Apr 2008 Massage Marketing Newsletter

“From The Massage Table: Marketing and Motivation That Works

April 30, 2008
Volume IV, Issue 10

Welcome to “From The Massage Table”! My name is Michael Humphreys, cofounder of Help Your Practice.

Each month, From The Massage Table will hit your email inbox with the latest news, special offers and great massage business tips that can help you create the massage practice of your dreams.

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Check It Out: “Instant Massage Marketing”

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Okay, onto this month’s newsletter!

Monthly Motivational Tip

This month I’ve been getting on a bit of kick to get more organized.  My home office where I do most of my writing and marketing creation normally looks like it was hit by a tornado.

I blame it on David Allen’s excellent book “Getting Things Done” which is the first book on getting better organized that actually makes sense to me.  After reading the first 30 pages or so, I’m starting to be able to see parts of my desk again. <smile>

Here’s one little tidbit of David’s that I’ll share.  Everyone talks about to-do lists… but David poo-poos that.  He suggests calling it your action list because these are the tasks that you want to take action on and complete.  Sometimes completing them will take more than one day’s worth of action.  Calling your list a “to-do” has a negative work sound to it.  Calling your action list sounds more upbeat and positive.

I tend to agree with him on it even if it’s just a matter of context.

Sometimes the way we say things can set our entire mindset and mood.

Here’s a great example which I may have shared before.

Many people who are struggling financially will dismiss something that they would really like or could really help their business by saying it’s too expensive.

But one of my favorite philosophers Jim Rohn really knocks the air out that way of thinking.

To paraphrase Mr. Rohn:

“It’s not too expensive.  You can’t afford it.”

Now, that may not be the exact quote but the point that Mr. Rohn is making is that instead of thinking that something is too expensive… start thinking of HOW you are going to afford it.

Here’s a great example.

Your friend needs to buy a car.  They decide to buy something brand new but they can’t pay for it all at once.  They don’t have that much money in the bank to spend.

So your friend finances the cost of the car over 5 years.  They make monthly payments for 60 months — paying an amount that they are able to manage.

Here’s a personal example.

In my early 20s, I wanted to go on vacation with 5 of my fellow single buddies to Myrtle Beach for a week of pure male bonding and fun.  The problem was at the time I didn’t have any money and my portion to join them was $400.

So what I did was pay my friend who had booked the condo and was driving one of the cars to the vacation hot spot $80 every month for five months before the vacation in July.

In other words, instead of saying that my “dream” vacation was too expensive… I found a way to afford it and make it my own reality.

The next time you catch yourself saying something is too expensive, stop yourself.

Take a mental step back and think of how you could afford it.  Create a plan to get what you want and take ACTION!

Massage Marketing Monthly Tip

Since Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away, this month’s massage marketing tip will focus on how to make this holiday a big success for your massage practice.

It’s has been my experience that Mother’s Day is becoming a big holiday to sell gift certificates.  I believe this is the case for two main reasons:

1) People get tired of giving flowers and a card for Mothers Day every year;

2) Some Moms will ask for a gift certificate instead of having a Mothers Day dinner in a crowded restaurant.  This is the case with both my mother and mother-in-law…they hate going to a crowded restaurant!

Mothers Day is all about Mom and recognizing all of her hard work and effort for being a parent.  So focusing on some type of pampering package can be quite effective.

I’ve packaged a massage gift certificate with a relaxation CD with good results.  Another year, I sold a gift certificate and a gift basket with bath salts, fine soaps, and essential oils.

Since storing the gift baskets can be space consuming and ties up your own money until they are sold, I suggest striking a deal with a local merchant who makes up the baskets.  You can use one basket with your gift certificate as a display model and take “pre-orders”.

If you prefer to use only services that you offer, this can be a winner too.  It’s also a great way to introduce current and future clients to other professional services that you offer.

If you are looking for a fast redemption on your gift certificates, I suggest you offer summertime friendly services.  Stay away from services like hot stone massage or paraffin hand treatment which aren’t as popular in the hot summer months.  A soothing Swedish massage can be a hit with some stressed out moms.

If you are trained in sports massage or deep tissue massage techniques, these can be popular during the summer months for any moms who are busy with outdoor activities like gardening and hiking.

One year, as an experiment with offering summertime “unfriendly” services, I offered a bundled package of a one-hour massage and paraffin hand treatment, for the price of the one-hour massage.  Half of the buyers declined the free paraffin treatment and the rest of the paraffin gift certificates were not redeemed until the fall and winter.  It was still a profitable effort, but I did not sell as gift certificates as offering other package deals for Mothers Day.

How To Promote Your Mother’s Day Special

I recommend starting with signs in your massage office.  If you have a bundled package that you can put on display, do it.

Do a mailing to everyone on your list, including your female clients.  I have seen more than one husband come into my massage therapy center, with the postcard addressed to his wife, to buy the Mothers Day package.  I’ve also received phone orders from female clients who decided to get the special deal for their own mother, a close friend, or even a co-worker.

Advertising can work to draw new clients, but track your results carefully.  If the advertising doesn’t generate enough sales to cover it’s cost, then you’ve wasted money.  Of course, if your ad attracts new clientele who become loyal, repeat customers, then in the long-term, the ad will have been a profitable marketing effort.

Professionally, I have never gotten good results from advertising around Mothers Day.  Most of the print media in my area would either arrive too early or arrive after the holiday.  And the local newspapers would be flooded with “Mothers Day Specials” from a variety of businesses.

That does not mean that every massage therapist will experience the same results from advertising for Mothers Day that I did.  I’d suggest if you want to run an advertisement, to err on the side of caution and run a small ad.  Track your results, both phone inquiries and actual sales, to discover your own results.

The bottom line is doing some type of promotion for Mothers Day this year.  Your bank account and your clients will thank you!

Got Feedback Or A Success Story You Would Like To Share?

Drop Michael an email at mike@helpyourpractice.com and tell him now.

That’s all for this month. I look forward to talking with you next month.

Seize the Day,

Michael Humphreys

Help Your Practice

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