3 Ways to Sell More Instant Gift Certificates this Holiday Season

November 20, 2014 Stephany Toman permalink

IGCThe holiday marketing clock is ticking, and what you do now will help ensure you sell the most instant gift certificates possible.

Start advertising now

Now is the time to get the word out about offering instant gift certificates for your services. Create incentives for purchasing, and emphasize availability and ease of purchase in time to grab the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers. Let them know they can enjoy themselves in front of a crackling fire while everyone else is out fighting crowds, cold and general hostility in their pursuit of gift deals.

Make sure specials, packages and links to buy are available where shoppers are

This is when you update your website, add links and options to purchase on your social media platforms as well as any email correspondence you generate. And you need to generate email correspondence to let people know about how easy it is to buy instant gift certificates from any number of online locations – tell them, give them links, then let them do their buying thing.

Create in-store displays and gift sets to promote and support your online message

Gift sets are all great ways to incorporate gift certificates, and can help increase overall value and sales. Creating several for the holidays will bump the perceived value of the gifts you’re promoting and provide a nice tangible giveaway to boot.

This is not rocket science, but time is of the essence. So get focused, update your website, your social media, and put together some fun displays that promote your holiday packages.

Happy holiday prep!

Time for a Tune Up Series

September 9, 2014 Kathy Watts permalink

People working cogsIt’s that slower time of year, the calm before the storm of the holiday madness. Now is a great time to get your business tuned up so you’ll be ready for the wonderful craziness that the holiday season always brings. This article is part of our “Time for a Tune Up” series to help you tune up your business practices, get ready for the holidays, and think about your business and marketing strategies, both for the rest of this year and heading into 2015.It’s not too early to start thinking ahead, and now is the time to start preparing for even more success. But first, a bit of housekeeping.

We are all in and out of our SpaBoom accounts fairly regularly, but how often do you stop and double check that all your information is correct and that everything is set up correctly. Take some time this week to check on the following information in your SpaBoom account (you can find it all under the Setup tab):

  • Check your contact information — You can find your contact information under the Setup Tab. From there, click on “Basics” in the left hand column. Make sure your address and phone number are correct.
  • Are your locations correct — If you have multiple locations, make sure they are correct as well. You don’t want to lose a sale because the wrong address is showing on your website or your second location is missing entirely. You can check those (& add new ones) under the Setup Tab, by clicking “Locations” in the left hand column.
  • Double check your hours — Make sure your hours are correct. This is also where you can go to change your hours if you start to run extended hours during the holiday season. You can check your hours by clicking on “Hours” in the left hand column under the Setup tab.
  • Who has access to SpaBoom — Double check who can access your SpaBoom account. Each person who has access to SpaBoom needs to have their own login. Nobody should be sharing one. By clicking on “Professionals” in the left hand column under the Setup tab, you can make sure your professionals are correct, add new ones, or delete old ones.
  • Are your services up to date — Review your service menu in SpaBoom to make sure it is up to date. You don’t want to go into the holiday season with old services that you no longer offer, or new services missing from the menu entirely. You can check your services by clicking on “Services” under the Setup tab.
  • Take a look at your gift certificate designs — We are updating and adding to our gift certificate design library all the time. But if you don’t go in and check the offerings, you will never see the new designs. Take a moment to check what designs you are currently offering and see if there are any additional designs you would like to add. You can check your gift certificate designs by clicking on “GC Designs” under the Setup tab.

Take some time today and double check that all of this information in your SpaBoom account is correct and up to date. It will save you lots of time and hassles down the road.

That’s it for today’s tune up. Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the articles in our Time for a Tune Up series, as we help you get ready for the holidays and the new year.

It’s Your Blog: Write What You Know

August 1, 2014 Stephany Toman permalink

overwhelmed_womanWriters sometimes experience ‘white page syndrome’, that dreaded condition where you know you need to produce relevant content for an article, and, for some reason, the muse refuses to produce worthwhile fodder for your effort.

