Every health and beauty business owner wants to attract new customers and keep them coming back. Don’t give up on the traditional marketing methods. They’re still a great way to attract new customers—or add to your current marketing mix. Here’s an overview of traditional tactics to consider.

Direct Mail

Side of BusMailing postcards or flyers with special offers creates awareness of your store, spa or salon and entices people to give it a try. You can target recipients by neighborhood, or you can rent mailing lists from list brokers. These allow you to segment prospects by income, age, gender and other factors, so you can target only the customers that are most likely to visit your venue.

The Postal Service recently launched a program, “Every Door Direct Mail,” which is ideal for local salons, spas and stores. For as little as 14.5 cents per piece, you can saturate a neighborhood (delivery is by ZIP code), without having to buy a list of names or addresses—and your mailer is delivered with the daily mail.

There are also direct mail services that send special offers for local businesses in mailers of coupons to nearby residents. When new customers come into your businesses, make sure you collect their information so you can build your own direct mail list.


Advertising on radio, cable TV or in local newspapers, magazines or other publications can target both new and returning customers. To determine the best place to advertise, contact the ad sales departments of the publications or stations and ask for a media kit. Many media outlets now post their media kits online. A sales representative should be able to tell you how well the outlet’s audience matches the demographics of your target market.

Study the ads your competitors run to see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes the media outlet will help create your ad or provide advice. Develop a system for tracking ad results, such as including a code on each print ad that customers clip and bring in for a discount on a treatment or service, or asking radio listeners to mention a code to get two-for-one product purchase at your beauty supply store. This way you can tell where new customers are coming from and which advertising venues are most effective.


Special events at your spa, salon or store create excitement that draws new customers in and keeps regulars coming back. A nail salon could offer a special Friday night “Girls’ Night Out” offering champagne and deals on mani-pedis. A spa could offer “Saturday De-Stress Lessons” leading customers in deep breathing exercises or teaching them the basics of massage.

“Shop local” events, created by groups of merchants in a particular area can be a big customer draw, especially if you create a festive atmosphere and offer special deals. Team with other health and beauty businesses in your area to hold a “Day of Beauty” or “Celebrating Wellness” event where everyone offers special discounts, deals and events for customers.

It’s important to publicize your event to your customer list, via signage or flyers in your location. Social media, and local media outreach is also quite effective. (see “Public relations” below). 

Public relations

Local media outlets and bloggers are always looking for local businesses to tell their readers about. Find out which reporters or reviewers cover business, health, or beauty topics in your area. Create a list of relevant media contacts, and send them press releases and emails to keep them posted with the latest news about your industry and business.


Referrals from regular customers are one of the biggest sources of new business for health and beauty companies. The best time to get referrals is when you know the customer is happy with your service, so along with the bill, present customers with a coupon encouraging referrals, such as a two-for-one massage service or facial treatment.

To maximize the effectiveness of these methods, think about ways to integrate them. For instance, host a “bring a friend” event at your salon (event), encouraging regular customers to bring someone who has never been to your salon before (referral) to enjoy a haircut for half off the regular price. You could use direct mail and print advertising to tell people about the event. Finally, you could publicize the event to local media (PR). The more tactics you incorporate, the more successful your efforts will be.


Public relations and referrals are low- or no-cost methods of marketing.


Direct mail and advertising can be more costly than newer marketing methods such as social media.


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About the Author(s)

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship and SmallBizDaily.com.

CEO, GrowBiz Media