Using Email Newsletters to Grow Your Massage Practice Part 3

bigstock-E-mail-Concept-43286056If you haven’t read them already, check out Part 1 where we discuss the relevance of email in a social media world and Part 2 where you’ll see how one therapist makes $28.60 from every subscriber on his list every year. Now, let’s move along in our exploration of how to use email to build your massage practice…

You must keep in contact with your clients!

People have other things on their minds besides you. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

If you don’t remind your clients of the benefits of massage and the unique advantages, solutions and results that you offer, they’ll forget. As a result, they won’t benefit from your work.

In other BodyworkBiz courses, I discuss a whole variety of strategies for keeping in touch with clients through good ol’ fashioned postal mail (a.k.a. snail mail). In particular, I’m a big fan of client education newsletters, like the BodyworkBiz First Hand News newsletters.

A client education newsletter will help you:

  • Educate your clients about the scope of your practice
  • Increase usage of massage by existing clients
  • Keep you at the top of your client’s mind
  • Improve client retention
  • Boost referrals from existing clients
  • Establish your expertise and reinforce your professionalism
  • Educate key referral sources such as chiropractors, doctors and physical therapists
  • Provide handouts with exercises, stretches and other great self-care advice
  • Promote your practice at seminars, workshops, shows and networking events

A great alternative to traditional newsletters is email newsletters! Also referred to as ezines.

Compared to printed client education newsletters, ezines cost almost nothing to produce and can be sent much more frequently. You’ll always stay at the top of your client’s mind and will be the first one they think of when it’s time for a massage.

In fact, you can get clients to book appointments on demand. Check out how you can get Instant Appointments.

Date, Don’t Marry…

The other thing an ezine will do for you is help turn website visitors into paying clients. You may be able to get thousands of visitors on your site each year, but most of those will never book an appointment immediately after visiting your site.

Why?

Because booking an appointment with you, taking time away from the things they love, going into your office and getting naked, and paying you lots of money is a big commitment.

They don’t even know you yet. You’re just just bits and bytes in a browser window.

Most visitors will have to get to know you before they make  a commitment.

How can they get to know you?

Through a newsletter.

It’s the online business equivalent to dating. And most clients will want to date a bit before they get serious and make a commitment to you.

Whereas few clients will book an appointment when visiting your site, a significant number – anywhere from 5% to 30% of your visitors will subscribe to your newsletter with the proper encouragement.

It’s a low risk action. They have nothing to lose. In fact, instead of having to give you money, they are getting something for free.

You’re getting them to identify themselves as people who are interested in what you’re offering. Now you have a chance to hang out with them on a regular basis, to tell them how they can benefit by seeing you, to explain the unique advantages and benefits of seeing you specifically and to answer their most frequently asked questions. With repeated contacts like this, they begin to feel more trusting and they begin to appreciate your expertise as a massage professional.

Keep dating like like this and before long they’ll be ready to move the relationship to the next level.

If you make a special offer, it provides added incentive for them to step away from their computer screen, walk over to the phone and call you now, before the offer expires. Your ezine becomes a conversion machine, converting casual surfers into regular clients.

By now, you should be excited – very excited – to get started in creating an ezine and getting subscribers. If not, then check your pulse. You may be dead.

So how do you do it? Over the remaining emails in this series I’ll give you practical tips for setting this all up, getting subscribers, writing content and maximizing your results. I’ll even introduce you to some great email services that you can use for free (like the one you are getting this BodyworkBiz email through). Keep you eye on your inbox for those emails.

And if you want to be absolutely sure you don’t miss these, then here’s some other ways you can get notifications for these “lessons”:

Like the BodyworkBiz Facebook Page: This is all official stuff with notifications of new blog posts and occasional updates.

Join the BodyworkBiz Facebook discussion group: After joining this Group, click the notifications button on the top right and choose “All Posts” so you get these notifications in your News Feed. This is a tightly moderated spam free group with a focus on growing your practice.

Follow me on Twitter: I Tweet lots of stuff that I don’t always share in other places, both personal and professional.

