Here is where you will find different marketing ideas.

Happy Halloween & Marketing Ideas


Did you know that Halloween is now the United States’ second most popular holiday (Christmas being the first) from a commercial standpoint. Marketing our massage services during this holiday often gets overlooked. I must admit that I have never offered a special for this particular holiday while I had my massage practice. I was prompted to think about it when Kris Kelly, a Facebook Friend asked “Anyone putting together exciting Halloween massage or spa packages?” as a status line on his profile page.

He goes on to post, “Believe it or not, there’s a lot of folks who don’t enjoy Halloween for one reason or another. I’ve put together a “get away from the gremlins” package. 90 min massage of their choice in the comfort and convenience of their own home. Just candles and relaxation! Another one I’ve done is while mom or dad are handing out candy, the other one receives a relaxing massage.”

These are two wonderful ideas, but before I give a few more, I wanted to give you a brief history of Halloween. If you can’t wait, just scroll down to the bottom and find out more bewitching ideas.

Halloween (or Hallowe’en … but also known as Samhain, Summer’s End, All Hallow’s Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, and Snap-Apple), is a holiday that’s celebrated annually on the night of October 31.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

History of Halloween

Halloween is said to be among the world’s oldest holidays. It has origins in Ireland and the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain which is a celebration at the end of the harvest season. The festival marked a time where the ancient pagans took stock of their supplies – slaughtering livestock for the winter.


The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundary between the living and the dead dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness (plague) or damaged crops. The celebration of Samhain would frequently involve bonfires, upon which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown; costumes and masks were also worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.


History of Halloween in America

Due to strict Christian traditions and lifestyles, Halloween did not become a holiday in the United States until the 19th century. The arrival of almost 2 million Irish immigrants in the mid-1850s finally brought Halloween to the United States. About 20 years later with the arrival of the Scots, the Scottish version and Halloween became ingrained in our American culture.

As promised, here are a few more Halloween marketing ideas….

Before the Haunt. Get relaxed and refreshed for all those ghoulish creatures with a pumpkin spice scrub and Swedish massage.

Pumpkin Patch Package. Enjoy this package of delicious pumpkin which is a excellent exfoliator. You will begin with a body scrub and the your face will be treated to Pumpkin Enzyme Peel.

Have other ideas for marketing for Halloween, post them in the comments and have a safe holiday!

Sources: and Wikipedia

Should you give incentives to your clients?


Do you use money as an incentive (like cash discounts) to attract new clients? Science may not be on your side on this one…

Watch as Dan Pink presents his case, then decide. Click here to watch the video.

Marketing Ideas for the Holiday Season



The holidays quickly approaching! Are you ready? You need to have your holiday marketing plan in place in the next week or two in order to take full-advantage of the holiday season to increase your business and income.

There are many businesses (i.e. retailers) that make 50% their yearly revenue from now until Christmas. With the economy still sluggish, competition is bound to be fierce. Businesses will be using a variety of techniques to draw in customers. Don’t get left behind!

You will need to develop your holiday marketing plan. When you develop a holiday marketing plan, you have to consider two things – your business brand (what makes your business unique) and your client demographics. If you keep these things in mind while you are coming up with holiday marketing ideas, you are more likely to choose the strategies that will yield the best success for your massage practice.

Don’t have a huge marketing budget? No problem. With a little know how and a dash of creativity, you will have your recipe for a successful holiday marketing plan.

Let’s take a look at some simple, creative and affordable holiday marketing ideas to increase your revenues during the holiday season:

Market the he** out of your Gift Certificates! A key selling point is that people don’t think to give services as gifts, but they can be very unique (and often much appreciated) gifts. Tell your clients how much the recipient would love your service instead of a fruitcake. Check out my post Gift Certificate Promotions for more ideas.

