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Medical Spa Medspa Advertising Marketing > Marketing ideas for Increasing client base

What successful marketing ideas (with a zero budget marketing plan) have you done in getting new patients? Just got hired in a medspa. Our MD told us that we also need to think of gimmicks to attract new patients and increase revenue. Please help. We're running out of ideas!

We are also looking for marketing strategies as we are also struggling with patient retention. Do loyalty programs work?

02.5 | Unregistered Commenterkdc

When we first got our Revlite, we did a very fun campaign along with a local radio station called "Most regretable tattoo" contest... the prize was free tat removal. Some of the pix and accompanying stories were hysterical. Most importantly, we reached tens of thousands daily and got contact info on all the others. The pix were submitted to the radio's website and the vie=wers got to choose who the winner was. Their website got over 10K hits a day and our phones rang off the hook.
It was very profitable and a lot of fun, too.

02.6 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

If you are on a zero marketing budget, you should have a patient retention program. Encourage your old pts to share their experiences and spread the word among their friends and relatives.

02.8 | Unregistered Commenteraqvuin

To add to Aqvin's comment, instituting a more formal referral program that "incentivizes" your patients to make referrals is key to low cost advertising. Referrals are our 3rd biggest source of new clients and we are always working to make it better. Those clients who are willing to refer you might also be willing to write a positive review of your clinic on sites like Yelp and RealSelf. No cost to you beyond how you incentivize them (perhaps a low cost freebee!). Just be careful of stepping into the "pay for review" realm.

Another easy way to improve your "already paid for marketing" is to do search engine optimization of your web site if it is a site that you as the owner/staff can get in to and do the work yourself. It will raise your site's position in search results and increase the likelihood that potential clients will call you rather than another competitor.

Good luck and happy hunting!

02.9 | Registered CommenterLeon

Don't forget to bring your business cards when attending social/ community events. Be friendly and extend your networks! You'll be surprised how well this works.

03.2 | Unregistered Commenterhodge

As the Director of Operations in a community that has a minimum 20% unemployment rate, I revamped a previously attempted effort at a Membership Program. The current effort is now the MedSpa's financial stabilizer. Our "Menu" for individual services was increased by 30%, thus further driving patients to have a deeper appreciation for the value AND the pricing! Offer COMPLIMENTARY consultations that include a completed Patient In-Take form before the patient is seen, allowing you to gather the patient's own answers...& those answers create windows of opportunity for your practitioners to create a "Door" out of! It works for me multiple times a's very effective!

ALSO>>>a previous comment suggested maximizing the search engines. My personal mentor & contributing MedicalSpaMD author, Dr. Calvin Lee MD (of Modesto, CA's Surgical Artistry...Surgical & Injectables Artist extraordinaire) is a MASTER at search engine maximizing! I know he would welcome fielding some questions his way as to how to best achieve that goal.

As a marketing professional, the best advise I can share is that the marketing of your business is NOT just about the "Advertising" you selectively choose to draw in potiential patients. It is,(just as importantly) the presentation of your services, appearence of your facility & staff members, knowing the difference between just having a website & constructing a website that conveys (in both appearence & content) what you would share about what sets your practice apart from your competitors, as if they were actually in your office, and carefully chosen words that a describers ie; "Patient" rather than "Client", "Dr. Compunded" rather than "We make...", "Practitioners" rather than "Employees". I go to great lengths to repeatedly leave that impression that we are a Medical Facility...NOT A SALON! ALL of these "details" don't cost you any more than what you are currently spending, BUT, it's the attention to detail & conveying a clear, concise message habitually that sets you apart!

La Tricia Goncalves

Offer discount coupons. I established strategic partnership with regional and national vendors to get volume discounts.

03.4 | Unregistered Commenterspring

Whenever you are in treatment rooms with clients, your marketing abilities lie in upselling! Bring postcards of a $50 discount (that the medspa purchases) & hand them out when you are out n' about.

03.10 | Unregistered Commenterclf

I like using Constant Contact.

03.15 | Unregistered Commentercynthia e.

Take a look at the VIVA Referral System ( It has been highly successful in cosmetic dentistry, and I am offering it to med spas. We create custom, beautiful cards with an offer of your choice. These cards are given to, or mailed to your existing clients with a second card for them to give to a family member or friend. The system increases patient visits and new client referrals. Prices are very reasonable. Feel free to contact me to discuss.

