resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
October, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 10
The Power of Newsletters
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
If you have read any of my previous articles, you know that I am passionate about marketing and that success comes to those who do it efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, many massage therapists don't feel it is necessary and rely solely on word-of-mouth, only to shut their doors after a year or two of being in business.Most of my articles and marketing tips focus on techniques that are simple and cost-effective. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money and it can be quite enjoyable.
One of the most overlooked marketing techniques is a newsletter. Why everyone doesn't produce one is beyond me. It is one of the single best ways to inform clients, keep you in their minds and get the phone ringing. Read on and find out how simple it is. By the end of the article, you should be jumping at the opportunity to produce one.
There are two types of newsletters: print and e-mail. Many years ago, the former was the only option and it was more costly. It not only involved production, but also printing, labeling and postage. Although this is still used successfully, you can choose the more cost-effective route of e-mail. At the very least, you should be gathering contact information on your clients including their e-mail addresses. Even if you are not ready to start an e-mail newsletter, you want to have the addresses for when you are ready. Not only should you collect your current clients' e-mail addresses, but those of potential clients as well. When you are at events, whether socially, providing chair massage or networking, ask people for their contact information. Before you know it, you'll have a substantial database of e-mail addresses. I like to keep mine organized on an Excel spreadsheet.
At this point, many of you are probably saying, "I have no time to write a newsletter" and your point is well-taken. In fact, the industry has recognized these time limitations and done much of the work for you. There are several companies that offer massage-specific newsletters for sale. Google "massage newsletters" and you will find them. You can purchase a template for hard copy or e-mail. Some are generic in nature, but others can be personalized for your business, often with a personal message from you. These companies offer a list of topics from which to choose, ranging from the benefit of water to gardening injuries. Choose the topic that fits the season and/or your clientele. When you purchase the hard-copy template, you are responsible for the printing, labeling and postage. Many massage therapists still use this method but keep in mind, it is more time-consuming and more expensive than the e-mail variety.
The e-mail template is similar in that you chose the topic and can often customize. Your task is then to distribute the newsletter to your database. Unfortunately, with so much spam in people's e-mails, Internet service providers (ISPs) are very strict about sending bulk e-mail. The goal is to get the newsletter into the mailbox of your prospective client. If it goes into a spam folder, it is a waste of your time and effort.
To remedy this, many companies will do bulk mailing for you. In fact, you have probably received an e-mail from one of these services and perhaps didn't even know it. Some of these services charge for the quantity of e-mails you send and for the frequency of use of the service: The more you use it, the less you pay per e-mail. If you regularly send newsletters to your clients and e-mail them with weekly specials or appointment openings, this service is a must and very cost-effective. Of course, you can send each newsletter individually. However, assuming you have at least 100 e-mail addresses, this can be time-consuming. Some ISPs will grant special permission to send bulk e-mails but it takes some effort to contact the company and request this special status.
Remember that any monies spent for a newsletter counts as a business deduction. Keep track of the printing, labeling and postage or the ISP and of course, the cost of the template and mark it as a promotion or marketing expense.
Last but not least, you can create a newsletter yourself. Many people fear doing so because they think it has to be an elaborate tri-fold with lots of color and photos. And then there is the issue of content. Who will write these professional, educational columns? It doesn't have to be that hard. In fact, it doesn't have to be hard at all. The only purpose of a newsletter is to keep your business fresh in your prospective clients' minds. This can be done through a simple e-mail.
My monthly newsletter consists of four paragraphs and one graphic. I have contacted my ISP and asked for permission to send bulk e-mail. Once a month, I e-mail about 300 people with a friendly e-mail. The graphic is on the top of the e-mail, corresponding to the season or the holiday. The first paragraph is about me and my practice. I always like to share a little bit about myself in the beginning. My clients genuinely care about me and want to hear about some little tidbit of my life. The second paragraph consists of the "special" of the month. For example, in the month of May, I offer a Mom's Day Special package, and this is the place I let my clients know about it. The third paragraph is a perfect place to either add something about massage or some other interesting tidbit. One month I added a recipe for BBQ pizza. One month I wrote something about the benefit of nylon vs. cotton socks for exercise. Of course, feel free to write something about massage, its benefits or any other health-related article.
Whatever it is, write from the heart. Your clients will appreciate your effort and since they already know and like you, they will enjoy whatever you have to say. The last section of my monthly newsletter never changes; the frequently asked questions or FAQs. Where do I travel? What do I charge? What modalities do I use? Do I accept tips? Is there a cancellation policy? What can I expect from my massage? I cut and paste them into the new e-mail each month. And that's it! Pretty simple and wildly effective.
Keeping in touch with your clients via a newsletter is one of the best ways to boost business. It never ceases to amaze me how the day newsletters are received, my e-mail inbox gets fuller, faster and my phone rings more. What do you have to lose? You have so much to gain.
Click here for more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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