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    11 ways to boost up your spa business during slow season

    As a spa business owner, you must have witnessed times of the year when you see peaks and dips in your business, particularly–

    • At the beginning of the year, around January and February
    • During the summer months
    • At the end of summer
    • Before the Christmas rush

    These slow times may put more stress on spa owners to keep bookings full and maintain cash flow.

    There’s no room for panic. It’s perfectly normal to see a summertime slump or the post-holiday blues hitting your spa business.

    Many clients have either gotten themselves summer-ready and are enjoying their summer holiday or are recovering from the busy celebration season.

    But this doesn’t mean you should hang your apron and close up shop. There are always ways to encourage clients to pay you a visit, you just have to be smart about it. 

    In this blog post, we are sharing 11 tips to navigate these slow times, boost sales and keep customers coming in even during the slow times.

    Ready to take your aesthetic business to the next level? Book a demo with Pabau today and discover how our innovative marketing tools can help you drive more business, even during quieter summer months.

    Why do spa sales slow down?

    A few factors stand behind the reason the spa and wellness industry sees dips in business. They impact the whole spa industry, but small businesses, in particular, feel the biggest impact on their sales and revenue.

    • Seasonal changes in consumer behavior – During the summer months, people often prioritize outdoor activities, vacations, and family time over indoor activities like spa treatments. This shift leads to decreased spa bookings and sales.
    • Economic downturns – Economic downturns and uncertainties can impact discretionary and self-care spending like spa treatments because they’re seen as a luxury. When people cut their budgets, the first cost on the list is non-essential services like spa visits. The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe effects on the spa industry in the US, decreasing total spa revenue by 36.4%, from $19.1 billion in 2019 to $12.1 billion in 2020. While in the UK, the cost of living crisis puts a strain on the beauty and wellness industry. Apart from the considerable increase in bills, salons struggle with last-minute cancellations and a decrease in consumer spending caused by the crisis.
    • Holiday hangover and hibernation season – After the busy season of the holidays, many people experience a holiday hangover. They may be more cautious with their spending, which leads to fewer spa bookings. Also, January is peak hibernation season, so no one is looking for a glow-up.
    • Increased competition – The spa industry is highly competitive, with new spas and wellness centers constantly popping up on every corner. As more local businesses are competing for customers’ attention and money, it can dilute sales for established spas during slower seasons.

    Understanding the factors that influence slow times and being prepared in advance can help you craft strategies to counter the slow season.

    Following industry trends can help spa owners develop smart and comprehensive approaches to keep their businesses thriving year-round and turn the seasonality of spa services in their favor.

    You can develop strategic approaches to attract and convert clients even during slow seasons.

    For example, offer a ‘Get ready for summer’ package including a series of treatments to help clients achieve their weight loss goals for the summer starting as early as January or February for the best results.

    A specialized body contouring massage combined with lymphatic drainage therapy and personalized nutritional consultation specialized for weight loss. Throw in a body lotion that helps improve skin elasticity and firmness as an add-on, and you’ve got yourself a winning summer campaign. 

    These are just a few things you can try out – there are more helpful ways below.

    If you find yourself with time on your hands this summer, here are eight aesthetic marketing ideas to drive business and get more clients.

    11 Promotion ideas to drive business in slow season

    1. Get blogging

    Blogging is a great way to create relevant, engaging content that attracts potential clients and drives your spa’s online presence. The more often you post new content to your website (and your social channels), the more you’ll increase your ranking on Google.

    Creating content that covers a range of treatments and topics will attract a range of clients. It doesn’t need to be complicated either – just think about the kind of helpful advice and guidance that you’d like to read if you were exploring treatment options.

    To get started, think of some of the most common questions your clients ask you and just write down your answers! Publishing content based on clients’ questions not only establishes your credibility but also addresses the needs of potential clients, paving the way for meaningful engagement and increased bookings.

    2. Start a newsletter

    When you’re publishing regular blogs, you’ll have lots of great insight and advice that your clients – old, existing and new – will want to read.

    A newsletter is a great way to keep all of them engaged, and make sure your clinic stays front of mind. And it’s really easy to set one up and start sending. Plus, email marketing is the most cost-effective out of all marketing channels, earning you $36 to $40 on every dollar you spend.

    Spa software like Pabau has hundreds of templates for you to choose from, tailored specifically for aesthetic and spa businesses. It automatically pulls in all your client and prospect data, streamlining your marketing efforts so you can focus on creating captivating content. Just add your blogs and any news announcements you want to make, and hit send!

    If your clients have time on their hands during the summer, they’ll appreciate hearing from you and learning more about your treatments.

    3. Up your TikTok game

    TikTok is one of the biggest social media platforms around (at the moment), and you’ll likely find some prospective clients there. But a great TikTok channel needs great videos – and making those takes a little time and effort.

    If you’ve got downtime in between clients though… get filming!

