Millions of people are making lifestyle changes regarding how they eat, sleep, exercise, manage stress and otherwise take care of themselves.
This presents opportunities to market your practice in ways that will appeal to the public’s motivations for change.
Let’s look at some themes you might use in your beginning-of-the-year marketing to attract more business from people who seek massage for health.
New-Year Themed Promotions
Theme: “New Year, New You”
This generic theme resonates with people seeking to make a variety of changes for a variety of reasons. It can be used to promote a short-term special offer for new and/or returning clients. This can take the form of a discount, free gift or free upgrade.
It is also a great theme for promoting packages of multiple sessions, as people understand that an ongoing lifestyle change takes time and they are more likely to make an investment in sessions that will be used over a longer period of time.
1. Theme: “Stress Less in 2020”
Making lifestyle changes is often stressful, and massage therapy is a great way to help people manage their stress so they can stay on track to success. Depending on the kind of practice you have, you could focus this to emphasize massage for relaxation, or for managing the symptoms of anxiety or depression.
Reducing the negative effects of stress can also help reduce perceptions of pain, stiffness and vulnerability, and may reduce risks of other health conditions.
With this theme, favor simple offers that are easy to understand, such as “$10 off one-hour massage” or “buy four one-hour massages, get one free,” because stressed-out people generally gravitate to simple versus more complex communication.
Consider offering at least one option that is significantly more expensive than the rest. This will make the remainder of your offers look more affordable and reasonable, and clients tend to be attracted to offers that provoke less internal conflict over price.
2. Theme: “Recover, Recharge and Rejuvenate”
Colloquially, all three words are synonymous, but each carries a different connotation. You might choose to use just one or two of them. Overall, the theme promotes your massage therapy as a way of helping people who are physically challenging themselves.
When they come to recover, recharge and rejuvenate, it’s a welcome break from the challenges they’ve been facing — and when they leave, they’ll feel more prepared to continue their journey of transformation.
You can choose to use this theme for various types of special offers, but don’t forget to connect it to what they might be looking for. For example, “Recover from discomforts, Recharge to feel more energetic, and Rejuvenate your optimism.”
You’ve connected the theme to three different possible motivations in a way that is reasonably compatible with both biopsychosocial models and body-mind-spirit concepts of therapy.
3. Theme: “Better Sleep, Better You”
A growing body of research shows that getting more, and more restful, sleep is very helpful for a wide range of physical and mental conditions. For some people, improving sleep might be a high priority.
Some people may be getting used to CPAP machines that help them benefit more from the sleep they get, while others are trying to find better ways to fall asleep more easily, and earlier.
With this theme, there may be an emphasis on general relaxation massage, but for some people more specific work that relieves discomfort may work better.
Clients who choose to receive massage earlier in the day may be interested in free time to snooze a little after the massage is done. This nap time may be provided as a free upgrade as part of a promotion. Other people may be interested in receiving massage at the end of their day, getting very relaxed, and then going home and right to bed.
The use of hot packs in your sessions can support this strategy, and some clients may want to purchase them for use at home.
4. Theme: “Exercise Preparation and Recovery”
This theme appeals to people who are increasing their physical activity frequency, intensity or variety. They are challenging their bodies to trigger adaptations and they are motivated to make it work.
Massage therapy can help them feel more prepared for their next challenge, and may speed recovery from the challenges they’ve already faced. This is particularly useful if you have a background in sports massage or stretching. Some therapists tailor it to particular types of athletes depending on their experience and knowledge of the sport.
Because the people this is most likely to attract are pursuing athletic goals, this is a good theme for package deals; however, you may need to attract them for a single session so they can see what you do before they are willing to make a commitment.
Note that if a client is training for a specific contest, it’s helpful to learn how to adapt the way you work based on their needs before and after the event. Quite often, the way you work to help an athlete prepare for an event may be very different from how you work with them afterward.
Discounts & Deals
Discounts and deals can be offered in a variety of ways — printed, posted online and sent via email — and featuring various types of advantages that you can promote to your audience.
There are more options, but these are fairly simple and easy to implement. Make certain that any discounts or deals you offer aren’t so generous that you’ll regret them later. If it’s a coupon, mark it to expire within 30 to 60 days to give a sense of urgency.
If it’s a free upgrade or service provided with a package, mark it to expire within three to six months so the client has an incentive to use it sooner rather than later. If it’s a larger package (eight to 12 sessions), you may need to give them more time.
• Money-off coupon. Advantage: Easy to understand.
• Percent-off coupon. Advantage: Works well on higher-priced services.
• Bring-a-friend/couples discount. Advantage: Brings in two people instead of one.
• Package. Advantage: Clients prepay for multiple sessions. You can give a discount, but this type of special offer might work better when you provide a free upgrade with package purchase.
• Free upgrades/services. Advantage: Clients pay full price and you get to choose what to provide to give better value. Examples: post-massage nap time, hot packs, taping, aromatherapy.
• Return offers. Advantage: Potentially doubles the number of sessions you have booked.
Many businesses could more than double their practice if all the people that came for massage just once per year would come twice per year.
No matter how simple the offer that gets people in the door, consider having a simple offer that encourages them to return at least one time. Packages and memberships are great for this, but a simple discount on their next visit, or if they prepay for their next session, can also be effective.
Ring in the New Year
Now is the time when millions of Americans are thinking about ways to improve their health, lower their stress level and increase their quality of life. Target potential clients with New Year marketing so that they know you are a source of improved well-being — and usher in a more prosperous New Year for your practice, too.
About the Author:
Jason Erickson co-owns and practices at Eagan Massage Center. A former chronic pain patient, Jason is an internationally recognized continuing education provider teaching classes on pain science, dermoneuromodulation, sports massage, research literacy and more. His articles and podcast appearances are widely featured.