As massage therapists, you are also business owners. So whether you like it or not, it is down to you to help your business grow and thrive!
As therapists who help people feel better and heal, we want as many people as possible to benefit from massage! Now the importance of marketing to bring in NEW clients is obvious. But have you also considered the importance of retaining clients long-term and recapturing those clients who may have had a break from massage?
Email marketing is an excellent way to retain clients because it is the perfect tool to build and nurture relationships. And best of all, it’s free!
We have put together ‘The Ultimate Email Marketing Guide for Massage Therapists' because we feel very strongly that email marketing is under-used by massage therapists. Some therapists think email marketing is only for businesses selling physical products, others get put off by the tech involved, some say they just don't know what to write.
Well, we are here to put this right!
Here at Massage Warehouse, we feel confident to talk about email marketing because we have a large email list and a popular weekly newsletter that we work hard to make interesting and informative for massage therapists. You can sign up here. And when Instagram recently and unexpectedly closed Massage Warehouse’s Instagram account with many thousands of followers due to hackers (GRRR!) we were very thankful we had put so much effort into growing our email list because we still could reach our audience.
So here is our complete overview of how sending out a regular newsletter could work for you as a massage therapist!
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is sending out a message to a group of people via email. Its purpose is usually to sell a product or service.
Digital expert Neil Patel says:
“It may be one of the oldest forms of digital communication, but email still reigns supreme when it comes to usage. Sure, there are other newer methods of communicating with your audience and customers. Communication methods like social media etc… but email is the king of marketing channels.”
Email is ranked as the most effective marketing channel by digital experts, beating social media, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), and affiliate marketing. Experts agree, that despite the rise of social media, email is still used more than these other platforms.
Why Could Email Marketing Be Useful To Massage Therapists?
Email marketing is a great way for massage therapists to reach their clients and also to potentially get new clients! In this guide (part 1), we talk about sending out a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter to the people on your email list.
Marketing your services via email is not only a very effective way to reach your clients but it’s also a VERY cost-effective way to build and maintain a relationship with your clients. Email platforms such as MailChimp and Mailerlite are totally FREE for email lists of up to 1,000 people which is plenty for most independent massage therapists! Your booking platform may also have an email option.
People on your email list are already VERY interested in your business and your massage services because they signed up for your newsletter. So it shouldn’t take much to encourage them to book a massage with you! Besides, open rates of emails are much higher than engagement on social media platforms.
Emails help you interact directly with your clients because clients can instantly email you back clarifying any doubts. This is great for building relationships based on trust - very important in our line of work!
In addition, using email to reach your massage clients gives you independence from the mercy of the giant social media platforms and their algorithms. In fact, very few of your followers on Facebook and Instagram will actually see your social media posts but with a good open rate of your emails, you can grow your massage therapy business.
Your email list will become your most valuable business asset!
How Does Email Marketing Fit Into Other Marketing Strategies?
Email marketing is a great complement to word of mouth referrals, your social media posts, flyers, Facebook, Instagram ads & Google ads (if you run them) plus any real-life marketing you do such as sandwich boards and in-person marketing events you participate in.
In the email you send out, you can put links to your social media accounts and share the information of any special offers you have running and any events etc you may be participating in.
What Do I Need To Run An Effective Email Marketing Campaign?
You need 3 things:
An email list - these are people who have expressed an interest in receiving communications from you about your business. They may have signed up for your newsletter through your website or agreed to receive marketing emails when they booked through your booking system. We will talk more about the rules of who you can email under the section GDPR.
An email provider - this is a platform that helps you manage your email marketing such as MailChimp or Mailerlite. It helps you automate sending out your email to a group of people, helps you with the visual design of your email and analyses the data of open-rates and unsubscribes. You may have an email tool through your booking platform such as Fresha or Cliniko.
A goal - there can be many different goals of email marketing. For massage therapists, the main goals will be nurturing relationships with your existing clients & your potential clients, sharing & showcasing your expertise, educating your clients and promoting your special offers/events if you run them.
Emailing your clients regularly keeps you and your wonderful healing massages, fresh in their minds!
What To Write About In Your Email
We recommend thinking about the emails you subscribe to and why you like them. What made you open their email? What do you like about it? Is it the tone of voice, the helpful content or the great special offers inside? Try and pick up tips from others.
