Valentine’s Day is the 3rd biggest holiday for gift-giving spending (Christmas being #1 and Mother’s Day #2) making it a great opportunity to attract some new clients with gift-certificates.
Before we get into the promotion ideas, let’s look at the spending trends to help you understand who is most likely to purchase gift certificates from you around Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day equals big spending, and not just by couples.
While about half of adults in the US for example plan to celebrate the holiday, (that number is a little lower in the UK and Canada, but still worth targeting) many people who said they aren’t celebrating Valentine’s Day still plan to treat themselves with self-care, gifts, or activities with their single friends. So they kind of are participating, but in their eyes it’s not in the traditional sense of celebrating with a significant other.
Experience gifts are becoming more popular
According to the National Retail Federation, “Among those celebrating Valentine’s Day, a quarter plan to give a “gift of experience” such as concert tickets or a day at the spa this year. It’s significantly more popular among younger consumers — 39 percent of those 18-24 and 45 percent of those 25-34 plan to give an experiential gift. The trend extends beyond Valentine’s Day: A recent study released by NRF found nearly half of millennials have given a gift of experience and 83 percent are interested in giving one in the future.” Source: https://nrf.com/blog/love-still-air
The statistics outside the United States are harder to find, but what is out there does similar enough to the U.S., though participation is highest in the US. The United Kingdom data indicates they have the lowest participation between the US, UK, and Canada, with 30% planning to participate compared to 51% in the US.
- Men are more likely to wait to the last minute to make plans (37% vs. 34%) and buy gifts (42% vs. 32%) than women.
- More people are buying gifts for friends, coworkers and other family members these days. Gifts aren’t just for significant others.
- Of the 18-24 year olds who don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, half still plan to treat themselves to some self-care, gifts, or do something with single friends. The other age groups also do this, but it’s most common among younger adults.
- On average American’s spend $161.96 on Valentine’s Day related purchases.
- Canadians who are dating spend more money on their partners on Valentine’s Day than married couples ($148 vs. $134), and spend more on jewellery ($251 vs. $193).
- Not including dinning, Canadians spend an average of $58 on a Valentine’s Day presents.
- For UK shoppers, gifts remain the largest category in the Valentine’s Day market.
- In the UK Valentine’s Day gifts are seen more as a token of affection, meaning they aren’t as extravagant as birthday or Christmas gifts, that said, spending continues to rise each year.
Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas for Reflexologists
While you can technically do all the ideas that follow, that would likely be too overwhelming. It’s best to review the options and pick one or two things to focus on this year. You can always try another approach or add to what you do this year in the future. Trying to go from zero to 60 and do too many things will end up with none of them being done 100% or maybe not even finished at all. So start small and use this list to what resonates best for you.
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There are several overarching approaches you can take with promoting gift-giving reflexology sessions. These are good to keep in mind as you review the ideas that follow.
- Encourage clients and non-clients to give reflexology as a gift someone they love
- Encourage clients and non-clients to give reflexology as a gift to themselves
- Targeting non clients to give the gift to people who already see you
You can also use this as an opportunity to build goodwill by giving a Valentine gift to people who book from you.
Let’s face it, discounts can be quite effective. They are popular because they work, at least in the short term. Discounts have their place in the marketing mix of promotions. Some people rely heavily on them and others refuse to every use discounts. Both perspectives are valid, this is a completely personal marketing choice as there are pros and cons to each.
In general though my advice is to use discounts more sparingly. Which is why most of this blog post focuses on promotions that don’t use price discounts. Using discounts too frequently, especially for your core service, can end up de-valuing your services, creating an audience that expects or waits for a discount, or even buyer fatigue where it no longer even motivates then
However, if you haven’t run any discounts for a while, or you really need the cash flow to increase, here are a few tips for a Valentine’s Day promotion based on a discount:
- Offer a discount on a multiple gift certificate bundle instead of single gift certificates.
- You can use a % off or fixed price discount as long as you think about which one sounds better. Would you be more motivated by 10% off a $60 session or getting a session for $55 instead of $60? Or with a bundle does 15% off $300 or a $45 discount sound better?
- Make discounted sessions a different length of time than your standard sessions (longer or shorter) so it doesn’t affect the pricing for the standard session.
- Offer the discount only for certain audiences (groups, organization members, employees of a specific business, new moms, etc.) so it feels more special or gives you leverage to get your message in front of them.
- Offer discounts on new services, under booked services, or add-ons you want to promote so you get people trying new things instead of just discounting your standard service.
Give reasons why reflexology makes the best Valentine’s Day Gift, such as
- If you or your loved ones are concerned about the environment, an experience gift like reflexology is a great choice. (Plastic free!)
- Helps your loved ones feel better, both physically and emotionally
- While reflexology feels luxurious it has great benefits beyond just feeling pampered
- It’s good for the heart, literally! Reflexology improves circulation helping the blood flow get to and from the heart and all the cells that need it with more ease!
- It’s creative and unique and shows more thought and care went into the gift than just grabbing flowers or chocolates at the store.
- Treat someone special to reflexology for Valentine’s Day or just because you love them!
- There’s never a bad time to give someone you care about a reflexology session, but Valentine’s Day is a perfect time.
