Putting a price tag on massage treatment is just plain difficult sometimes. There are many
things to consider: hourly rates, half-hour rates, special offers, discounts, and package plans. Should all of my pricing be on my website? What kinds of incentives or loyalty programs should I be using? Discounts are too costly for me! All of these thoughts go through the minds of independent massage therapists.
There are some key features to consider when creating effective pricing models and loyalty programs. There are also things to avoid. Let’s take a look.
1. Emphasize Value
My main recommendation is to present your package prices by emphasizing the value of the package and displaying actual estimates of the savings.
Let’s look at Arete Massage in Tuscon as a good example.
Clients who are considering making multiple visits can clearly see how many visits the package includes and the total savings for that many sessions.
In this example, it’s hard to see any value or incentive to buy a package of 10 sessions. It’s confusing. It doesn’t really look like a good deal. These are also very limited options — a 1-hour session, a package of 10, or a 90-minute session.
Overall, the first example demonstrates to clients that loyalty is worth it, so if that is something you are interested in promoting to encourage and facilitate more regular visitation, then discount your package-rate compared to your single-session rate.
2. Determining Your Base Rate
Another consideration of importance is determining the base rate for services. Often times, what we see is that therapists will take the amount they’d like to get paid and then discount their regular rate by some percentage to come up with their discounted pricing offer. This option, however, is not recommended because it discounts a therapist’s package rate to levels that are undesirable. This also has a negative effect on client expectations of the baseline value that the therapist’s work is worth.
Instead, start with the amount you expect to get paid an hour and make this your baseline package rate (or promotion rate). Then, increase the price for the hourly, single session rates.
Let’s look at Lone Oak Body Work in Orgeon, and compare their package rates, loyalty rates, and base line rate. This is a great example, because they clearly have reasonable rates for their established clients ($45/half hour). New clients see the immediate value in their first session ($55/hour), but realize that the baseline rate is higher for consecutive bookings ($75/hour). There is clear value and incentive in booking ahead and paying in advance, as well (20% discount).
3. Do the Math
Show the exact dollar amount that a package deal saves the client. This may seem very silly, but there’s a big psychological element in play here. See this example of an hour rate next to a package deal:
There’s nothing technically wrong here except that the savings and the deal isn’t clearly spelled out. What the client sees immediately is the choice of $75 compared to $260. What they really need to see is that figure, clearly boldy out in front: SAVE $40!
When buyers make purchasing decisions, numbers really matter. Perception really matters. The more clearly you communicate value to your customer, the more likely they will be to engage in a package or loyalty program. And that’s good for you and them, as well!
What kinds of pricing models, packages, and loyalty programs have you tried with success, or did you try something that didn’t work? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Share in the comments below.
Comments from original Massamio post:
FYI my website is being reconstructed as we speak so take it with a grain of salt. I love these ideas! I have a business coach who gave me ‘packaging’ ideas as well but he suggested a yearly contract and clients are not liking that very much. I believe I will change it to a smaller package as explained here so they can get ‘fixed’ then we will discuss the future visits. Thanks! I look forward to your emails! Annie — Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 10:29 AM by Annie Moore
Hi Annie, I’m so glad to hear this is helpful! I tend to also think that short-term contracts are generally better received–especially for clients who are trying to budget. (A lot of stuff can happen in a year, so that can be an intimidating commitment!) If you put a time limit to your packages like the last example or use a monthly contract, I think it will be better received by clients. Thanks for sharing! — Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 11:37 AM by Naomi Oliviae
This is very helpful! Thank you for all the good info you put together in order to help us with our practice. Sad we don’t have something like this in French for us in Quebec!! — Posted @ Wednesday, December 18, 2013 7:37 PM by Charlyne
What an amazing comprehensive facility for massage therapists – very impressive, thank you for all your sharing – so appreciated. Kind regards M — Posted @ Thursday, September 04, 2014 1:06 AM by Maureen