Be my Friend: If you want to connect more personally you can become my Friend on Facebook. I need to know you are a fellow massage colleague before I’ll accept the request though, so if it’s not obvious from your Profile, send me a message. And as an alternative you can follow me personally by clicking the “Follow” button on my personal Profile or by using the button here…

LinkedIn: I’ll post notifications of blog posts and BodyworkBiz newsletters on LinkedIn as well.

How To Grow Your Massage Practice with Email Part 2

bigstock_Laptop-mail_6432859

Last week in talking about the importance of email I said that you could make $28.60 per subscriber year after year! See the blog post here to review.

I was talking to a massage therapist who generous enough to share some information with me. We worked through the numbers together and that’s how much we calculated he made from each person on the email list – $28.60! At least, that’s the direct benefit. The actual value may be much higher. Let’s look at where those numbers comes from…

This therapist has a clinic with multiple therapists. Collecting emails is an important function of the clinic website. On the top of each page is a request for their email. There is a line that simply says, “For online discounts, join our mailing list.” Then there is a little box where people can place their email address.

There are now about 1500 people on the email list. Each week they get a coupon.

I signed up and the coupon that I got yesterday offered $10 off a massage of one hour or longer on certain days and times – these are the slow times in the clinic when therapists would otherwise be waiting around for clients.

Amazingly, 15 to 20 coupons are redeemed each week. Now if I’m conservative and assume that only 15 are redeemed and then do some calculations based on current fees, I estimate that the revenue from people that redeem coupons adds about $42,900 to yearly sales. Given that there are about 1500 subscribers to the list, that means $28.60 in sales per subscriber.

Yes, it’s true that the clinic loses $10 for each of these treatments, but they more than make up for that in pure volume. (Think McDonald’s “would you like fries with that” Value Meals: The package of items is cheaper than if they were sold individually, but the increased volume of sales for McDonald’s increases dramatically.)

But that’s not all…

That’s the direct benefit, but there’s more to the story…

This particular approach moves people from the busy times of the week to the slower times. This helps ensure that the sales aren’t lost simply because the favorite treatment times are all filled up and ensures a steady client flow throughout the entire day, including what are typically slow times.

These people may not have otherwise come in and they are likely to book additional appointments at full fee, buy gift certificates or refer people they know. All of this means more sales.

And the benefit doesn’t stop there. The email is a reminder to the other 1480 on the list who don’t use the coupon. Many of these people may come in at other times of the week as a result of the reminder, even if they never open the email. Simply looking at the subject header jogs their memory and reminds them that it’s time to come in. Seeing your name may even prompt them to refer others.

Are you starting to see the value?

What does this all mean for you?

Let’s translate these results to a more modest practice so that you can see the possible benefit for yourself. We’ll assume that you have a humble list of only 100 subscribers. At $28.60 per subscriber, that means an additional $2,860 in sales for you each year. You could probably take a nice little vacation with that money, couldn’t you?

However, the average full time massage therapist typically has about 200 to 300 active client files. Get those people on your email list and you could be looking at $5,000 to $7,500 in additional sales over the year.

“An average therapists working full time could expect to increase sales by over $5,000 per year by using email effectively.”

Let’s also look at this marketing tool from a Return On Investment (ROI) perspective for a small list of 100 subscribers. (If you’ve taken any BodyworkBiz course, you know by now that ROI is always the key criteria in determining any marketing we do. You are measuring your ROI for your various marketing efforts, aren’t you?)

At a maximum cost of $25 per month for an email service (and with a small list like this, it can really be done at no cost) you’re making $9.53 for every dollar you spend on email marketing. That’s a ROI of almost 1,000%. Try to get that kind of return on the stock market!

My message to you: Don’t underestimate the power of the humble little email.