03.24 | Registered CommenterJeff K.

We have a referral program. We give out 25% off coupons to our existing clients then they can give the other coupon to family/friends. Next time they visit, the existing and new client get discounts on our services. Worth a try.

04.3 | Unregistered CommenterRR

Social Media is the best way to go. Create a community around your brand of current loyal clients and offer incentives to your fans & followers.

Not exactly a $0 budget, because someone has to spend time (time=money) maintaining the social spaces, posting, and engaging with the communities.

There are some great suggestions here.

There are a few "basics" you should start with that work with a "$0" budget:
- Be diligent about capturing email addresses with new and existing customers at intake
- Keep the email addresses updated and engage with them frequently
- Create and maintain business pages on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
- Incentivize the people who engage with you on those social channels to get their friends interested
- Lastly, track your results and make changes accordingly

The reality is that most traditional advertising and marketing is costly and typically hard to show return on investment. If you can get some early traction with these "basics", then you might get the OK to have a small budget. At that point, you would have a few options of better tools to use that automate and measure your efforts.

I would be glad to dig into any specific questions you might have.

Successful medical spas plan an annual calendar of special events- some held in the spa and some outside ( such as a bridal fair). This is a great way to have existing guests learn about ALL the services that you offer. You would be surprised to learn that most guests don't know all your products and services. Most guests will bring a friend, family member or colleague-and now you have not only a person referral but they can experience your medi-spa as well!

04.26 | Unregistered Commenterpb

Over-booking, tired or ugly waiting areas, staff that look over done, even cold hands can put patients off. Bottomline is you should know how to make your patients happy.

05.3 | Unregistered CommenterNiklova

The "experience" that the patient has with you the physician and your staff. That is the foundation for loyalty. The rewards show your patients how much you appreciate them!

05.14 | Unregistered CommenterMatilde

Educational events in your facility that teach the consumer about your services is crucial. Most women who are your target market are confused about all the medical aesthetic services that are out there and what they do and how to determine if they need those services or not. People won't choose a service if they don't understand it and its benefits.

05.28 | Unregistered CommenterAnita I

Utilize other businesses around you that target the same demographic and lifestyle as the services you offer; such as women's shops, hair salons, nail salons, etc. Contact them about doing co-promotions; packaging some of your services with their products/merchandise, doing demos educational events in their stores, offering giveaways and contests with them.

Start with the people you have and get referrals. The people in my area that have used Groupon do nothing but complain, that the clients come once and get done. These are people just looking for cheap thrills and not quality.

08.21 | Unregistered CommenterCGH

Referrals & Social Networking! Always talk about your business. Don't discount yourself because then people will start to feel your services are not worth the real value. Offer small perks.

09.3 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Social networking is the best way to expose your company and your services. To make it work for you, you need to define your target market and create interesting knowledge based information for each target group. Offer great cosmetic advise to the different target group and push them to your site. Post to your blog and then tweet that the info is available on your blog. You can also post the info on Linked in.

10.21 | Unregistered Commenteryasmin k

Our clinic is in a professional building so we have absolutely zero foot traffic. What is the most effective way to let people know where you are if you're new (other than FB, Twitter or LinkedIn)???

01.29 | Unregistered CommenterFremont

patient reward program helps with patient retention but also helps your patients to take full advantage of services, procedures and products that your practice offers. patients who are apart of a rewards program spends 46% more then individuals who isn't. Call me i can customize a patients rewards program specifically designed for your practice.

03.4 | Unregistered Commenterkraven71

I’m a newbie esty working at a privately owned med spa. I’m noticing the spa chains and other local spas offering deals on Groupon and Livingsocial is affecting our business. We offer monthly deals and discount on rebooks, however it seems our regular clientele are noticing they can save more money. Our customers love our spa but they can't afford to come on a regular basis. What advice do you have to keep our customers from leaving for cheaper deals?

