massage therapist and client
massage therapist and client

4 Tips for Better Massage Client Retention

By Felicia Brown, LMBT, LMT
May 10, 2023

4 Tips for Better Massage Client Retention

By Felicia Brown, LMBT, LMT
May 10, 2023

I begin almost every class I teach with a quote from Pablo Picasso: "Action is the foundational key to all success." As with many other things in business, taking action is critical to being successful in client retention.

In the early days of establishing your massage practice, many of your actions will be directed toward marketing to new clients and getting them to come in for an appointment. In fact, even the busiest massage professionals need to dedicate some part of their activities towards attracting new clients throughout their time in practice.

Being successful for the long-term requires retaining some of those new clients and getting them to return one or more times. Some may think that if enough new clients are coming in, getting them to rebook isn’t vital. However, developing repeat business creates financial stability and has other important benefits for you and your clients:

• It costs less time, money, and effort to fill the open appointments on your schedule.

• It saves your clients the time, money, and effort they would spend looking for a new therapist.

• It improves clients’ results, experience, and overall satisfaction.

• You and your clients are both more likely to achieve your goals.


If you’ve been having a difficult time building a repeat or regular massage clientele, consider these possibilities:

1. You are marketing to the wrong clients or failing to meet the goals of your clients. Just as it may be challenging to sell ice at the North Pole, it can be tough to sell pain relief to someone seeking a relaxation experience and vice versa.

2. You have transactional thinking. This means looking at a person on your table as a one-time client you are only helping today without considering the impact and results you could have by working with them long-term. From a results standpoint, the know-like-and-trust bond formed over time can help clients get comfortable enough to relax on your table, follow homecare suggestions, and more, leading them to get more of what they need. From a financial perspective, a one-and-done client has a much lower monetary value than one who becomes a repeat client and contributes to your income for months or years.

3. You have fear. Whether you are afraid of failure, success, rejection, or something else, fear holds a lot of people back from taking the steps needed to retain clients. Don’t allow your fear to keep you from providing clients the help and results they are seeking.

See Also: Should Massage Therapists Sell Retail Products?


Regardless of what has been holding you back, success in client retention is possible! To get you closer to feeling confident and competent in rebooking, I’ll share four keys to getting clients to return.

1. Understand your goals. When you have clear goals for your business and promotions, it will help you to create more effective marketing and offers. Example: Your goal is to do 10 massages a week. At the moment, you are seeing five clients a week, so you need five more clients or sessions per week to reach your goal. One way to fill this week would be to send a text or email to people you haven’t seen lately about open sessions. To fill future weeks, consider offering clients a complimentary or reduced price 15- or 30-minute upgrade next time if they reschedule for a session for the following week before they leave your practice.

2. Market to the right clients. In order to market to the right clients for your services and style, you have to know whom you best serve. In other words, make the connection between whom you work best with or to whom you can offer the best results. Take it a step further by communicating the results and benefits you offer well so you attract clients whose goals line up.

Example: If you love working with marathon runners and other athletes who want to improve performance, but focus on lighter pressure techniques and energy work, you will want to connect with athletes looking for a subtle approach rather than those with a “no pain, no gain” attitude.

3. Provide the right services to the right clients at the right time. When you understand your client’s goals and what you do that can meet their goals, that’s half the battle. But sometimes we have to do a little more digging and get clear about what brought our clients in rather than making assumptions.

Some key questions:

  • What prompted your call today?
  • What are your goals for buying this product or service?
  • Do you have other goals or problems you’d like me to help with?

It may also be beneficial to ask the client about their history and past experience with the kind of service they’re having today.

4. Make it easy for clients to return. Most people want to feel like they’re good clients, that you want to do business with them and see them again or invite them to return.

That said, it is your responsibility to take the work off them and extend the invitation. While there are lots of tools and tips to accomplish this, here are a few simple basics to make the rebooking process easy on you and your clients:

  • Get permission to recommend solutions (i.e. other products and services) that can help meet your clients goals. Most people will want to at least hear what you’re talking about even if they don’t choose to take advantage of it. Why? Because they wouldn’t be in your office or on your table if they weren’t looking for help with something.
  • Explain the benefits of what you’re doing and how it can help your client reach their goals. When you’re immersed in the world of massage, it’s easy to forget that not everyone knows what it does or how it can be of benefit. Don’t assume your clients understand why using a particular product or service will help them or that they know how often they should come in.
  • Invite every client to return. Let them know you enjoyed working with them and would like to see them again. Whether you offer some type of incentive like a membership program or rebooking incentive or not is up to you. Focus on the value they will receive by achieving their goals and let them know how you can help. If they are not interested in coming back, they can say no and you can both go on with the rest of your day.

In short, getting massage clients to rebook is good for you and your clients. Take action to meet your goals and theirs by inviting them to return.

See Also: 6 Things to Think About Before Negotiating Your Next Lease

Felicia Brown is a Massage, Spa & Wellness Expert, author and speaker who loves helping others create lives and businesses filled with passion, joy, abundance, and gratitude, speaking at conferences around the US, Canada and abroad. Felicia is also an award-winning massage therapist, spa owner and entrepreneur. Connect with Felicia and The Dream Team Ducks™ at and