I’ll be back next week to continue this series and to give you some specific how to’s and recommendations for creating an email list and getting subscribers. And I’ll point you to some great email services that are absolutely free! Stay tuned and keep your eye on your inbox for an email from “Eric Brown, BodyworkBiz”

And if you are not subscribed to the BodyworkBiz Marketing Tips Newsletter, make sure to sign up now at http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php

How To Use Email to Build Your Practice Part 1

One of the humblest and simplest tools on the web can also be the most powerful. In the glitter and glitz of putting together a website, SEO and social networking, this powerful device is almost always overlooked.

Is email dead?

bigstock-Corpse-5448632-resizedTake a moment to think about how you use the Internet every day. Which of the following are you most likely to do at the beginning of your day?

  • Casual surfing
  • Online shopping
  • Searching for information
  • Checking out your friends activity on social media
  • Reviewing “bookmarked” sites
  • Picking up your email

If you are like 99% of people on the web, one of the first things you’ll do when you go online is…

…check your mailbox.

They say that email is dead. But how are “they” getting that message out to people? Through email!

What do you need to sign up for a social media account? An email!

Where do you get notifications of activity on social media sites? In your email!

What is the web application that is used by more people than all others? You guessed it: Email!

So when marketing on the Net, doesn’t it make sense to go where people are? In their inboxes.

You want to be accessible in the search engines when people are searching massage services specifically. But the truth is very few people will call you up to book an appointment immediately after seeing your website.

They may be well intentioned. But…

  • Maybe they’re a little nervous about seeing you and want to think about it for a while
  • Maybe it’s after hours and they can’t call you
  • Maybe they have doubts as to whether or not you can help them
  • Maybe they bookmark your site with the idea that they’ll look at it later

Whatever the reason, even the most interested viewers will likely click out of your site, never to return.

What’s a massage girl (or guy) to do?

It should appear obvious…

Get permission to send them an email.

Start sending emails…

Although your website visitors may not go as far as booking an appointment, they may be quite willing to give you their email address. And the difference between those two things is as big as asking them to marry you as opposed to asking them on a date.

Interestingly, you’ll find that anywhere from 5% to 30% of site visitors will give you their email address if you ask in the right way. 

Once they give you permission to send them an email, you can visit them on a regular basis. You can drop into their inbox to:

  • Remind them that you are there for them
  • Educate them as to how you can help them and the people they know
  • Motivate them to take that next step of booking an appointment so that they can benefit from your services

Over time, you’ll find that a certain number of these people will come in to see you. That means that more people benefit from your skills. It also means more money in your bank account.

How much more money?

How about $28.60 for each subscriber every year!

Email subscribers = Money

That’s right. If you start developing an email list you can make $28.60 for every subscriber you have, year after year.

Where did I get that number? I didn’t pull it out of my butt. I got that number from a massage therapist who generously shared actual sales numbers from his practice with me. I’ll share the whole story with you next week, so look out for it.

Where are you going to look for it? 

That’s right! In an email!!

See you next week,

Eric Brown, Grand Massage Poobah
http://www.bodyworkbiz.com

PS If you are not already signed up for the BodyworkBiz Massage Marketing Tips newsletter, sign up here: http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php

How Often Should You Send a Newsletter?

Everybody has a different opinion when it comes to sending email newsletters to clients. When there’s a lot of conflicting advice, it’s best just to look at the evidence. And in the case of web marketing I usually turn to Dan Zarella, the social media scientist.

He has analyzed over 9.5 billion emails sent through MailChimp. Yes, you heard right… over 9 billion commercial emails. That’s a very large sample to analyze and so the results are pretty accurate.

I won’t go through all the findings, but I’ll look at one of the questions that comes up most often: How often should you send emails to your contact list?

Massage therapists are often concerned that they are being a nuisance by sending too often. If you are a nuisance people will stop clicking links in your emails. So if people are clicking links, you have a good indication that people are enjoying your newsletter and actively paying attention. This is called the clickthrough rate or CTR. The higher the CTR, the better.

If we take a look at clickthroughs in Zarella’s research, we see that the highest clickthrough rates happen for newsletters that are sent once per month. However, after sending two emails a month the frequency has little effect on CTR. So it really makes little difference whether you send once per week or seven times per week. There is no drop off in clickthrough rate.

