Massage can be hard work, and smart therapists know that adding a variety of spa services to our toolkits will help us make more money and give our hands a much-needed break.

Spa services can allow us to do more treatments per day, give clients customized services that they love, and provide a break from the routine of massage after massage.

Offering massage add-ons, or enhancements, give us another income stream and helps us to customize our services based on our clients’ needs and desires. Enhancements are generally incorporated into a massage service while spa treatments are booked in their own time slots.

After investing time and money into learning spa services and purchasing the necessary products and equipment, many therapists don’t know how to get clients to give them a try.

We print service menus, and we wonder why no one is booking our new services! It can be frustrating and disappointing.

So why do massage therapists struggle to sell spa services?

I think it’s because we just don’t know how to seamlessly incorporate new techniques into our massage business, and we worry about our clients’ expectations. We know most people get a little concerned about change, and our clients like what we do already. It’s not easy to change things up.

The good news is that with a well thought out marketing plan, your spa services will be booked and your clients will be even happier.

Put Yourself Out There

Keep practicing at home and reviewing your class resources. This will increase your confidence level, keep you inspired and boost your skills. We are more likely to recommend a service when we feel sure of ourselves.

Challenge yourself to suggest a spa service or enhancement to every client you see for a week or two. Before you know it, you won’t even have to think about it.

Keep in mind that it’s all in how you say it.

Asking a client to book a new service is asking them to take a risk with their money on something they may have never even heard of. Instead ask if they would like to try a new add on and explain the benefits.

For example: “Julie, I would love to incorporate a body brush and back mask for you today, I think it will help your neck and tight shoulders, does that sound ok?” After the session, you can explain that you have a new service with even more of that good stuff!

Try offering a free upgrade, like a complimentary enhancement, with every hour booked for a few weeks or create a new service and a special offer. For example, you could incorporate massage techniques, a body wrap, and some herbal healing balms.

Do a giveaway for a full session of your new service, and everyone who enters but doesn’t win gets a 25 percent off coupon to try your new service. I wouldn’t announce the coupon, just send it out after the giveaway is over. And, as a bonus you can grow your Facebook page and mailing list.

A big part of your job as a therapist is to make recommendations to clients, whether it’s how often to come back in or which services will give them the most benefit. You are the expert. Offering options to clients is not overselling!

Get the Word Out

On the phone during booking, ask about the client’s goals for the session and recommend those goals as you deem appropriate.

During your pre-session consultation, make suggestions that align with your client’s goals for the day. In your email confirmation, this is a great low-key way to let clients know that you have spa services available. Use enhancements as a “thank you” for referrals.

You can also create monthly, holiday or seasonal specials incorporating enhancements and spa services. This will increase your average sale, give you something to promote and talk about, and it’s also a great alternative to discounting.

For example, you can create longer spa services that include plenty of massage. Try these:

  • Body exfoliation (dry brush for 10 minutes).
  • Add a body wrap (shea butter, aromatherapy, or aloe wrap 10 minutes to wrap 25 minutes in wrap).
  • Apply a head, neck and or face treatment while the client is wrapped, and give a full body massage (45 minutes).

All this is done in 90 minutes! This is a high value service. Body brush exfoliation could cost between $10 to $20; body wrap $50 to $70; face/scalp treatment $20 to $30; massage $60 to $80. The total value of this package could be between $140 to $200.

This service could be promoted for a price of $125 to $160 as a special. Be sure to figure in your product cost when creating specials.

Hand and Foot treatments are always popular and make a great gift.

  • Hand/Foot scrub (10 minutes).
  • Hand and foot paraffin wax treatment (5 minutes to apply and then leave it on).
  • Pair this with a head, neck and shoulder massage, and an optional scalp/hair mask (45 minutes).

Here’s the value: scrubs $20 to $30; paraffin wax $20 to $30; massage $60 to $80; scalp treatment $20 to $30, total value $100 to $170. You could promote this 60-minute service for $89 to $129.

I’m sure can clearly see the income potential of these specialty services. Don’t forget about retail sales. Your clients will want to take home some of the products you use.

It’s a good idea to create a promotional plan for the year to keep things fresh and interesting. Think about the different things your clients might be experiencing as well as the services you might like to offer.

For the New Year, promote specials that will keep your clients on track with their self-care, fitness and weight loss goals. Think detox body wraps, stress reducing and post workout treatments.

Most holidays of course lend themselves to promoting gift certificates, spa parties and couple’s treatments. Have fun and be creative with your services and service names. You won’t know what is going to work well and sell if you don’t try different things.

Over time you will be able to refine your menu and specials.

Success with gift certificates sales depends largely on how much you promote them, look for opportunities through your community and networking groups to get out there. People are always looking for unique gifts.

Why not be the business that solves their problem?

Spring and summer are a great opportunity to lighten things up with fresh floral and citrus scents, and get skin and muscles in shape for a more active time of year. Try monthly specials to remind clients to book around summer parties and travel.

In the fall clients are once again getting back into the routines of the school and work year. Try offering some back-to-school specials and cozy warm services. Don’t forget the pumpkin spice!

Create Promotions

You could even create services around local landmarks and events.

If your town has a “Christmas in July” celebration, join in the fun and presell some Christmas specials or revive your holiday spa services for a week.

If your area is known for its vineyards, offer spa services named after different wines or incorporate grapeseed oil, or champagne body butter. If you are at the beach think aloe and cooling services, seashell massage and a citrus coconut scrub.

Planning for your services and promotions will pay off.

You’ll be able to purchase products on sale when you know what you have coming up, and order your marketing materials when you see a great coupon code.

When you plan ahead you can stay on top of your social media posts, newsletters going out and which events you want to donate to and attend.

This will all work together to make your spa services worthwhile.

What if you didn’t plan ahead, should you still do a holiday or monthly promotion? It can’t hurt, go ahead and try, you will probably still have some success and learn what you can improve on for next time.

Clients will appreciate your efforts and they will be waiting to see what creative spa services you come up with next.

If you really enjoy doing spa services your clients will pick up on your excitement and enthusiasm, and will want to see for themselves what is so great.

Some of your clients will love and enjoy spa services regularly, some for a special treat, and some will just want to stick with massage, but you won’t know if you don’t ask.

Gael Wood has more than 20 years of experience in the massage and spa industry. She now concentrates on training massage and spa therapists in business, spa services and greater success. She is a regular contributor to MASSAGE Magazine; her articles include “Is Your Practice LGBTQ-Friendly? How to Create a Welcoming Space” and “Step Out of Your Comfort Zone—And Into Your Success Zone!”