Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2011

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BUSINESS SIDE I HAVE A LAST-MINUTE OPENING AT 3. BOOK ME! BOOK ME! BOOK ME, TOO! also develop targeted marketing for your website by placing click-per-pay or flat-fee ads on other sites that appeal to people with an interest in your type of business with the intent of driving traffic to your website. In order to track the effectiveness of promoting your business in this way, you can't depend on the number of hits your website gets, but the actual number of people who come in because of it. Have a statement on your website announcing an Internet-only special for people who make an online booking or purchase an online gift certificate, or telling them to mention when they call that they saw your Internet special offer of $10 off the price of their first massage. Using your own email list can still be a smart way to spread the word for a targeted promotion; in fact, it was how I spread the word for the most successful promotion I've conducted to date. A few months ago, I held a ladies' day. I invited some vendors to have displays in my office: a woman who sells lingerie, another who sells handmade jewelry, another who sells handbags. We offered massage for 50 percent off and sweetened the deal on our packages; instead of our usual offer of buy five/get one free, we offered buy five/get two free (paid in advance). The only advertising I did If you're not using social media yet, what are you waiting for? It's free! for this event was to send it out to my email list, and in less than 48 hours we sold out—61 appointments. Our gift certificate and package deal sales on that day came to almost $10,000. It was such an amazing success that I plan to do it every year, and I intend to have another one directed toward men. On a final note, regardless of the promotion you create, utilizing the Internet is an important tool in your marketing campaign. If you don't already have a website, now's the time to get one. The public almost expects every business to have a presence on the Internet. It's a great way for new clients to find you and for existing clients to keep up with your special promotions. You also can use it to increase your mailing list. You can even offer appointment bookings and sell gift certificates. It's a smart, low-cost way to market your business, and once it's set up, it requires minimal effort to maintain. When someone calls my business and wants to ask 20 questions, I ask if they have Internet access and direct them to my website. Putting your Web address on your marketing materials will automatically drive traffic to your site. It's a huge time-saver. Simple Guide to Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Examinations (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009) and One Year to a Successful Massage Therapy Practice (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008). A third book, A Massage Therapist's Guide to Business, will also be published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Allen is the owner of THERA-SSAGE, a continuing education facility and alternative wellness clinic of more than a dozen practitioners of different disciplines in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. Visit her website at www.thera-ssage.com. Laura Allen is the author of Plain & earn CE hours at your convenience: abmp's online education center, www.abmp.com 27

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