Gift Certificates That Work For Medical Spas

Year end gift certificates and postcards are where some medical spas are making 40% of their yearly sales.

Gift Certificates For Medical Spas

It's a well known fact that, at least for 'day spas', December is a time of plenty where gift certificates pile in daily and generate terrific end-of-year income. (One of my friends that ran a 50 employee day spa would generate an additional $250+ in revenue in the run up before Christmas.)

The challenge is often how you decide how you handle this pre-selling since you're now going to have to deliver all of those services over the next few months. (Jaunary is often spartan in income since all of your treatment rooms are filled delivering services that you've already recieved payment for.)

I'm wondering if anyone has thoughs on how to manage this effect?

One of the things that I've thought of offering but never really tried is an additional stipulation/option that gives someone an incentive—perhaps a slight discount—for postponing a redempton of the gift certificates. I was thinking of offering an additional 5-10% increase in the value of the gift certificate if it was redeemed after March or May.

Our New Facebook Group: Physicians + Facebook Marketing - How to do it correctly!

Join our Facebook group: Physicians + Facebook Marketing - How to do it correctly!

Facebook now has more than 500 million accounts.... and if you're not using it to promote your services and build a community around your medical spa or clinic, you're missing the point.

Rather than just discuss Facebook marketing here on this site, we've decide to actually show you how to do it by using Facebook.

The new group that we just started, Physicians + Facebook Marketing is only a few days old. So far, we've got 30 people to join and we're going to grow this group while showing you exactly how we're doing it... on Facebook.

We'll have a number of our staff who are responsible for our social network marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in this group to answer any questions you may have, or just learn from the case studies and articles.

You'll also want to listen to some of our new podasts since we've been discussing social marketing on there.

As always, if you like the content that you find here on Medical Spa MD, please give us a small pat on the back by clicking the new 'like' button that you'll find at the bottom of each post.  ; )

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Protect your reputation. Get new patients. Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value).  This offer is not available anywhere else.

Why Doesn't Your Medical Spa Have Any Facebook Fans?

Marketing your clinic via social media is a bit different from what many medical spas are used to.. but as more plastic surgeons, dermatologists and medspas add Facebook and Twitter that's going to change.

Taking out a half-page ad in the local paper, buying radio time, or getting a PR placement showing off your latest procedure, are all one-way forms of communication. It goes out, and people will either take action, become aware of you, or do nothing.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, are a two-way form of communication that requires people to opt in. Besides some nominal SEO benefits, they are only as effective as the number of local Fans and Followers you have who are interested in what you do. You are still sending out messages at your discretion, but people can choose to receive it, and even send instant feedback.

If you’re paying someone in your office to log into Facebook every day, post your latest Botox special, and there are only 10 people receiving that message, you are wasting time and money. No one is receiving the message and, no offense, people will not “opt in” to hear about your Botox specials every day. If people wanted to see advertisements constantly, TiVo wouldn’t exist.

The key to social media marketing for your medspa is finding a way to break through the protective barriers that people have. TGI Fridays certainly did.

TGI Fridays is a restaurant chain that in September, started a big social media push. They created a fictional character named Woody, gave him a Facebook fan page, and started an ad campaign: everyone who becomes Woody’s fan on Facebook will get a free burger on October 1st.

They did some advertising, got some press, and most of all, it was an event that gave people reason to tell their friends about it. The oft-used buzzword “viral” applies here… word of the promotion spread like a virus. With social media, it takes about three mouse clicks to tell all of one’s friends about something you found.

Woody garnered about a million fans, and on October 1st, TGI Fridays dutifully gave out the free burgers.

Today, in January, 2010, Woody still has 945,000 fans. Whenever TGI Fridays wants to market to a large number of people who already have a positive impression of them, and have demonstrated that they enjoy eating hamburgers, they have instant exposure.  For example, on November 17, TGI Fridays got massive exposure for a new happy hour promotion.

We’re marketing cosmetic products and treatments, and not hamburgers, but it still applies. Using a giveaway model on the local level can make yourself the talk of the town, and get hundreds of people to “opt in.”  If you are giving away beauty products and treatments, local people will sign in if they are interested in that sort of thing.  After the giveaway, you can market to them however you please.

