November 2005 Massage Marketing Newsletter

Help Your Practice Newsletter

November 17, 2005
Volume II, Issue 5

Welcome to the Help Your Practice Massage Marketing Newsletter! 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 Help Your Practice news, special offers and great massage business tips that can help you create the massage practice of your dreams.

Do you know someone who would enjoy reading this newsletter?

Please forward this newsletter to them and help share the wealth!

Coming Soon: Instant Massage Marketing

Imagine if you could take proven massage marketing pieces and just add your own name and contact information…Well, imagine it no more!

I have taken some of the most successful massage marketing pieces from my own massage practice to create Instant Massage Marketing.

I am in the process of finalizing them so look for more exciting details in an upcoming newsletter announcement and on http://www.helpyourpractice.com within the next week.

*** Goal Setting Monthly Tip *** By Eric Mitchell, C.S.C.S.

Last month, we talked about Creativity. This month we are going to talk about one of everyone’s least favorite words: Work.

We all know the meaning of this word and for the most part we avoid every variation of work with all our power.

It’s not our fault, but rather a natural instinct that each of us has inside of us.

Work, however, should be embraced as part of your abilities as a massage business owner.

We can see work as the daily grind of doing one massage after another and making money at the same time.

However, at Help Your Practice, we’d like to encourage you to see work as something more than just a way to pay your bills.

Work is putting the effort into your marketing…so you can watch your business grow.

Work is creating professional relationships with your clients…who reward you both emotionally and financially.

Work is the effort you put into learning new techniques…so you can better help your clients.

Many people have a job that they hate. In contrast, we are able to doing something that we love: massage therapy.

Therefore, Work needs to be defined as something you love.  We should all embrace the real meaning and value of the work we do in the massage therapy field.  You can literally make your work something that gives you purpose.

After all, didn’t you get into this “line of work” to doing something that would help others and be both emotionally and financially rewarding?

Your Work helps people and that is the true meaning behind what you do.

Let’s face it: In our industry, Work can equal An Activity That We Love Doing.

Monthly Massage Marketing Tip *** By Michael Humphreys

‘Tis the season for gift certificate sales! If you haven’t started your holiday gift certificate promotions (yes, promotions), now is the time.

Every savvy businessperson makes it a point to watch what his or her competitors are doing, and then trump them with a better product or service. I make it a point to do this in both the massage therapy field (near my office) and in the “massage marketing arena” (online world).

So far, some of the other “massage marketing gurus” are throwing out tips like “give away free massages for Christmas” or “sell your gift certificates for cheap on Ebay”. Frankly, I have to say I’m a little disappointed in the quality of their suggestions. At the risk of sounding boastful, they are making this month’s massage
marketing tip look like a ground breaking in comparison.

The idea of selling gift certificates on Ebay can be seriously bad news for therapists. In fact, I will post a detailed article why later this week on my blog at:
(http://www.helpyourmassagepractice.com/blog)

Anyway, let’s get started. First, a couple of major rules:

1) Don’t give away the farm.

Many massage therapists are quick to deeply discount their gift certificates or services.

This is a huge mistake!

Here’s the business rule of thumb to remember:

For every 1% discount you give, you need 10% more sales to just break even.

If you normally charge $60 for an hour gift certificate, and start running a promotion where you sell them for $30 each, you will need to sell twice as many gift certificates to make the same amount of money!

Here’s the numbers to back up my point:

Regular priced: $60 X 10 gift certificates sold = $600

Deep discounted price: $30 X 20 gift certificates sold = $600

I can’t speak for every massage therapist out there, but I’m a massage therapist because I love helping people and enjoy making more money (not less) doing massage every week.

2) If you want to make your holiday promotion special, offer special upgrades, which cost you practically nothing.

If you normally use a 6-month expiration date on your gift certificates, make a 1-year.

Offer complimentary products or services packaged in your special like a fr*ee hot stone upgrade or 10 minute chair massage certificate.

