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Best tips to using referrals to grow your medi-spa business

We know that marketing can be costly, such as running ads in your local newspaper or printing and mailing a direct flyer, but there are much more powerful ways to gain customers.

Referrals are simply when one of your existing customers brings in a new customer to your business. Most Salon and Spa's get the bulk of their new business from referrals, so it's definitely worth your time to incorporate a referral offer to ensure your business will continue to prosper.

92% of customers trust referrals from people they know

First, it's important for us to understand our real Customer Value. This is simply how much your customer will spend with your business during the entire lifetime of your business relationship with them.

For example, a customer that comes in for a single underarm treatment will spend approximately $50. But, we know that for effective results, the client should have 5 or 6 treatments, which would total $300.

However, if the client has been happy with your treatments, they will begin considering other areas for hair removal. Now you have a client that may spend $2000 on hair removal treatments alone and if you have done a good job promoting your other available services - such as skin rejuvenation - the client may spend even more. This is the real Customer Value and can easily be worth $2000 to $3000 per customer.

So, with this in mind, we should understand that it is worth giving your loyal customers something of value and in return, they will help grow your business.

Lets look at some practical examples and let's start with a very simple idea, I call the 'Friends and Family Special’ This can be as simple as offering your closest family and friends a free treatment for every customer they bring through the doors. You don't have to create any fancy ads or flyers, just give your friends and family your business card and ask them to recommend and talk up your Spa/Salon.

83% of consumers are willing to refer after a

positive experience — yet only 29% actually do

To enhance your new customers experience when they walk through the door, offer them a discount on their first treatment as well. Remember, after they become a loyal customer the impression they have of your business will influence their likelihood to refer new clients as well.

Another example that is just slightly more costly, would be to create a small referral card with a perforated centre, so that your customer can keep their half of the card when they refer a friend, and the new client can bring in the other half to show you who referred them.

On the both sides of the card back, be sure to include space for the name/phone) of both your customer and their referral.

TIP: Remember this simple piece of advice – if you or your staff don't ask, you won't get any referrals – it's a simple as that. Most customers, even if they love your service, will never take the time to refer you or your business, so you have to make it worth their effort to do so.

Holidays throughout the year are great opportunities to offer unique referrals. You could choose to create a time-limited referral offer.

Here's an example with a twist from Nubody Equipment's customer sales and marketing newsletter.

For the month of February, if you bring in your partner receive a - His and Hers, or His and His or Hers and Hers – 2 for the price of 1 Bikini / Brazilian hair removal treatment!

Now, that may seem like an expensive treatment to 'give away', but lets look at this from a business point of view. You are going to perform two treatments valued at $300, but only charge $150. But, your initial customer and their partner will both come back for another 4-6 treatments, which will earn you more than $3000 – and you still have the opportunity to introduce them on your other services, leading to more potential sales.

LET'S RECAP; What did you give away? You gave up 30 minutes of your time for a single Bikini or Brazilian service to potentially earn over $3000!

There are so many special occasions throughout the year, like Mother's Day, Christmas and New Years - to name a few - that the number of referral offers you can create are unlimited.

Be sure to advertise your referrals in your Spa/Salon so that customers can see it when they visit, but also promote them on your social networks, posters around town, flyers, etc – make sure your message is heard.

TIP: Don't just offer $5 or $10 off as an incentive – these days most of us don't feel this is very valuable – be sure to offer them something they really want, like a FREE treatment worth $50 - $80

If you find your referrals are becoming stale, consider doing something a bit different and have a contest or give-away prize. You might create a spa basket with soaps/perfumes/skin care products, wrap it all up in a beautiful bow and display it in your Spa/Salon.

Create a sign up form and ask customers to write their name and the name and contact information of a friend they want to refer for a chance to enter and win the basket. A chance to win a free gift basket appeals to everyone and it is a great way to collect new potential client contact information.

TIP: If you really want to ensure that you keep your existing clients coming back through the door and referring your business to their friends, consider offering them small, inexpensive treats when they come in for a treatment. For example, on Valentines Day, have chocolates or flowers on hand to give your customers while you are booking their next appointment. It's small touches like this that make your customers feel valued and keep them returning to your Spa or Salon.


If you want to learn more about the Dermalase IPL - the lowest priced, Health Canada approved Hair Removal and Skin Rejuvenation device manufactured and serviced right here in Canada, including training and certification - just give us a call at 604-788-3413 to book your FREE demonstration.

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