The Secret for Selling More Gift Certificates

There are two big benefits for massage therapists to sell more gift certificates – new clients and additional dollars received.  So why aren’t you selling more gift certificates?

It’s difficult to find a downside for selling more massage gift certificates. Consider some of the statistics around gift certificate sales:

  • 41% of customers trying a business for the first time do so because they received a gift certificate, that breaks down to 4 out of every 10 new customers!
  • More than half of them, roughly 55%, come back more than once
  • 7 out of every 10 gift certificate redeemers spent more,

What it boils down to is this: Massage therapists who sell more gift certificates should also have (a) more new clients, (b) more first-time clients who become returning clients, and (c) clients who spend more over the course of their time with you.


Ingredient #1 in the Secret for Selling More Gift Certificates  

Set goals.

As they say, “What gets measured, gets done.”  Goals must be specific and measurable, whether your metrics of choice are in numbers, percentages or dollars.  See the list below for some ideas about what kinds of goals you should set.

If this is your first foray into gift certificate sales goal-setting and tracking, keep it simple and focus on a few key numbers, such as staff participation, new clients acquired and overall revenue generated from gift certificate sales.


Ingredient #2 in the Secret for Selling More Gift Certificates 

Track the results of your practices’s gift certificate marketing investments.

If you can’t tie results to specific marketing efforts, you won’t know what’s working.  Here are some ways you can measure your massage gift certificate marketing results:

  • Overall and monthly, quarterly, etc. revenue attributed to sales of gift certificates
  • Number of gift certificates sold
  • Average amount of gift certificates
  • Percentage of staff (if you have any) who sell one or more gift certificates
  • Sales of gift certificates by staff
  • Percentage of customers buying gift certificates
  • Number of new clients acquired from gift certificates
  • Number of first time clients (attributed to gift certificate redemption) who return one or more times
  • Percentage of first time clients who become repeat clients
  • Number of gift certificate redeemers who purchase services, retail products and/or both


Ingredient #3 in the Secret for Selling More Gift Certificates 

Stop telling your clients that you have gift certificates.

Most massage practices promote gift certificates as though they believe customers don’t know they’re available.  So they continually remind customers that they sell them and put displays by the cash register, graphics on their websites and mention it in email newsletters.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  Consumers expect everyone they do business with to sell gift certificates.

Your clients know you have gift certificates. Therefore, if they aren’t buying your gift certificates, it’s not because they don’t know you have them!

To sell more gift certificates, you don’t need to alert your clients to their existence; rather, you need to persuade them to buy them.  They need to be convinced that your massage gift certificates are thoughtful and appropriate present for the person they’re buying for.

They need to know who to give them to.

They need to know that you’re grateful for their referrals – whether those new clients come strictly via word of mouth or because they received a gift certificate.  They need to feel as good about giving your gift certificates to their co-workers, friends and loved ones as they feel when they go out and spend hours shopping for a perfect gift.


Ingredient #4 in the Secret for Selling More Gift Certificates 

Be occasion-specific.

The four life events and occasions that generate the most gift certificate sales overall include Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day and graduation.  Create marketing campaigns to promote sales of massage gift certificates that speak to these gift-certificate-sales-generating occasions and invest more in gift certificate marketing efforts during these key seasons.

Don’t worry that you are cannibalizing sales by selling gift certificates to your own clients, even if you are extending a special offer.  Remember that when redeeming gift certificates, people usually spend more than the gift certificate’s value and may actually spend more than they would normally, because the money is not all coming out of their wallet or bank account at the same time!


Ingredient #5 in the Secret for Selling More Gift Certificates 

Get better at leapfrog.

Besides selling gift certificates to your clients to give away to others, think about how you can leapfrog over your ideal client type and promote massage gift certificates to the husbands, boyfriends, moms, dads, sons, daughters, co-workers, friends and others who are buying gifts for the people represented in your target markets.

In other words, if you want to sell more massage gift certificates (and you know you do!) you can’t merely promote gift certificates to your own clients. You need to find ways to interact with gift-givers on social networks, email, partner marketing, advertising and other marketing avenues in order to sell massage gift certificates to the people who buy presents for the clients you want most!

Selling gift certificates to your patients can not only be a source of immediate income, but it will attract qualified new patients into your practice.

It’s always a good time to start thinking about how you’re going to promote your practice using gift certificates.