It clearly doesn’t cost TGI Fridays a lot of money to give away a hamburger; and when people got their hamburgers, they also probably got fries, a drink, and some dessert.  A giveaway winner in your office can potentially get other products and services.

What could your medical spa be giving away?

Medical Spa MD Members get a Podium patient review marketing account and save $1,257

Protect your reputation. Get new patients. Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value).  This offer is not available anywhere else.

Medical Spa Testimonials & Referrals

Third-party  and patient endorsements are a fantast way to provide credibility for your Medical Spa.

(Read what Medical Spa MD Members have to say about us.)

Patient testimonials, third-party reviews and endorsements, media coverage these can all differentiate your medical spa, plastic surgery, or cosmetic dermatology practice and convince potential patients to give your clinic a shot.

Medical spa marketing along with search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (ppc) and even select direct mail can put your cosmetic practice in front of more potential patients, but real patient testimonials can provide the base level of ‘trust’ that initiates a first phone call.

Smart medical spas, plastic surgeons, and cosmetic dermatologists utilize these three third party validations:

Existing Real Patient Testimonials: (You’ve seen this if you’re not already doing it.) Prominent display of your patients saying nice things about you. Most of these are either not real, or they’re anonymous, diminishing their effectiveness. Video can be especially effective.

Trust Through Association: The reason that you’ll put your FACS, ASAPS, AAD, or ASDS logo on your site is to build patient trust. It works. Of course, these associations are completely restricted and very protective of their turf, leading to less restrictive medical associations who want to gain credibility. The reason MAPA was formed was to add some legitimacy to a group of non-core physicians. These associations are always pay to play.

Third Party Endorsements and Validations: Botox ‘premier providers’ is an example of third party endorsement as are others that are run by medical service companies. (If Medical Spa MD links to your site it’s a third party endorsement.) Interestingly, third party endorsements actually have a more favorable impact than association endorsements since the third party is often more ‘relevant’ to the initiation of a financial transaction.

Receiving these kinds of accolades or promotions from prominent third-party players is valuable, it validates your efforts and provides potential patients a level of instant comfort that you’ve already been checked out and are validated.

Subtle changes to the way you’re handling your patient testimonials and third party endorsements can produce dramatic effects, especially online, where the majority of patients are now searching for information.

Medical Spa MDs tested strategies for piling up and using real patient endorsements:

Seek out the places your patients are, starting with your existing medical spa or cosmetic practice. Smart thinking with your marketing tactics can reach far out into the community and gain the endorsements of prominent businesses and individuals.

Identify and select third-party recognition programs from high profile physician-respected sites like or medical associations you may qualify to join

Prepare legal and media write-ups: The media only runs two types of story; we found something good and, we found out something we thought was good, was really bad. Uncover the ways to build this kind of content that you can use on your own site, and share with you local media outlets.

Write strong cosmetic medical and human interest content with nice visuals: If your Thermage or breast augmentation before and after pictures look amateurish, you’re losing paying patients. Learn how to make your before and after photos consistent and attractive.

Give patient testimonials prominent placement: If you don’t have your patients smiling photo, full name, and a stellar testimonial, you’re less effective that you could be. Learn how to get patient testimonials that are truthful, candid, and really work.

Testimonials produce long-lasting, latent patient traffic increases, not temporary spikes: Effective third party endorsements and real patient testimonials work and drive patient flow, but not overnight.

If you’re not yet using real patient testimonials and prominent third party endorsements to drive patient flow, start now, your medial spa, cosmetic dermatology clinic, or plastic surgery practice will thank you.

Medical Spa MD Members get a Podium patient review marketing account and save $1,257

Protect your reputation. Get new patients. Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value).  This offer is not available anywhere else.

Medspa: If you want to be remarkable, be unexpected.

If you want to be remarkable you have to provide an experience worth telling someone about.

Of course you looked at the image to the right. It's an ad for a condom and meant to get your attention.

Word of mouth marketing is one of your best friends as a medical spa. Happy clients bring in their friends and family. But what are you doing to make your medspa stand out? What is it about your clinic that's worth actually remarking about 'before' being asked?

Happy patients who like you are just a base line an a relatively low hurdle if you know anything at all about what you're doing and have the right IPLs or lasers. But clinics who are really making money have often learned that moving a patient from happy or satisfied to a zealot that actively seeks out opportunites to mention them can double their revenue. (Everyone has a couple of zealots. I'm talking about a large percentage of patients.)