Do a little revamping. Take what you already offer and create new services such as:

1. Mini-session or samplings. The offer a “Create-Your-Own” package so you clients can have what they want.

2. Create signature services (i.e. take a Reflexology session add an exfoliation and a mask to come up with:

Chocolate Crème Bliss Reflexology
All of the pleasure, none of the guilt! Escape to a state of bliss while the sensory pleasures of chocolate indulgence entice your senses. Your treatment begins with a custom cocoa and honey exfoliation to your feet, followed by a tantalizing, cocoa-laced mud wrap. Next your ultimate journey to relaxation continues with pressure points being stimulated on your feet to pamper your body and mind. An application of deep hydrating, creamy mile and honey lotion completes this chocolate crème fantasy.

3. Offer product with Gift Certificates. You could bundle several products into a basket perhaps with special themes. This is the gift that keeps on giving. The recipient will get the actual gift that they can use until they redeem their Gift Certificate.

4. Offer a “Something of the Month” club: People are always looking for unique gifts to give. Why not help them out and create ongoing cash flow for your massage practice? You can do this type of gift series with almost anything. Seriously. Did you know there is a Bacon of the Month club? Well why not a “Massage of the Month” club.

Free Gift with Purchase. Give your client a gift. Giving a free gift with a purchase is one of the oldest holiday marketing ideas on the planet. However, you need to really consider your client base when you choose what that gift will be.

Send Out Cards. This is an nice way to remember your clients at the Holidays (depending on your target audience, it can be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or simply “Seasons Greetings”) and also to say thank them for their business. I used to put in a coupon that they could use next year – this idea is fully explained in my ebook Creating a Prosperous Practice with the sample card). You can also send a Happy New Year card. But don’t stop there. Don’t forget about your vast referral base. Be sure to send business holiday cards to your friends, family, associates, and vendors.

Give a coupon or discount. As both a gift to your customers and a way to boost your seasonal revenue, why not offer a discount or send out a coupon that promotes one or more of your services or products. Don’t send your coupons out so early that your customers forget about them, but send them out so they have an adequate amount of time to redeem them. Black Friday (the day after the Thanksgiving) is a good ear mark for sending out coupons.

Offer a holiday special. Encourage larger purchases with this marketing idea. Try offering “Buy Two Gift Certificates and Get a Third Free”. Or here is a variation on this same idea: Tell your customers when they purchase a certain amount, the will get something for free. For instance, “Buy $100 worth of products and get a free CD”. These are just a few ways that you can both thank your customers and offer them something special for the holidays.

Hold a Holiday Open House. This could be for your clients or for the general public (or both or have two separate ones). Offer mini-sessions (see above), products and Gift Certificates for sale. You may even want to have a holiday special for that event (see above).

Take a few minutes to which holiday ideas resonate with you and your business. You don’t have to do them all – one could be enough. Then, put it on your calendar and spread some holiday happiness to your clients!

Best of success to your business this holiday season!

Have a marketing idea not mentioned here that you would like to share? Post them in the comments.

Blog Action Day '09, Climate Change & How You Can Make a Difference

Today is Blog Action Day which is “an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance”. Blog Action Day 2009 is centered around Climate Change.

There is some debate about whether we really need to do anything about Climate Change. As I was doing research about what angle to take with this blog post, I watched a fantastic video on YouTube about the Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See. You might want to watch it here.

There definitely is an uncertainty about our future. I see it locally (some of our local county park wetlands are disappearing) as well as when we travel both domestically and internationally. I bet you are asking “How can I help? I’m just one person and I only have a small massage practice.” I thought I would blog about actions we can take to go green in our massage practices.

Well here we go…..

1. Use organic products. Here are a few companies that offer organic oils, lotions, spa treatments are Lypossage esthetique International, Massage Warehouse and Universal Companies. I’m sure that there are others, but these will get your started. If you know of other companies that offer organic products share them in the comments section.

2. Water conservation. This can mean anything from developing ways to reuse water (i.e. using gray water to water plants) to “unbottling” water (i.e. using reusable containers for water instead of giving your clients a bottle of water.)

3. Energy conservation. Try to use natural lighting as much as possible. Open those curtains/blinds when you can. Or look into solar or wind power options.

