All year round, holidays are the perfect hook for all sorts of marketing and promotions, and the winter season presents the biggest opportunities. Take your cues from retailers, hotels, and restaurants—they can give you ideas for creative and effective holiday promotions.
Although many physicians frown on fee discounts, cross promotions offer benefits to patients while introducing them to new services they may be interested in trying out. Promotions should be carefully planned and offered only for a limited time, and they should be rotated frequently. If you offer the same promotion for months on end, you are essentially lowering your fees rather than using the special promotion as a way to generate new interest.
For example, consider throwing a little something extra, gratis, into the treatment fee to entice clients to keep coming back. You may offer a complimentary lash enhancer with every facial peel, or consider offering 30 units of Botox as a bonus with two syringes of Juvéderm, or add an LED treatment to every laser procedure or injectable session. The additional service will not cost you more money and should build good will with your clients.
Increasingly, aesthetic practices are adopting a policy of offering a service that can be performed by a physician extender (nurse or aesthetician), such as an extra peel treatment, or adding on another area of laser hair removal in combination with a more extensive service. This does not take up more of the physician’s time but adds noticeable value for the consumer.
Cross promotions and treatment bundling are proven methods that can be implemented to benefit loyal clients and keep your pre-holiday schedule full. For example, you can bundle less profitable services with laser or light treatments or dermal fillers if they are booked together or paid for at the same time. Another good strategy is to bundle treatments with products, as opposed to offering each a la carte.
FIVE STEPS FOR REWARDING HOLIDAY PROMOTIONS:
Choose a series of promotions that fit your practice, target audience, and goals.
Promotions should have a call to action that is time sensitive (such as “valid for the month of December” or “offer expires in 60 days”).
Schedule promotions 6 to 8 weeks in advance, in order to create excitement among your clients.
Tie in a product with a treatment, or a treatment with a second treatment, in your offer to increase pickup.
Market your promotion to existing patients, and encourage them to refer their friends and family.
As retail falls under the category of passive income for a physician owner, offering clients a complimentary product as a “bonus” with a full-priced treatment is an ideal way to maximize the client’s experience.
A well-orchestrated service and/or product promotion can have a significant impact on patient demand and your revenue stream. By planning several exciting events during the season and beyond, you can give your patients a reason to return to you on a regular basis.
For example, consider offering a facial microdermabrasion with each body laser treatment or vice versa. Another very successful promotion involves asking clients to bring in their old eye cream, and upgrading them to a more advanced eye product by offering 10% off the retail price.
Many medical spas and clinics are giving clients more for their money. These take the form of a voucher for a future treatment, buy-one-get-one offers, two-for-one specials, or 10% off Botox days.
Adding something small, such as a complimentary facial cleanser with a skin treatment or a trial size of a new eye cream, can go a long way to enhance customer loyalty. Gift cards can also play a big role in increasing repetitive treatments, such as skin care, dermal fillers and toxins, spa services, and light-based treatments.
During the winter holidays, monthly e-mail blasts can generate excitement among clients, especially if it includes a deadline for a call to action. For example, plan an open house event and offer a 20% courtesy on all treatments booked on the spot, or consider offering a complimentary skin care product to every client who brings a friend to the event.
The official start of the holiday season begins around November 1, when Thanksgiving is looming. This is a good time to give something back to your community and show your patients and colleagues that you have a social conscience. For example, your whole staff can volunteer to serve meals for the homeless, or you can make a donation to a local charity or rescue fund to make an investment in the community. Start a toy drive for children in need, and ask your patients to contribute. You can enlist other businesses in your area, including spas, salons, and other medical practices in your building or on your block.
A little good will can go a long way to establish the right image for your practice, and you can also keep this momentum going well beyond New Year’s Eve. The secrets to success with promotions: Keep it interesting and fun, and give your patients a reason to make a purchasing decision.
Wendy Lewis is president of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, a global aesthetics consulting firm, and the author of 10 books. She can be reached at www.wlbeauty.com.