The image above is unexpected and different, so it attracts interest and comment.

If you want to have patients remarking about you, you have to actually be remarkable.

Medical Spa Marketing: Calling All Clients!

While attendance was down at THE Aesthetic Showthis year in Las Vegas, the enthusiasm for practice rejuvenation was high. Every lecturer mentioned, in one way or another, the hardships of practicing aesthetic medicine in this economic recession. Speakers delivered suggestions focusing on how to grow your practice with either an increase in marketing endeavors, a decrease in operation costs, or addition of new services.

Most clinicians in attendance were looking for the next great technology to add to their practice to bring in new patients. I think a sobering message, at least for me, was Dr. Stephen Mulholland’s lunchtime motivational speech on how to cut the fat in your practice and how to capitalize on internal marketing of your existing patient population which is something we’re all probably not doing to the fullest of our potential.

His point was right on when he said we spend more time and money trying to solicit new patients that we aren’t capitalizing on the patients we already have. While we may be sending our patients birthday cards with incentive coupons, or monthly newsletters, how many of you are conducting an active outbound marketing campaign? Botox follow-up reminder calls, “thank you for the referral” call, how about “we know you've tried filler A in the past and we have filler B on special this month”?

If your practice management software is not engineered to be able to pull out these clients for follow-up calls, it’s time to change software programs. Now more than ever you need to be able to query on a certain group of patients who are ready for a follow-up treatment and have not yet scheduled their appointment. Dr. Mulholland’s point was that you have already gained the trust of that client so why let them slip through your fingertips? Current clients should be treated as VIPs as their positive experiences are going to bring in new clients via “word of mouth”.

So, if you’re experiencing more downtime in your practice, now is the time to appoint a staff member to begin an active “client rejuvenation” campaign.

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Medical Spa Aesthetics Course, Study Guide, and Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

Submit a guest post and be heard.

Medical Spa MD Members get a Podium patient review marketing account and save $1,257

Protect your reputation. Get new patients. Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value).  This offer is not available anywhere else.

Medical Spa Marketing & Advertising... What works?

Medical spa advertising that works... and doesn't, from the discussion thread; What is the best advertising & marketing for your medical spa?

From EC

Our most successful marketing efforts for our Cosmetic Dermatology practice from most successful to least successful are:

Med spa advertising that works:

1. Staff and physician interaction in the clinic with existing patients. When patients are happy with the results they have already experienced, trust you to do what is best for them, and you don't upsell in an high pressure manner they are very receptive to asking about and hearing suggestions about additional treatments. It's free and works for us.

2. In office brochures, posters, videos. I do most of the brochures myself (we do use some provided by Allergan etc) and all of the posters in Photoshop. We have a 24 x 36 framed color poster in each room promoting a different procedure with the procedure and our tag line. (Love Your Legs--Spider Vein Removal etc) You would be surprised at how many patients point at it and ask "tell me about that"? Very low cost and good return.

3. Newsletters sent twice a year to all patients by mail and by email to those who have requested it by email or who have registed online. Again we design it ourselves on Adobe InDesign have it printed professionally which keeps costs down and allows us to personalize it for our particular practice. We encourage all patients to provide their email. Initially we sent all out by mail now about half email half snail mail. Obviously email is much cheaper.

3. SEO optimized web site with a page for our Current Cosmetic Procedure Specials with specific pages optimized for local organic search. I manage and write all copy for our site myself and use a web design firm for the site design. More expensive but well worth it. We get many new patients who have found us on organic or paid search and many of our current patients research a procedure they are interested on our site and then come in ready to do it. A good website is essential.

5. Paid search with Google AdWords. Again I manage this myself (can you say "type A"). Once it is set up it takes me about 2 hours a week to manage. We tried using a Search management company and it was a disaster. They didn't really understand our business or the terms actual prospective patients would use to search online.

6. TV. We have 2 different 30 second TV ads that we purchase the local rights to use through Spot Runner (I am not associated with them just a customer). They are about $500 each and are high quality. We run half of our spend on "The Doctors"--very successful for us, and the other half on cable mainly HGTV, A&E, Bravo, Lifetime. It is expensive but successful, especially "The Doctos" segment.