If you haven't already, have a think about your ideal client. Maybe have a real client in mind if that helps! What do they want to hear about? What motivates them? What struggles do they have? Speak to their pain points.
What To Include In Your Email
Obviously, this depends on your type of massage business (holistic, sports, remedial etc) but here are some broad areas to consider including:
Planning Your Email Content
Plan your email content ahead of time to avoid stress. Consider making a monthly plan, you can tie this in with your social media too. The month of March for example has some special days such as International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. You might want to create an offer or at least talk about them in your email. This keeps it up to date and relevant for the people on your list.
People are very busy and get lots of emails so make it easy to read! Try not to use long sentences and complicated words. Avoid long wordy paragraphs and try using bullet points sometimes.
How Often Should I Email My List?
The answer to this is that it depends on how often you think you can do it consistently! We recommend sending an email once a month, bi-weekly or once a week (on the same day) if you can. If you send emails too sporadically, the people on your email list might not remember you and won’t bother to open it!
Remember, emailing your massage clients regularly and consistently helps to build trust.
If you are too busy or struggle with the tech, we have heard of some massage therapists writing the email themselves but then outsourcing to a VA (Virtual Assistant) to help set up and send out the email. Alternatively, you might hire an expert to set up the tech and newsletter template for you. They can show you how to create and send out a newsletter and you do it yourself from then on. If you would like more help on this, you can ask other therapists in our private Facebook group to make recommendations for good VAs. You can join here.
When Should I Send Emails?
All email platforms give you analytics on your emails, even the free versions. It includes data such as the number of people you sent the email to, how many opened it and if you included links, you will see a breakdown of what people clicked on. This is very useful to inform your content for future emails. What are your readers most interested in?
The email platforms also recommend the best day of the week and time of day which can make a huge difference to your open rate! You can also test different times and days to see if it makes any difference to your results.
Who Can I Email? Email Marketing Laws and Regulations
Don’t let GDPR scare you off email marketing! We know you wouldn't anyway, but the general rule is to not buy email lists. Also, consider using a double opt-in. This means people receive an email to confirm they actually want to receive your emails. You must also make it easy for people to unsubscribe.
IMPORTANT - Massage therapists who use an automated booking system such as Setmore, Acuity etc. must make sure that new clients at the time of booking OPT-IN to receive their newsletter. You cannot automatically assume that somebody booking a massage with you also wants to receive your newsletter. There must be a separate opt-in box for it. Most email marketing platforms will give you help with this if you have doubts.
We also highly recommend joining the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if you are not already a member. The ICO is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. Here's the link to their electronic marketing rules.
How Can I Grow My Email List?
So you have decided that sending out a regular email to your massage clients is a good idea. But what then? How do you grow your email list?
We truly believe email marketing is a marketing tool that shouldn't be ignored!
We hope that this guide has given you the motivation and the confidence to explore email marketing for your massage therapy business! Look out for The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing PART 2 coming soon, where we will be exploring further how another area of email marketing involving lead magnets and funnels can help grow your client list.
Whatever you do, don't put this off any longer! The best time to start an email list was several years ago.
The next best time is TODAY!
We'd love to hear if you have found this useful in the comments below!
Massage tables comes in many different shapes and size. It can be confusing for you, the customer, to choose the right one but we are here to help!
A lot of customers call us up after they have bought the wrong size massage table elsewhere and we would like to help you avoid this mistake. It normally goes something like this; they like the look of a picture of a massage table on a website, they like the low price and then they check the carrying weight is ok. If the carrying weight fits their needs they click add to cart and the new massage table turns up at their doorstep in a few days. They unfortunately assume all massage tables are pretty much the same width and size.
The standard size of a massage table is 28 inches wide (71cms) and 73 inches (185cms) long. One of the reasons many "lightweight" budget massage tables are so cheap is because
Make sure the massage table is the right size for you and your clients as the narrow massage tables at 61cms can be very uncomfortable for anyone who isn't petite and many clients cannot relax with their shoulders and arms unsupported.
Almost all therapists choose the standard 28 inch wide massage table. All our massage tables are the same length so it is only the width and shape our customers need to decide on.
Your massage table should be wide enough to cater for the wide variety of shapes and sizes of your clients. It needs to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate your treatment style, while being narrow enough to ensure you don’t have to strain your own back during treatments.
