Marketing: The Ultimate Leverage To Triple Your Spa Revenue (Part 3/6)

Power of Advertising With The Right Purpose

Hello and welcome back. This is the 3rd part of our series focused on boosting the profitability of your spa through marketing.

In the last lecture, we covered the need for specialization and finding a niche.

Today, we will discuss advertising, an important tool to boost your spa business. If it is executed correctly, it can provide a constant source of new clients to your spa.


1. Major characteristics of bad advertisements.

2. Characteristics of effective advertising.

3. What is the real purpose of an ad?

4. Be a farmer not a hunter.

5. One major sin in advertising.

6. Summary.

7. While you wait.

3 Major Characteristics of Bad Advertisements

Let us first talk about some of the common features seen in bad advertisements.

1. The ads are generic and boring. In most cases, they include the following elements: 

-company name


-list of services without any differentiation

-claims to be the best service, highest quality, lowest price

-contact details.

The problem with this ad format is that it does not grab anyone’s attention. They are just shouting “hey, look at me. Look what we have to offer.”

If you switch out the name, logo and service, it can be used as a template for any business listing regardless of the fields. If you are running this type of ad, no one will remember your spa.

In today’s world where consumers are getting bombarded by data and ads, these kind of uninspiring generic ads will be ignored.

So why do so many businesses owners do this. We have a few guesses.

2. Information Overload

Most ads from small businesses are bad, because they are trying to do too much with a single ad. They have no clear purpose. Instead, they want one advertisement to brand their spa, raise awareness, introduce new products or services, and get sales leads.

Worst of all, the owners who paid for the advertisement have no idea who they are targeting. There is no key message.

3. The ads are not patient. 

What do I mean by patient? If you ask most business owners, what is the number one goal of their advertisement, .the answer usually comes down to “I want people to buy my products or pay for my service.”

Instead, the real goal should be to generate an interest that will help you to identify a potential lead. The goal is to sort through a target group, identify potential prospective clients and get them to simply raise their hands and say “I am interested in this.”

We will expand on this idea later in the lecture.

Characteristics of Effective Advertising:

There is nothing more powerful and effective than advertising when it is done right. Again, the key phrase is “done right.”

Key elements of effective advertisements include:

1. Focus on a specific group.

Unlike Fortune 500 companies, your spa has a limited ad budget. That is why you need to concentrate all your spending power to a SMALL target group. This is one of the major reasons that you need to develop a niche or specialization. Hence you can target your ad to this group.

Remember a 60watt light bulb lights up a room, but a 60watt laser can cut through steel. Harness your spending power, and focus on that a small group in your local area will increase the efficacy of your ad significantly.

2. It has a clear goal and purpose.

Before running any ads, you should decide the purpose and goal. This could be introducing a new service or general awareness. Don’t try to overload multiple goals into one ad. It needs to be focused. It can’t be cluttered. The best practice is 1 ad à 1 message à 1 goal.

3. It needs to be exciting and bold.

We met a number of spa owners who are dynamic, engaging and interesting. They love their clients and are passionate about their work. However, when we reviewed some of their previous ads, their personalities do not come through. There is no passion or compassion. Unfortunately, they hid behind a faceless, generic description that suppressed their dynamic personalities.

Change that. Be bold and showcase your passion and personality.

If you are not a good writer, then hire a copywriter to help you. Don’t underestimate the value of a good copywriter.

4. It needs to move the viewers emotionally.

A number of studies have shown that most of us make our purchase based on emotion and later justify it with reason and logic. For example, when you impulsively buy a Prada bag that is on sale, you did not think about the saving at first. Rather, a sense of pleasure and a feeling of glamor compelled you to make the purchase. After leaving the store, you justify the purchase by telling yourself the bag was on sale.

So, how can your ad connect with your people on an emotional level.

5. It must have an image or graphics that makes your prospective client stop and pay attention to your ad. As we mentioned above, the biggest scarcity in modern life is attention. Get yourself a good graphic artist to help you. 

6) It needs an eye-catching title. This is the same idea. You need to get their attention.

You need to spend the money to hire a good copywriter and graphic artist to design an ad that will grab your viewers’ attention. Don’t run any ads if you don’t have all or most of elements in place. You will just be wasting money.

What Is the Real Purpose of An Ad?

As mentioned already, there are many purposes for running advertisements. Most owners just want to sell, raise awareness, or introduce new products, etc.

We want to you a different priority that will be more fitting for your spa business.

The most important goal of an advertisement is to grab the attention of your prospective client. AND you want your target group to raise their hands and tell you “I am interested; please tell me more.”

You want the opportunity to engage, educate and deliver value until you build enough trust to convert them into paid customers.  

You may object and say “What, that is crazy. You want me waste that much money to do what?”

Here is why:

Studies have shown at any given moment:

Only 3% of people in a group are ready to buy your products/service now. (e.g., a teenager with acne who has a prom date in 1 week. She is ready to try anything to get rid of those big zits on her face).

7% are willing to buy but just not at this moment. (e.g., a teenager with acne who have a prom date in 6 months from now. She wants to take care of acne, but her mind is occupied with finding a date first).

30% have an interest in what you have to offer, and they want to learn more. They are not ready to make any decisions to buy (e.g., a teenager with acne who has no large social engagement but noticing her acne may be getting worse. She dislikes conventional medication, and prefers a spa setting to get relief).

30% have minimum or no interest in your products or service. (e.g., a teenage boy with mild acne who does not care).