7. Charity sponsorship with Susan B Komen for the Cure local affiliate. We have been the local presenting sponsor for years. Last year we did a "Botox Benefit Day" where we gave patients 20 units free with the purchase of 50 units. We advertised in local paper, by an email blast and on local online newspaper and I appeared on the morning TV shows. Very successful for us. We got a lot of publicity, made a profit, donated a large amount to the local charity and got new patients out of the deal. Win-win for all. It generates a lot of good will in the community, motivates staff and positions the practice as a part of the community. I believe in doing only one charity and doing it big to get prime sponsorship levels rather than small amount to a lot of charities where no one notices your sponsorship.

8. Monthly Local magazine--large ad. More for awareness rather than for direct response. Kind of works but is expensive.

Med spa advertising that doesn't work for us:

1. Print Yellow Pages. Used to work 10 years ago not now. We have small business listings only.

2. Radio--has never worked for us. We haven't done it in years.

3. Online Yellow Pages ( etc). People use Google or Yahoo. We do some but not really effective.

4. Newspaper--again worked even 3 years ago. We have decreased our ad spend a lot and put it into the local newspaper online banner ads.

5. Local shared mailers. In our community these are too "downscale" for our practice.

Last year we spent 6.7% of revenues on advertising. We are a mature practice (14 years). In the early years we spent around 15% on advertising. Unfortunately a fair amount of it was worthless. Live and learn. And track.

Medical Spa MD Members get a Podium patient review marketing account and save $1,257

Protect your reputation. Get new patients. Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value).  This offer is not available anywhere else.

7 Ways To Engage Med Spa or Plastic Surgery Patients On Your Site.

First, if you're not blogging for your medical spa,  laser clinic or plastic surgery practice you're probably still using a rotary-dial telephone. Start.

Your patients are busy, and in order to gain and keep readership on your site you need to provide your existing and potential patients with information that makes their lives better, easier, and less stressful. Laser clinic or cosmetic surgery websites face the temptation of turning every post into a dry marketing appeal. It’s up to you as the physician or clinic owner to overcome that obstacle and provide your med spa patients information about your services in a quick and easily digestible way.

So the question is... How do you do that? Here are seven ways you can engage readers of your med spa or plastic surgery blog and keep them coming back.

1. Offer Real Medical Advice

You've got real medical experience, share it. (Yes, you do have to be careful so you don't get sued but post a clear disclaimer and be smart about your 'opinion'.) If you like Thermage or Fraxel, say it. The very best way to gain loyal readers is by sharing your knowledge and giving them practical information they can use to make decisions. You can give your readers an instant benefit by avoiding abstract ideas and providing specific tips, advice and tools they can use right away.

2. Talk to Your Existing Patients

You’re already ahead of the game with this one, because your existing plastic surgery or med spa patients already have a connection to you, otherwise they wouldn’t be reading your blog. Better yet, impressing them leads to greater word of mouth referral. Get to know them by keeping an eye on comments (allow comments on your blog and don't delete them unless they're way over the line), watching for trackbacks and listening to feedback in other forums. All of this input can be material you can use to make your posts resonate with your individual readers.

3. Share Personal Stories

Business is business and personal is personal, right? Not anymore. Today there is an increasing amount of overlap between the two, and people want to know a little more about the person behind the med spa, laser clinic or plastic surgery center, beyond a cv and medical marketing speak. So give a little of yourself to create a stronger relationship with your readers. Women (and our market is women) want to know that they can trust you. If all you ever post is your latest laser hair removal ad, you're just not as trustworthy as a the plastic surgeon who loves his kids and has a dog.

4. Go Non-Surgical Again

Throw in an occasional post that’s not exactly med spa or plastic surgery related. If it bombs, it bombs and you know to go a different route next time. But if it is successful, you can insert some comic relief, mindless banter and maybe even a personal story as listed above to give your patients a brief change of pace. Talk about how expensive Botox is. How Thermage charges for every tip you burn. How you worry about providing the best patient care.

5. Keep It Short and Sweet

You could probably write some very long posts when you’re discussing your latest business endeavor or what it took to build out your med spa or plastic surgery practice. If that much information is necessary, split it up into a multi-part series. Use lists, subheads and images to break up heavy content whenever possible.