Here are 4 Great Ideas To Get The Most Out Of Using Gift Certificates

  1. Begin where you know best – Start with your family and friends. When they are getting ready to prepare their gift lists, ask them to think about who might enjoy a gift certificate for your services. Let them know that if the recipients don’t schedule within the year, buyers can use the gift certificates themselves. Don’t forget to offer them package deals if they buy a quantity.
  2. Promote packages to both your active and inactive patients. Offer them a free treatment for themselves if they buy more than two or three.
  3. Think about who may need your services and offer them a gift certificate. Think about your old friends, co-workers, neighbors, and your cousin’s, sister’s best friend? Offer them a free mini-stress reduction gift certificate with the option to upgrade for a full treatment, at a fee you can live with.
  4. Trade with neighboring businesses. Walk around, or drive around your community and take note of all the businesses within a 5-mile radius. Exchange gift certificates with them – hair salons for gift certificates, oil changes for gift certificates. You get the idea. Give them gift certificates that offer a free mini stress reduction treatments in exchange to something they are willing to offer. In this way, you can share other great gifts with your patients, spread the word of other local businesess and network while you are at it!

Why Facebook is important for your practice

facebook_guyIn this post, I am going to go deeper into Facebook.

By now, most massage therapists already know why they need a presence on Facebook.

Although the importance for including Facebook in your social media marketing strategy may be common knowledge, knowing how to do that may not be as obvious.

Some massage therapists use their personal accounts to build business on Facebook while others have separate pages to promote their brands.

If you are going to set up a Facebook page, or if you have one already, here are some factors to consider about which technique is most effective for Facebook marketing and why.

Using Your Personal Facebook Profile for Marketing

Using your personal Facebook account profile can be limiting in many ways.

Search engines may pick up your name via your Facebook profile, but not necessarily the name of your business.

This is not beneficial for search engine optimization purposes, and you will lose the potential of that SEO traffic.

It makes more sense to use Facebook in a way that allows your business name to be attached to your Facebook activities to be found by search engines.

Another core issue with using your personal Facebook account for marketing is privacy settings.

If you want other people to see the information you are sharing on Facebook with your personal account, they first have to be accepted by you as a friend.

This is an extra step that delays that person from being able to interact with you. Facebook offers business pages that are more search engine and people friendly.

Creating a Separate Facebook Page

Facebook Business Pages, also called Fan Pages, are optimized for small and large businesses.

They are currently the most ideal way for businesses to promote themselves on Facebook for several reasons, including the ability to brand an individual page with your own style and layout.

Facebook Pages feature tabs that can include very similar content to what is typically available on static websites.

Great uses for Facebook tabs include a newsletter signup tab and a coupon tab for customers who “Like” your page.

These types of tabs can lead to increased sales and provide you with vital contact information to reach out to customers via email as well.

Search engine optimization is very important for both small and large businesses, and Facebook has already established itself as a reputable resource within search engines.

Facebook Pages with the proper keywords have an easier time being discovered on search engines because of Facebook’s high traffic volume and online integrity.

Building a deeper connection with customers is another reason businesses should have Facebook pages instead of using personal profiles.

With branding and special apps for contests and online stores, businesses can engage with customers in a way they simply can’t do with a basic profile.

An additional benefit to Facebook pages that most business owners are not aware of is how easily they can be used for mobile marketing.

Mobile has become the next big trend in marketing, and Facebook pages are already optimized for mobile viewers. More and more people are reading and making purchases from their mobile devices, so it is essential to create content that can easily be viewed on smaller screens in addition to larger computer monitors.

Free and easy to create, Facebook Pages can bring the type of targeted attention and traffic to your business or website that just isn’t possible with your personal profile.

I know some of you may not be “fans” of social media, especially Facebook. I totally understand!

It’s a whole new world to wrap your technological head around, and frankly many of us don’t have the time to do it.

I am looking for a simple solution to help you get more “Likes”. When I find one, I’ll let you know!

The goal is to get more “Likes”.

When they “Like” your page, more people will see it and be exposed to you.

That translates as more potential new patients for you to work with!

Below are a few resources to help you get more “Likes”

How To Get More fans For Your Facebook Page – Read here

7 Tips to Get More Likes On Your Facebook Business Page – Read here

10 Easy Ways To Get More Facebook Like For Your Business Page – Read here

3 Free Ways To Get Patients From The Internet

55877817These days, there is no getting around the fact that you need a website if you’re in practice.

It’s no longer about if you need a website, but when you get a website.

And to take it a step further, it’s about what’s done to your website to keep up with the Google-Bing-Yahoo (GBY) giants’ flick-of-the-switch internet changes.

I’ve collected 3 simple, yet powerful tactics that you can use to get more people looking at your website and generate more new patients online.


The good thing is that most of these tactics can be implemented at no-cost to you. Though, they do require putting a little time. Continue reading

The 4 Most Important Online Tools for Your Practice

178384113You will remember me as the person that helped you get your license with my preparatory classes and test banks you used at

I am writing this blog post because in helping students transition to therapists over the last 10 years, I have heard over and over again the struggles massage therapists have to overcome to get their practices started.

So…I set out to make it a lot easier.

