9 email marketing best practices for salons, spas, and fitness studios

Mae Rice
9min read
Success stories
August 24, 2023
Featured image

Jason Carrigan came to the wellness industry from the restaurant space, and he wasn’t a spa-goer, personally.

“I used soap to wash my face,” he says.

So as VP of digital marketing and technology at national medspa chain OVME, he didn’t assume his customers were like him. He talked to them. He reviewed business intelligence.

He learned that the majority of customers “want a natural look,” he says. “They want to walk out the door without makeup and feel great about their image.”

They want results—and they expect excellent, personalized customer experience along the way, from intent to post-purchase.

This is where marketing automation platforms like Klaviyo come in handy. Used right, they help spas, salons, and fitness studios create a high-touch, concierge experience that extends beyond their brick-and-mortar walls.

We’ve rounded up the Klaviyo best practices that wellness pros use to exceed their clients’ expectations, according to Carrigan, Glowdega founder Hadiyah Daché, Urban You’s director of marketing Chelsea VanderMolen, and Ileana de la Guardia, co-owner of Panama-based fitness studio The Pilates Studio.

Why email marketing matters for the wellness space

Big picture, “email helps with getting someone to rebook,” Daché says.

She would know. At Glowdega, Daché’s Oakland-based skincare, waxing, and sugaring studio, more than 80% of her clients book again the next month—and that’s unusual. By one estimate, only 30% of first-time clients return to the average spa.

Email helps with getting someone to rebook.
Hadiyah Daché
Founder and owner, Glowdega

For fitness studios, the average retention rate is higher—over 70% across categories, according to the Association of Fitness Studios—but still has room to grow.

“If you can’t count on that one client to generate X amount of revenue for you, then you have to constantly be bringing in new clients,” Daché explains—and customer acquisition costs can eat into margins.

But email marketing offers an alternative path to improve retention and grow LTV, sometimes with tactics as simple as explaining what a Hydrafacial is, or reminding customers to book their next Pilates class.

How spas, salons, and fitness studios can build their email subscriber lists

In the flow of a first booking, “email is a really natural thing to give,” Carrigan says.

People have to share their email address to buy classes, sign up for memberships, and get appointment reminders—and often, they opt in to marketing emails and SMS, too, via a checkbox like OVME’s.

Image shows the account creation screen on OVME’s website, prompting the customer to enter their first and last name, date of birth, gender (optional), email address, mobile number, and password. The screen also has two checkboxes the customer can select or de-select in order to sign up for email and SMS marketing, or opt out of them. The gray-blue CTA button at the bottom of the screen reads “Create an account."
Source: OVME

Daché has also found her weekly skincare advice newsletter drives email sign-ups from prospects who haven’t yet booked.

She used to share her expert tips on Twitter, where she has 35K+ followers. Now, she saves her advice for email, and it’s driven major list growth: In July 2023, her subscriber list had grown 95.4% YoY.

9 Klaviyo best practices for the wellness industry

What tried-and-true tactical moves help salons, spas, and fitness centers build powerful retention machines with email? Here’s what has worked for Carrigan, Daché, VanderMolen, and de la Guardia.

1. Launch reminder flows ASAP

These automated email flows remind customers to rebook a key salon or spa service, like a haircut or a Botox session.

These are often top revenue drivers—especially when done right.

Two performance tips:

  • Segment for relevance: Make sure your flow sends to people due for an appointment—but excludes people who have already booked a relevant appointment in the next 30 days, like Urban You does. It minimizes confused customer calls.
  • Send on personalized timelines: With Klaviyo, marketers can make this flow trigger when Klaviyo’s predictive analytics forecast they’ll make their next purchase—so each customer gets it at the optimal time for them. This one’s coming soon on OVME’s roadmap.

2. Stick to simple CTAs (plural)

Don’t reinvent the wheel with email CTAs. OVME’s top-performing email CTA? “Book now.”

For The Pilates Studio, “very direct” CTAs also perform well, de la Guardia says—like “Buy your class now.”

She and her team include at least two CTA buttons in each email.

“We try not to overload it,” she explains, “but when there’s not a specific call to action, the sales don’t happen.”

3. Try educational emails

The wellness world can be confusing. For example: What’s the difference between Botox and fillers? Can Pilates routines help osteoporosis patients manage their symptoms?

“It’s hard to know what to do without a guide,” says Carrigan.

Salons, spas, and fitness studios can become that guide with educational emails.

At Glowdega, Daché educates with a free skincare advice newsletter, sent weekly. In recent editions, she shared tips on managing unwanted facial hair and spending efficiently on skincare products.

Meanwhile, de la Guardia sometimes sends quick at-home Pilates routines that target a specific set of issues—for instance, lower back pain due to lifestyle factors.—in The Pilates Studio’s weekly email campaigns.

