December 2006 Massage Marketing Newsletter

“From The Massage Table: Marketing and Motivation That Works”

December 21, 2006
Volume III, Issue 6

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

Each month, Help Your Practice will be coming to 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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Note: If you missed my recent email called “How To Make 2007 Your Best Year Ever”, you can now read it online. You will learn what Eric and I did respectively to make 2006 very good years for each of us.

Okay, onto this month’s newsletter!

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Motivational Monthly Tip

Hello, it’s Eric Mitchell, cofounder of Help Your Practice, with this month’s motivational tip.

I wanted to take the time to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. This month I wanted to talk about a word that many people take for granted: Freedom.

What do I mean by freedom? It surely represents many images in this
world. Here in the United States, we have so many freedoms to choose from. We can speak freely, practice religion, choose our government and choose where we live.

However, this is not the kind of freedom I am talking about. I’m talking about the Freedom to be our own boss and have our own business.

You have true freedom! You wake up every morning and you answer to one boss… YOU. Now that boss sometimes can be very critical, but the bottom line is you are in control of your own destiny.

You have the freedom to develop your massage practice. You have the right to grow your business in any direction you want. Isn’t that a true sign of freedom?

This single word is your gateway to great potential. You see, Help Your Practice was built to help you realize how powerful and independent you can become.

You have the ability to be anything you want in business and in life.

You have the Freedom to go out and do great things.

Now take action and let your freedom ring!

About the author: Eric Mitchell is a speed & conditioning specialist and co-founder of Help Your Practice. When he’s not busy running his speed & top -performance centers, Eric writes this monthly column.

Massage Marketing Monthly Tip

At this time of year many massage therapists are enjoying a sudden rush of gift certificate sales coming into their practice. Chances are if you have done any type of holiday gift certificate special, you are happy to see the extra sales coming your way.

You might be tempted to use that extra cash to do some shopping for yourself too… and that could be a major mistake.

The problem for many inexperienced therapists is that they don’t realize January is traditionally a slow sales month. It can be literally the “death valley” of sales because many clients have overspent for the December holidays and are now recovering from credit card statement shock. And when your clients are trying to scrape together some extra cash to pay down their credit cards, they often cut out “luxuries” like massage therapy.

If a therapist hasn’t built up some savings, the month of January can really hammer your checkbook hard.

So how do you overcome a traditionally slow month?

Here’s four ways I’ve tried to tackle the problem in the past:

1. Reactivation campaigns

Works great if you have a large mailing list. The problem is, many therapists either don’t have their clients on a mailing list or their list is pretty modest in size.

2. Plan your yearly marketing

It’s a great way to plan your marketing and advertising so you generate the most new clients and sales at the best times. The problem is how do you know when are the best times in your area? It took me several years of tracking results to determine this and when the U.S. got hit with a recession in 2001, it made most of that data useless.

3. Run advertising

When all of your competitors are cutting back on their advertising, you are actually increasing yours and aggressively trying to attract new clients. If you know how to create a great ad or already have great advertising, this can work surprisingly well. That’s a big “IF”. Plus, you need to have the monies upfront to pay for those ads… something that might be tough for many therapists.

4. Partner with extra busy businesses

This can work like gangbusters if you choose the right complimentary business to partner with. This is the strategy I’m going to talk about this month.

Let’s take one complimentary business that I have done a great deal with partnerships before: personal trainers.

I have done marketing deals with a number of different trainers over the years, including Help Your Practice co-founder Eric Mitchell.

Personal trainers are normally extremely busy in January. It’s one of their peak seasons because many people make joining a gym or hiring a trainer and get in better shape a part of their New Years Resolutions.

How Do You Find A Personal Trainer To Partner With?

First, check your own client base to see if any of your clients are a personal trainer. Many trainers will get massage therapy themselves to help them overcome stiff and sore muscles.

If you already have a trainer as one of your existing clients, your job becomes a lot easier. They are already familiar with how wonderful your massage techniques are.

If you don’t have any personal trainers as your massage clients, then start asking your massage clients that are fitness buffs who they use. Contact those trainers and tell them how you heard about them.

Set up a time to meet them and get to know them better. If you find that you get along well, then perhaps you can do some cooperative marketing (or co-op marketing for short).

One way to co-op market would be for their upcoming open house or health fair. Each type of these events is quite popular to do in January for the fitness industry. Offer to provide mini-massages at their event.

If you are able to get paid for your time, then consider the monies to be a bonus. Your primary focus is to introduce as many people as possible to your kick-ass massage skills and build up a mailing list.

After the event, drop a special offer in the mail to each person who signed up for your mini-massage. Postcards can work very well for this. Don’t rely on the prospect remembering to call you after the event to schedule. Take the initiative and contact them by mail.

How Do You Return the Favor For Personal Trainers?

Well, many trainers experience a slowdown in the spring and fall. Many students have returned to school or college. Lots of the New Years Resolutions clients have “fallen off the wagon” and aren’t training.

Invite them to do a free seminar at your office. Include their coupon in a mailing to your own clients. Host your open house and let them offer free fitness evaluations.

The possible ways you can promote each other is endless. If you want a more detailed plan on how to cross-market your massage business with a personal trainer, then you may want to check out our massage marketing manual Help Your MASSAGE Practice.

We’ve included an entire section where we talk extensively about how personal trainers and massage therapists can work together to grow each other’s businesses.

You can sit passively and wait for a painfully slow time of year to pass. Sooner or later, it probably will. Or you can take ACTION and create a new stream of business coming into your business.

What do I suggest?

Make finding a personal trainer in your area to cross-market your January 2007 goal. You will be pleased with the boost in business they can provide!

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

Use the ‘Contact Us‘ Form and tell us about it!

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

Happy Holidays,

Help Your Practice

P.S. Do you know someone who would enjoy reading this newsletter?

Please forward this newsletter to them and help share the wealth! Better yet, use the Recommend Us page on our website and tell them about Help Your Practice.

P.P.S. There’s only 9 more days remaining on our holiday special on Help Your MASSAGE Practice. Get all of the details here: How To Make 2007 Your Best Year Ever.

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