Just as technology and consumer trends are constantly changing, the marketing tactics that work – and don’t work – for spa owners, managers, and marketing professionals are always shifting.
Wondering what’s in and what’s out when it comes to marketing your services in a way that will get you boatloads of bookings in 2023 and beyond?
Then follow along with this master guide of spa marketing ideas to generate buzz and engagement that keeps your clients coming back for more.
Here are our favorite marketing strategies for Spas:
Okay, let's bucket each one into its own category and dive deeper.
Email marketing generates some of the best return on investment (ROI) out of the many digital marketing strategies out there.
But if you’re looking to create and nurture lasting client relationships, there’s something you have to know:
One-size-fits-all messages are out.
Marketers agree that the tactics they find most effective in their email marketing campaigns are segmentation, personalization, and automation.
When we’re talking about emails, personalization is all about making sure the content feels relevant to the individual – even if it's sent to a large group of clients. Achieve this by segmenting email recipients into different categories based on services they’ve had, services they may be interested in, the value they bring as a client, and more.
GlossGenius makes it easy for its customers to target specific segments to take a more personalized approach with relevant messaging.
When setting up an email marketing campaign, you can filter by:
Simply head to Settings > Email Marketing > Create New Email Campaign > Filter in your GlossGenius app and select which group you wish to send your message to and tap Apply.
We’ll tell you more about GlossGenius later – but for now let’s get back to the spa marketing tips.
In addition to personalized follow-ups and offer emails, here are some spa promotion ideas you can share with your entire client base as part of your email marketing:
Text message marketing is another powerful outreach method for spas, massage therapists, and other professionals in the beauty and wellness industry.
Just like with email, you can use GlossGenius to send texts to different client segments based on their appointment history, services purchased, products purchased, and so on.
Head to Settings > Text Marketing > Create New Text Campaign > Filter in your GlossGenius app and select which group you wish to send your message to and tap Apply.
When using text message marketing, you have to be careful not to come off as spammy. There are only a few times clients really want to get a text from you:
You must learn how to embrace reviews in this day and age. After all, more folks than ever before are reading online reviews and using them to decide which companies they want to do business with.
Here are a few tips that will help you learn to love reviews again.
We understand how awkward it can feel to ask clients to give you a written online review when you’re done providing your services and they’re trying to get on with their day. After all – you’ve worked so hard to create an incredible client experience! And if that means you don’t get as many great reviews as you deserve, you’re not alone.
This exact situation is why we automated the process of getting client reviews with GlossGenius. When your client receives their receipt for payment via our built-in payment processing platform, it includes a polite reminder to leave you a glowing review for all your hard work.
And it’s not just important you get more reviews – it’s also important you get to have more control over them! With GlossGenius, you decide which reviews get displayed publicly, and it’s as easy as toggling on show or hide.
What else can you do to make reviews work harder for you? Respond to the ones that show up publicly, on various platforms.
The vast majority of people (89%) want to work with a business that responds to online reviews.
For those reviews where there’s a “difference of opinion,” remember to keep your response professional. If possible, mention the positive ways you’re going to act on their feedback to make the experience even better for future visitors.
We know it might sometimes feel like it, but you don’t spend all your time in your spa, salon, or studio. Here’s how to turn those out-of-work experiences into more exposure – and bookings.
Take a cue from farmers markets and host a “spa market” with your own spa-inspired twist on the classic.
Turn your parking lot into a market featuring local businesses that offer goods and services your typical clientele would be into. You run a med spa? By all means, invite local businesses that specialize in hand-crafted facial serums or esthetician services!
This is a great way to build community as well as raise awareness and generate business for all the awesome wellness-focused providers in your area.
You don’t have to plan a full-on event to find a way to work with like-minded businesses.
Something else you can do is find ways to cross-promote each other. Maybe you can use towels from a local creator in your massage business, and in return they can display your business cards in their shop on Main Street that gets lots of foot traffic.
Changing up your salon aesthetic? Finally getting that renovation done? Or did you just sign the contract for your new location?
Host an open house and invite your community to see what your services are all about. If you have some staff who are able to circulate and answer questions or hand out brochures, that’s even better – or invite your existing clients to rub elbows and wax poetic about your talents!
