December 2004 Massage Marketing Newsletter

Help Your Practice
Dec 2004 Marketing Newsletter

Volume I, Issue 6
December 20, 2004

(Note: This newsletter was originally published for both massage therapists and personal trainers. We no longer offer any products for personal trainers.)

Welcome to the Help Your Practice Marketing Newsletter! My name is Michael Humphreys. Along with my business partner Eric Mitchell, I am very happy to continue your journey to business and life success.

Each month, we will be coming to your email in-box with the latest Help Your Practice news, special offers and great business tips that can help you create the massage or fitness practice of your dreams.

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Monthly Marketing Tip

This month, I’d like to share with you some of the details on a business deal I did earlier this year. This deal was initiated by one of my staff, who had decided to transition from doing massage therapy to personal training on a full-time basis. She put me in touch with a guy, who I’ll call Joe, to protect his privacy.

Now Joe was opening a privately owned fitness studio early summer, which isn’t necessarily the peak season for the fitness gym industry. Like many business start-ups, Joe was working with very limited funds. He needed a promotional item fast to help him sell new memberships, but had no money to buy the promotional items beforehand.

Because Help Your Practice partner Eric Mitchell is already my massage therapy center’s primary fitness professional to refer to, I didn’t want to anger Eric by doing an endorsement deal with another trainer. Eric and I discussed it and he had no problem with the deal. He already had more clients than he could fit into his schedule and thought Joe was a great trainer in his own right.

I was willing to help Joe but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on my end to help him. More importantly, in order to work out a deal with Joe, who didn’t have the money to buy massage gift certificates up front, I’d have to limit my financial expectations for a deal to be reached.

Here’s the deal we worked out:

I gave Joe forty half-hour massage gift certificates with a 3-month expiration date on them. These certificates were not on our normal gift certificate papers, but a cheaper paper that looked different from our standard certificates.

Why?

So we could quickly identify where the certificate came from.

The gift certificates were printed three to a page, so my total production cost for the certificates was about two dollars, tops.

New members who signed up with Joe’s studio for a six-month or longer membership were given a massage gift certificate as part of their welcoming package. For the people who were hesitant to sign up for the long membership, Joe mentioned the free gift certificate if they signed up during the grand opening period.

Within six weeks, Joe had sold forty memberships with the massage gift certificates included. He had a solid bunch of cash to help his studio off to a strong start and my massage therapy center had a new referral source to send new clients our way.

So what happened to those gift certificates?

Out of the forty given out, so far only four of them have come in. However, of those four massage gift certificates redeemed, 3 out of 4 (75%) have been to my massage center more than once and all four upgraded their 30 minute gift certificates to an hour for their initial visit!

Will we honor any of the remaining gift certificates if they are ever presented?

Of course!

Why?

The lifetime value of a massage client can be very good. That is, the average amount of money a massage client will spend yearly for your professional services makes it extremely profitable to honor every gift certificate.

Was this deal profitable for my massage center? At an initial cost of about two dollars, it generated $315 in additional sales for the four initial visits and the next visit for the three clients who rebooked. The answer is yes!

How could I have bumped up the redemption rate for the forty gift certificates from 10% redeemed?

Provide nicer looking gift certificates so they looked more like a gift.

Put a longer expiration date than three months.

Have Joe pre-qualify the prospect before giving them the certificate. Someone who doesn’t like massage will never use a massage gift certificate and wouldn’t need to be given a massage gift certificate to join the fitness studio.

How could I have made the deal even more profitable for my business and work with his limited budget?

Charge Joe for each gift certificate redeemed

Barter with Joe to get an endorsed mailing to his client list 6 months or one year after the grand opening.

Do each redeemed massage certificate myself so that I did not have to pay one of my staff therapists to do the massage.

That’s all for this month. On behalf of Eric, we’ll look forward to talking with you next month.

Happy Holidays To All!

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