Skin Inc.

By Bob Fabbio

Multi-channel Marketing Increases Spa Revenue

Two-way communication is necessary for building any healthy relationship. For skincare providers, open conversation is vital to understand client needs and provide services and recommendations that solidify trust and confidence. It’s this understanding and intelligence that make good providers even better.

These important conversations are commonplace in treatment rooms and during in-office consultations, but when it comes to your marketing communications, does the conversation stop?

Often, when marketing to contacts, skincare professionals rely exclusively on less effective one-way communication channels like email. But some successful dermatologists, med spas and other skincare providers have begun to leverage conversational marketing to more deeply engage clients, improve loyalty and increase revenue.

Conversational marketing is an emerging marketing channel that uses personalized, one-on-one conversations to learn about and remember client interests through automated technology. The result is better targeted messaging that drives higher response and conversion rates.

If your marketing campaigns still rely exclusively on one-way channels like email, you’re missing opportunities to grow your business.

How the Conversation Flows

Traditional marketing channels flow in one direction. If you only send emails, mail postcards, or buy online or print ads, you’re doing all the talking and learning very little. One-way communication wouldn’t work in an office consultation, and it isn’t effective marketing.

 Conversational marketing uses personalized, two-way communication to identify and remember clients’ interests and deliver the information and special offers most relevant to—and desired by—them. When you know what your clients want, you can offer discounts, special events and information in your marketing campaigns that resonate, are more likely to convert and generate more business.

Fortunately, conversational marketing is a channel well suited for skincare practices and med spas because it leverages the trusted provider-patient relationship. It’s about listening—not just talking— to secure lasting connections.

An App for That

Conversational apps, or ChatBots, effectively bring the latest two-way communication channel to marketing skincare products and services. They create interactions that feel like personal, uninterrupted, real conversations.

The apps can identify patients’ interests in products and services—even glean their hobbies and personal interests to deepen connections—and engage them on topics of their choice, with appropriate responses throughout the conversation. These automated conversations can progressively become more personalized, and they remember and cue interests or other information from prior interactions.

The client data collected can be used to enhance in-office interactions or to segment communications though other marketing channels.

Conversations Deliver Conversions

Leads from conversational channels tend to convert at higher rates than other digital marketing because it is the truest permission-based marketing. Patients are choosing to engage in bi-directional interaction. These interactions build long-term value and stronger, longer, more loyal relationships.

Personalized information collected through conversations also enables providers to remain above the consumer marketing noise. When fighting for consumer mindshare, it’s easy for messages to get lost in the shuffle. A key to breaking through the clutter is by delivering personalization and relevance. In fact, 90 percent of marketers see individualization as the future of marketing—moving beyond segmentation to true one-to-one personalization in a real-time context (Teradata).

Dr. Jeffry and Selena Rocker own and run Skinology, an Orlando-area medical spa. Earlier this year, the Rockers began leveraging data collected from a conversational smart phone app to generate more business from clients during office appointments. In less than 100 days after using the app as part of a multi-channel marketing approach, the practice grew revenue by 15 percent.

“If we see (from the app) that they wanted to know more about Latisse, for example, we can use the time we have with them during a Botox appointment to answer their questions about Latisse,” Rocker says. “We’ve seen this result in more business.”

A Multi-channel Approach Is Still Necessary

The addition of a conversational channel should be part of a fully integrated marketing program, not stand alone. No single channel can reach everyone in this online, offline and digital world. Consumers expect choices and want to communicate on their terms.

Conversational marketing through smart phone apps effectively supplements and reinforces other digital marketing efforts, including email, web and social. The beauty of conversational marketing is that it fits well into a multi-channel approach while delivering benefits other channels cannot.

Bob Fabbio is CEO and co-founder of Austin, Texas-based eRelevance Corp., a technology-enabled marketing automation service providing small- to medium-sized aesthetic practices and med spas with affordable internal marketing that reduces workload and generates more business ( Bob can be reached at [email protected].


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