To ensure a great turnout, promote the heck out of your event using social media and physical flyers, make sure you have great snacks on deck, and sweeten the deal by offering product giveaways.
One of the awesome things about spa services is that many of them can be done, in some form, “in the wild” at events like farmers markets, fairs, even business conventions.
Look out for your next local event to see if you can set up a booth and offer goods or services like 15-minute chair massages, quick nail shaping lessons, mini jars of your famous clay mask, or vouchers for a med spa consultation.
If you do have a physical location, use it.
Are you taking advantage of your front door, windows, building exterior, or even the lawn to display all the wonderful services and deals passersby can get inside?
If not, grab the sidewalk chalk and window paint and get out there this weekend!
Here are some fresh ways to create engaging social interactions that, when combined with an integrated booking system (don’t skip the last tip in this section!), should lead to real-life, money-making bookings.
Who doesn’t love a picturesque self-care moment?
Take advantage of this trend by turning a corner of your spa into a cute selfie station. Buy some fabric or garland from a craft store, order an LED or neon sign from Etsy, and add an accent chair for some extra interest.
We recommend choosing a backdrop that aligns with your brand colors and features your spa name, social media accounts, and any hashtags you want to be associated with (#medspa, #miamispa, etc.). You could even swap out the backdrop for different holidays and events.
Invite clients to capture a pic featuring their mud masks, freshly-done nails, or post-massage glow and watch your following grow!
Take a look at these examples of branded selfie walls that should get the creative ideas flowing.
Struggling to ask clients to post photos on social? How about a friendly photo contest to get even more people posting those selfie station pics and other photos from their experience at your spa?
Once some clients tag you in their spa experience photos on social, it’s sure to inspire FOMO from your other clients!
Here are some ideas to generate photos that increase brand awareness and bookings:
GlossGenius Tip: Don’t forget video content! Short-form video is popular among social media users, can generate impressive results, and video is seeing growing investment from professional marketers, too.
Consistency is key if you want to use social media to create actual business engagement. However, sometimes you just don’t have time to create or share your own content.
That’s where a good giveaway can help to inspire your clients to create and share social content for you.
We recommend creating a point system where something like 500 points = a $200 gift card for your services. Clients can earn points and win awards by creating and sharing on social, such as:
GlossGenius has dozens of templates already formatted for social media that give you lots of beautiful backgrounds to announce contests, giveaways, appointment openings, gift cards, new products, etc.
Looking for even more ways to get your name in front of the kind of people who will love and share your services?
There are plenty of online communities on platforms like Facebook and Reddit centered around massage, wellness, small business, and local services.
As we often preach, it’s all about community over competition!
We recommend communicating in a helpful, natural, and non-“salesy” way. Just be yourself! While many of these groups allow for a special self-promotional day or thread, be sure you’re not breaking any guidelines before you post anything about your business to avoid getting kicked out or making a poor impression.
It can be hard to get folks who engage with your social posts and online reviews to make the jump to calling you or visiting your website to find your booking information. That’s why every spa professional needs an easy-to-navigate booking experience that can be accessed via a simple URL.
GlossGenius provides this online spa booking experience in the form of a comprehensive and customizable booking website that comes free with your membership.
On the client side, in a few taps they can see your schedule and make an appointment – no sign-in, download, or deposit for booking (unless you want one!) required.
On your end, there are tons of features you can update on your GlossGenius booking site:
With our always-on and easy-to-update booking experience, GlossGenius users have seen a 35% increase in bookings, on average. It's no surprise that 99% of the clients our members work with prefer GlossGenius’ booking system over the outdated legacy platforms some spas unfortunately still use.
If you’re still on one of those clunky old systems, sign up for a free 14-day trial of GlossGenius now and start making the money you deserve.
Social media sites and online review platforms only account for part of your online presence, and most clients only seek out social media profiles to discover new artists and professionals.
But when it comes to booking services, these prospective clients are going straight to directories or search engines like Google.
If you don’t want to miss out on this chunk of traffic, here are some tactics to clean up and make your presence known to an even larger pool of interested potential customers.