It’s a teaching tool that helps people help themselves, she explains, and builds trust in The Pilates Studio’s team, all of whom have trained as physical therapists.

At OVME, Carrigan and his team include explainer sections in their promotional sends, breaking down the key benefits and differentiators of spotlighted services.

Source: OVME
We want to make it easy for you to do what you want to do.
Jason Carrigan
VP of digital marketing and technology, OVME

Ultimately, the goal of educational emails is simple: “We want to make it easy for you to do what you want to do,” says Carrigan.

4. Don’t keep selling to customers who just bought or booked

If someone just converted, there’s no need to keep hammering them with the CTA they just completed.

“I’m not interested in selling to the people who just booked,” says de la Guardia of her philosophy at The Pilates Studio.

She plans to use Klaviyo’s pre-built Mindbody integration to create a segment of all recent buyers—whether they made an in-person purchase tracked in Mindbody, or bought online through the studio’s store.

The communication will come through as much more authentic and organized if we are speaking to the right audiences.
Ileana de la Guardia
Owner, The Pilates Studio

Then, she plans to exclude that segment from mass sales campaigns, and target them with sparing up-sell messaging that wouldn’t make sense for the bulk of her list.

She might nudge them to book a private lesson to hone their technique, for example, or to buy a fresh pair of grippy Pilates socks.

“The communication will come through as much more authentic and organized if we are speaking to the right audiences,” de la Guardia says.

5. Send same-day aftercare messages

Should you avoid direct sun after a facial? How soon can you wash your hair after getting it chemically straightened?

In Klaviyo, spas and salons can set up treatment-specific flows that trigger after completed appointments, using pre-built integrations with booking platforms like Boulevard.

These automated messages can explain what customers should expect after their treatment and answer aftercare FAQs—extending the feeling of 1:1 personal attention beyond in-person appointments, without overtaxing estheticians.

“Klaviyo’s integrations help us get our guests the best and most relevant information for them,” says VanderMolen.

Klaviyo’s integrations help us get our guests the best and most relevant information for them.
Chelsea VanderMolen
Marketing director, Urban You

6. Bulk-edit your sends

Wellness brands may need to use the same explainer copy, fine print, and “Download our app” CTAs across multiple flows and campaign templates.

Updating every email about Botox manually can be a timesuck—but Klaviyo’s universal content blocks make it easy to batch-update every instance of a piece of copy, Carrigan explains.

“They make it faster to produce the emails,” Carrigan says.

7. Highlight before-and-after imagery for beauty treatments

“Everybody looks at before-and-afters,” says Carrigan. “It’s an easy way for people to see what the outcomes are.”

Everybody looks at before-and-afters. It’s an easy way for people to see what the outcomes are.
Jason Carrigan
VP of digital marketing and technology, OVME

For example, here’s a before-and-after image for OVME’s laser resurfacing treatment:

This is the type of imagery Carrigan and his team find performs best in emails about medspa services.

8. Launch a low-lift rewards program

You don’t need a whole loyalty app. In Klaviyo, it’s easy to build a segment of your highest-value customers—and at Glowdega, Daché reserves her most substantial discount codes for this group.

“I like to send them more,” she says. “Those are the people who are spending money anyway, and I like to reward that behavior.”

9. Send emails at least weekly

When Daché started with Klaviyo, she was new to solopreneurship—and swamped in responsibilities.

Despite a robust background in lifecycle marketing, she sent campaigns rarely at first, about every 2-3 months.

If she could do it again, “I would stick to weekly campaign sends,” she says—and get started at that cadence as soon as possible.

I would stick to weekly campaign sends. It established trust. It keeps you front of mind.
Hadiyah Daché
Founder and owner, Glowdega

At that frequency, you can always comment on relevant social media trends and news stories.

Plus, hitting the inbox at least weekly helps you build lasting customer relationships. “It establishes trust,” Daché says. “It keeps you front of mind.”

How wellness brands can unlock retention wins

Klaviyo makes it easy to align your email marketing with wellness industry best practices without expensive in-house developers.

The powerful marketing automation platform has 300+ integrations—including pre-built integrations with key wellness booking platforms like Mindbody and Boulevard.

That means wellness brands can centralize their customer data, and use it to execute polished, personalized, and consistent email and SMS marketing strategies.

“It’s not one email that does the trick,” says de la Guardia. “I think it’s the image that you start creating in the client’s mind over time, that your business is a place where they can actually be healed in a variety of ways.”

Get started—try Klaviyo for wellness today.

Mae Rice
Mae Rice
Mae Rice is a senior content marketing manager at Klaviyo, leading case studies and writing customer-focused blog posts. A longtime journalist and content marketer, she has covered marketing, technology and the ways they intersect since 2019, and her freelance work has appeared in Insider, Vox, Buzzfeed Reader and beyond. She graduated from the University of Chicago and lives in Chicago.