by Jon Lumsden
The majority of students in healing arts schools have little or no experience in business planning or marketing. Since many graduates go into business by themselves, they have to accomplish virtually all the necessary business-related tasks alone. Marketing is among the easiest jobs to postpone or overlook. These practitioners need a simple, proven system to effectively market their services.
One of the most comprehensive, cost-effective marketing tools is the client education newsletter. In one easy step, a well-written newsletter can reach the entire client base, and:
The two main goals a practitioner has in marketing his/her practice are to attract new clients and to get them to rebook. A good newsletter can accomplish both. The secret is getting the newsletters out to the correct public-the people who are most open to receiving your services. The obvious people to send newsletters to are all active and inactive clients. Newsletters also attract new business by targeting acquaintances and health-oriented people. Good locations to distribute newsletters include health food stores, offices of allied health practitioners (e.g., chiropractors), health fairs, lectures/demonstrations, and in the break rooms of companies where the employees are in stress-related professions.
Since few practitioners have the time or skill to create their own marketing materials, using a service like Massage Marketing's Staying in Touchr newsletters is an ideal solution (see special offer on page 3). These newsletters have the personal feel that gives the impression that the practitioner created each issue, yet all that needs to be done is to add one's contact info to the master copy, then print, address and mail them.
Practitioners learn that clients who receive consistent treatments generally report enjoying better health rewards than those who only receive occasional sessions. The health of one's practice can enjoy a similar boost through consistent marketing. It makes perfect sense: When a practitioner mails newsletters to his/her client base every couple of months, the number of clients calling to book appointments should increase. This consistent marketing builds momentum for the practice the same way consistent wellness treatments helps a body build momentum toward better health.
One more pertinent comparison between wellness care and marketing: We know from centuries of experience and observation that regular health treatments such as massage helps the body maintain a more balanced state of health, and that it can address the source of many health issues. The simple act of regularly sending newsletters to the client base puts practitioners in a more causative position, making positive things happen in their practices rather than just waiting for their clients to decide to call.
Effective Marketing with Client Newsletters
Objective: Learners understand the importance and effectiveness of promoting their services with educational client newsletters.
Overview: Demonstrate how a consistent marketing plan can result in a consistently full appointment schedule. Introduce the "cost vs. return" concept of marketing (spend $50-60 mailing to 100 clients; bring in $200-$250 in appointments and $50-$150 in gift certificate sales).
Procedure: Start with an idea session on the reasons they would send their school clinic clients and potential clients something in the mail. Discuss what format they would consider as most effective (e.g., personal letter, brochure, postcard, newsletter) and why they think so. Have class members suggest possible results they could expect from the distribution of newsletters. (See cover article.) List how and to whom they can market their services with an educational newsletter. Examples: Mail to clients and prospective clients; send to chiropractors and other caregivers with an accompanying cover letter introducing themselves, including an introductory discount; use as handouts in health-food stores, upscale hotel lobbies, at health fairs, when giving talks; use instead of business cards; send to new area residents with a cover letter and first-visit discount.
Each student makes a list of at least 20 friends, relatives, and acquaintances in the area to send a student newsletter. Create a student newsletter or use the sample massage student newlsetter provided.* Personalize each student's newsletter with the student's name, the school's return address and school's clinic phone number. Students gather mailing addresses, print and mail newsletters to list.
Develop a short follow-up phone script. Questions to include in the script: Did you get the newsletter? Have you had time to read it? Any questions? Would you like to schedule a session at the school clinic? Have students call 5 people to whom they mailed their newsletter within 48 hours of mailing. (HINT: Suggest they make the follow-up calls to people they are very comfortable communicating with. Point out that when they're interested in the other person, they will be more at ease talking with others-and consequently more successful!)
Discussion: How easy or difficult was this project? What did you learn from this activity? Do you think this is a good way to market your services? Why or why not? What responses did you get from your follow-up calls? Did you get the results you expected?
Teacher's Note:Plans can be made to work on these other uncomfortable situations in a future class.
Materials Required: Access to Internet to prepare master copy of the Staying in Touch newsletter* www.sohnen-moe.com/ (or another newsletter that the class prepares), nice quality paper for newsletter copies, computer & printer for printing/preparing issues, mailing addresses and 39-cent postage stamps.
