It’s a fact: It costs less money, time and energy to reactivate old clients than to try and acquire new ones. Past clients already know the value of massage. Assuming you offer a stellar service, these clients don’t need convincing of the benefits.

Many times, clients stop coming because something happened that got them out of the routine. (Again, this is assuming that you offer a great service; if you’re not getting any return clientele, there may be other issues in your practice to explore.)

However, usually something happened that knocked them out of their routine of getting massage. Maybe they had a death in the family, or they went on vacation and never got back on your books. Sometimes they just need a gentle reminder that you are there.

Here’s a few ways to reconnect with those past clients:

1. Keep in touch

  • E-mail openings in your schedule at the beginning of the week.
  • Snail mail postcards.
  • E-mail monthly newsletter with relaxation tips, benefits of massage, etc.
  • Send discounts for birthdays.

2. Have a special offer.

Create a time-dated offer for past clients only. For example, offer a discounted massage package to be purchased up front. The benefits are immediate cash flow for you, while clients commit to a certain amount of sessions.

Tip: Be sure to put an expiration date on these prepurchased packages. You don’t want clients stretching that package over five years; that would negate the benefits of why you’re offering it at a discount.

3. Survey old clients.

Create an online survey. Ask clients what it would take for them to return, implement that idea and invite them back.

4. Offer a new product or service.

Add something new, and then welcome past clients to experience the featured service.

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy massage software (www.BodyworkBuddy.com), a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling. She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007. She maintains an active blog that includes business and marketing tips for massage therapists.