    Whether you run a spa, salon, or med spa – you can use everything in it to get creative with some new TikTok videos and show off all your treatment options. Demos, quick benefit-focused videos, how-to’s – even a group dance mirroring the latest TikTok trend – will all help you get noticed and get more aesthetic clients.

    After starting to post on TikTok, spas and salons have seen their average client bill increase by £24 in three months, according to Ben Lifton, founder of salon marketing consultancy Content Kweens.

    TikTok can also help you attract a younger audience. Studies show that Gen Zs, the generation born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, are eagerly trying to prevent aging and seeking the next anti-wrinkle products and treatments. Being Gen Z’s favorite platform, TikTok is ideal for showing off your services and attracting new customers.

    4. Incentivize user-generated content with offers

    Quieter periods are the perfect time to engage with recent spa-goers and encourage them to share their experiences on social media platforms. Reach out to clients who have visited your spa in the past few months and invite them to post about their treatments using a dedicated hashtag or tagging your spa’s profile on Instagram, TikTok, or other platforms you’re using.

    To get clients more excited and proactive, consider offering exclusive discounts or complimentary add-ons to clients who share user-generated content. For example, offer an upgrade to a deluxe treatment or a discount on their next visit if they post a selfie or a photo and tag your spa when they come in.

    Important: Before resharing any posts that include clients’ photos, you need to ask for written consent from the client that they agree to have their photos or videos reshared on your spa’s social media profile. The consent should:

    • Clearly outline the terms and conditions of the promotional offer, including what the client needs to do (e.g., post a selfie, tag the spa) and what they will receive in return (e.g., upgrade, discount).
    • Provide the client’s explicit consent to use their likeness (photo, video, etc.) for promotional purposes, including on your social media channels.
    • Clarify that the client releases your spa from any liability associated with using their likeness for promotional purposes, including any potential consequences or issues that may arise from their participation.
    • Specify the duration for which the consent is valid, particularly if the client’s likeness may be used in future marketing efforts.

    Make this part of the process for any similar user-generated promotional activities involving reposting or using photos or videos of your clients.

    Incentivizing user-generated content with enticing rewards helps you strengthen your brand advocacy among your clientele, fostering word-of-mouth marketing and increasing your chances of reaching new customers.

    5. Hold an open day

    Inviting your local community down to see your spa in person and enjoy a glass of bubbly is a great way to drum up new business this summer.

    It gives prospective new clients the chance to ask any questions they might have about your treatments and see your spa facilities for themselves – so you can show off your state-of-the-art equipment and pristine spa ambiance.

    Plus, announcing an open day is a great way to get your name out into the area, through local newspaper articles, posters in shops and signs on the road, and digitally in local Facebook groups, events, Instagram ads, TikTok, etc.

    6. Test some offers on your treatments

    Another great way to get more clients to your spa or salon during the summer is to run an offer or two on some of your treatments.

    You could offer a two-for-one deal on a rejuvenating facial treatment or highlight a 20% discount on laser hair removal services.

    Or, you could put together a ‘Summer Beauty’ package that includes a few different treatments over a couple of months, bundling them together for one ‘amazing value’ price.

    7. Re-engage your old clients

    Those treatment offers won’t just attract new clients. They’ll help you bring back previous clients who you might not have seen for a while. A discounted price or special package is sure to entice those who can’t resist a sale!

    Additionally, you pay less for retaining existing clients than for gaining new ones – five times less to be exact.

    Use your records to see which clients haven’t visited in a while and which may be due a top-up. Reach out to those clients who once came regularly but who haven’t booked a treatment for a few months.

    Your spa marketing software can help you identify and reach these clients. Software like Pabau even automatically sends recalls to those who would benefit from booking subsequent appointments and follow-ups. You can set up automated recalls for different treatments or treatment categories and choose how often they go out.

    💡 Pro tip: The trick is not to make it as a sales pitch, but rather a reminder. You could say something like, ‘Did you know that you’re due for a top-up?’ or ‘Wow, three months went fast. It’s time to schedule another facial.’

    Use the power of automated recalls to re-engage with old clients, drive repeat bookings and increase customer retention.

    8. Collect testimonials

    Client testimonials aren’t just words; they’re your spa’s secret formula for building trust and showing off your credibility.

    Another thing you could do to use the extra time during the slow season and increase bookings is to prioritize collecting client testimonials to showcase your spa’s services and boost your reputation.

    They are the fruits of your spa’s hard work and efforts and serve as proof of your well-deserved trust and credibility.

    Compelling testimonials can be powerful marketing assets that attract new clients to your spa. Potential clients who read about the positive experiences of others with the help of testimonials are 34% more likely to book a treatment.

    Use spa management software like Pabau to streamline the process of collecting and organizing testimonials. Client review requests are built into the booking process and the client journey, so they are ‘always on.’ This way, you’re certain that each client who walks out of your spa is given the chance to share the great experience they’ve had.