6. Share The Conversation With Your Patients

Ask directed and specific questions at the end of your posts to encourage reader commentary. For every few posts where you provide advice, throw in a post that asks for the answer. Involving your readers will give them an opportunity to take an active role in your blog. Ask them if they'd like a membership as part of your offering. Talk about your patient referral perks. Ask who they think provides the best patient care. Ask if they can help your med spa provide better care...

7. Give Potential Patients What They Want

Carefully read the comments provided by your existing and potential patients. They are invaluable because they allow you to tailor your posts to the information your readers are asking you to provide. Acknowledge the comments, answer the questions, and address the requests and you’re on your way to building great relationships with your readers.

8. Bonus: Protect Your Med Spa or Plastic Surgery Practice

OK I said seven ways. Here's a bonus.

Of course I'm not a lawyer... (see how I carfully did that) but your medical opinions are your own. Keep a clearly defined page that states that the content of your site is not to be used as medical advice and shouldn't be acted on without consulting a physician. There are any number of medical blogs that write about specific cases with this kind of disclaimer in place.

If you've got a med spa, laser clinic or plastic surgery blog, how do you work it?

Smart Lipo ~ Young Medical Spa

Young Medical Spa offers smart lipo in Allentown.

Paula runs Young Medical Spas website marketing, SEO, Twitter and video marketing and she's obvioulsly getting to be pretty good at it since they're booked for smart lipo procedures into mid July.

How? Well, first she understands that it's needed and actually puts time and energy towards it. I'll let her answer but I know that writing for Medical Spa MD has raised her profile more than a little and actually turned into both patients and revenue.

Paula actually did something proactive and contacted Medical Spa MD rather than just sitting back. That lead to Medical Spa MD deciding to publish her upcomoing book on med spas and laser treatments for medical estheticians (coming soon) as well as Paula writing for Medical Spa MD.

The fact that this video is now on Medical Spa MD and in front of our close to 2million page views this year means that the competitors of Young Medical Spa just took a whoopin.

(If you'd like to write for Med Spa MD you can contact us here.)

Older Plastic Surgery & Laser Clinic Patients Are Online

It's no longer the case that teens are the ones flooding Facebook and Twitter. (You can follow Medical Spa MD on both Medspa MD on Facebook and Medical Spa MDs Twitter feed.)

The chat below shows the details of the Baby Boomers rush to embrace social networks. In the last week at least three people have told me of a parent that has 'discoverd Facebook'. It's no longer the case that you can just have a web site and sit back to be found. The web is maturing and big business. The rush of Baby Boomers to embrace Facbook, Twitter and social networking in general is indicative of this move.

According to the study referenced below, Baby Boomers...

  • Increased reading blogs and listening to podcasts by 67 percent year over year; nearly 80 times faster than Gen Y (1 percent)
  • Posted a 59 percent increase in using social networking sites—more than 30 times faster than Gen Y (2 percent)
  • Increased watching/posting videos on the Internet by 35 percent—while Gen Y usage decreased slightly (-2 percent)
  • Accelerated playing video games on the go via mobile devices by 52 percent— 20 times faster than Gen Y (2 percent)
  • Increased listening to music on an iPod or other portable music player by 49 percent—more than four times faster than Gen Y (12 percent)

Meanwhile, Gen Y...

  • Participation slipped in virtual worlds from 23 percent to 19 percent
  • Consumed no more video online than they did last year
  • Clogged and contributed to wikis less (it's down from 35 to 33 percent)

Additional data from the latest Accenture report is summarized here from TWICE.

For medical spas, plastic surgeons and dermatologist, this represents a change in the way you'll need search engine marketing in order to get in front of your potential patient population. Yellow pages, newspaper... gone. Search, blogs, social networks allow you to harness technology and get it in front of your potential patinets; woment 35-60.

Medical Spa MD on Facebook & Twitter

OK, Medical Spa MD is on Facebook and we've got a pretty active Medical Spa MD Twitter Feed.

If you're a quick learner and already have at least some online strategy for you clinic, please join the Medical Spa MD Facebook Group that we've created or follow us on our med spa twitter feed.

If you don't have your medical spa on Facebook or Twitter yet, put it up. Fortunately for you it's free and relatively easy.

(You may even want to post your before and after pictures on Flickr.)

Facebook not my favorite. I happen to like Twitter somewhat more but it's also more demanding since it requires some additional interaction to build up a following.