The bottom line: There seems to be no danger in emailing “too much”…  but on the condition that you have something valuable to share.

email-frequency

A Free Email Service for Massage Therapists

tinyletterlogoIf you are like 99% of people on the web, one of the first things you’ll do when you go online is…

…check your inbox.

So when marketing on the Net, doesn’t it make sense to go where people are? In their inboxes.

Some people say that email is dead, but the reality is that it’s still used by more people than social media. And although response and click-through rates may be down when compared to five years ago, email still remains one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your customers.

Many massage therapists are looking for a simple low-cost way to develop a newsletter. MailChimp is a full featured service that you can use for free for up to 2,000 subscribers (more than adequate for most private practices). But these full featured services can be quite complicated.

The solution, TinyLetter!

It’s a cross between a full featured service like MailChimp or Constant Contact and your regular email account. It does pretty much everything you need an email service to do, including automatic subscribes and unsubscribes, but makes it super simple. And it’s absolutely free: No strings attached. Perfect for your average massage therapist.

Check it out here: http://tinyletter.com

If this post was useful, please share with your friends by using one of the social media sharing buttons on this page.

Is Email Dead (Again)?

bigstock-Corpse-5448632I’ve received a number of emails from subscribers in response to headlines like:

  • Google Slaps Businesses
  • Gmail Deals Death Blow to Marketers
  • Email Is Dead
  • Google Deals a MAJOR Blow to MOST Business Emails

They are all overly dramatic headlines in response to the new Gmail interface and they are freaking people out.

Some massage therapists have been sending out regular communication to their contacts. (If you’ve been following this newsletter, you’ll already know that everyone should be doing this.) And they’re afraid that their efforts are going down the toilet.

If you’re not aware of the issue, here’s the scoop in a nutshell:

Gmail has changed their email interface and sorts your mail for you into tabs. I’ve been using the new Gmail interface since shortly after it was released in Beta. I actually like it and and can assure you that it’s not going to impact businesses in any significant way.

Firstly, not everyone uses Gmail. Only about 1 in 5 subscribers to this BodyworkBiz newsletter, for example, are Gmail users.

Secondly, it gives Gmail users a better way to manage their email reading, so when they click on the Promotions tab, for example, they are in a buying state and not simply ignoring your email as they look for messages from friends and family.

Here’s what one company has sent to all their Gmail subscribers (see below) and if this new interface is a concern for you, you may want to model this and send a similar email specifically to your Gmail subscribers…

Not sure if you’ve heard the news, but Gmail is making changes to how your inbox looks that may prevent you from seeing emails from us. Even if you haven’t seen this feature yet, sooner or later all Gmail users will automatically have it. 

Gmail will be automatically filtering any email communication from us so you won’t see it.(And we thought Google knew everything…Don’t they know you asked us for valuable tips and strategies to grow your business?!)

Until now, everything was categorized how you wanted it, but now, Gmail has decided to put on a new feature that filters your email how they see fit. So we want to make sure you know exactly what to do to take charge of your inbox.

Here’s What You’ll See:

gmail-tabs

In the tabs above your inbox, Gmail will put your emails into 5 categories:

  • Primary
  • Social
  • Promotions
  • Updates
  • Forums

The problem is, Gmail will automatically put the messages we send you into “Promotions” and you won’t see them because they won’t appear in your inbox.

How To Take Back Your Inbox:

Gmail does make it easy to change this to take back control of your inbox. When your inbox changes, here’s what you can do to make sure we stay connected.

  1. Find one of our emails in “Promotions” and drag it into “Primary”
  2. A pop-up will appear to ask if you want to do this for all future messages. Click “Yes”.

That’s it – now you’re all set – Gmail knows we’re friends! And now, you won’t miss any of our messages to you :-)

[Eric’s note: If you are a Gmail user and are reading this email in your Promotions folder, you can follow the instructions above to see how it works, but I don’t mind being in your Promotions folder either.]