Partnerships can get more exposure
- Instead of discounting your services, package them with items from another business. You can both promote the package deal to your audiences and get double the exposure. Think beyond just the typical florists, candy stores, restaurants, etc. Think about things that pair well with your audience, such as:
- local rock/crystal store
- bohemian/eclectic boutique
- someone offering complementary services like halotherapy (salt)
- local handmade jeweler or crafter
- local bakery
- local book store
- Similar to the package partnership, you could talk to 4 or 5 businesses and create a gift basket featuring items from all 5 of you with even broader reach into new audiences.
- If your audience is mostly female, partner with a business that tends to see mostly men and cross promote each other with signage near the checkout or special offers for each other’s clients. Ideas include:
- barber shop
- sporting goods stores
- golf courses or pro shops
- people who give sports lessons
- hardware stores
- electronics stores
Promoting to current clients
- Have signage promoting your gift certificates for Valentine’s day visible for all clients
- Give Valentine cards to your clients! Mail them or hand them out as clients come in for sessions early in the month. This acts as a reminder about you, the holiday, and helps associate your practice with Valentine’s Day.
- Encourage clients to share the experience of something they love with their significant other by getting them a gift certificate.
Promoting a Singles Night
- Create an event anytime the week of Valentine’s Day where they can get mini sessions, and a few other special indulgences to make it a fun night. Partner with other reflexologists or people doing complementary therapies and have fun with it!
Promoting to Men
Statistics indicate men are the bigger spenders, but also often just grab the easy standards at the last minute like candy and flowers when their partners tend to have their sights set on bigger and better.
- Encourage men not to wait until the last minute in your messaging.
- Encourage them to get something that’s more thoughtful and creative than the old standbys.
- “Get her what she really wants” messaging can be good too.
- Ask places where men hang out to let you put up a flyer on a bulletin board or in the window by the entrance.
- Or can you offer male heavy workplaces a special offer for their employees? Offer to deliver the gifts to save them time and make it easy, or see if they’ll let you set up a table in the breakroom over lunch one day to sell. This is one where you might need to add the discount to make it feel special enough to get the business to let you market to their staff, but offering an easy idea that is unique and thoughtful might be enough too. It would be a nice perk to offer employees for convenience.
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Promoting Value-Added (not discounted) Valentine’s Day packages or gift baskets
No discounts needed, just some value-added options. You can even mark them up to cover the cost of the added items and cover your time to put it all together in a nice package
- Focus on the presentation of such as printing a special gift certificate specifically for Valentine’s day and/or offer it pre-packed with more than just an envelope to make it feel special when opening.
- Provide a gift basket with a reflexology gift certificate and add any combination of the following
- Nice chocolate (fair trade offers a more thoughtful add-in for example, or something special like truffles)
- Items from a local bakery
- Champagne, wine, or other fun beverages
- Foot lotions, scrubs, etc.
- Products you sell
- Flower scented essential oils
- Rose quartz or other crystals in the pink, purple, red color palette
- Locally made jewelry (made with simple beads or something, doesn’t have to be pricey)
- Other crafter made items
- Bubble bath
- Small potted plant such as a succulent or air plants
- A printed poem or saying
- Include some luxury add-ons to your normal session with services you already offer like hot stone, or maybe something you do just for this special package like a foot soak before the session, warm towels on the face for 10 minutes after, a special rose scented lotion, or essential oil, etc., product samples
- Add something to your session (not in a gift basket but to have during the session) including a rose, chocolates, treats from a local bakery, Champagne/sparkling juice, a rose quartz, holding a Himalayan salt ball, listening to special music, etc.
- Couples sessions which can be back to back if you don’t have space to do them at the same time – they can either sit in the room while the other gets their treatment or if you can do something like a foot soak or guided meditation in your waiting area or enjoy special treats, etc.
- Promote a longer session as the Valentine’s Day package that mixes up your normal offerings or gives a taste of all the things you do to make it feel fun and different but still charging your normal rate for the time.
- Promote smaller packages with a shorter session to reduce the cost for friends, family, co-workers, etc. that want to give a gift but not spend the cost of a full session
- Promote a multi-session package to be used over several weeks or months. It can be your standard session for all of them or a sampler pack where they get foot reflexology one time, hand the next, etc. depending on what options you offer.
Both people in a relationship and those who are single participate in self-gifting around Valentine’s Day.
- Self-love is just as important this Valentine’s Day
- Get exactly what you want this Valentine’s Day
- Invest in yourself with a reflexology session for Valentine’s Day
- Boost your Valentine’s Day spirits with a reflexology session
- Buy a session for someone special and grab an extra one for you too
- A surprising percent of people buy their fur babies something, a twist on that could be to encourage them to get themselves a session as a gift from their pet (If you give your fur baby a Valentine’s Day present, I can help your pet give you one in return!)
- Anti-valentine’s purchases are gaining traction and could be promoted to the right audience
- Suggest bucking the candy and jewelry standards and do something that’s good for you
- Giving yourself a reflexology session is more enjoyable than… (fill in the blank here with something like “dinner for one” or “eating a box of candy” or “being disappointed in your gift” or “a crowded restaurant” etc.)