Med Spa Marketing: To Twitter or Not To Twitter

Medical spa and laser clinic marekting? You may want to be on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

It’s no secret that a creative way to market your medical spa or laser clinic is by participating in social media marketing (SMM) such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Digg, Craig’s List, etc. These types of sites give users a virtual voice on the internet. At our practice, we have a huge amount of referrals from friends or family members. In the same manner, these types of sites allow people to share information and recommend your practice to others. Let’s face it, most people like to check out your reputation before they schedule an appointment and SMM sites allow for an excellent forum to do so.

Just listing yourself on SMM sites with a link back to your URL won’t help your SEO ranking much unless you actively use them to build your brand recognition which, in turn, leads to improved linking to your website. The main problem is, keeping yourself current on SMM sites is time consuming and many physicians barely have time to answer their email let alone update all of these sites on a regular basis! In fact, I am extremely impressed at how many physicians are active on Medical Spa MD!

To get started, your best tactic is to investigate who your target audience is in demographics, then compare that data to different SMM sites that fit your target. Once established on these sites, you have to continually engage your audience with interesting content, perhaps chats, or mini blogs. It does take time and diligence, but the reward is building your brand awareness and uniqueness from other practices in your area.

Making your site mobile ready enables users to follow you on SMM sites easily (visit my mobile site from your handheld device at (if you try to visit from a PC you will be redirected to my dot-com site).

I truly believe SMM can help with your global link popularity which is essential to your SEO rankings. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to determine which venues are converting users to actual revenue. I monitor referring sites using Google Analytics - a very valuable tool!

I work hard at keeping up with all of these SMM sites and have to build a schedule to follow just so I don’t forget. Is it worth investing your time? I say absolutely! That, or hire a teenager to do it for you.

Follow Medical Spa MD on Twitter

Follow Paula; Young Medical Spa on Twitter

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Medical Spa Aesthetics Course, Study Guide, and Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

Submit a guest post and be heard.


on 2009-04-01 20:04 by Paula D. Young RN: Medical Spa

Twittering and social media marketing is the key focus in April's digital edition of Cosmetic Surgery Times!

Medical Spa MD Members get a Podium patient review marketing account and save $1,257

Protect your reputation. Get new patients. Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value).  This offer is not available anywhere else.

Medical Spa & Laser Clinic Coupon Shopping

Medical spas seem to be opening up everyday, or more physicians are adding cosmetic services to their practices and adding the phrase “medical spa or laser clinic” to their practice name. Whatever the cause of this increase in “competition” the fact is the more players there are, the more you have to step up your marketing campaign.

Potential clients have no idea who is “better” than whom, or who has the most experience, or talent. Point blank, their main concern when choosing a medical spa service provider is price. We have price shoppers calling everyday asking how much we charge per unit of Botox, or per syringe of a particular dermal filler. It amazes me that "A", Botox and fillers are so common and are injected in so many different types of practices that someone actually CAN price shop. And, "B", it amazes me that someone doesn’t even ask who is performing their injections and how much experience they have had. Since when is cosmetic medicine categorized like shopping for a handbag?

Here’s the conundrum we’re facing in our medical spa... laser lipolysis is our number one aesthetic service in our practice. So many physicians have added laser lipolysis to their practice in the hopes of generating revenue and, unfortunately, are having a difficult time getting business in the door that they’re offering ridiculous price breaks or coupons worth a very high dollar amount. What the unsuspecting client doesn’t know is how high they jack up their service price to allow for the coupon deduction. Plus the client knows nothing of the practice, who’s performing their procedure, etc.

We have recently had clients come in for complimentary consultations and asked us if we would honor our competitors coupons. My staff was taken a little off guard not expecting such a request.

My stance is that this is a medical practice, not a boutique, and there is certain room for negotiation in pricing, but honoring a ridiculous coupon just to get someone’s business isn’t worth the reputation we’re trying to maintain as medical professionals. Granted, some clients take their coupons away in a huff and say they’ll go elsewhere and only under my breath can I say you’ll get what you pay for!

I’m curious to know how other medical spas handle competitor’s coupons. Is there a limit to what you will accept, or particular services you’ll negotiate on? How far are you willing to go to acquire new clients?

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

Medical Spa MD Members get a Podium patient review marketing account and save $1,257

Protect your reputation. Get new patients. Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value).  This offer is not available anywhere else.