Muses are fickle, and have their own agendas, so any experienced writer knows that having a more concrete approach to writing pays off. Your blog falls directly into this arena, doesn’t it? Do you find yourself wishing you had something to say? Do you become intensely self-critical, and edit yourself into nonperformance? Do you procrastinate until you finally release yourself from the obligation to write ‘until another day’, where you most likely will repeat the avoidance?

Guess what? You’re not alone! Very few people really enjoy writing. Seriously, most of the world prefers to have other people handle their content work, and trust me, there is no shame in that, none at all. But you can break through the content wall, the key is a simple plan and consistent follow through.

Set a schedule. If you create a real schedule around producing your blog posts you’ll feel an obligation to produce, and when you’re focusing elsewhere, like on providing client services, you brain can also be working on possible future topics, or be developing one you’ve already slated for creation. Start simple, maybe by opting for two articles a month at first. In time, increase that to one a week. Your clients will gradually build an expectation around your blog posts, and you’ll garner interest in the form of readers and comments, both of which help direct your future topic efforts.

Mix it up.  Once you’ve set a theme of sorts for your articles, think variety. People love to feel like they have the inside track on information, so if you’ve introduced a new service to your menu, be sure to share your rationale on why you chose that, describe it in detail, and request feedback in your article. Are you active in your community? Be sure to mention events and share your passion for charitable efforts or various causes. Sharing your enthusiasm will engender more interest for a given endeavor as well as enlighten your clients about your breadth. When they begin to see you for more than a great salon or spa, their sense of loyalty and support will grow as well. Did you just bring in a new product line? Talk about it on your blog! Why did you choose it? What is special about it? Is there a relevant back-story to share? Over time you’ll find yourself viewing daily activities in your spa, salon or massage practice as potential topics for blog posts, and you’ll probably want to adjust your schedule to accommodate more articles.

Writing is a skill, one that simply needs practice to become adept at. Simple, clean, direct writing on topics that you truly care about will go a long way to filling your blog space and engaging your clients.

Should You Care About Net Neutrality?

June 6, 2014 Stephany Toman permalink

binary dataThe concept of Net Neutrality is pretty democratic in nature – everyone’s data flows at the same rate, and said data (content and communications of different sorts) is freely transmitted without discrimination or interference by ISPs(Internet Service Providers). Congress ensured, in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, that ISPs like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, for example, were prevented from creating essentially an information Autobahn and an information cobblestone path, which would have benefited big business and thrown the rest of us onto the path of much resistance and very very slow communications. Countless small businesses have reached their intended audience without fear of undue filtering, fees or interference as a result.

It has been said that companies like Google and Facebook would never have realized the enormous success they have enjoyed if the Internet had been structured favoring big money. If they had been forced to stay on the low, slow, pay-to-play path from their inception, they’d never have become the household names and key players in modern search, content, and social media that they’ve become.

The Internet is currently considered an information highway, and, as such, has remained outside of normal telecommunication fee structures and rules. This designation was intentional, and when Congress enacted the rules they understood how critical the ISPs’ roles were as gatekeepers, and preventing undue blocking or filtering was the primary goal – keeping things fair and truly ‘open’ from a data transmission standpoint was the driving ideal.

All was well in the land, and then things started to get complicated as they tend to do when big information and big money factor in.

