Like most retailers, day spas must have a “sales” focus to be successful. Unlike most retailers, however, spas aren’t just selling a product and completing a transaction. They’re selling service, but more than that spas offer an “experience.” Although most potential customers would love to take part in this experience, many can’t afford it, so it’s important for spa owners to market in the right places. Successful spa marketing isn’t rocket science, and here are some great tips to help you get started.

Tip #1) Budgeting-Before you ever start planning who you are marketing to or how you are going to reach them, you need to know how much money you have to spend. If you have the money (and the guts) to be aggressive with your marketing, go for it, but make sure you spend money in a way that will affect your bottom line. Since you’re selling a luxury service, you’ll have to spend more on your marketing than, say, a low-price retailer.

Tip #2) Targeting-What type of spa are you? It’s important to define a niche for your business, because 1) it helps you create a vision for your advertising and 2) it helps you determine which customers to pursue. Spend some time researching the demographics of your area to find where to reach your customers. This will define where you market and how you market, so you’ll need to know it ahead of time. Over time your market may expand, but at first it’s best to have a focused target in mind.

Tip #3) Planning-This part of the process involves determining your goal and figuring out how you’re going to reach that goal. What do you want to achieve from your marketing? More new clients? Increased client retention? Improved brand awareness? Without an understanding of the purpose behind your marketing, it’s difficult to implement a plan. Don’t get so caught up in the minor details that you miss the big picture.

Tip #4) Relationship-Building-Spas shouldn’t focus on “closing deals.” Rather, they should build long-term relationships, both with clients and with other neighboring businesses. When you’re new to the area, create signs that show your neighbors who you are and what you offer. Use a vinyl banner to promote your grand opening, and design attractive one-way vision graphics for your windows that make your business look intriguing. Don’t push too hard, though, or you’ll turn people away. As you get to know your clientele, you can gradually build them up to being long-term customers.

Tip #5) Selling-When you are finally able to make your “sales pitch,” make sure you have something unique (and important) to say. Know what you’re competitors are offering and provide something different that will stand out from the crowd. A use temporary sign like a window cling to promote your special offer, as it’s easy to remove when the promotion has ended, and always keep in a customer-focused mindset. If you don’t have an attractive offer, customers will pass you by.

Success is never guaranteed as there are many factors outside your control, but if you approach your spa marketing in this way, you’re definitely on the right track. It definitely helps to be prepared and to approach customers with a slow-and-steady attitude rather than being quick and pushy. Your business strives to make clients feel relaxed and refreshed, so your marketing should take the same approach.

Michael Allen works as a Director of Marketing in Boston, Massachusetts. He has worked with both large companies and small local businesses for over 20 years. His vast experience in the field of marketing positions him as an expert in helping businesses expand by using marketing tactics.