3) If they want the holiday discount rate, they have to buy the whole package.

This is one lesson that I had a hard time learning myself. Once, I had a gentleman come into to inquire about buying a massage gift certificate for Christmas. I quoted my fee and he exclaimed, “That’s Outrageous!”

I mentioned my holiday special on a four gift certificate package. He said he only wanted one. I countered by asking him what he thought was a “fair rate”. He suggested a rate that was lower than the local massage school’s student clinic charged. I politely declined. He told me that was all he could afford. I told him that I couldn’t offer a lower price without taking food off my family’s table.

I watched him walk out the door of my office in a huff…and climb behind the steering wheel of a brand new green Jaguar XJS!

Moral of the story: If you are giving a holiday discount, it needs to be for the price of your whole holiday package, not just one certificate.

Five Steps To Che*aply Market Your Holiday Gift Certificate Special

Step 1: If you have your own website, then you can jump ahead to step two.

If you don’t, you will need one in order to get the best bang for your buck. When it comes to domain name purchases or website hosting, there’s only one company I always recommend: Aplus.Net.

You can purchase a domain name for about $8 at http://www.aplus.net and their web hosting plans start as low as $5.95 per month. With Aplus, you can use their fr*ee web page building software or upload your own web pages.

If you are familiar with building websites, you can use software like Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver to create your site.

Another solid hosting option is using BuilderSpot. They have two websites where you can sign up:
http://www.builderspot.com
and http://www.citymax.com

Check them both to see which one is currently running the cheaper special. For less than $20 per month, they can provide a full featured website including shopping cart. You can use the shopping cart to list the types of
products or services you sell.

Best of all, you don’t need to learn HTML or web design! Just pick a design and use their web-based “word processor” to create your site.

Step 2: Sign up for a fr*ee Pay Pal account at http://www.paypal.com

With Pay Pal, your client can use any major credit card, debit card, or even electronic check to pay for their purchase. Pay Pal is owned by Ebay and is the largest web-based e-commerce processor.

Best of all, it costs you nothing to sign up and you only pay a small fee each time someone purchases something off your website with Pay Pal. Pay Pal is completely safe and secure, so your client’s financial information (and yours) will never shared, sold, or stolen.

Step 3: Set up Pay Pal on your website. If you go with BuilderSpot, their shopping cart is automatically setup to work with Pay Pal. Simply enter your Pay Pal account information, and you are ready to go.

If you use another web hosting service, like Aplus, you’ll need to create buttons in Pay Pal and then paste the HTML code into your web page. It’s not hard at all!

Step 4: Setup a version of your gift certificate online. Clients can print them out themselves or request the ones you carry in your office instead. Simply leave a spot on the online certificate where they must fill in an authorization code. That’s a code that they can only get from you after they have paid. If the certificate does not have a proper authorization code, then it’s not a valid certificate.

Step 5: Tell your clients how they can purchase your holiday special online or at your office. Do this with a mailing to clients (postcard or letter) and put up signs in your office.

Stuck For A Holiday Promotion Idea?

Here’s one I’ve used more than once over the years: Buy 4 regularly priced gift certificates, get the 5 th one free. Plus, I upgrade the expiration date from 6 months to a year fr*ee of charge and will mail the certificates for
them if needed. Typically, maybe one or two clients ever ask me to mail the certificates for them each year.

Note: Gift certificates and holiday promotions are so important that Eric and I dedicated a full chapter on each of them in Help Your MASSAGE Practice. To learn more about Help Your MASSAGE Practice, please go to:

http://www.helpyourpractice.com/help_massage.html

Got A Success Story You Would Like To Share?

Drop Michael an email at mike@helpyourpractice.com and tell him how Help Your Practice has helped your massage business.

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

Seize The Day,

Michael Humphreys
Help Your Practice

1 Response to November 2005 Massage Marketing Newsletter

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