    Display the best ones prominently on your website, social media and flyers (with clients’ permission, of course) to maximize their impact and ensure that potential clients see the positive feedback as soon as they visit your site.

    9. Ramp up social media promotions

    Leverage the quiet months to develop a marketing plan for increasing your social media presence. This includes posting more frequently, using trending hashtags, engaging with followers through polls and stories, and showcasing behind-the-scenes content.

    Above, we mentioned some tips for TikTok, but you can expand your reach beyond TikTok by leveraging popular social media platforms to generate excitement and engagement around your spa services and exclusive offers.

    Use Instagram to share photos and videos of your spa facilities, treatments in action, and happy clients’s testimonials. Instagram Stories, Reels and Lives allow you to get creative with behind-the-scenes glimpses, tutorials, and special promotions.

    Create a Facebook Business Page to connect with potential clients, share updates about your spa, and promote events or special offers. If you feel like investing in paid promotions, Meta Ads can be useful to target specific demographics and reach prospective customers in your area.

    10. Run time-sensitive offers

    Running time-sensitive offers is a powerful strategy to stimulate bookings, especially during slow periods. The sense of urgency and fear of missing out encourages clients to act quickly and book the treatment, increasing bookings and sales for your spa.

    Here are some ideas for time-sensitive promotions you can run:

    1. Limited-time discounts: Offer exclusive discounts on select treatments or services for a short period, such as a weekend or a week.
    2. Flash sale: Nothing turns clients’ heads and gives you the much-needed cash boost in the slow season like a flash sale. Host a flash sale with significant discounts on popular services in a really short time – a few hours or a single day, and see clients flooding in.
    3. Exclusive Packages: Create special packages that are available for a limited time only, combining multiple treatments or services at a discounted rate. For example, create a BOGO (Buy One Get One) offer on hydrating facials or cooling gel masks to combat dry skin that will run for a month.

    Make sure your messaging is clear and compelling. Your clients should understand the urgency, the value, and the benefits you offer, so they take action to book.

    Another thing is to strategically time the offers, so your existing or potential clients are most likely to book or when there’s increased demand for that kind of treatment. For instance, you can take advantage of the stressful time of year, like before the year’s end or after the holidays, to emphasize the need for relaxation and self-care in the form of a massage or rejuvenation treatment.

    11. Run PPC ads on competitor’s branded keywords

    If you haven’t used Google PPC ads (which stands for pay-per-click) so far, the slow period is a great time to do so. Running ads on competitors’ branded keywords is a strategic way to capture the attention of potential customers looking for similar spa services.

    If you are working with an agency for paid advertising, they would probably handle this. But for the sake of clarity and context, here’s what the process would look like:

    1. Begin by conducting thorough research to identify the branded keywords that your competitors are targeting in their own PPC campaigns. Hint: These keywords are likely to include the names of their spa or specific treatments they offer. Keyword research tools like Semrush and Ahrefs can help with this.
    1. Catchy ad copy is another essential thing. Think of what sets your spa apart from your competitors and what would encourage users to click on your ad instead of theirs. To give you an idea, here’s what Get A Drip, an IV Drip clinic in York, says in their PPC ad: “IV Drip Therapy York — Need a Quick & Effective Way to Improve Your Health? Try Vitamin Drip Therapy in York. Rejuvenate With Our IV Drip Therapy! Quick & Effective Hydration. Book Yours Today!” They emphasize that their vitamin drip therapy is a quick and effective way to hydrate, rejuvenate and improve your health. 
    2. Regarding budget, start modestly and gradually increase it as you monitor the ads’ performance and see opportunities for optimization.
    3. Stick to Google’s policy. Refrain from using competitors’ trademarks in your ad copy or display URLs to prevent potential legal issues and ensure compliance with Google’s trademark policies.
    4. Most importantly, respect your competitors’ brand. Targeting competitors’ branded keywords is a legitimate strategy, but you should avoid misleading or disparaging language that may undermine the integrity of your spa or violate Google’s advertising policies.

    Looking for more aesthetic marketing ideas this summer?

    When the slow spell hits, whether it’s the Christmas rush season, hibernation January, or scorching summer months, dealing with it is hard. But with a bit of effort and strategic thinking, you can turn it in your favor.

    By understanding the reasons that lead to dips in bookings and sales and implementing targeted strategies, spa owners can secure full calendars and cash flow all year round. 

    Additionally, spa management software like Pabau with built-in marketing features takes care of the repetitive tasks, so you can focus on more important strategic decisions that drive bookings and revenue for your spa.

    And if you want something to read this summer? Download our free Marketing Your Aesthetic Clinic guide to see exactly what you need to do to guarantee success this year.

    What you should do now

    1. Schedule a Demo to see how Pabau can help your team.
    2. Read more clinic management articles in our blog.
    3. If you know someone who’d enjoy this article, share it with them via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.

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