4. Create a more healthful environment: (1) use eco-friendly decor (i.e. bamboo or sustainable wood flooring, carpeting made from organic and sustainable resources bamboo curtains/blinds, sheets, blankets); (2) green lighting (i.e. use lighting fixtures that use CFLs and LED lighting to reduce energy consumption).

5. Incorporate natural and organic retail products in your business.

6. Eco Clothing. Wear green clothing – bamboo and organic cotton clothing during your work day (or at home too). On your feet, try shoes using natural rubber or plants such as bamboo, cotton or even hemp.

7. Go green in your marketing efforts. Use social media marketing, cooperative marketing and internet marketing (i.e. instead of printing out a coupon, tell you clients to use CODE XYZ when booking to receive the discount). If you have to mail something out or have a promotional marketing materials, use green products.

8. Green on Clean. Use all natural cleaners for both your office and residence. Check out the natural products from Young Living Essential Oils. I love the Thieves Spray. (P.S. If you want to buy products but don’t have a distributor number yet, sign up under mine 306809 – I get a little commission every time you buy something :0).

9. Recycle. Don’t have a need for something any more in your business (or home)? Can it be recycled or reused? I do this on a regular basis. If you aren’t using it, it is considered clutter. (If you missed my blog post on clutter and how it affects us, you can read it here.)

10. Green Promotional Ideas (1) Shopping Bags – Seems like every store you visit these days offers (for sale or free with purchase) a reusable cloth or heavy duty recycled plastic bags. (2) Put your logo on a reusable water bottle and retail or give them away. (Hint: these are great marketing tools — you will have all those shopping bags and Water bottles out there on a day to day basis doing their duty to tell the world about your business.)

11. Virtual Continuing Education Trainings. With the advances in technology these days, instead of going to take a CE class somewhere, check out who is offering classes on-line. (P.S. This is on my goals for 2010…so stay tuned.)

12. Business Equipment Sharing. Equipment (i.e massage chair, body cushion) that may seldom get used but may be beneficial in your practice can be expensive. Start a cooperative with other MTs (or alternative health professionals) in your area and share the costs.

These 12 ideas will get your started in how you can make a difference in climate change. Do you have any more comments about climate change and what we can do or ideas about going green that you didn’t see here? Please share them in the comments.

“All-You-Can-Massage” Passport


All You Can Massage Passport

All You Can Massage Passport

I was going to save this idea for a future post but thought it was the perfect time now.

Jet Blue recently announced their latest promotion “All-You-Can-Jet Pass” where for a month you can fly as often as you want between 57 cities for a flat fee of $599. You can read the full story here. I thought it was a great idea and passed it along to my network on Twitter and Facebook. One reader wrote to me, “That’s an interesting way to get an influx of cash. You teach about marketing a massage business; do you think a similar idea could work for massage?”

Jet Blue’s promotion is for unlimited flights between September 8 and October 8 with booking 3 days in advance. Well why not take that idea and adapt it to massage? Here is my idea (you are free to take it as it is or “massage” it a little to make it your own).

Purchase your “All-You-Can-Massage” Passport (or maybe call it Platinum Membership which was my original idea to compete with the massage practices offering memberships) between now and December 24th (or while supplies last — I am only selling a limited amount of these passes) for massages in 2010. How it works is simple! Annual Membership dues are $3000.00 (this assumes approximately a 20% discount on 52 services at $75/hour) and you can use any of our services over one year’s time, up to 52 services. You can also use your membership for your family, friends or clients. A laminated membership card is issued to you, and is your passport to “All-You-Can-Massage”. Appointments must be made 7 days in advanced and is based on availability.

A Win-Win Situation

For Your Clients

– A savings of 20% (or whatever percentage you decide to offer) is huge and may be the deciding factor for someone who wants to come regularly but can’t afford the regular price now.
– Clients feel special to be a part of an elite program.
– They may decide that this price is too good to pass up and become weekly clients instead of bi-weekly or monthly.

For You

– You get an influx of cash now which may help off-set any income loss due to the slow economy.
– You ensure that your regular clients will keep coming to you.
– You may get new regular clients.
– You have to do less advertising to get new clients (especially if you become fully booked).
– Take that additional income and invest it (probably not in the stock market) to gain additional income.