Time Required: 2-4 hours
Source: Jon Lumsden, Massage Marketing
FREE! Download a complimentary copy of two great student newsletters from Massage Marketing and Acupuncture MediaWorks. These special editions are designed for students to send to their family and friends, inviting them to come to your school for a student massage or acupuncture treatment. You (or the student) just download the issue, add the student's name and the school's contact information, address and then mail them. This teaches the student about marketing to their "warm" markets and brings more people to the school to receive student massage and acupuncture services.
Please make sure to visit our Teacher's Manuals from time to time as we are updating and adding to the Business Mastery Overheads & Handouts! All overheads are in color. Now you can go directly to the overhead(s) of your choice through the interactive Table of Contents. These overheads and handouts are only available to schools that require Business Mastery so if you are interested, please give us a call or visit the Library.
Please use the format:
Send to: SMA Info
Jump-start Your Practice Special: Download two Premium issues of Staying in Touch newsletters for only $29-a $50 value and only available from Sohnen-Moe Associates!
Issue 1: Back Pain/Stretching—Eighty percent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. This issue lets them know how massage can help!
Issue 2: Ever feel stressed out? This issue explains how stress impacts the body and how massage can reverse these adverse effects.
Both issues have areas for the therapist to add his/her contact information. After downloading the issues to his/her computer, the therapist simply types in the contact information (e.g., name, return address, phone) and prints as many copies as needed.
An exclusive Sohnen-Moe bonus: Order these two issues from us and the therapist receives an additional version of both issues that include two blank columns. This allows the therapist the option of adding his or her own personal information and/or special offers! This is a great for graduating students as well as your alumni.
We have Massage Minders left for the year 2006! Winning Touch is offering you $10 off the price of Massage Minder 2006 "The Original," "Refill" & "Traveler." These handy calendars make great gifts for your graduates! Calendars run through December 31, 2006. Offer is only good while supplies last.
|2006 Massage Minder "The Original"||$29.95||$19.95|
|2006 Massage Minder Refills||$19.95||$9.95|
|2006 Massage Minder "Traveler"||$19.95||$9.95|
Unscramble the six words below in this issue's Word Jumble. Using the letters in the circles, rearrange the letters to finish the caption of the cartoon.
Out with "Ye Olde Letter" and in with
Make your marketing curriculum easy without blowing your budget. Because of the response to their previous offer, Information for People has extended its school special for the most popular of its public speaking presentation kits: Therapeutic Massage, How it Helps and Why It Works.
This kit is available for your classroom use for $48.97 (regular price is $69.95 minus your everyday 10% school discount, plus an additional 20% off). As always, their price includes free shipping to the 48 States. This offer is good till Sept. 30, 2006. Get ideas on how you can use this great tool in your classroom.
Most forms of advertising are considered inappropriate for health care practitioners, yet a newsletter is viewed by clients as an added service. It's a cost-effective way for practitioners to stay in touch with their clients while building their image in the community. Increase your practice by producing an informative and promotional publication. With over 200 examples, testimonials and cartoons, this easy-to-read book demonstrates how to choose engaging content, write and design an effective newsletter. It's for businesses that are currently publishing newsletters and those just getting started.
Newsletters Word Search: In this month's puzzle there are 41 newsletter words and phrases (and at least 17 bonus words) hidden in this word search. Can you find them all?
Y P O C O T O H P R I N T I N G E L C O P Y R I G H T A B B I N G T I P O S I T I V E C U D O R T N I A E E M T N E T S I S N O C E L H D N O R M A L V S R E F F O L A W V J B A S U G T I T L E S U V D D E O N I D O N E T T E A S E R D N R Y C D O F N I T C A T N O C R A T A M A U G R A C U R M S P E E K I B A S B W R E L A B O R T S S C S L R E L U U A T I T I T O C S A E E K L E S L I P T Z E R I F I L T N E C S C O A C H L E P T T N B A W T I I N F E R S Y O L R S G I D A I T D T F E W Y T A B L O I D P R N R E F F E C T I V E W C O D U D G A A D N F U L L C O L O R F
You too can make fun word searches for your students using word search engines like DiscoverySchool's PuzzleMaker.
Teacher's Aide is a cooperative venture among all of us who teach business: a support system to make our job easier, more effective and fun. This newsletter is a forum for exchanging creative techniques on teaching business as well as a resource for exercises, handouts, quotes and tools for use in class. We welcome contributions, so please send them today.