All health and beauty business owners want to attract new customers and keep them coming back.

While social media and online advertising will be the primary marketing tools for most health and beauty businesses, don’t give up on the traditional marketing methods.

They’re still a great way to attract new customers—and keep existing customers coming back.

Here’s an overview of traditional marketing tactics to consider adding to your current marketing mix.

1. Direct mail

Mailing postcards or flyers with special offers creates awareness of your store, spa or salon and entices people to give it a try. You can target recipients by neighborhood, or you can rent mailing lists from list brokers. These allow you to segment prospects by income, age, gender and other factors, so you can target only the customers that are most likely to visit your venue.

The Postal Service’s “Every Door Direct Mail” program is ideal for local salons, spas and stores. For as little as 14.5 cents per piece, you can saturate a neighborhood (delivery is by ZIP code), without having to buy a list of names or addresses—and your mailer is delivered with the daily mail.

Want to go beyond just print mailers? Clipper Magazine, Money Mailer and Valpak started out as print coupon mailing companies, but today they offer a full range of marketing services. These companies can help you create an integrated marketing strategy that uses coupon mailers, direct mail, email marketing and online advertising to attract customers.

To make the most of direct mail, build an in-house mailing list from your existing customers instead of relying just on rental lists. Every time customers buy from you, ask if you can collect their information so you can build your own direct mail list. Learn more about how to integrate print and digital marketing.

2. Cable TV and radio advertising

Advertising on local radio or cable TV can target both new and returning customers and build brand recognition. It’s also surprisingly affordable. Most stations offer integrated advertising options that include online ads as well. To determine the best place to advertise, contact the ad sales departments of the publications or stations or find their media kits online. Talk to a sales representative to find out which programming, days and times attract an audience that matches the demographics of your target market.

Worried you don’t have what it takes to record a commercial? Stations can handle that aspect for you. Study the commercials your competitors run to see what works and what doesn’t. Develop a system for tracking the results of your ads, such as displaying a specific URL that TV viewers can visit to get a discount on a treatment or service or asking radio listeners to mention a code to get two-for-one product purchase at your beauty supply store. This way you can tell where new customers are coming from and which advertising venues are most effective.

3. Events

Special events at your spa, salon or store create excitement and draw new customers in and keep regulars coming back. A nail salon could offer a special Friday evening “Girls’ Night Out” offering champagne and deals on mani-pedis. A spa could offer “Saturday De-Stress Lessons” leading customers in deep breathing exercises or teaching them the basics of massage.

“Shop local” events, created by groups of merchants in a particular area, can be a big customer draw, especially if you create a festive atmosphere and offer special deals. Team with other health and beauty businesses in your area to hold a “Day of Beauty” or “Celebrating Wellness” event where everyone offers special discounts, deals and events for customers. See if there’s a “buy local” business organization in your area or start your own. To learn more about shop local movements, visit the American Independent Business Alliance and ShopSmall websites.

4. Public relations

Local media outlets and bloggers are always looking for local businesses to tell their readers about. Find out which reporters or reviewers cover business, health or beauty topics in your area. Create a list of relevant media contacts and send them press releases and emails to keep them posted with the latest news about your industry and business. Learn more about how to write a press release and target appropriate media.

5. Referrals

Referrals from regular customers are one of the biggest sources of new business for health and beauty companies. The best time to get referrals is when you know the customer is happy with your service, so along with the bill, present customers with a coupon encouraging referrals, such as a two-for-one massage service or facial treatment. Find out how effective referrals can be and get tips on creating a referral program that works. 

Putting it all together

To maximize the effectiveness of the marketing methods above, think about ways to integrate them. For instance, host a “bring a friend” event at your salon (event), encouraging regular customers to bring someone who has never been to your salon before (referral) to enjoy a haircut for half off the regular price. You could use direct mail and radio advertising to tell people about the event. Finally, you could publicize the event to local media (PR). The more tactics you incorporate, the more successful your efforts will be.

About the Author(s)

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship and SmallBizDaily.com.

CEO, GrowBiz Media
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