What do you think of this idea? Post your thoughts in the comments.

If you run this special, let us know how it goes. Post your results in the comments.

Get a Top Google Listing


Have you tried searching for a particular type of local business lately on Google? You may have noticed that up near the top of the search results is a map with local businesses. Listing your business with Google Maps is a great way to get yourself a top Google listing for very little effort, and you don’t even need to have your own website!


1. Go to Google Maps and click the “Put your business on Google Maps” link.
2. If you don’t already have a Google account sign up for one, otherwise simply login.
3. Click the button to add a new business.
4. Enter your details.
5. Verify your listing. They will call you (or send you confirmation) and give you a PIN that you will enter.

That’s it – you’re all done! It’s currently taking one business day after you verify to appear on Google Maps, so why not do it today? Your listing will appear whenever someone searches Google for your service in an area near you. (e.g. Massage Therapy Alexandria)

Do you know of any other free listing services that you would like to share? Put it in the comments.

6 Strategies for Website Copy


When people come to your website, you want them to stay there long enough to learn more about your business and schedule a massage with you, right? But is your website copy telling your reader what they are going to get from you so they stay on your site or click to know more? Here are 6 Strategies for Website Copy to keep your readers on your website longer.

1. Answer their questions. You have about 5 seconds to capture their attention or they are gone. When a reader leaves your site, it’s because you didn’t give them the answers to their burning questions. Give them the information they want to know. When you are looking to get a massage (hopefully you all are taking care of yourself and getting massages regularly) or any other type of service, what do you look for? Chances are that your readers are asking the same questions.

2. Keep it short. It is very difficult to read for long periods of time on the computer. Anything over 500 words (about one page) looks very daunting on screen. Tighten your copy down to the concise facts that your user wants to know. (Just so you know this post is just under 500 words).

3. Target your audience. Who is in your target market? Now direct your copy towards those people especially on your home page. If you do this, you will be ahead of the game of most websites who are to general in their message.

4. Get the Objections out of the Way. There are as many objections as there are types of massage if not more. Let’s take the objection of “time”. You have a reader who is looking for a massage on Saturday at 2 p.m. but your hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Let’s face it, not everyone is a perfect client. It would be better to have your hours of operation published than to have a prospect waste their time calling only to find out you aren’t open on Saturdays.

5. Have a call-to-action. Do your users know what to do next after reading a web page? Don’t babble on about what you do! Seduce and entice, then ask them to do something. “Call to schedule your appointment today.” Keep asking them over and over throughout the site. “Need a massage? We are here ready to help. Call today.”

6. Keep in Touch. There are some people who will never buy when they first learn about a business. Perhaps the timing isn’t right for them at the moment or maybe they never make spur-of-the-moment decisions. Have a way to capture their email address in return for something of value (i.e. a free report on a hot industry topic). Send them periodic emails with special offers, more about you and your business. Help them get to know you and want to buy.

Promote Your Massage Practice/Spa on YouTube


YouTube allows advertisers, both large and small (we would be in the small advertiser cateorgy), to take their media and go viral with video/commercials.  A video commercia is basically like a brocure.  Since everyone prints brochures, I’m challenging you to think outside the box.  Use YouTube as another marketing tool in your arsenal.  Take the same money you would spend on brochures and put it into making your own video/commercial highlight the befits of your massage practice/spa.  YouTube videos can be emailed to anyone, anywhere and are hosted free forever.

In order to make your own commercial, all you need is a content deliverer (i.e talent), a video camera and editing software and voila you can play with the big boys.

Video Musts

Media is free but attention is not. With this in mind, you will need to consider the following when creating your video/commercial.

1. Assume that the viewer has a short attention span. This means producing a video/commercial that has quick, high velocity, slapstick comedy or has something that the audience wants..

2. You may want to create a word or phrase that you can own in the Google search. Castrol created this Google searchable phase “Think with your dipstick” in this slapstick commercial.

