How To Supercharge Your Massage Marketing


Like many newer therapists, when I started my massage practice in 1993 I did it with practically no money: $100 to be exact.

Unlike many current massage school graduates, I had zero training on the business side of running a massage business (I was privately mentored instead of attending massage school but that’s another story for another time) too.

I spent a lot of time fumbling around, trying to build up my massage business. To be painfully honest… About 4 years worth of fumbling.  It took me getting fired from my full-time job in physical therapy to force me to turn my massage business from struggling to successful and turn it fast.

Over the last 15+ years, many other therapists have asked me what was the one thing that made all of the difference. My answer has never changed: It took changing a number of things of how I ran my massage business to make a big difference.  It took me learning how to effectively market my massage business in multiple ways as well.

But even with those positive changes I made, there was one fundamental error that I kept making… and it’s the same one that I’ve seen (and heard) many other therapists make.

I didn’t give client retention the amount of attention or effort that it really needed.

Why Was Ignoring Client Retention A Huge Mistake?

Well, it all boils down to the lifetime value of a client.  That’s how much money a client is going to spend with you during the entire time that they are one of your valued clients. The longer your clients remain part of your clientele, the better.  You’ll get more repeat business from those clients.  You won’t need to rely on finding as many new clients each month just to maintain your current weekly schedule.

In fact, you could say that increasing client retention will supercharge your massage marketing.

You see, by taking some of the pressure off your marketing to produce more and more new clients, you can focus on landing better quality clients… instead of any person who is willing to come in for an appointment because they have a coupon for their first appointment.  Better quality clients means more repeat business and higher levels of respect for you and your massage skills.

In 1993 when I was just starting out as a massage therapist, clients didn’t stay with my massage practice very long.

I was pretty green in the industry in terms of hands-on skills. Heavy-handed but still green.  So new clients would have one… maybe two appointments with me and then they were gone. My no-show rate was off the charts… about 25% of my appointments would no-show each month and in the beginning I was only getting a few appointments each month.

Looking back, I’m bit embarrassed to say that in 1993, the average value of a client for me was $50.

Worse, in 1993 I was charging $36 an hour because the facility where I started my practice had a price control on what we could charge.

Fast forward to 1999.  As I learned more about business and marketing and really started to focus on client retention, the lifetime value of a client skyrocketed for me. At that point it had jumped up to about $3,000 per client on the average.  Over the years, it only increased even more from there.

Let me give you another reason why client retention is so important.

When you look at the cost of acquiring a new client versus keeping an existing one coming back to you again and again, it can be a real eye-opener. Depending on the kind of marketing or media you’re using, it can cost you eight to ten times more to acquire a new client versus keeping an existing one happy.

Does Client Retention Have To Be Complicated?

Not at all.

If you use a series of small but important tactics, it can have a major positive impact on your business.

For example, one of the ways I’ve blown new clients away is by how quickly they get a return phone call.  In the rare cases where a client didn’t get a live person on the phone when they called, they didn’t have to wait long for a return call.  My massage center used to routinely return phone calls within 2 hours during office hours.  For calls that came in after the center closed, we still called them back the very next morning.

Sounds simple, right?

Well, it turns out a lot of therapists don’t do it.  Many of my competitors didn’t either.

Believe it or not, many therapists wait DAYS to return a phone call… and then wonder why they don’t have a busy schedule.

Clients don’t want to wait days to find out when they can get an appointment.  They want to schedule right away and if they can’t do that then they will find another massage provider who will give them a prompt return phone call. (Think about it: Would you want to wait days for your dentist to call you back about getting an appointment with them? I sure wouldn’t.)

Here’s another great example:
According to my extensive research, you can boost your client retention rates by more than 60% simply by asking your client to book their next appointment before they leave your office.

The honest to goodness truth is if you want to improve your chances of getting the rebooking then using a memorized sales script that sounds natural is a must.  This one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many therapists. Probably 95% of the therapists who ever worked for my massage therapy center needed help with this and I would personally coach them to overcome it.

Let me share what is probably the major key on overcoming the fear of asking for the rebooking.

The key is to ethically focus on how rebooking will benefit the client and telling them exactly that.  You need to mentally put aside whatever financial benefit you would gain from the client rebooking and speak with the clients best interests at heart.  Because if you don’t then you will come across as insincere and only interested in emptying your client’s wallet.

“Michael, Is That All There Is To Great Client Retention?”

I wish it was. I spent alot of years doing painful trial and error to find what worked and what did not.  I recorded my tests and the results every step of the way — that way I didn’t have to rely on my own memory to remember what worked best.

Fortunately, I can offer you a much quicker and easier option. Recently I did a live paid webinar on client retention which was recorded.  I took the same client retention system I used in my massage center and added even more great material to it.  The end result was over 80 minutes of jam-packed content that I called “Keep More Massage Clients”.  I even gave the attendees the same worksheets that I used to use to track my staff’s retention rates.  I also gave them transcripts and recordings of the live event (both audio and video so they could choose how they wanted to review what I shared on the live event.)  I’m now making those recordings available to the general public.

Want to know more? Simply head to this page and you can get the full scoop:

In closing, I’ve shared some great tips on improving your client retention rates.  If you can put a bit more effort into your client retention skills, then your bank account will reap the rewards and so will your clients with better health.

Until next time,

Michael Humphreys
Help Your Practice


1 Response to How To Supercharge Your Massage Marketing

  1. Gabe

    Hmmmm… That link for the webinar doesn’t go anywhere.

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