Spa and Pool Marketing Secrets - the Spa Pool Business Owners Unfair Advantage. Specific tactics to recession proof your spa and pool business.


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"10 Strategies For Driving Traffic To Your Spa and Pool Website"


By Simon Cope


Not long ago I was speaking to an Accountant friend of mine who had invested a significant amount of his marketing budget to build an online presence. He spent a lot of time carefully designing the site and providing information and graphics to bring it alive.


Once the site was completed and the switch was turned on there was a sense of pride and accomplishment with high hopes that the website would provide a marketing spark that would help to increase his client base. After several months, with next to no traffic, my Accountant friend confided that he regretted investing so much money in something that brought so little value.


After all, he mentioned, it's not like he was selling his services to clients outside his local town. After consulting with him I offered several strategies that he could use to increase the amount of local, hometown visitors to his website.


These same 10 strategies can work for your spa and pool website.


Strategy # 1 - Free Gift Drawing


The free drawing website traffic strategy has three steps. If done correctly, it come bring a flood of traffic to your site.


Step 1 - Set Up Joint Ventures with a Local Business. Choose a local business that services the same customers as your spa and pool business. For instance, a local health spa or upscale restaurant.


Ask them if they would like to have a drawing to give away a free gift such as a palm pilot or Bose wave radio to one of their customers for free. The drawing for the free gift would be positioned as a way of saying "thank you" for doing business with them.


Step 2 - Provide the Drawing Tickets and Gift. Provide the free drawing tickets to your joint venture partner to display them in their lobby. Make sure that you supply the sign that will attract the customers to take advantage of the free drawing. The ticket, which has a special code on it, instructs the customer to go to your website and enter in the special code on your home page to sign up for the drawing.


Step 3 - Announce the Winner With An Endorsed Mailing. After you've had a flood of new people that have visited your site and that have entered their name, address, and email address, you do the drawing and announce the winner through email.


A similar technique was used between Microsoft (to introduce the X-Box) and Taco Bell (to introduce their quesadilla), which netted hundreds of thousands of unique visitors to the X-Box website. Taco Bell gave a ticket with a code on it to everyone who purchased a quesadilla. The ticket holder then took the ticket home, went to the X-Box site, and signed up for a free X-Box giveaway.


Strategy # 2 – Business Card Drawing


Ask local businesses such as restaurants and dry cleaners to sponsor a monthly business card drawing giveaway with you in exchange for an electronic list of their customers. The restaurant, for example, would have a small bowl or box for business people to submit their business cards for the free giveaway.


You commit to paying for the two free lunches and to converting the business cards into an electronic customer list for the restaurant. The restaurant commits to sponsoring the business card drop boxes and to an endorsed monthly emailing to their customers plugging your business. Once you have the endorsed mailing you can continue to email market (or send an informative ezine) to those people again and again with the email addresses from the business cards.


Strategy # 3 – Local Secondary School Sports Website


If your suburb/town is anything like where I live in Meadowbank, people are sports crazy. Unfortunately, there isn't one central location where you can access local sports scores and highlights. Offer to pay the development and maintenance cost for a local school(s) sports website which can be maintained by a joint school web team using volunteer secondary school students.


You can call it (YourTown/YourSuburb)
For example, I could either call it
or, if were doing it for my spa and pool business.


On the site you could post banners and links leading to your spa and pool website site because you are the sponsor. I'll bet other local businesses would be willing to help sponsor the site in exchange for a little traffic to their website as well. Not only do you get local website traffic, you'll receive a lot of valuable goodwill as well.


Strategy # 4 – Referral Email Marketing


Start collecting the email addresses of all your current customers. One way to do this is by setting aside a day or two, which is solely dedicated to calling customers and offering to send them a coupon via email in exchange for their email address.


A second way to collect your customer's email addresses is to send out a physical newsletter and extend a great offer to everyone who sends you an email within the next 48 hours. Put a viral marketing spin on it by sending your customers an offer for a free gift that they can receive only if they forward your email offer to three local friends using a tell-a-friend or refer-it script.


Strategy # 5 – Flyer Marketing


Contact the local Boy Scouts and offer to sponsor a fundraiser activity by attaching door hangers on homes in the local area. The flyer will offer a prize (like the one in Strategy # 1) to those who go to your website and enter in a special code that was given to them on the flier. Again, this is a variation of Strategy #1 with a different tactic for distributing the offer.


HINT: You can give everybody the exact same code. Making people use a special code gives the feeling that they'll receive something special. This will perk people's curiosity and motivate them to go to your website to see what it's all about.


Strategy # 6 – The Voting Page


Watch your local newspaper very closely for controversial topics. Once a super-controversial topic hits, develop a quick one-page polling website that allows visitors to vote on how to solve the controversy. Put your banner on the website and also code in a pop-under page to expose visitors to your site every time the visitor leaves the polling website.


Now call the local newspaper (or write a press release) and let them know about your voting site. Recently a student at the Uni. of Alabama took advantage of a recent quarterback controvery and set up for people to vote on which quarterback should start. He recieved 3,000 visitors overnight! (The site is currently down)


Strategy # 7 – Free Site


Develop a Free(YourTown) site which posts coupons, free offers, and discount services of local vendors. You can charge the vendors for placing coupons on the site and of course your links and banners will be on the front page because you are the primary caretaker of the site. Make sure you get a lot of free publicity for the site. You might even ask your advertisers to giveaway handouts about the site to their customers. Have your Free(YourTown) site sponsor local youth sports teams with the domain name on the back of their shirts.


Strategy # 8 – Local Exit Traffic Exchange


Start an exit traffic exchange between local vendors. Once a visitor leaves the site of one local vendor, an exit popup or popunder appears of a second local vendor. The more local vendors you sign up, the more traffic everybody gets. Make sure you sign up vendors that only do business locally. Another twist to this strategy is to develop an exit newsletter signup form. Once a local visitor exits the site, a newsletter signup form pops up offering the visitor the opportunity to sign up to newsletters generated by local merchants.


Strategy # 9 – Joint Email Endorsed Mailings


Simply partner with another local vendor whose services you trust and would recommend and suggest a joint-email endorsed mailing. You send an email endorsing your partner's services with a link to her site and she sends an email to her customer base endorsing your services with a link to your site.


Choose partners whose customers would benefit and potentially purchase your product and service. In email marketing, as well as direct post mail marketing, the list determines, in large part, the success of the offer.


Strategy # 10 – Search Engine


Optimize your website for your product or service and the name of your town or city. Many times I have found great businesses in my own suburb using the Internet. Two examples of this recently were when I searched and found a fantastic! local pizzeria who I did not know existed, and I am now a dedicated customer - driving past 2 other pizza shops to get to them... My search on Google was "pizza" and "Meadowbank."


A second example was finding a great Travel Agent that was right up the road from my house. My search on Google was "travel agent" and "Remuera".




All it takes is a little creativity and effort to draw attention and visitors to your spa and pool website. Of course you could just spend a lot of money and advertise your website address but the most successful, low cost, alternatives to drawing traffic to your website are joint ventures with local business people who also have a web presence. In fact, it doesn't even have to be with local businesses.


Local schools and churches are always looking for different fundraising and promotional activities. I purposely didn't include the strategy of putting your website address on all your promotional materials. It's not that I forgot it. I figure that is just a given. If you're going to have a website, put it's address everywhere you would normally have your business name.


Some of these strategies are easier than others and produce better results than others, but they all are viable and absolutely doable. Your website can be a powerful marketing tool. Now that you've made an investment in your website, you might as well get the most out it.


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