Meet three spa pros who teamed with local wellness providers to develop innovative offerings that super-serve their clients.

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Sometimes, we just need a little help from our friends to start shaping up for swimsuit season or embracing a healthier lifestyle. And the same goes for day spa owners who hope to get guests started along similar paths! For many, this means partnering up with a fellow wellness-oriented business to devise more comprehensive health and fitness programs for spa-goers. The strategy also gives people greater reason to frequent your spa and opens a world of complementary cross-promotion opportunities! To find out what makes healthy partnerships tick, DAYSPA caught up with some spa owners who have forged successful alliances.

Skin & Beyond Day Spa in Franklin, Tennessee

The partner: AdvoCare nutritional products
The objective: Providing spa clients with an at-home weight-loss and nutrition program

The offer: With the 24 Day Challenge ($185), Skin & Beyond clients receive a nutritional consultation, a grocery-shopping list, and a regimen of vitamins, supplements, nutritious shakes and guidance—provided by the spa’s partner AdvoCare—to help jumpstart healthier lifestyles. “It’s not a diet,” explains lead esthetician Nathaly J. Tanner. “Guests on this program are eating real food six times a day. We teach them how to eat right, and give them recipes and shopping lists, helping to facilitate a lifestyle change that keeps the weight off for good.”

The inspiration: “We’ve offered our Body Contour Wraps [90 min./$180] for a while, and noticed that while the treatment helped clients lose weight and inches, they didn’t know how to keep it up,” Tanner says. “They would see results from the wraps, then go home and eat the same foods and come back six months later starting from zero. So we wanted to find a way to help them beyond the wrap—to teach them how to eat better and shop better. But we didn’t want to put them on a diet; we wanted to give them a lifestyle change, which is why we sought AdvoCare.”

The sell: When clients come in for the Body Contour Wrap—which is aimed toward weight-loss, inch-loss and detoxification—they also get a free nutritional consultation. “Afterward, guests often sign up for The 24 Day Challenge. It’s all about fully informing them about what we can do to help, rather than selling them,” Tanner says.

How it’s promoted: When New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees is already your partner’s official national spokesperson, what other promotion do you need? The famous athlete himself inspires some to sign up, but the spa also hosts informational mixers every Thursday, with AdvoCare representatives present, to explain how the challenge works. “We get a lot of instant sign-ups from that, and for those guests who can’t make it, I schedule webinars so they can learn at home,” says Tanner. “But we have hundreds of non-paid endorsees who simply use these program’s products, have seen results and spread the word. That is the best promotion you can ask for.”

The verdict: “Our clients are seeing awesome results. They’re reaching their goals and coming back for more to maintain their overall health and wellness,” Tanner says. “We are super-serving our regular client base, but also bringing in a lot of new business.”

Jamie’s Therapeutic Touch Day Spa in Palestine, Texas

The partner: Snap Fitness Personal Training

The objective: To round out the spa’s weight-loss and contouring service options
The offer: “We’ve developed a whole wellness program,” says owner Jamie Pettiette-Rhone. “We offer everything we can to get the body revved up to burn calories and lose extra fat.” This includes infrared dry sauna sessions (which claim to torch 900 calories in 30 minutes), ionithermie, anti-cellulite services and more. “Once we get guests into that routine, we refer them to Snap Fitness trainer Tamara Barnett. She helps shape and tone their bodies, works out with them, and advises on nutrition and caloric intake,” Pettiette-Rhone explains. “Wellness program guests typically come see us, as well as her, once or twice a week.”

The inspiration: Pettiette-Rhone’s personal weight-loss odyssey was her impetus. “I was 60 pounds overweight after having a baby and I lost the weight within two months, largely by sitting in the sauna every day,” she says. “But I also needed motivation to work out, and that’s where Tamara came in. My clients wanted to learn more about how they could lose weight, so we teamed up with Snap to help design long-term health and workout plans for individual guests that would keep them motivated.”

The sell: Each plan is custom-catered, based on the client’s goals. Plans start at $60 per month for unlimited sauna sessions. “Once they see how much they lose from that alone, guests want to do more,” Pettiette-Rhone says. And they needn’t look further than the Snap program literature that Jamie’s Therapeutic Touch always keeps on hand. “For some clients, we’ve created yearlong plans that include cleanses, regular body wraps and sauna sessions, along with personal training.” “Sauna club” and body-wrap clients who express an interest in taking their weight-loss goals further typically receive one free personal training session. After that, Barnett and Pettiette-Rhone work out a serial deal. (It’s common for guests to purchase 10 personal training sessions and five wraps or sauna sessions, and receive one free of each.)

How it’s promoted: The spa uses Facebook to highlight its weight-loss offerings, as well as print and radio ads. Pettiette-Rhone also writes a monthly column about fitness and nutrition for the local paper. Snap Fitness promotes its spa collaboration with fliers distributed across town. “We’re all over the place, but of course, word-of-mouth is the ultimate when it comes to weight loss,” Pettiette-Rhone says.

The verdict: “We’ve seen an increase in business of at least 30% to 40% since we teamed with Snap,” Pettiette-Rhone reports. “I recently had a very overweight client lose eight pounds in one week, and that was huge for her. Many clients are losing two to 10 pounds a week with the added boost of training sessions.”

Contour Day Spa in Plantation, Florida

The partners: Upstairs neighbor Dr. G’s Weight Loss & Wellness , a medical weight-loss wellness center, and natural food company Bring Organics Back

The objective: To host organic cooking demonstrations in the spa, and provide spa and weight-loss center clients with an organic meal delivery service.

The offer: On Saturday afternoons, Bring Organics Back hosts cooking demos ($50) with tastings in Contour’s spacious conference room (the spa has 26,000 square feet), where spa- and weight-loss clinic-goers learn how to shop, cook and dine more healthfully. Classes include Starting from Scratch, a beginner’s course in basic organic cooking techniques; After-Dinner Desserts & Cocktails; Party-tizers; and Tropical Flair (Latin and Caribbean dishes). The company also offers an organic meal delivery service, for which guests can enroll at the spa.

The inspiration: “They want to change people’s lives, we want to change people’s lives, and teaching clients proper nutrition is important to me,” says Contour Day Spa manager Fanit Panofsky. Adds Joe Adkins, co-owner of Dr. G’s Weight Loss & Wellness, “[Bring Organics Back’s] Chef Chad Cherry needed a place for his cooking demos, I wanted cooking demos for customers and it fits into Fanit’s wellness concept, along with colonics, massages and living well. We’re all very complementary businesses.”

The sell: The trio initially teamed up last fall to offer two Groupon deals and sold hundreds instantly. For $25, guests could attend an organic cooking demo with wine and appetizers; for $40, they could bring a companion, too. The businesses have successfully used Living Social since then.

The promotion: One of their Groupon deals landed a mention on the nationally televised Ellen DeGeneres Show. “It quickly became a very big thing,” Panofsky says. “We also market to our email list of 22,000.”

The verdict: “We help guests make the right choices and feel better about themselves, and we get to see people truly transformed,” says Panofsky. “And we’ve all benefited from added publicity.”
Looking to broaden your spa’s wellness appeal? Like these pros, you may want to get to know your neighbors! Try finding like-minded business owners at Chamber of Commerce meetings, community networking events and through social media groups. From there, work together to devise marketing campaigns that will speak to both (or all) your clienteles.

Carrie Borzillo is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles.

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