I am constantly being asked, “What is THE best way to market my practice?” The holiday season seems to generate this question more often than any other time of year. Alas, as much as I would love to give a concrete answer to that question, it is impossible. No one-size-fits-all formula works. The trick to marketing success is determining what is important to your existing and potential clients and informing them how you can meet their needs and goals. Of course, some activities tend to be more effective than others. Here are a few easy ways to make the holiday season successful.
Therapists often forget to add the most important recipients to their gift giving list: their clients. During the holiday season, what better way to retain your existing client base than by giving them a thank-you gift that recognizes your clients as an important part of your success and supports your future business.
Client gifts need not cost a lot. Be creative. Give small samples of massage or spa products your clients can use at home. Include your business card and even a discount toward a future service. You may be surprised by the follow-up business this little gift generates for your practice. A small thank-you goes a long way!
Gift certificates sell the most during the holidays. Please refer to our blog, Massage: The One Size Fits All Holiday Gift. Many years ago, Stan Goldman, a therapist in Georgia shared his secret: Every year around November, he sends out a season’s greetings letter offering discounts on gift certificates. He includes four blank gift certificates with the letter. They’re blank in the sense that gift giver’s and recipient’s name have to be filled in, along with date of purchase and an authorization code (which can be obtained by calling the therapist and either giving a credit card number, promising to send money, or agreeing to bring payment at the next visit). According to Goldman, “There’s something compelling about having the gift certificates in hand, along with a reminder that it’s an unusual gift.” Also, he includes the statement, “You Don’t Have To Fight The Mall Traffic!” This approach can still work, particularly if a lot of your clients are not computer savvy. You can also offer gift certificates through your website (or other sites, such as Yelp) for the technology adept clients.
Holiday RetailLet’s face it, choosing holiday gifts can be mind boggling. Provide retail options for your clients that make it easy for them to give to friends and family. Offer gift options in several price ranges: $10-$20; $25-$50; $55-$100; $100+. Your retail display should offer ready-to-give products that are visually appealing. A simple gift box, organza bag, or even a ribbon can easily do the trick.
You can effectively generate new clients with these retail packages by including a business card and an invitation for an open house or a mini complementary massage to generate interest.
Keep your practice at the top of the “to-do” list by offering unique services that meet your client’s holiday needs. Are they crunched for time? If so, offer an express service that helps them unwind quickly and get back to their busy schedule. Do they need an escape? If so, put together a “getaway” package that incorporates several services like a stone massage, reflexology, and scalp massage. If you offer spa services, now is a great time to offer holiday themed treatments using the scents of the season like cinnamon or cranberry.
Mention your holiday services and promotions in all your marketing materials particularly brochures, fliers, advertisements, email blasts, website, and social media. If you distribute a newsletter, include a notice about gift certificate sales in every issue. Tactful, tasteful reminders regarding availability are always appreciated.