resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
April, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 04
Is This Any Way to Run a Business?
By Cary Bayer
Retail advertising, discussed in my previous column, requires precise advertising layouts and copy. Make certain that the words "50 percent off" are not only prominent in type size, but the very headline of the ad as well.It should look something like the following: "50% OFF MASSAGE SALE." Directly below that, indicate what the actual cost will be for first-timers who respond. For example, if your normal fee is $70 for an hour-long session, indicate that your price has been slashed to $35. One effective way of doing this is to use the universal language of the line through the center of some image or piece of copy. Also, make certain that it's clear to any reader of your ad that the offer is only for new clients.
The buy-one-get-one-free promotion is the one I recommend more highly than the 50-percent-off special, because the new client gets to experience your healing art twice and also pays full price for it once. Your message should feature the word "free" in very big and bold letters. In recessionary times, that word is of huge importance to people. It seems as if every single aisle that I push my shopping cart through at my grocery store has a promotional offer featuring the word "free" in big letters. The supermarket isn't the only category of business doing buy-one-get-one-free appeals; so, too, are restaurants, bookstores, clothing stores and many other retail establishments. Your layout should look something along the lines of: "Buy One Massage, Get One Massage FREE" or "FREE MASSAGE when you purchase one massage for (your price)."
Don't waste any valuable advertising space mentioning the many modalities you practice. Most people, especially those who aren't familiar with massage, don't know much about neuromuscular, deep-tissue or Swedish, and they couldn't care less about each. LMT lexicon is great to share in more appropriate settings such as local chapter meetings and state/national conventions but not to the average consumer. The average client or prospect of massage wouldn't know their myofacial if it hit him in the head. Instead, talk to them about the many benefits they will receive from their service, not the service itself.
Keep your communications simple, particularly in your ad, where less is more. Open space in the ad is of value; it helps convey the feeling of relaxation the client desires to experience on your table and that you're eminently capable of delivering. Ad messages that are very copy-heavy are less effective than ones that have more "air" or negative space in them. Empty space is a good thing; think of it as a kind of Zen approach to advertising.
I recommend that any offer you're touting should have expiration dates. This can be inserted right underneath the price. If your ad comes out at the beginning of the month, give the reader about 30 days to take advantage of your special. This encourages a prompt response if people are to gain the price break. Creating a sense of urgency is important. After all, why shouldn't they get cracking to get a free massage?
I wouldn't waste ad space communicating that the new client needs to redeem their free massage within a week of getting their paid massage. That's something you can convey when they call you on the phone and book a paid session. The reason for the free massage within a week of the paid one is to give the client the experience of enjoying your work on a weekly basis so that if they become a client, they have established a small habit of seeing you weekly. Naturally, at the bottom of your ad, you'll need to include your name, phone number, Web site (if you have one), address (if you have an office) and license number.
Incorporate these creative elements in your ad and you will have some new customers. One client of mine had 19 people respond to such an ad. Sixteen of these people never came back as regular paying clients. On one level, you might argue that the advertising was a waste of several hundred dollars. After all, that's a lot of free massages to give out. If you're paying attention to the numbers, however, you will have noticed that I didn't mention the other three. One became a regular monthly client. One came in regularly every two weeks. The third opted for a weekly visit. One other thing about this weekly client: she is a medical doctor, and has been referring many patients who have also become clients.
When you consider that 16 massages were given away for nothing, was this promotion worth it? If you think it was a waste, you might never be able to grow your business. Let's try to analyze what these new clients will be netting the therapist. Let's suppose each client keeps up the massage frequency they have begun. Then let's suppose each client remains a client for what most therapists say is the average length of a client relationship: three years. At a $70 massage rate, the monthly client will pay $840 the first year and a total of $2,520 over the course of this estimated three-year term. The bi-weekly client will spend twice that amount, or $5,040, in those 36 months. The weekly client will pay $10,080 in that period. If you add all this up, you reach a total of $17,640; and that doesn't account for any MD referrals. To generate such revenues, the advertising expenditure was about $400.
To paraphrase the famous old National Airlines advertising slogan: "Is this any way to run a business? You bet it is."
Click here for more information about Cary Bayer.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.