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Enticing New Business

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Direct mail has become one of the most effective strategies to market your aesthetic business. Whether your skin care center, dermatology clinic, day spa, or medical spa is known for signature facial treatments, specialized massage therapies, or day of beauty packages, there will always be some new service that you should promote to build your skin care business.
Many aestheticians wish that some of their specialized spa, wellness, and beauty care services were not the best kept secrets in town. Whether you operate independently or you own a large skin care facility, direct mail will help to draw attention to your business, while effectively promoting what you privately do behind closed doors.

With so many professional beauty care options for consumers today, professional skin care clinics need to get your message into the targeted local community. You must become market driven to stand out from the many other aestheticians, salons, and beauty care professionals available in every community today. Even though newspaper, radio, TV, and regional magazines are viable options, direct mail marketing remains one of your most successful options today.
Direct mail marketing strategies can be facilitated independently on your own, with direct mail houses and through local printers as well as through nationally recognized direct mail resources that are available in most major communities across America. With the help of Steve Zuckerman, president of Clipper Magazine, we will suggest a series of guidelines and strategies to help your future direct mail marketing campaigns make your aesthetic business become more successful:
Aesthetic Service Marketing Calendars! Develop an Annual Marketing Calendar that promotes all of your aesthetic and beauty care service categories throughout the year, while taking advantage of the various seasons and holidays. Gift giving holidays should be pre-planned for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the year-end holidays. If you are creating and facilitating the direct mail campaigns, postcards, and newsletters yourself, you may want to be prepared with bi-monthly or quarterly direct mail programs.
If you have been open more than one year, try to review your monthly sales. Strategically examine your strongest seasonal sales peaks and your weakest sales periods within your aesthetic and spa business. Develop an annual day spa marketing calendar that promotes all of your skin and spa services throughout the year, while also promoting them at a time when your clients will usually want to take advantage of them. You will often be able to turn traditional soft months like July, August, October, and January into stronger months, by planning in advance with extra direct mail marketing and advertising support. You can also take advantage of your strongest salon and spa service months, by capitalizing on them with additional direct mail advertising strategies.
Develop Visual and Marketing Consistency! A good direct mail advertising campaign needs to be consistent and ongoing. Maintain a very consistent visual image for your aesthetic business throughout all of your integrated print, broadcast, Internet, and direct mail advertising campaigns.
It’s great to be clever with your marketing and advertising headlines. Try not to get so clever that the prospective clients do not easily know what you offer in your aesthetic practice. After placing a strong photograph, headline, and logo, be sure to consider a small listing of your specialized skin care services. This should include extras like signature facials, massage therapies, hair removal services, and gift certificates.
Create Annual Direct Mail Advertising Campaigns! Invest in your business success by using direct mail advertising consistently throughout the entire year. Ask your vendors to review the advantages of annual agreements as well as the cost savings when you mail to multiple or larger targeted areas. This will make your advertising campaigns more effective, while it may also reduce the costs of your overall advertising budget.
Use Strong Photographs and Colorful Illustrations! Most people search for exciting colorful photographs, headlines, offers, and logos when they watch TV, read magazines, or look at their daily mail. You will need to portray a very clear message, while sharing an inviting opportunity for clients to rejuvenate, refresh, and revitalize their lives at your skin care clinic. If you do not have your own skin care, hair care, nail, and spa photographs, you can look to purchase stock photographs on the Internet or you can often work with your professional beauty care distributors and skin care product manufacturers to see what they will be able to offer. Present an upscale image with these photographs. You may have one large facial treatment or massage photograph with a series of additional smaller nail care and body treatment photographs in the same postcard, direct mail flier or advertisement.
Promote Your Services at Full Price! As Tom Peters once said, “Sell on quality, not on price!” You can certainly always promote your skin care services at full price in direct mail or in any advertising campaign! There is certainly nothing wrong with that. Just promote your services, while carefully listing the special benefits of what makes you so distinctively, better, or more unique than anyone else in town.
Use New First-Time Client Specials! Many skin care clinic and day spa owners are afraid to offend their regulars, by offering specials just for new clients. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Offer incentives for both your regulars and your new first time guests. Some special offers should be good for everyone, while one extra mini-gift certificate or coupon should be dedicated to attracting new first timers with an extra strong special introductory gift or discount offer.
Gifts of Beauty! Promote gift certificates for days of beauty, skin care series packages, and with pre-holiday gift certificate sales. Gift certificate marketing is one of the best methods for marketing day spas. You can promote gift cards and certificates throughout the entire year, with seasonal and holiday updates. Gift certificate marketing helps to bring in many new first-time guests as referrals. Whether you use personally signed direct mail postcards, seasonal day spa newsletters or any direct mail device, gift certificates should always be promoted!
Promote Exciting Offers with Gift Certificates! If you want to offer special features and seasonal promotions, make your direct mail coupons or mini-gift certificates as valuable as possible, so you will get a strong response. We suggest that you make your special promotional offers look a little more upscale, designing them to look more like mini-gift certificates, than coupons. You can name your professional skin care products, while name dropping the brands you use or even sharing their logos. Whether you want to offer specials or to promote at full price, be sure to share specific services and prices:

  • Signature Multi-Layer Facial Treatment – Only $00
  • Aromatherapy Facial Treatment – $00
  • Complete Day of Beauty – Only $00 – Includes X, Y, and Z
  • Makeup Application and Lesson – ONLY $00 – A Regular $00 Value

