and to write a review. This review will effectively endorse your spa, which is worth more than just a general ad!
Make sure your best therapist does their treatment and make sure that their overall experience is five star. Do this regularly with Beauty Editors. Do it whenever you wish to get magazine coverage for free. It works. Bear in mind that magazines have a 2-3 month lead time so your article will only appear 3 months later.
I hope you have found this article useful. Good luck with your business!
If you would like to list your Spa on our Free Spa directory, plus sell your specials online, visit us at www.wellnessfinds.co.za . If you are looking for great South African Spa deals, click here. Wellness Finds is South Africa’s premier online Spa Directory and Spa booking service. All major credit cards are accepted.
Article Author: Tricia Cook, Managing Director of the Wellness Finds.