Oh, and by the way – here’s a final tip if you’d like to totally get rid of this new feature:

  1. Go to “Settings” [the icon on the top right corner of your screen above your inbox] and select “Settings.”
  2. Click on the “Inbox” tab and “Unselect” all categories but “Primary” and then click “Save Changes.”

And that is it – your work is done.

Email as a marketing tool is pronounced dead on a regular basis, but in fact it is still very much alive and well. Don’t let the current headlines about Gmail freak you out. Carry on and communicate with your contacts regularly. It’s still one of the most cost effective things you can do to build your practice.

Does snail mail beat email?

What’s the best way to reach potential customers? Postal mail or email?

In the old days.. ten years ago… I would actually send letters and postcards to connect with potential clients.

You heard me right: Small businesses like mine, a massage clinic, actually used to send physical pieces of paper through the mail… a walking mailman, mailboxes and the whole bit. It’s hard to imagine, I know.

But now, the Internet has arrived and the use of direct mail has dropped dramatically. You’d be hard pressed to find a massage therapist that uses postal mail as a marketing tool.

But can it still work in the digital age? Are people more inclined to read and act on postal mail than email?

According to the stats released by the Direct Market Association this month, the response rate for direct mail is 4.4%, compared to email’s average response rate of 0.12%!

Wow! So postal mail does cut through the clutter to reach people!

But that’s not the whole story.

You also have to look at the most important of all numbers… your Return on Investment (ROI).

From that perspective email is far from dead. On average, for every dollar spent on direct mail businesses make $7. On the other hand, for every dollar spent on email, businesses made on average $28.50! In fact, email provided the highest ROI of any direct response medium.

So email is far from dead. It should remain one of the cornerstones of your massage marketing efforts.

If you are not using email, then get with the program. Start using email to communicate with potential and existing clients. It’s the most cost-effective thing you can do to get people through your doors.

The great thing is there are great commercial email programs out there that are free! Setting up and sending email newsletters and promotions has never been easier.

If you need help with the whole process, try out the Web Marketing MBA online coaching program where I introduce you to great resources that are available and where I’ll lead you step-by-step through the process of creating setting up your email newsletter. You’ll be watching over my shoulder as I take you through the steps.

Check it out: http://bodyworkbiz.com/webmarketing

For a limited time you can get the Web Marketing MBA coaching program and the eMarketing for Massage Professionals 101, together worth $599, for only $79! You have to check it out.

In these online courses, I’ll show you how to get the get the same email service I use to send my BodyworkBiz newsletter for free. I pay $240 per month! And I’ll show you how to create compelling emails that get both new and old clients coming through your doors. The offer is coming down soon so take advantage today.

And please click one of the sharing buttons below to let your friends know about this time limited opportunity.

Email Beats Social Media

Email beats social mediaIf I were asked at gunpoint to give up either my website or my email list of contacts, I wouldn’t hesitate to give away my website. My network is much more valuable to me. Email allows me to reach out to people proactively instead of waiting until they become so desperate that they come searching for help.

Email remains one of the keystones of successful web marketing. Yes, I know the “gurus” are saying email is dead, but they are wrong. Despite all the hype around social media, people still use the Internet primarily for the job of sending and receiving emails. The Internet is still largely a utilitarian medium to exchange information, just like postal mail was 20 years ago. And email is still the medium of choice. It’s not as sexy as social media, but it gets the job done.

So it’s no surprise that an Ipsos survey last week found that email use far outweighs social media. A survey of 19,216 adults found that 85% used email while only 61% used social media sites.

So if you are not collecting email addresses from your clients and using email to communicate with them regularly, what are you waiting for? If you need help, check out the resources at BodyworkBiz, in particular the “Web Marketing MBA” program, a series of ten video lessons that will lead you step by step through the fundamentals of web marketing, including a segment devoted on email marketing and an overview of two free services that help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.  The live broadcasts are done, but the recordings are available for you watch whenever it’s convenient for you.