“FREE” Will Always Work Great! This word can surely help to persuade current skin care clients to try new services as well as to get new first-time clients to switch and try you. Consider offering a free gift with purchase or a purchase with purchase incentive:

  • Series Special: Buy Any 5 Signature Facial Treatments ~ Get One FREE!
  • Complete Day of Beauty – Only $00 – Includes X, Y, and Z with a FREE $25 Retail Product Gift Certificate
  • Buy Any $100 Day Spa Gift Card ~ Get a $20 Gift Card FREE!
  • Buy 3 XYZ Skin Care Products ~ Get One FREE! – of equal or lesser value

Use Dollars Off - Not Percentages! Your current and prospective new clients will react much better to strong dollars off discounts and incentives. Percentage discounts really are not perceived to be as strong, especially if they are only 10 to 20 percent off. Unless you use 50 percent off or higher percentage types of discounts, they will be perceived as weak offers. Day spa clients can more readily understand “$10 off any $90 Facial Treatment” or “$20 off any First-Time Body Treatment – $100 Values and Up.”
Use Care With Disclaimers! Try to avoid excessive disclaimers and rules for what is not included in your special offers. Keep your offers simple with words like, “No Double Discounts. Expires 00/00/09.” Use expiration dates of no more than 60 to 90 days to keep your offers timely.
Use Full Color Direct Mail Devices! Look for professional full color designs and printing capabilities from your local marketing and advertising resources. Just as full color advertisements in regional magazines work better for most salons and day spas than newspapers today, your direct mail campaigns also need to be very colorful. Today, you can affordably market your skin care clinic, salon, or day spa services as well as your professional skin care products in full color to ensure the best possible redemption.
Create Upscale Options! No matter what type of skin care clinic or beauty care business you are in, you need to use marketing vehicles that will build your professional reputation. Direct mail is a perfect resource for any type of professional skin care business. Today, full color direct mail magazine advertising resources are considered to be valuable money saving offers by most people. If you use the right resources, they really will not be perceived as ‘junk mail’. Keep it simple. The image you present should make your skin care business look elegant and inviting. While it is always very important to educate both current and potential new clients on the benefits of your skin care services, try not to clutter your direct mail marketing devices with too much extra copy. Whether you use regional magazines, solo direct mail postcards, newsletters, cooperative direct mail, direct mail magazines, free standing inserts, or a combination of many different direct mail media resources, you can make them all appear valuable and upscale.
Explore Affordable Direct Mail Solutions! Direct mail marketing is extremely affordable, especially when you partner with a national resource that has local programs targeting the homes in your community. Solo direct mail can be very effective, while the cumulative costs for independence may range from 75 cents to one dollar or more.
With the costs of graphic design, printing, address labels, postage, and handling, solo direct mail is certainly a more expensive, yet viable alternative. The advantage is that you can just target your own clients. The disadvantage is that you should also want to attract as many new first-time skin care clients as possible. Thus, a combination of both direct mail strategies will usually work best. Visit your local Yellow Pages or the Internet to find an array of direct mail advertising resources near your skin care facility.
Use Quality Direct Mail Resources! Work with the best local and regional full color direct mail magazine resources available. Ask to see examples of what other successful day spas have tried. Examine their local mailing area maps near your day spa as well as the potential costs. Look to see samples of their direct mail products. These same resources will offer you their standard magazine format, yet they can usually also offer you alternative solo direct mail options. Go for high quality, upscale resources. Avoid lesser quality resources. Ask to see samples of mailing devices with samples of similar skincare businesses like yours.
With direct mail resources, you can specifically target neighborhood homes surrounding your salon business. It is best to target homes within three to 10 miles of your business, while targeting at least 50,000 to 100,000 homes or more. You can explore direct mail envelopes, which will cooperatively mail a series of coupons to targeted neighborhoods near your skin care facility in smaller 10,000 home programs.
With valuable local and national direct resources, they will do it all for you. For example, the regional direct mail magazines offer you a unique turnkey direct mail marketing program. Benefits include complimentary marketing and advertising consultation services with full color printing on high quality glossy paper stocks, use of their professional photography, expertly designed layouts, and a complete array of comprehensive high quality resources at an extremely affordable price.
Complimentary Marketing Consultations! No matter what form of radio, TV, newspaper, magazine, or direct mail marketing you plan to use, ask your advertising sales representatives to share examples of what has worked well for other similar skin care business owners. Look at their maps, samples, and success stories. Take advantage of their experience, expertise, and library of knowledge.
Direct Mail Works! Like any form of advertising and marketing, it takes a long term investment to successfully market your skin care business. Set realistic expectations. One new client may result in several thousands of service sales dollars per year – so as few as five or 10 new clients from any one direct mail campaign needs to be considered a success. Many new clients will respond to your direct mail advertising without bringing in the advertisements. Direct mail marketing offers you the unique opportunity for the most effective and measurable advertising results. It’s time to promote your skin care business with cost effective direct mail advertising that will build your client base, your name brand in the local community, and bottom line sales.

Larry Oskin is president of Marketing Solutions, a full service marketing, advertising, and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty business. For more advice, contact Larry Oskin at Marketing Solutions at 703-359-6000, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit www.mktgsols.com.

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