30% distrust you and your service. (e.g., a teenager believes her dermatologist is the only person that will help her, and thinks your service will be a waste of time and money).

If your goal is to only get people to buy your acne service now, you can only convert 3% of that group.

However, if your goal is to sift through the group and identify those who are ready to buy (3%), who will buy at a later time (7%) and who have an interest (30%), then you now have found 40% (3%+7%+30%) of the group. In essence, you have increased your reach from 3% to 40%, an over 12x increase in your reach.

After finding a bigger pool of potential clients, your next job is to engage and nurture them along the journey from knowing your spa exists to paying for your service.

Along this journey, you need to get them to like and trust your spa and your aestheticians. People don’t buy on first encounter. They need multiple exposures to gain confidence in your spa.

It is very similar to the progression of dating to getting married. No one, with very few exceptions, ever proposes or agrees to marry someone on a first date. A normal progression may look like coffee dates à dinners à movies à vacation together à staying over at each other’s places à proposal à marriage. This process can take years.

Likewise, you should not expect any prospective client to trust your spa immediately. The journey may look like: see an ad in the local paper or on Facebook à heard about your spa from her neighbor à call or walk in to learn about the services at your spa à read online reviews à come for a simple facial à loved the experience à came back a month later for a more advanced and expensive treatment.

So the goal of any ad is to start the relationship. Attract their interest and get their contact information.

In the next lecture, we will talk more about nurturing and converting leads to customers.

Be A Farmer Not A Hunter 

You may be discouraged in thinking “this sounds like lot of work.” It will take too long.

The answer is yes and no. Yes, you need to maintain contact and provide value along the way. That is the only way to create enough trust for a prospective client to become a paying client.

You are acting like a farmer, constantly nurturing the leads and shepherding them along to be a customer.

The advantage is, once you have a marketing system in place, you will have an automatic lead generator and conversion process to acquire new customers.

Understand this is the normal and standard progression. There are no short cuts

In contrast, without such system, you will have to periodically “hunt” or find ways to acquire new clients. That is also lot of work that may not have a high conversion rate.

One Major Sin In Advertising – Confusing Features with Benefits.

We see this mistake made in advertising and selling, especially with individuals who are scientists and technicians. They are enamored with the features of their products/service. They forget that consumers only care about the benefits not the features of the products/services.

A classic marketing saying is that people buy the holes (benefits) not the drill (features).

Case Study

Let us use another example with Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare to illustrate this important point:

In a discussion with Dr. Wang’s team, we attempted to explain the difference between features and benefits of the Nourishing Youth Serum.

Dr. Wang talked about the microdroplet technology, a marvelous patented process that allows the team to make serum without using heat. Also the particle emulsion size is >30,000x times smaller than serums from conventional manufacturing.

We asked “so what is the benefit?”

Dr Wang explained: “Smaller particles ensures faster and deeper penetration of products to the skin. Heating destroys active ingredients, just like cooking vegetables under high temperature can destroy nutrients. By not using heat, all the active nutrients are protected. Also, by using this special formulation technique, we don’t have to use any harsh surfactants to mix the oil and water phases together.”

“So what?” We replied

Dr. Wang was a bit frustrated “Can’t you see the benefits?”

“No. Everything you are describing are all features. You have not mentioned any benefits,” We answered.

Dr. Wang paused and continued “If any serums have higher concentrations of active ingredients and can be delivered deeper into the skin, then the product will be more effective.”

“Effective in doing what?” we asked.

“That is how our customers get those dramatic differences. They look younger, and tell us the appearance of fine lines are gone. They love the way their faces look and feel. You should read the reviews. They love it. Most people see dramatic results after just 1 week. It even works for people with eczema, rosacea and super sensitive skin.”

Here we go. Now he finally got to the benefits –“dramatic improvement of fine lines and skin health in 7 days, even for people with super sensitive skin.”

After that lengthy exchange, we were able to define the benefits of Radiance Facial Oil much faster.

Benefits: In just 90 seconds, get soft, silky and dewy skin with one application.

We all agreed that a new generation retinol, proprietary oil blend, and traditional Chinese herbs in the products are just features

Let us come back to the acne example:

Features: The most delicate acne extraction techniques are used, combined with a fruit-based peel and a cutting-edge hydrafacial device to clear the skin.” 

Benefits: “flawless and smooth skin with no irritation and pain.” 

Now, Let us go one level deeper.

Emotional Benefits: “Return her confidence and beautiful smile. Give her the courage to walk up to that boy she had a crush on and ask him to be her prom date without feeling embarrassed.”


Advertising, when it is done correctly, can attract potential prospective clients to your spa on a consistent basis. We hope you understand what bad advertisements look like. Please think about the different ways to improve the efficacy of your next ad.

In the next lesson, we will discuss how to build on a successful ad campaign and proceed to “Capture, Nurture and Convert Your Prospective Clients.”

While you wait, please take sometime to think about:

What special services you want deliver to that ideal target group?

What is your objective for each ad?

What is your message?

What are the key benefits?
What unique value proposition is your spa offering?

Why you?

Why should your clients trust your spa?

How are you delivering this advertisement; through which channels. 

One last pearl. Remember your spa operates as a physical business. So think local, advertise local. Use Google and Facebook to geotarget your ideal group only in the regions and zip codes you plan to serve. For example, if you live in southern California, don’t include anyone in Northern California. Narrow your focus. Try to target a few zip codes before expanding your reach.

Stay tuned. See you in a few days.