We Are Sunshine

Study the History of Your Marketing

Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

By Scott Nichols

I hope this busy season is going well for you. It’s the time of year to build your customer base so we can sell products and services to more customers. It’s the time of year to build your EFT business with the hope you sell more than last year and the hope of all your EFT members stay with you throughout the year. For most, this is the time of the year where you are ramping up your marketing to gain new customers and bring previous customers back to visit you again. Today, I want to talk to you about the importance of your marketing and how to do it effectively – to do it in a way that will save you time and help maximize the money you spend each month.

Marketing is one of the major parts of your business you should pay attention to. It’s the part that if done correctly can create your best months and if done poorly can have a negative impact on your business. Marketing can be challenging because there isn’t an exact science to it. If there was, all we would need to do is follow the formula and, “poof,” our marketing would be done.

So where do you start? Some, if not most, of your marketing answers can be found in your past. The past can tell you what has worked and what hasn’t. There isn’t an exact science to it, but there is some math involved. We know how to figure out your sales average, lotion average and many other averages. The same can be done with your marketing. I have three areas you should follow to make sure your marketing is working.

Before I get to the three areas, go through what you did for marketing for the past year and break it down per month. Next, find all the social media posts, emails, text messages, radio and TV spots, outdoor print, new uniforms and whatever else you have done. Take an excel spreadsheet and make a column with all the different services you offer. Some of these services might be UV tanning, sunless tanning, SmartSun Therapy and more. Along the side (Under Column A), list all the different services you did throughout the year. Copy this 12 times to represent 12 months. If you did radio in January and ran a sunless commercial, put the dollar amount under Sunless and Radio. If you have done social media posts on UV tanning and there is no cost, then make sure you still acknowledge you did it and put zero in the box. If you right-click on the box, you can add notes. Use these notes to give more information such as the number of posts you did and a quick description of the post. Maybe it was specials you were running or you posted about a new bed. Also, note what all the specials were with the other forms of advertising you did. If you ran radio spots, make sure you note what specials you ran.

I’ve found there are three important areas you can keep track of when looking at how successful your marketing is.

How much did it cost to bring in a new customer? Under each month on your Excel spreadsheet, list the total amount of marketing dollars you spent. Next to the dollar amount, place the number of new customers you saw that month. Simple division will tell what you spent on new customers. For example, if I spent $5,000 on marketing and had 100 new customers, it took me $50 to get a new customer. Even if your marketing wasn’t geared towards new customers, it still cost something to get a new customer in the door.

What if your marketing goal was to bring in new customers so you spent $5,000 and you brought in 300 new customers? You would be spending under $17 for a new customer. I hope you can see where I am going with this. If you create a long enough history, you will be able to go back and find the month you had the most customers come in and what you did to make it happen. Take a look at the marketing over the past year and figure out what marketing you ran and how much it cost you per customer. That’s some valuable information!

The next part is to look at the average amount a new customer is spending on their first visit. For example, if your new customers are spending $25 and your average spend for a new customer is only $17, then maybe you think about advertising to them more. If the customer averages $25 for their first visit and it costs you $50 to get a new customer, you might want to think of new ways to get more dollars out of the first visit or rethink how much you are spending.

“But the customer will come back again,” you might be thinking. Well, there are no guarantees, plus you want to make sure you are making back what you are spending in the month you are spending it in. For example, if a new customer comes in February and spends $10 but two or three months later comes in and buys $200 worth of services and products, that’s awesome, but the goal should be to accomplish all of this within the timeframe of your marketing campaign.

Next you want to see how effective your marketing is at keeping and building your current customer base. In your spreadsheet, put down the number of customers you saw each month. Divide your marketing budget by the number of customers you saw. You can either do unique customers or the total number of sessions. Either works for this as you are comparing equally between all 12 months. For example, if your marketing was $5,000 and you saw 10,000 total sessions, you spent $.50 per tanning session.

Here we can’t measure the number of people who no longer tan with you, but we can read the trends.  Look for the months your tanner count is up and compare what marketing you are doing for the months your tanner counts are down. There might be a few “one-off” months where you were shut down because of weather or you were up because you had the perfect weather. There are many reasons for the “one-offs,” but looking at all 12 months should give you a good indication of the most effective marketing.

The next thing to do is factor in the average cost you spent on marketing. Are there any trends there? If you spent more money, did you see more customers? Maybe? Maybe not? This can be useful when looking at how much to spend on marketing.

EFTs are our lifeline. Make sure you are measuring your marketing with the number of signups and then number of cancellations. On your spreadsheet, put down the number of EFTs sold each month along with the amount of marketing you did. Divide the numbers, and that will tell you the amount you spent to get an EFT. For example, if you spent $5,000 on marketing and sold 150 EFTs, you spent just over $33 for each membership.

Same as above, make sure you are looking at each month and determining what marketing you did for each month. Over time, you will start to see the trends for what worked and what did not.

Then, we want to concentrate on the longevity of a membership as well. Look at the number of cancellations compared to other months. Did you do any marketing done to keep members? I would guess most people don’t. It might be time to spend some dollars on marketing in May, June and July as the busy season starts to die down. Keeping those members during the slow season is important and must be a priority.

Measuring your marketing isn’t just limited to these three items. You can do it with your sunless, lotion and red light business. I am sure you can be creative and come up with other ways to find how effective your marketing is as well.

Remember, it’s important to categorize what you did each month and how much you spent. To have a clear picture of what your marketing is doing, you need to know how much you spent on each category per month, what type of marketing, and what special your ran. If you want to get even better numbers, try and go back two or three years.

I’m sure your marketing plan is similar to mine – you are marketing more than just one service every month. I recommend if you are doing any marketing or advertising such as a billboard, radio spot or even a social media post, make the advertisement only about one service or special. Keep it clean and simple. If you want to advertise multiple services then put up two billboards, run two radio spots or do multiple social media posts.

We all do marketing in some form. Some of us have a real talent for it and others are better at different aspects of their business. What I have suggested above doesn’t require any talent at all. All it requires is a little elbow grease to create the history of your marketing spreadsheet. Each month thereafter, keep your spreadsheet updated. I would also suggest you add any other types of variables and measurements with the hope of getting a reall clear picture of how effective your spend is. Nobody wants to spend $5,000 on something and only make $2,000 back! But I am pretty sure everybody would like to spend $5,000 and get $10,000 back. Start rolling up your sleeves and get digging into the history of your marketing. I think you will learn a lot, and that is priceless!