We’ve been focused so much on deal a day that we sometimes forget it is just part of the mix when it comes to successful SMB promotions. Seth Gardenswartz of SpaBoom, a provider of promotion services for spas and restaurants, held a helpful webinar last week that stressed the six “common elements of successful promotions.”
The first common element is “brand strength,” which might be measured in nontraditional terms, such as positive reviews. The second is the “quality” of the offer. The third is the offer’s “integration,” and whether it is effectively communicated across all media.
The fourth element is the level of “engagement” with the audience. The fifth is the promotional “reach” of the offer — not only the size of the list, but its effective segmentation. The sixth and final element is the offer’s “persistence,” and whether it’s effectively part of everything else the merchant is promoting.
Gardenswartz’s webinar highlights three successful spa promotion case studies, each focusing on different parts of the promotion spectrum. The Bella Spa in Merritt Island, Florida, for instance, scored $10,000 off a Mother’s Day gift certificate promotion, with 225 purchases averaging $125. Seventy-five percent of the customers were new.
One of the keys was that it encouraged people to spend more by providing a $20 gift certificate with a $100 purchase, and a $45 gift certificate with a $200 purchase. Usually, when a buyer meet a threshold, they aren’t actually incented to spend more, says Gardenswartz. The gift certificate promotion provided value without discounting.
The spa also was able to leverage a very strong 5,000-person newsletter and 904-person Facebook marketing list, which it goosed prior to the Mother’s Day promotion with a $75 sweepstakes. “That gave them more people to talk with,” Gardenswartz notes. The heavy load of clicks for the sweepstakes also increased the spa’s prominence in the Facebook newsfeed — an increasingly important part of the equation that is often overlooked.
Another spa, Cloud 9 in Gainesville, Florida, focused largely on adding Facebook fans with its sweepstakes, which was worth $250 in services. Clud9 started with about 1,900 fans. They had 1,346 people enter the sweepstakes, who invited a total of 4,857 to become “fans.” At the end of 8 days, they had 3,977 total fans. They have added around 600 since then. If you multiply that count by 130 — the average number of friends each Facebook user has — you’ve got quite a viral list, notes Gardenswartz.
While the first two case studies focused on social media, the third promotion focused more on email — many spas aren’t really going to be oriented toward social media. The unnamed midsize market spa provided a $25 Groupon-like deal for $50 of services, and gained $9,600 in website traffic — $5,000 in new sales. The price was deliberately set low to encourage more buyers (and extra spending). The average purchase from this spa was $29.
From the spa’s point of view, the best thing was that the spa did not use Groupon, so it netted an extra $2,335 (after SpaBoom’s $1-per-sale fee was deducted). Instead of Groupon, the spa relied mostly on its 1,467-person email list, which has been used carefully — the spa sends out just 12 emails a year. The appeal of the offer got a high 18 percent clickthrough rate, he says.