Feb 2007 Massage Marketing Newsletter

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

February 26, 2007
Volume III, Issue 8

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.

Want to make sure you don’t miss an issue? Please add mike@helpyourpractice.com to your address book and keep the spam filters from eating your subscription!

Opening Thoughts: Help Your Practice co-founder Eric Mitchell is on a much-needed vacation so this month’s motivational tip was written by yours truly instead.

It’s important to periodically take some time away from your business and recharge your batteries. That’s the best way I’ve found to avoid burnout. Some people like taking a week or longer off. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed taking a long weekend off better instead.

Coming Soon: “Bootstrap Your Massage Practice”

Look for a big announcement on this product very soon.

Okay, onto this month’s newsletter!

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Monthly Motivational Tip – Guest Author
Michael Humphreys

This month, I want to talk about something that is hard to get going but is easy to take for granted. I’m talking about Momentum.

What is Momentum? It’s a powerful force that helps carry us towards our goal. When we have momentum, it’s becomes almost second nature. We forget that it’s there, helping us reach our goals. We forget about it until it’s gone.

Of course, trying to gain momentum can be just as difficult as starting a brand new project. You are trying to get moving. You have to exert tremendous effort to create that movement in your life. While momentum can be about creating new movement in your personal life, we are more interested in creating new movement in your business instead.

Take a business goal that is important to you. Start working on it and get some movement towards reaching that goal. It might be hard. It might seem like you are pushing a giant boulder up a steep hill.

But once you get moving, then momentum can help. And once you have momentum on your side, then you can quickly move towards reaching your goal.

So take charge of your business and your life. Pick a goal and go after it. Before you know it, momentum will help carry you to victory!

About the author: Eric Mitchell is on vacation and will return with his regular column next month.

Massage Marketing Monthly Tip

This month’s marketing tip focuses on a simple but extremely powerful way to improve your massage marketing. It’s so simple-sounding that it’s really easy to dismiss it and start reading something else instead.

Don’t dismiss it.

Heaven knows, I made this mistake for many, many years before a high-priced marketing consultant showed me the error of my ways. And that was after I had already been running my own massage therapy center for 5 years.

Sometimes, I just shake my head, thinking about how I could have enjoyed even bigger success if I had learned about split testing sooner.

What is Split Testing?

Take any type of marketing or advertising that you want to do for your massage business. How do you know that you are generating the best response rate you can for your efforts?

Well, the simple answer would be to track your results… and that does work.

For example, if you sent out a postcard to 100 of your massage clients, then you would track how many of them responded to the special offer on it. You would keep track of this information until your special offer had expired. Then you would have the complete picture of how good (or bad) your postcard performed.

The problem is, doing standard tracking is very time-consuming. If your postcard had a one-month expiration date, you wouldn’t know for a whole month how well it performed.

Worse, you would have to wait a month to test another version of your postcard. I used to create a postcard, mail it to 100 of my clients, and track the results. Then I would create another type of postcard, mail it to another 100 massage clients and try to get an even better response rate.

That was a HUGE mistake.

What My Former High-Priced
Marketing Consultant Taught Me…

At one point, I hired a high-priced consultant to take over running my massage center’s marketing. I was working 90 hours per week and wanted to free up more time that I could spend with my family.

So I hired a consultant that was recommended to me by several business allies. In the long-run, it was a really bad decision because the consultant couldn’t write any better marketing than I was already creating and using. However, I learned some really important ways to improve my marketing, including split testing.

Let’s take my previous example. We mailed 100 postcards and then a month later, we mailed 100 completely different postcards. Let’s say we want to test two different headlines. Everything else on the postcard is kept exactly the same.

We would mail 100 postcards with the first headline on it and 100 postcards with the second headline on it. Or if our budget was too tight to send out all 200 at once, we would send 50 of each type instead.

If your marketing is already written fairly well, you can often improve it’s performance with small changes. The first place you want to test is your opening headline.

I once had a birthday postcard that I would send out to my massage clients every month which produced a 2% response rate. Anything between 1-2% is considered a successful response rate. After learning about split testing, I tested a different headline and found out the postcards with the new headline produced a 5% response rate. That was a 250% improvement over the old postcard!

Another time, I tested the expiration date for a holiday promotion and I found the shorter expiration date produced about a 25% higher response!

Now you never know how much change, if any, a new test might produce. Sometimes there’s no change at all. Other times, you might produce a worse response rate.

That’s why it’s really important to use both your proven marketing piece (known as a “control”) and your piece which you are testing. That way, if your test piece produces a bad result, you don’t suffer through a marketing pitch that cost you money and produced nothing. Your control piece will still produce some sales for you and help cover your costs.

What Types Of Things Can You Test?

First, always test just one element at a time. You want to be able to acccurately pin-point exactly what may cause a change in your response rate. If you change too many elements at once, then you have no way of knowing what element is responsible for the change.

Second, do at least 100 pieces of each version of your marketing to get an accurate testing sample. Personally, I prefer to use at least 500 pieces of each version, but that can be too costly for some therapists to do.

You can test elements like…

Your opening headline
Any additional headlines
Your offer
Your expiration date
The color of the paper you use for the marketing piece
And much much more!

Take the time to start using split-testing in your marketing efforts. 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, I look forward to talking with you next month.

Seize The Day,

Help Your Practice

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