With the holiday season rapidly sneaking up on us there is no better time than the present to use spa services to attract more clients into the new year. Even if your club offers basic spa services, gift certificates can offer the perfect medium for boosting spa sales well into the New Year.

BASIC GIVING

Whether as a gift for a secretary, a neighbor or the mailman, a spa gift certificate for a massage or other relaxing treat is welcome and appropriate. As fall approaches, increasing awareness of your spa's offerings can work neatly into a larger marketing plan for increasing spa sales for gift giving during the Christmas holiday.

  • Use shelf talkers. By placing tasteful reminders of appropriate spa services like massage and express facials, you can remind members of ideas for giving without any inconvenience. List key services as suggested gifts, mention a price range and explain how gift certificates work. Make the approach basic, convenient and effective, without any overt selling.

  • Use visuals. Make sure that the front desk and reception areas mention your spa with visuals that speak volumes about the relaxing and healthful nature of spa treatments. The more club members see the services and understand what treatments like body buffs, wraps and Thai massage look like, the more they will embrace giving a spa treatment as a holiday surprise.

  • Make the certificate purchase simple. Mail out a gift certificate order form for easy purchasing of gift certificates to the spa. Place an order box in the locker rooms and reception area with a credit card payment method. Have an online presence that makes gift certificate purchasing convenient and virtual. Create a corporate flyer for companies wishing to extend the gift of relaxation to their staff.

  • GIFT BASKETS

    Gift baskets are the perfect way to create a sampling of fitness, nutritional and beauty products along with an intangible gift like a 30-minute massage. Have pre-packaged baskets and offer complimentary gift-wrap. Offer a gift basket while you workout program where the member can identify what he or she would like to include for easy pickup at the end of his or her workout. Make sure that the gift baskets offer combinations of goods at different prices.

    THE MALE MARKET

    Over the last year the male market has increased phenomenally leaping from around 3 percent in the mid 1980s to more than 30 percent in 2003. Men appreciate the spa and they are journeying into services that are more exotic. No longer are they only signing up for sports massage and haircuts. Gentleman's packages include executive facials, natural manicures and a variety of body treatments. When creating your holiday spa menu, don't forget the guys. Studies show that men enjoy services more when they are targeted only to the male market. They also prefer packages that are less than three hours long. When developing gift certificates, stay with a unisex look or go the extra mile and create men's certificates as well as more feminine gift certificates. Guys love the spa scene but they prefer to be marketed to in an ultra masculine way.

    DON'T STOP AT CERTIFICATES

    The holiday season is the perfect time to introduce club members to spa services. Offer give-aways for spa sampler gift sets and services. Have impromptu contests; allow aerobics and group exercise facilitators the freedom to give away services during their classes. Extend the gifting to your members and watch it come back in immediate sales. Furthermore, offer holiday specials for facials, manicures and treatments that offer indulgences during the holidays.

    Get your members into the spa with spa sampling parties, seated massage in the lobby and “bring a friend” free days to encourage referral sales. Paying more attention to the potential of gift certificates this year will more than double in return value in the coming year.

    Melinda Minton is a spa consultant and health and beauty expert in Fort Collins, CO. She is the founder of The Spa Association, which is dedicated to enriching the professional beauty industry through self-regulation, education and sound business practices.

    Monthly Phone Checks

    The first day of every month, membership reps should call their members they started up in the previous month. The conversation will sound like this:

    MR: Bob? Hi! This is Karen from the club. The reason for my call is that I wanted to make sure you are finding everything and that you are enjoying the club. How is the club working for you?

    Bob: Oh man, I love the club! It's the best thing I've done in a long time. Thanks for checking in on me.

    MR: My pleasure. I just wanted to make sure you're comfortable and being taken care of. We talked about a lot of things when you joined and I want to make sure we covered everything. I don't know if we talked about our member thank you program. Each month we have a gift for our members who refer their friends. This month the gift is a fleece vest — you may have seen it in the lobby display.

    Bob: Yeah, I did see that. It is pretty cool. How do I get one?

    MR: It's easy. All you do is refer a friend who joins this month and it's yours. The promo goes until the end of the month so I wanted to give you plenty of time in case you wanted to get involved. Is there anyone you'd like me to call for you and extend an invitation to the club courtesy of you?

    Bob: Yeah, I have a few buddies that would be interested. Their names are ________, ________________, ________________ and their phone numbers are….

    MR: Excellent Bob! I will give them a call and let you know what happens. And please, if there is anything I can do for you in the club or you have any questions, don't hesitate to let me know.