I can help you customize a client rewards program specifically for your spa It will allow your clients to take advantage of your complete offering also help you with client retention email me your contact information Thanks

04.4 | Unregistered CommenterKraven

There will always be some clients who are looking to one up themselves, ie: groupon, living social, etc. Those clients you don't want anyway! You want clients who value their skin and appreciate the knowledge and skills a great esthetician has to offer them. I always remind my clients that their appointment is a treat for them...I never leave them with the impression that they are only important to me because I make money off of them, because truly, that is not the case. I feel it is the other way around, because they feel good, they are happy to pay me for services rendered. Making clients feel and look good should be the reason we do what we do! Important when wrapping up is to always ask them to make their next appointment, and guess what? Most of them do!

04.7 | Unregistered Commentervp

Thanks. This year the spa starting providing customers a discount when they rebook an appointment. It seems to be working with some of our customers.

Why not try start offering a generous referral program? it is a good tool to build your clientele.

04.22 | Unregistered Commentereberle

Do not provide discounts to your services but make sure to include a free product as a promotional. The cost is less but more importantly, it will introduce them to products they maybe haven't tried & this will definitely increase you retail sales.

04.24 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce r

I also believe in "adding value" rather than reducing price. A special eye treatment, scalp massage, hand reflexology or something special that you would like to provide. You will keep the valuable clients that appreciate extra personal service. I can do all of these services in 5-8 min. during vapor or masque.

05.1 | Unregistered CommenterDSS

When I see businesses offering Groupon or Living Social, it's either because they are just starting out or on their way out. I personally don't want deal seeking clients. I used to do deals and offer discounts to get people in the door, but no longer do. I don't discount anything. I am worth my price. I am a darn good esthetician and I only want people who value my time, education and experience. Period. End of story. It's funny, but once I really took a firm hold of that belief, I raised my prices, enforced a 24hr cancellation policy, take cc info at time of booking to hold their appt - and guess what??? The customers buy into that belief too. :-)

05.5 | Unregistered Commenterdarcy

Sounds tough! You must be really good or may be the only Esty in a town.

05.7 | Unregistered CommenterZ

Hello Phyllis Z,

I found this article researching the very same topic:

I like #3 in particular: Network with non-competitive businesses. If you literally want to keep it zero budget, then just ask them to mention your medspa to potential clients (and that you'll be doing the same thing of course). But ideally, you should leave some fliers or business cards in their office if they'll let you do it.

And if you do run out of ideas, a marketing firm can do wonders for your business. Yes, this does break the zero budget requirement, but it is a valid option. Those people exist to help businesses like yours, and they could be worth your while :)

I have a home based very professional set up for 8 years, and well known in the field in my town. I have been make a living ..but this year has been really slow.
I am thinking to go out of my home and have a store front, but I am scared...What if this is a global slow down? I do not know what to do. I do marketing, loyalty card programs true my spa appointment software, email marketing This town has a lots of spas offering services.At least when I am home I do not have to worry about rent...or should I take the chance? Is anyone has a suggestion I am runnig out of ideas..

Read this site from end to end.. All of the answers are here but it'll take some time to digest them.

08.19 | Unregistered CommenterJSDM

Facebook and Instagram ads can work quite well if you know how to set them up correctly. For this type of advertising I highly recommend taking an upfront deposit. That will weed out the less interested customers from booking and not showing up. If you put an enticing offer I’ve seen ROIs of upwards of 7x in the first month depending on the service.

For cheaper services like lip injections and Botox, combining an online booking calendar that requires deposits and a good follow up system is very effective. For higher end services like CoolSculpting or PRP where most people want an initial consultation, it’s best to make it a two step sign up process. The first step people sign up and are automatically entered into an email marketing campaign. The second step is to allow them to fill out an application. This weeds out the bad leads and makes the follow up a lot easier and more effective.

The amazing thing about Facebook and Instagram is that after you’ve had some conversions they allow you to take the converted customers information and create an audience that’s more likely to convert. Facebook uses this info to find people who are similar so your ad spend and follow up become a lot more effective.

Hope this helps and yes I due run and ad agency but we also do Seo and AdWords. With that said I find Facebook and Instagram to have the fastest ROI without having to spend a tonne of money. A large budget opens up a lot more possibilites. Nevertheless Seo is vital to a businesses and cannot be overlooked. The difference is the speed at which you get results. Whereas Seo takes six months to a year to see results and a lot of time learning, blogging, tagging, optimizing, etc., Facebook ads take no longer then a month.

Another beautiful thing about everything online is it’s trackable. You know exactly what you’re making for each dollar you put in because you see exactly who signs up from each platform.

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