September 2006 Massage Marketing Newsletter

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

September 27, 2006
Volume III, Issue 3

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.

Okay, now let’s get into this month’s newsletter!

Now Available…
Keeping In Touch: Massage Client Newsletters

What marketing tool can generate more repeat business, attracts new referrals, reactivate old clients and even promote gift certificate sales?

The answer is sending out a well-written massage client newsletter!

For over 4 years, I created my own massage client newsletters for my massage therapy center called “Keeping In Touch”.

Now you can use “Keeping In Touch: Massage Client Newsletters” in your own massage practice.

For more information about Keeping In Touch: Massage Client Newsletters please click here:

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Motivational Monthly Tip

Hey Everyone! It feels great to be back after taking a well earned vacation last month. I want to thank Mike for pinch-hitting for me and writing the motivational tip.

This month, I want to talk about a word that I believe everyone has experienced at one time or another: Frustration!

Everyone has experienced that sinking feeling that nothing is going right. We try and try but everything we do seems to fall by the wayside.

Why?

We were being unrealistic! Simply put, we do not allow ourselves to admit that sooner or later, we will have some setbacks. We will be traveling along and then stumble over some stumbling block.

Let’s face it: We are in the business of helping others and sometimes the Frustration of our business interferes with our abilities to provide service.

You feel your blood pressure increasing, you feel the cold sweat forming on your brow and you feel the overwhelming urge to just quit and work for someone else.

After all, why not let someone else deal with the Frustration of bills? Or the Frustration of tacking the endless mountain of paperwork that every business owner faces. How about the Frustration of dealing with clients who are extremely demanding?

It’s sure easy to want to let someone deal with the Frustration instead of dealing with it ourselves. And that would be a HUGE mistake!

Why?

Well, because you decided that you didn’t want to work for someone else! You decided to become your own boss when you started your own massage business.

Remember why you wanted to become a massage therapist…you wanted to help people!

Remember the times where you felt powerful and on top of the world. Remember how confident you felt when you started your massage business. You had the confidence to start something new and you weren’t going to let any amount of Frustration stop you.

Now, use that power you have deep inside and overcome Frustration!

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 performance center, Eric writes this monthly column.

Massage Marketing Monthly Tip

This month’s massage marketing tip is going to focus on how to generate new business from a popular advertising source: Yellow Pages.

Creating and running a good Yellow Page ad can make or break your advertising budget. The biggest worry about Yellow Pages is that you can’t make any changes in your ad for a whole year after you finalize it.

If your ad is performing great, you won’t be able to increase the size right away and see if that creates an even bigger response. If your ad is doing badly, you are stuck with an ad that is under-performing and costing you money every month.

Therefore, it’s really important to make sure that you know how to get the biggest Yellow Page bang for your marketing buck.

There’s a lot of marketing advice that is out there about generating more phone calls from a Yellow Page ad. Unfortunately, not all of it is good or accurate information.

For example, Yellow Page advertising reps will give you some of the worst advertising advice that you will ever hear. Their job is to sell you advertising space, not help you run an ad that actually works. The bigger the ad that you place, the bigger their commission will be.

It’s been my experience that most of the time, you can take their advice on ad size, text size, or ad content and just ignore it.

I remember one year, my massage therapy center’s account was assigned to a Yellow Pages rep that was a former massage therapist. She informed me that she stopped doing massage because she couldn’t make a successful career out of it.

In her next sentence, she proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with my center’s future Yellow Page ad. I kept trying to explain why I wanted to run the ad exactly the way I had written. Of course, the ad rep kept insisting that she knew how to create a better massage therapy ad!

What was my final reply? “The ad stays exactly the way I gave it to you if you want to keep our account.”

My comment may seem a bit harsh to some, but I had reached the end of my patience with that particular advertising rep. After you read these 5 battle-tested Yellow Page tips, you’ll feel much more confidant that your next Yellow Page ad will be a winner too!

Always underestimate the size of the ad you want to run.

Remember, you are signing a contract that you will be paying a fixed amount every month for that ad. It won’t matter if the ad performs great or completely bombs – it will cost you the same amount every month. If the ad performs great, you can always increase the ad to the next size the following year. If the ad bombs, you’ll be grateful that you aren’t worrying about a big Yellow Page bill every month for the next year.

Never run an untested ad!

If your untested ad performs badly, you are stuck with a bad ad for a whole year. Take the ad you want to run in the Yellow Pages and run it in another advertisement that runs frequently like Val-Pak or Money Mailer. If it produces a good response rate, then you will probably get a good response in Yellow Pages with the same ad. In our massage marketing manual, Help Your MASSAGE Practice, I share the full story of how I ran an untested ad that bombed and cost my business about $4,000 as a result. It was a very expensive lesson for me to learn – don’t make the same mistake I did!

If your marketing or ads are not generating a good response in black and white, using color won’t help improve the response rate a bit.

Many times, all that using colors in your advertisement will do is increase your costs and pad the commissions that your advertising rep earns.

Dare to be different!

Here’s a little test for you: Grab your local phone book and flip it open to any part of the book. Take a look at all of the ads listed in a particular category – I’ll use electricians as an example. How many of the ads say the same things? How many of them look almost identical? How many of the ads could you change the name of the electrician (or electrical company) and it wouldn’t make a difference in the ad? You want your ad to look different and sound different from every other massage therapy ad listed in your Yellow Page book! Make your ad stand out and attract more prospects who spotted your ad in the sea of “look and sound the same” massage therapy ads.

Make sure your ad is listed in the right categories.

Several years ago, the Yellow Pages in my area changed their categories from “Massage” and “Massage Therapy” to “Massage: Therapeutic” and “Massage: Non-Therapeutic”. One of my competitors made the mistake of listing their business in the same category as the escort services and other similar businesses. For the next year, they received lots of phone calls requesting services other than professional massage therapy!

Yellow Pages are slightly different from an ordinary ad because people who open that book and look up massage therapy are already targeted and looking to buy. If your ad gives that prospect the strongest reasons why they should call you instead one of your competitors, you will get their phone call.

Use Yellow Pages as one part of your complete massage marketing plan. Remember these 5 tips and the chances that you make a major mistake with your ad will drop to practically nil.

Your bank account will thank you!

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.

Take Charge,

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.

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