Plastic Surgery & Dermatology Marketing To Women

If you're a plastic surgeon, dermatologist or running a laser clinc or med spa, you're patients are 95%+ women.

Marketing To Women: How to Understand, Reach, and Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market Segment.

Link to Marketing to Women on

Marketing To Women is the marketing book that I give to physicians running med spas and laser clinics for their staff (but more importantly for themselves). Understanding its tennants will make your laser clinc more profitable.

While most plastic surgeons, dermatologists and aesthetic physicians think they know everything there is to know about patient interaction and consultations, my experience is that they don't. In fact, many plastic surgeons and dermatologists are extremely poor at understanding the 'buying psychology' of women and how it differs from men. This book offers some useful insights as to why women make the decisions they do. Understanding the logic of these choices, it's easier to address the hurdles and obstacles that prevent women from purchasing your Thermage or Botox.

Key truisms for your laser clinic or med spa:

  • Women are much more loyal than men.
  • Where men are searching for the best solution, women are searching for the perfect solution.
  • Women are much harder to please than men because their list of requirements is longer.
Read More

Med Spa vs Laser Clinic: Analyzing your medical spa competiton.

Get to know the laser clinic and med spa competition.


Contrary to what some may say, growing your clinic or medical spa isn't a single event.

Successful clinics and medspas look for 'incremental wins' that compound over time. The key to winning market share is to differentiate your company by providing products, services or solutions that your best prospects will find more desirable than what's offered by your competitors.

Experienced marketers know it's easier to fill an existing need than to create one. Someone who is already using the type of product or service you offer is a great prospect because he or she has a clearly defined need and is looking for a solution.

The job of convincing qualified prospects to buy from you instead of your competitors' is where the real work begins. One of the first steps is knowing what the other clinics, day spas, medical spas, and others who might be competing are up to in your market.

1. Do some detective work. Ok, this is a little spy like, but don't think all of your competitors aren't doing it to you and it's just good business sense. Start by gathering your competitors' marketing tools and advertising materials. Read their web site, print and broadcast advertising, and articles in which they've been featured. Request their brochures, price lists and any collateral materials. You may also be able to do some mystery shopping, which will allow you to experience what these medical spas are offering and how their positioning themselves. You'll want to send your staff rather than visiting yourself if you want to avoid embarrassing situations. (Surface has had more than 45 plastic surgeons, dermatologists and other physicians attend our seminars over the last five years in this type of sneaky capacity. They're not hard to spot and often they're 'outed' by women in the audience. They're the guys (mostly) who are sitting in the back scribbling furiously while their estheticians sit up front and ask telling questions like, "Now types of sutures do you use?".)

2. Evaluate your "slant" competitors. Chances are, you have a lot more competitors than you think. In addition to real competitors, evaluate the marketing tools and materials of any businesses your prospects perceive as offering a similar set of products or services. It's very common for day spas to attempt to compete with medical practices by offering a few medical services from a NP or PA. Microderm is often touted as some sort of medical type treatment. OBGYN's, FP's, pretty much whoever is in the market or wanting to get in. Know who's saying what about you.

3. Focus on the message. Once you've gathered the materials, the next step is to analyze what's being communicated and how. Identify the key promises made by your broad field of competitors. And don't be surprised if you see a lot of "me too" marketing. There's so much out there that's mediocre or worse, you may find the majority of your competitors have similar messaging, with only a few front-runners showing anything approaching real positioning. (This probably refers to you but we'll work on that.)

After assessing the most effective messaging, look at the actual tools and materials themselves. What formats seem to work best overall? At this point, your competitive analysis will reveal whether your company is lacking any standard tools that prospects expect everyone in your industry to offer.

4. Find a unique spin. So now comes the 'look in the mirror' moment. You've gathered all the materials and have learned the key message points of your real and perceived competitors. It all boils down to this: How does your clinic meet its patients' needs in a way that is both unique and compelling?

To find the answer, consider not only the products or services you sell, but also how you operate, including any company-specific characteristics, such as a higher level of customer service or uniquely specific positioning. If you can't find a selling point based on your current service offering that will help you stand out from your competitors, use what you've learned in this competitive analysis to retool what you sell and how you sell it.

If you can't see any difference between yourself and your competitors, why should you think any patient would choose you?