I gathered writers, researchers, web designers, graphic artists and marketing experts to create a tool that would allow massage therapists to take a touch therapy to a digital world.

But how could I do that?

What are the biggest struggles?

Easy. Help you establish your brand!

I mean…you are just fresh out of school, newly licensed as a massage therapist and now what?

How do you get clients?

Well, I’m glad you asked! :)

I’m sure you are probably well aware about what you need for your practice these days – oil, sheets, table, scheduling software, etc…

It’s quite a large list when you consider what you need to help your clients with massage.

But have you thought about the 4 Most Important Online Tools for Your Practice?

Now, before I move on, I have to preface this blog by saying this…I’ve been helping massage therapists since 2002 and I have witnessed an aversion to doing ANYTHING online.

No one wants to venture into the “online marketing world”.

It seems to go against the grain in what we’re trying to do, and you were never taught about the things I’m going to be sharing with you.

I invite you to embrace, and incorporate some, if not all, of these 4 tools into your practice.

Here’s a short list of what I believe are the most important tools you could be using to get more new patients and grow your practice.

1) A Website

Now this is obvious these days. But I am referring to a GOOD website. Now you probably have a website already, if not, well, I think you may be missing the boat and missing out on new patients in your area.

But does your website give you a REAL presence online?

The internet is usually the first place people go these days to gather information and to figure out who they may want to see for their healthcare needs.

If you don’t have a website, you may be getting overlooked. A website is not just an online brochure these days. It’s a living, breathing digital representation of what you have to offer your community and the world! After all, it is the World Wide Web!

2) A Blog

If you consider your website to be your face to the world, then, your blog is the heart of your website! Having a blog allows you to share testimonials, your stories and anything new and relevant about your practice.

A blog gives you that “voice” where you can provide important information about your practice, updates about massage and current research.

Having a blog that is “active” positions you as an expert in your field, and shows your patients and potential patients that you know what you are talking about.

Not only that, adding new content to your blog, as regularly as you can, provides much of the search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

You see, having new content posted to your website is what Google, Bing, Yahoo and all of the other search engines are looking for.

In their book, Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel noted:

“Neither a press release nor a full-page ad in the New York Times will boost your search engine ratings as much as a regularly updated blog. The shortest, cheapest, fastest, and easiest route to a prominent Google ranking is to blog often”

A blog is important for EVERY small business, yours included.

Having a blog can DO A LOT for your practice, and will most likely put you ahead of other massage therapists in your area.

3) A Facebook Page

Okay, okay…you may not be a fan of Facebook, I get it! I’m not a “huge” fan myself. BUT, out of all the social media sites out there, Facebook is considered one of the BEST ones to be using these days, especially in a small business like yours.

A properly built Facebook business page that is updated regularly with content that is good, engaging and even funny can be EXTREMELY effective!

Facebook is one of the better tools these days to get word-of-mouth marketing without anyone ever speaking a word. If a patient “Likes” something you post, it will appear on their wall, their friends will see it, they will check it out, and they will find you. From there, they may “Like” you and become enrolled in what you have to offer and who you are.

There are MANY social media sites out there including Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin, but Facebook, by far, is a really good place to start.

4) Lead Capture Form

You should have a way to capture leads, or in this case, prospective/interested patients who visit your website.

A lead capture form is basically you offering something of value, like in the case of the image below, a free report on the Top 10 Reasons To Try Massage, in exchange for the website visitor giving you their email address.

When someone visits your website, they are expressing interest in what you have to offer, i.e., your massage care. So, it’s a good idea to have a lead capture form that is designed for someone to say “hey, I want to learn about that, that’s interesting to me” and they input their name and email address.

From that moment on, they “raised” their hand and said “I’m interested in having you help me”. Well, not literally, but by the very fact that they willingly gave you their contact information, they are that much closer to becoming a new patient.

Now it’s in your hands to follow up with them with a series of follow-up emails that introduce yourself, and ultimately ask them to come in by way of a call to action – like offering a free mini-stress reduction massage.

These are just 4 simple things to consider when growing your practice online.

Now, it may seem daunting to try to wrap your head around all of this information, and quite frankly it can be.

That’s why we’ve got a simple solution for you – Massage Perfect Websites.

See all of our great features here

Marie Anthony, LMP


16 Ways to Grow Your Practice

Massage_16_ways_ImageOne thing I learned over the years, is that running a massage practice can be a tough at times.

When your practice gets slow, it’s important to put a little bit of energy toward it.

Every once in a while you need to do a little marketing.

Here’s a list of 16 super simple, yet highly effective ways to energize your practice.

Print this ebook out, keep it on your desk for whenever you feel a slight practice slump.

Close your eyes, and point to one of these tips and put it into action!

They are all easy to do!