Pulse October 2023 | Page 51

important to stay ahead of the curve and work with your marketing team to determine what ’ s trending and not trending .”
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX FOR SPA GIFT CARDS Gift cards are a holiday favorite , but they don ’ t have to be boring .“ It ’ s important to elevate the gift card buying experience and incorporate something more personalized ,” said Vanderpoel .“ We provide different wrapping options and pre-made packages . If someone is unsure of the amount to purchase on a gift card , we let them know what a massage and pedicure would cost so they can purchase the appropriate amount .”
Bashir has a special offer that allows gift card purchasers of $ 200 or more a 20 percent reduction in any additional services they purchase for themselves .“ Self-care isn ’ t selfish ,” she explained .
Prescott adds an extra message with spa gift certificates . “ We put an insert in with their gift card encouraging them to come in during the month of January ,” she said .“ We want them to redeem as soon as possible : We want to sell Valentine ’ s Day gift cards in February .”
McLean finds gift cards encourage increased spending . “ When a person comes in to use their gift card ,” she said , “ it ’ s like free money to them . They ’ re looking at add-ons , purchasing products . We see anywhere from 25 to 50 percent more in the redemption process than the face amount of the gift card .”
Vanderpoel commented his spa has a similar experience . “ About 30 percent of our customers are spending over the value of their gift card ,” he said .
WORK WITH RETAIL PARTNERS TO ENHANCE SPA PROMOTIONS Retail product suppliers are amazing partners when planning holiday special offers and can help elevate a spa ’ s promotional efforts for the holidays .
“ September / October is a soft season for us and it ’ s a great opportunity to bring in resource partners to do product training ,” said McLean .“ They can work with our employees on elevator speeches on various products and give us a sneak peek on new products and what they ’ re putting on the shelves for the holidays . [ Ensuring ] our employees know what is coming and generating excitement around products is important .”
“ We sit with our resource partners and look at their marketing plan and determine how we can overlap together ,” said Prescott .“ If we want to launch with a vendor , this is the time of year to do it .”
GO BACK TO THE BASICS Bashir ’ s spa works with dedicated referral practitioners . “ We promote each other ’ s businesses and over the years the relationships with our practitioners have grown . If we have special events , we ’ ll include them . It lets our clients know we have relationships and access to various experts ,” she said .
Hearing lessons learned by others over the years can be some of the greatest advice . The Town Hall concluded with each of the panelists reflecting on the greatest lesson they ’ ve learned when preparing their spa for the winter holiday season .
Bashir ’ s advice was ,“ Don ’ t stop sending emails . Every time I go to send an email , I feel like I ’ m bothering someone with another email , but every time that email goes out , we get more sales .”
“ It ’ s important to start early , plan ahead and get your orders in as soon as possible ,” said Vanderpoel .“ Be sure to communicate with your teams who will be selling and booking services with your guests , so they are knowledgeable .”
McLean advised spa leaders to “ encourage early and more frequent shopping .” She pointed out ,“ The more you can keep guests involved and coming back to your space , the more loyalty you have with them .”
Prescott urged spas to prepare early for the holiday season .“ Order , plan and train in advance ,” she said .“ The more you do in advance , the more you can be on the floor with your team when they need you the most .” n