3. Educate your audience. Here is our chance to educate the public not only about our individual services but individual modalities in general. Recently, I had a student tell me that she does Esalen massage which she really enjoys doing but doesn’t get a lot of requests for it. I said that it was probably because most people don’t know what it is. Here is her chance to educate the public while creating publicity for her business. In researching various commercials on YouTube for this article, I stumbled on this commercial that educates us about skin care using product that she doesn’t sell all while subtly selling her own skink care line. I too have ventured into video/commercials for my Lypossage, Raindrop Technique and Siddha Body Detox classes. Check them out and let me know what you think.

4. Length. Your video can a few seconds to several minutes long. Remember this form of media is free so make it as long as it needs to be. What you will have to do is challenge the status quo, hit a social nerve, or be provocative. In other words, you can to capture your audience’s attention by making a commercial worth watching. Dove does this in both of these commercials – Dove Evolution with almost 9 million views and Dove Pro-Age with approximately 1.5 million views.

The biggest shift with this form of free media is going to be that businesses that could never have afforded a national campaign will be able to have one. Expect to see a whole host of commercials that would never be deemed effective enough to spend money on, but that generate huge views online.


Here’s a video commercial I did for my practice, Alexandria Therapeutic Massage …


If you are not putting video content on-line, you’re missing out.

Do you already have a video/commercial for you business? Send me the link.

Father’s Day Promotions


Photo credit:  Sarah Swatosh

Photo credit: Sarah Swatosh

We celebrated Mother’s Day in May and I hope your Mother’s Day promotions were a big success – but now it is time to start concentrating on Father’s Day. Father’s are equally important as mothers, although businesses seem to put a little more fanfare on Mother’s Day. Here is your chance to set the stage to be different! There is way more to our fathers than meets the eye. Although, Fathers usually play a secondary role in our lives, they actively participate and are highly involved in their way. They protect, support and love us all the way and maybe give us one to many sermons about this or that – there is a reason why they are known to be the voice of reason! Now it’s time for us to show a bit of gratitude in return.

Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, and this year it will be on June 19. That is a few weeks away – plenty of time to create and market your Father’s Day Promotions.

Since men are still relatively new to the world of pampering, when creating your Father’s Day treatments/packages you will want to stay away from froufrou terms in your treatments – which tend to turn them off. Strong, masculine words make them more comfortable.

Here are a few ideas for Father’s Day Promotions:

Seated Massage Event

Set up massage chairs (either at your location or perhaps a local park, hotel or other venue) and offer 10 minute seated massages for $10, which also includes a $10 Gift Certificate for their next massage.

Spa Packages

Sample intro for your spa packages…

Father’s Day is a perfect occasion to express your deepest feelings for dear ol’ dad! Neck ties and wallets are nice but don’t you think that dad gets bored receiving the same formal and cliched gifts every year. So try something a little different this year and present a gift that pampers dad and leaves a lasting impression and creates sweet memories for a lifetime.

Sample Spa Package Names and treatments they include…

Toe-Ta-Le Mister – 30-minute Reflexology session followed by 30-minute deep tissue massage focusing on the back, neck and shoulders.

Health Maintenance – A traditional style massage designed specifically for men.  It includes a deep tissue massage with an application of Tiger Balm to those sore, aching muscles, a hot towel to the face and an energizing scalp massage.

Virginia Gentleman – a one hour massage, Gentlemen’s facial designed exclusively for the road-weary skin, mini-manicure and mini-pedicure

Refuel Body Treatment – This 2-in-1 exfoliating and hydrating body treatment is suited perfectly for men.  The full body polish gently sloughs off dry skin followed by a relaxing Swedish massage with a signature oil blend designed for you in mind.

Gift Certificates

Make sure that your clients know that they can buy Gift Certificates for Dad for any of the above Spa Packages, individual or multi-pack massages (or any other treatments that you offer) or for a specific dollar amount.

Father’s Day Contest

And borrowing from our contest idea from Mother’s Day Promotions – Hold a Father’s Day Contest. The winner could receive a massage, series of massage or one of the spa packages listed above.