Each therapist's postural training and ability is different, so only you will know what massage table width you can handle. We have spoken to therapists who are five feet tall and get the wider 30 inch massage tables, and we speak to six foot therapists who have back problems and go for a 25 inch wide massage table. Everyone is different.
Generally speaking, if you are of smaller stature, you may do better with one of the narrower 25-inch massage tables. If you're quite tall, or are particularly keen to offer your clients a very spacious experience, a 30-inch massage table might be more suitable.
If you are in doubt, see if you can go into your local training college and see whether the massage tables there suit you. However, there is another way to get a feel for what will work of you don’t have access to a couch when you are deciding:
Cut out a piece of cardboard to the dimensions of both sizes you are deciding between. Put it on top of the kitchen table and lean over it. Visualise a client lying there, and see which width will suit you and your client best.
Make sure you can get close enough to the table that you can pivot at the waist and have your shoulders squared to the clients hips, with your hands parallel to the clients' spine. Working in this position will ensure an injury-free career, so it's an important factor in your decision.
The most popular massage table widths are 28 and 30 inches. We sell 25-inch massage tables but you should really only choose this width if you are shorter in height and having a wider massage table might put your own back at risk over the course of your career.
You can also choose the 25-inch if you want to have the lightest massage table possible. By reducing the width of the massage table, the weight is also reduced. Now, this can mean a trade-off of some client comfort, but this trade is often worthwhile if you are a fully mobile therapist and use public transport frequently, where saving a kilogram or two will make a difference to you over time.
Nowadays, almost all portable massage tables come with height adjustable legs. Whichever massage table you choose should come with a large height range to accommodate you, and to cater for a broad range of therapies.
A common height range of massage tables is between 60 to 80cm, and this height range should cater for everyone. To check which height you need your massage table to be at follow this rule of thumb:
1. Stand up straight with your hands by your sides. Clench your fists.
2. Measure the distance between the floor and your knuckles
3. This distance should equal the height of your massage table.
4. Add a few inches in height to allow for the body of the patient on the massage table.
The height of a massage table is usually only adjusted when different therapists are using the same massage table, or if you have a client that is outside the average size you normally treat. So for example, if someone with a lot of body depth comes for a treatment after an average size person, you may need to adjust the height a notch or two.
You should be able to adjust the height of a massage table in just 2-3 minutes. Even though you mightn't adjust the height very often, the faster the better when you do have to!
There are 2 types of height adjustment mechanisms found on modern massage tables.
1) Twisting knobs (found only on wooden massage tables):
If you are working with a wooden massage table, it is better to have two knobs on each of the four legs for greater strength and reliability. When buying online, make sure to check how many knobs are on the legs. Cheap massage tables often only have one knob, and when you raise the legs to the highest heights they are less stable and have been known to snap.
2) Telescopic push-buttons (found only on aluminium massage tables):
The mechanism to adjust the height of an aluminium massage table is much the same as the push-button method on aluminium crutches. It only takes a few seconds to adjust each leg, and the mechanism is very reliable. Check out the video to see how it’s done.
The following are the different shapes of massage tables on the market.
1. Rectangle shaped with square corners
This is the traditional shape of a massage table and the one you are probably familiar with seeing. Our Combi-lite 3 in 1 and Affinity Portaflex are shaped like this.
2. Rectangle shaped with rounded corners
Same as no 1 above in every way except the corners are rounded. Does not affect function in any way, just a different design/look.
3. Hour glass shaped with gradual gradient
A fabulous massage table innovation in recent years, which solves a lot of the problems around choosing the correct width is the hourglass shaped massage table.
This style of massage table is wider at the ends, and tapers somewhat at the middle. This provide a spacious and comfortable experience for your client (as the shoulder and feet area are 30 inches wide) without compromising your own posture and health, as the middle of the couch where you lean over is a much narrower 26 inches wide.Having recently upgraded to one of these hourglass massage tables myself, I can vouch that my working days are much more comfortable, and many of my clients have commented on the extra comfort from the wider shoulder area.
The name says it all! There are no corners on the massage table. Therapists normally choose this for one of two reasons. They simply like the look of this massage table and it is aesthetically more pleasing in their treatment room and/or they find it easier to move around the massage table during the treatment without having to side step the corners. This is particularly handy when space is limited in your treatment room.