In 2010, the FCC created an order that was intended to prevent broadband Internet service providers from blocking or interfering with traffic on the Web. The Open Internet Order was generally designed to ensure the Internet remained a level playing field for all — Net Neutrality would have been safe.
Then in January 2014, a court ruled that the FCC used a questionable legal framework to craft the Open Internet Order and now lacks the authority to implement and enforce those rules. The court didn’t rule against Net Neutrality, it simply ruled against the FCC’s ability to enforce Net Neutrality. This means the rules ensuring Net Neutrality, ie free use, access, and freedom of speech and privacy, are no longer enforceable by the FCC.
In May, 2014, more proposals, these driven by the FCC’s own Chairman, were laid out, allowing ISPs to charge higher fees to content companies like Google and Netflix for preferential treatment, thereby in effect creating that two tiered Internet that Congress, way back in 1996, wanted to avoid entirely for fear of choking commerce and creating a very unlevel playing field indeed.
The remedy, then would be for the FCC to re-desginate broadband communications as telecommunication services from their current designations as information services. In other words, the FCC needs to revise its prior work and reclassify Internet access services as telecommunications services under the law and treat ISPs as common carriers.
For the sake of brevity I’ve not detailed the step-by-step process that has led to this juncture, so if you’re interested in an more exhaustive study of this current nuttiness, Net Neutraily: What You Need to Know is helpful. There are lots of articles out there outlining the issues facing small business should the FCC not reverse their prior designations about providers, so a Google search of ‘net neutrality’ will turn up a plethora of viewpoints with various passion behind them.
Everyone is passionate about the need to keep the Internet a level playing field, it turns out, and in this case all the emotions and driving concerns feel very well founded. The privilege to conduct business to compete against those with seemingly endless resources and have a real chance of succeeding is a strong motivation if you’re one of the small guys, which the majority of us are.

SpaBoom Best Practices: The Importance Of Redeeming All Types of Gift Certificates!

June 4, 2014 Kathy Watts permalink

gc.promoLet’s talk about an important practice that you should be doing in your business: redeeming gift certificates in SpaBoom. Keeping track of what gift certificates have been redeemed and what, if any, remaining balance is left is key to helping your business run smoothly. It also means that you won’t end up in a situation where a client uses a gift certificate twice, hurting your bottom line.

Okay, so most of us are already very good at redeeming gift certificates and tracking them in SpaBoom or another POS. But what about promotional and reward gift certificates? You know, the ones that your clients receive for signing up for email marketing, as part of a Daily Deal, or those reward certificates your clients get from your loyalty program. It is just as important to redeem and track those gift certificates in SpaBoom.

Tracking your promo & reward gift certificates can offer valuable information and feedback on which promotional programs and offers are working and which ones aren’t. But if you are just ringing up the discount or giving clients the promotional offer without redeeming those gift certificates in SpaBoom you are missing out on the chance to analyze those programs. And redeeming a promotional gift certificate is just as easy as redeeming a regular one.

How to Redeem a Gift Certificate in SpaBoom

  • Go to the GC tab in your Spaboom account
  • Search for the Gift Certificate by number, client, recipient, or date purchased (you can also narrow search by gc type)
  • Click on the ID number to pull up the gift certificate and its information
  • From here, you can view the gift certificate, including balance remaining
  • Click on Redeem in the left hand column
  • You can then note how much was redeemed and any notes about this transaction
  • Hit save
  • That’s it! You’ve redeemed the gift certificate

Making sure you redeem and track all the gift certificates you issue (regular, promo, and reward) means that you will have all the information and tools necessary to really analyze your offerings. And there is no better way to improve your business.

Have questions or need help redeeming a gift certificate? Give us a call! We’re always happy to help.

I Would Do Another Website With SpaBoom In A Heartbeat

May 13, 2014 Stephany Toman permalink

AmySullivanWe answer a lot of questions about websites – building effective, attractive, affordable sites is a core part of our business, and we take them seriously. Hearing from someone who has experienced what it’s like to build, then enjoy the power of a SpaBoom website is often the best way to learn. Case in point, Amy Stenger-Sullivan, who has three websites with us – Amy Sullivan Seminars, Baby’s First Massage, and Cincinnati Massage Connection. Her newest websites with us are Amy Sullivan Seminars and Baby’s First Massage.

The feedback below is in regard to the website build for Amy Sullivan Seminars:

I could not be happier with my new website! It was so easy to work with SpaBoom. I had a pretty clear picture of what I wanted in a website, and they worked with me to accomplish my goal. The site is clear, easy to navigate and functional in every way I need it to be. Tiffany was consistently responsive to every piece we needed to add or change. I would do another website with Spaboom in a heartbeat!

Best,
Amy Stenger-Sullivan, LMT, BBA, CNMI
Owner, Baby’s First Massage, Amy Sullivan Seminars and Cincinnati Massage Connection

 

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Creating a website that showcases your business while it drives traffic in your door shouldn’t be a chore. Give us a call to learn more!