Couples Massage

For those men who don’t like to go it alone, couples massage can be a great way to get them introduced to massage while having their significant other right by their side.

Gift Baskets

Offer Gift Baskets full of products for Dad either by itself on in combination with one of your Spa Packages. Ideas for Gift Baskets would be retail that you already offer – oils, lotions, body brushes, etc. or you could purchase specialty baskets (golf basket, pizza-making basket, etc.) from another company and include them in your package (make sure you add the cost of these baskets to the price of your Spa Package.

Getting the word out there about your promotions…

– Website
– Newsletter
– Blog
– Flyers
– Social Networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
– Create a video marketing campaign

If you like this post, you may also like:
Gift Certificate Promotions
Mother’s Day Promotions
Father’s Day Massage Marketing Video

Mother’s Day Promotions


momchild1Mother’s Day is May 10th this year. With less than three weeks to go, it is not too late to promote Mother’s Day.

Here are some ideas:

1. Hold a Mother’s Day Contest. Celebrate Mother’s Day by holding a Mother’s Day Contest. You can design it however you wish giving away whatever prize you wish as well. Once you have decided, publicize your contest via in-office poster, email to client base, Newsletters (print and digital), Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools that you happen to use. If there is time, you can also send a Press Release to the local media – both print and television.

At MassageWorks, Inc., we held a Mother’s Day contest in 2002. We put the announcement in our e-Newsletter.

Mother’s Day Contest

Enter your mother or the mother of your children in
MassageWorks Mother’s Day Contest. Simply write in
500 words or less why your mom (or mother of your
children) is the best and deserves to be pampered.
She will be treated to the “My Pick Me Up” package
which includes a one-hour massage, a corrective facial
and a pedicure on the morning of Saturday, May 11th.

Also in your entry, please include the following information:
Your mother’s name, your name, your age, your address
(also your mom’s address if different from yours) and your
telephone number. Entries must be received by May 1st.
Winner will be notified week of May 6th. Mail your entry to
Mother’s Day Contest, MassageWorks, 450 W. Broad Street,
Suite 412, Falls Church, VA 22046 or E-mail

All entries become the property of MassageWorks, Inc. and
can not be returned.

We had 30 entries – which at a time when social networking was unheard of I think it was a pretty good turn out.

All of the entries were beautifully written and it was hard to choose which one to pick. So I put all of the entries into a bowl and drew the winner’s name that way. Since I didn’t specifically state how judging would be conducted, I felt that this was reasonable to do.

Here is how I announced the winner to the MassageWorks community in the next month’s e-Newsletter.

Mother’s Day Contest

The results are in…

We had so many wonderful letters telling us why their
mom was the best and deserved to be pampered. It was
hard to pick, but the mother winning the “My Pick Me Up”
package is Sarah Riley of Manassas.

2. Packages. You can create packages for this special occasion or take one of your existing packages and spruce it up with special pricing. A 10-15% discount is usually the standard.

Here are sample packages and copy.

“Show Mom just how much you love her and appreciate all she’s done for you and her family is by giving her the gift of massage (or spa).”

Just for Mom:

Mom’s Delight Package (4 hours) includes Facial, Massage, Siddha Body Detox, Spa Lunch and to take home to keep your skin soft and emollient is our Rooibos Soap and Dry Brush.

Mama Mia – It’s a Hottie Package (3 hours) Hot Lava Buff, HotStone Massage, and Steaming Oxygen Facial

Lavish Thy Mother (2 hours) Champagne, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, 10% off all products purchased that day, Spa Gift, $25 gift card toward any future Spa Treatment, Choice of one Spa Treatment.

Mother/Daughter Packages:

A Double Delight for Two (2 hours) includes Mother/Daughter Massages and Facials

Tea For Two & Pampering Too! (2 1/2 hours) Hot Lava Stone Massage, Revitalizing Facial with Green Tea, Tea for Two.

3. Gift Certificates. Don’t forget those Gift Certificates. In Decemeber, I wrote a post about Gift Certificate Promotions, you can read it here.

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