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Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
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 previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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