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How to Run an Effective Spa Referral Program

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Though referral programs are a great way to create new business for your spa, we're always shocked at how few businesses are committed to the practice. Your most loyal customers are your evangelists—if you give them the opportunity to sing your praises, they typically will. Building out an effective referral program can go a long way toward building a stronger client base.

Give Your Clients Clear Incentives

If you're not incentivizing your clients to refer friends and family, you're not capitalizing on your biggest fans. Sure, some will do it without asking, but most require a nudge to do your marketing for you. In essence, you need to create an organized rewards program, and ensure that your staff—from your estheticians to your front desk—is on the same page. That way your clients aren't receiving any mixed messages about the expectations surrounding the rewards they'll receive.

Discount Your Services for Referrals

Offering discounted services for a referral provides a motivational carrot that many consumers respond to. You can also set a higher number of referrals that is rewarded with a free service, such a facial or manicure. These are the types of rewards that will spur a more energetic approach in your existing client base. While these clients would probably refer their friends and family to you if asked directly about receiving a treatment, a rewards program has the potential to make them more proactive about how amazing you are.

Freebies Make for Good Rewards, Too

Product samples are also an excellent reward for your top clients. This strategy can also be utilized in conjunction with your rewards program in lieu of discounted or free services. However, these clients won't be motivated by inferior products, so make sure you're only rewarding with the cream of the crop. This is where customization is key. One product doesn't fit all. You have to trust your estheticians, and the relationship they have with their clients. The freebie should be a product that specifically fits their client's needs.

Tout Your Referral Program Beyond Your Spa

Referral programs are excellent marketing tools, so don't be afraid to tout them them through your other marketing channels. When you consider that your most avid customers are the ones on your email list or that are following you on social media, using those platforms to raise awareness for your rewards program only makes sense. In the end, all you're doing is leveraging the word-of-mouth power of your devotees, devotees that you've created by providing them with a superior spa experience. With a strong referral program, you give yourself the opportunity to increase that devotee client base.

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