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Year-end brings with it ample opportunity to offer holiday-focused spa packages, but bundling multiple services together should really be something you do all year long. Not only can packages help boost revenue, they also open your clients’ eyes to treatments that might not be on their radar. “The services that go best together are well-known offerings mixed with unique and uncommon ones,” says Tamara Friedman, owner of Tamara Spa + Wellness in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Her most popular bundle, the Couple’s Delight (60-90 min./$260), combines a 30-minute private Jacuzzi or steam room session with side-by-side Swedish massages, and has remained a client favorite for more than 30 years. “Most people know what a manicure or Swedish massage is—they’re pretty similar no matter where you go—but how many spas have hydro-lighting facials, skin ironing, steam rooms or niacin wraps? Encouraging clients to try something new always leaves them with a memorable experience,” she adds. But creating a spa package involves more than just throwing two services together and crossing your fingers; considerations like cost, time and added value factor in heavily. So before you bundle, take note of this rundown for successfully putting together the perfect package.

Precise Pairing

As Friedman mentioned, unique offerings make excellent package fodder thanks to their ability to leave a lasting impression. Christina Gallardo, marketing and advertising director for G20 Spa + Salon in Boston, adds that bundling less popular treatments with client favorites has its own upside: “These combinations give guests an opportunity to experience services they may not otherwise try,” she says, noting that recognition can also convert to repeat purchases. Adriana Alvarez, director of Spa & Salon Operations at Costa del Sur Spa and Salon in Las Vegas, finds that even a facial—a well known offering that tends to under-perform as a stand-alone service at her location—does extremely well as a package component. “I like the massage- facial combination: Most people think they don’t ‘need’ a facial, but when they leave the treatment room and have that relaxed, dazed look, we know we’ve changed their minds!” she laughs.

Putting the decision in the guests’ hands also nets package success. All three pros reveal they offer customizable options where clients can choose what to bundle based on their needs and desires. “We ask for a time and their budget, and give them as many choices as possible,” says Friedman. The bespoke packages at Tamara Spa require advance booking so therapists can properly manage their time, and a down payment—if the client is a no-show, the spa pros still get paid.

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Finding Inspiration

Most spa owners know that seasonal offerings make easy package muses; what you may not realize is that monthly bundles will set you apart from the competition. In order for the specials to make sense for your location, though, you’ll need to do a bit of research. Gallardo meets regularly with the directors from each G20 Spa department, and they share the past month’s team and client experiences—feedback, requests and the like. “We collaborate and decide together what we’ll be offering each month based on that information,” she says. Social media and trade publications like DAYSPA play a major role in inspiring package creation at Tamara Spa. “Our social media manager researches trending ideas, as well as what the competition is—and isn’t—offering,” adds Friedman. “We’re constantly looking for new services and products to keep us relevant in this ever-changing society.”

Smart Pricing

Part of a spa package’s allure for clients is that they’re getting more bang for their buck. And as long as you keep profit margin and therapist compensation in mind when you price bundled treatments, you can boost your bottom line significantly. Alvarez first focuses on cost per service. “I try to use products that we get on promotion from our vendors, so it’s usually free or we got it at a discounted rate,” she says. “Vendors are typically very giving in general. If we’re promoting the line, they’re more inclined to help us with that promotion.”

After a cost analysis, turn your attention to therapists and payroll. “Our technicians are paid on a commission basis, so they lose money when services are discounted,” notes Gallardo. To counter this, G20 Spa combines treatments with retail specials or offerings that aren’t reliant on the staff. “Our Salt Cave Halotherapy, Guided Virtual Meditation, Bali Revitalizing Experience and Rasul Detoxifying Ritual are all things we can comp in spa packages so that the discount doesn’t affect staff commission,” says Gallardo. Friedman, who also makes use of add-ons that don’t require an operator, like lunch or a Jacuzzi session, adds: “We distribute the extra money made from the add-on services (minus their cost) to the spa and operators.” Further, a mandatory 20 percent gratuity helps compensate staff despite a 10 to 15 percent discounted commission from the packages. Alvarez notes that there’s no general rule of thumb to pricing a service when incorporating it into a package, but she does allow this pointer: “We won’t discount the service below the highest commission rate, and try never to have the commission take the hit on the discount.”

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Time Management

Think about it: If you bundle services, the time spent on one client stretches significantly. So how should you schedule packages? Gallardo prefers to limit such offerings to Monday through Friday, so that commissioned technicians can boost their profits on their busiest days, Saturday and Sunday. Plus, by booking packaged treatments at slower times, spa pros are able to “maximize their involvement in the services and optimize the guest experience,” she notes.

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In terms of planning when to provide packages to your clientele, you may need to invest more time in scheduling depending upon your team and location. If you’re situated within a hotel or in a busy metropolitan area with constant events, for instance, you’ll want to sync your new offerings with those calendars (think: ramping up service bundles when a convention is in town). “I try to plan out three months in advance, which allows me to order the product I’ll need in a timely manner,” adds Alvarez.

Think about it: If you bundle services, the time spent on one client stretches significantly. So how should you schedule packages? Gallardo prefers to limit such offerings to Monday through Friday, so that commissioned technicians can boost their profits on their busiest days, Saturday and Sunday. Plus, by booking packaged treatments at slower times, spa pros are able to “maximize their involvement in the services and optimize the guest experience,” she notes.

In terms of planning when to provide packages to your clientele, you may need to invest more time in scheduling depending upon your team and location. If you’re situated within a hotel or in a busy metropolitan area with constant events, for instance, you’ll want to sync your new offerings with those calendars (think: ramping up service bundles when a convention is in town). “I try to plan out three months in advance, which allows me to order the product I’ll need in a timely manner,” adds Alvarez.

Spreading the Word

Since packages can change frequently, you’ll need to make current and prospective clients aware of them on a consistent basis. Friedman finds that a mix of direct and indirect marketing works well, but stresses that keeping campaigns varied helps ensure success. “The specials you see on our social networks aren’t always the same ones we promote in email or text. This way we aren’t annoying spa-goers by showing them the same thing over and over, and it also works as an incentive for clients to sign up for all of our different media so they won’t miss any deals,” she shares.

In addition to custom-branded digital ads for each new promotion G20 Spa + Salon rolls out, Gallardo says they’ve benefited from partnering with local influencers who help spread the word. If the opportunity presents itself, you can also team up with sites like Travelzoo, which makes your packages visible to out-of-towners. Alvarez runs bundled services with the site regularly, and she reports great success with a recent custom package in which clients could pick two of three offerings with complimentary upgrades if booked Monday through Thursday. Of course, however you choose to market your packaged treatments is up to you, just be sure to sell the experience—and don’t undersell your business!

–by Karie L. Frost


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