Use Gift Certificates to Grow

Julie Onofrio is a pro. She established her successful downtown Seattle practice way back in 1989. And for many years she’s been using her websites to help massage therapists learn how to follow in her footsteps. It’s been a while since Julie shared these marketing ideas with us, but they are still true and still very helpful. Among other things, she talked about marketing your massage business with gift certificates.

“I used to sell thousands of dollars of gift certificates at Christmas. I found through the years though, that people who buy gift certificates for someone are the ones who really want them. If you are going to promote them, the key is doing an offer like — “Buy 2 hours and get a half-hour for yourself (the buyer) free!” But if you are just getting going, selling gift certificates can help fill in your practice. One of the things I did early on was getting on an employee bonus list where a large legal firm gave their employees the option of picking their own gift. That got a lot of people in the door, too. Make gift certificates easy to buy (and pick up)! I recommend selling them on your website. Set it up so that people can pay using Paypal or some other service like that. Send out announcements to your mailing list. Have signs in your office. Tell the mailman and everyone!”

Read more of Julie’s advice on her website:

Autumn is upon us

Fall really is around the corner. So there’s a reason to start thinking about how you’re going to promote those pretty holiday gift certificates.

Four great ideas:

  1. Begin with your family and friends. When they are making their gift lists, ask them to think about who might enjoy a gift certificate for your services this year. Offer them package deals if they buy a quantity. Let them know that if the recipients don’t schedule within the year, buyers can use the gift certificates themselves.
  2. Promote packages to clients, offering them a free half-hour for themselves if they buy more than two or three.
  3. Think about who might be a good prospect for a future client. Old friends and co-workers, neighbors, your sister’s best friend? Give these folks free 1/2 hour gift certificates with the option to upgrade to an hour for a fee you can live with.
  4. Trade with neighboring businesses. Haircuts for gift certificates. Advertising for gift certificates. Oil changes for gift certificates. You get the idea.

Other ideas, anyone? It’s time.

Want to read more on marketing with gift certificates? Start here: 6 Steps to Keeping 1st Time Clients: A Big Picture Look at Marketing with Gift Certificates