Who uses Google to look into local businesses before visiting?
A ton of your potential clients.
More than 80% of consumers report going straight to Google to evaluate a business.
What can you do to make sure what they’re seeing is accurate and favorable? If your business has a physical location, you can get your Business Profile on Google up to date (fyi, this feature used to be called “Google My Business”).
Find out if your business has a Business Profile by Googling its name. If your business shows up under “Places,” you have a Business Profile.
If you don’t have one, or you do but you haven’t done anything to manage it yet, here are Google’s tips for getting that done.
When you have official ownership of your profile, follow these instructions to edit it to make sure it’s up to date.
In addition to Google, another place folks go to search services is directories.
There are digital directories out there for every profession. Yelp is a sort of directory-social media mashup that spans industries. With GlossGenius, people in your area who are searching for the services you offer can find and book you right on Yelp.
You want to make sure your profiles on these kinds of sites are up to date and that you’re interacting with clients however you’re able – answering messages, responding to reviews, etc.
Win most of your new spa business via social media?
With social media search engine optimization (SEO), you’ll be able to grow the number of people who find and connect with you across social media.
Not only is SEO up there alongside social media in terms of effectiveness in marketing, the majority of professionals who are already doing it say they’re going to keep investing in 2023.
Social SEO all starts with keywords. When someone searches a platform like Instagram or TikTok using a phrase, those platforms search for that phrase across captions, hashtags, user names, bio sections, and even location tags. The profiles that fit the search the best rise to the top of the results.
What you want to do to make this tactic work for you is think about what people who love your services search for. They may use phrases like “steam room in X city” or “hydrotherapy specialist.” You want to be sure you’re always using these phrases in your profile bio, and when you create and post to your social accounts!
A critical component to being successful with social SEO is to refresh your strategy often. If you find traffic falling, go back to the list of phrases you’ve optimized for and make sure you’re taking advantage of the latest trends and terms in the spa world.
What exactly does client retention have to do with marketing?
Well, if salon marketing all boils down to selling products and services, retention might actually be the most important tactic of all.
That’s because retention is one of the most affordable ways to sell products and services – to clients who already exist and don’t need to be converted first with time-consuming or costly marketing tactics.
It’s undeniably more expensive to get a new client to spend money than it is to get one you already have to spend money with you. That’s the power of retention.
With that in mind, here are several tips for rewarding client loyalty and creating a strong base of folks who love coming back for your services again and again.
Memberships are a great deal for spas and spa clients alike.
For you, ongoing membership payments ensure steady income even during those slow months. For your clients, they get to enjoy a discount on services by paying for them up front, but get to use those services at their leisure throughout the month.
By offering some special allowances that are only for members – such as first dibs on rare services or priority when scheduling appointments – you can make it even more worth their while to sign up, without having to offer too high of a discount that eats into your profits.
Loyalty programs help with cash flow in a different way. They should help keep your traffic a little more steady, so you don’t see as many slow periods.
Customer loyalty programs come in lots of forms. Some businesses use punch cards, where the client’s tenth punch (aka visit) is free or discounted. Or, a tactic you can take from the retail world is the point system, where spending equates to points and those points can be redeemed for rewards or discounts.
Referral plans are a great way to reach folks in your target audience without spending a dollar of marketing money.
And there are several really cool things that will happen when you start taking referrals seriously.
One, you of course get new customers coming in the door!
And two, your existing clients are incentivized to keep booking more services with you as they rack up the rewards from making referrals.
What’s there to lose?
So which of the above tactics are you most excited about trying?
Whether it’s doubling down on personalized emails, finally planning that event you’ve been dreaming about, or trying a combination of the tactics above – the team here at GlossGenius has your back.
As hairdressers, nail artists, estheticians, and makeup artists ourselves, we've been there, done that – and it's our mission to give you all the tools you need to build your empire.
We save you time by building app features, filters, and automations that make the cycle of marketing, booking, review, follow-up, and rebooking a breeze.
We save you money by offering affordable subscription pricing and charging a flat, industry-low fee for every payment processed. No sneaky hidden fees, fine print, contracts, or add-ons.