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Massage Today
January, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 01

Creating a Predictable Plan for Growing Your Massage Practice

By Stephanie Beck

If you are at a point in your massage practice where you need more customers, then this article is perfect for you. To get more customers, you need to adapt your current marketing plan. Most likely, you will need to increase your exposure to potential massage clients and this means increasing traffic to your desired source.

What is traffic? Traffic is a common term some refer to as leads, potential customers, referrals, your tribe of followers or prospects.

Internet marketers get traffic from a ton of sources and we direct traffic to a desired source. This means that before we launch any campaign, we have to know what the desired outcome is. In other words, what is the purpose of the marketing campaign and what do you want them to do when they get to their desired source. That desired source might be one of the following:

  • Making your phone ring.
  • Increasing visits to your massage clinic.
  • Adding more hits on your website.
  • Registering for a massage class.
  • Signing up for a weekly newsletter.
  • Driving more engagement on your social media sites.

blueprint - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Each of these desired sources can be increased by implementing various marketing tools to increase the amount of traffic to your desired outcome. I would caution that before you launch head strong into any marketing campaign, it would be best to know your conversion rate and have quick and easy ways to measure any marketing you choose to implement. You might be asking yourself, "What is a conversion rate?" Your conversion rate is a ratio of traffic to completed transactions. Your definition of completed transaction should be specific to your offer. For example, your offer might be to exchange a free report for someone's e-mail address. Or have a person sign up for a newsletter. Or it might be to book an appointment for a massage. To help you create a great offer, I've included a link to a blog post on how to do just that:

Generating Traffic

Today, most massage therapy business owners want to use the Internet to generate traffic. The most common ways to increase online traffic are:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn)
  • Media Buys (Magazine, TV, Radio or Newspaper ads)
  • Pay Per Click (PPC)

As a massage practice owner (or manager for a massage business) you need to be able to justify any additional costs. How are you going to know if a marketing piece is working or not unless you have a way to measure it? And for those of you who are saying, "Hey, I'm a brand new therapist, I don't have any leads, traffic or anything to measure." Well, your conversion rate is currently 0%. So, you will have to implement some type of marketing campaign to increase your traffic to make any changes to this figure. An old way of increasing traffic is word of mouth. Now, with the popularity of social media sites, creating referrals and word of mouth digitally has seen tremendous growth for massage businesses.

For some massage practitioners, knowing you have more money than month at then of a 30-day cycle has been your form of tracking your business success. Many massage therapists work for years without knowing their conversions rates until they make a choice to have a predictable plan for growth. For some, that means working smarter and not harder, while for others, it means focusing on building an exit plan to retire. Others want a way to make more money. Still others just want the opportunity to touch more lives. Whatever your driving force, once you make the decision to grow your massage practice, you need to know how to create a predictable plan and do it in the most efficient and productive way. You will find that knowing conversion rates and your return on investment (ROI) really matter.

Why are conversion rates important? Consider this. A common practice to boost traffic for a website is to hire Search Engine Optimization services. Let's say you spend 6 to 12 months on SEO services to get yourself ranked on page one of Google. That's great to be on page one of Google, as long as you accomplished two goals:

  1. You have increased traffic at your desired source.
  2. That traffic is converting to customers, and thus more money.

The Importance of Analytics

In most cases, all traffic leads to a website. You can spend countless hours ranking for keywords and being on page one, but if your conversion rate is less than 1%, that is not enough to justify the time and money invested in the project. Common problems associated with low conversion rates are poor website design/navigation or simply because the offer needs to be fixed. How do you know if an offer is going to be a good converter? I would recommend you set up a website analytics and budget some pay per click before launching into any other marketing. Google provides Google Analytics for free on any website. Find out more at:

Why add analytics? Because when you drive traffic to your source, you need to have a way of measuring to know that you are getting the best conversions possible at that source with the least amount of investment. All social media sites offer insights (analytics) to measure the traffic. Some even tell you what devices customers are using to access them. Mobile devices are rapidly growing segments of the online market so consider how your site will perform on a mobile device when you are revamping your website. We will discuss mobile marketing options in an upcoming article. Once you have analytics set up, now you are ready to start pay per click.

What is pay per click (PPC)? For online marketing, the quickest way to start testing your offer is to pay Google or social media sites for certain ads for your keywords to a desired target audience, and then test to see how well they convert. You will need to make sure you have good copy, image and benefits so they produce. Set up a PPC budget for $200 or less per month or a daily budget of $20. Then bid on your keywords and start by testing how they perform. You will only be charged when people click on your ad. That is why you will see it referred to as, pay per click. The beauty of this is that you can have PPC up and running in one day and you can have results the same day without making it costly. It is also the least expensive way to give you data because you can stop a PPC campaign at any time, as well as make any adjustments to it.

Your results are fairly easy to measure. If no one clicks on the ad, then you need to adjust your ad. If people click on the ad to your website, but no one purchases or you lose them at any point in your process, then you need to fix your website. Meaning you need to evaluate the way people are interacting on your site. Either your offer needs to be adjusted or the process to get the offer needs help. Also, realize you won't get 100% of the people to take advantage of the offer.

Let's put some real numbers to the equation. Let's say you place an ad and you know 100 people click through on the ad to your website and you know that 10 of those people bought your offer. That means you have a 10% conversion rate. This, by the way, is really good. Usually, 6% is considered exceptionally good for Internet buying and most companies are happy with 2% to 4%. You do need to understand the value of a client when you are evaluating your conversion rate. We will discuss the value of the client in a future article as well.

If you are considering investing in media buys, you can use PPC to test your message/offer to your targeted audience before investing hundreds or even thousands into a full ad for several months of print, radio or television exposure. You might think you have the best magazine, television or radio ad copy in the world, but if your offer is bad or your website doesn't convert, you don't get a chance to get that money back. At least with PPC, if the ad gets clicked but does not convert, you can stop the ad, make adjustments to your website and test again before you invest the BIG dollars. This is why you will need to monitor your PPC daily.

Once you know how the process works and converts, now you can make arrangements to invest into systems to increase your traffic from even more sources like SEO services, social media campaigns and media buys because you know what to expect your conversion rate to be. As long as those tools are used effectively to produce the right traffic, you should have return on your investment. Of course, nothing in life is guaranteed. Make the effort to minimize your learning costs by utilizing the tools and services available so you can create a predictable plan for growing your massage practice.

Click here for previous articles by Stephanie Beck.


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