Posted on May 21, 2014
This article, authored by ClinicSense Co-Founder, Daniel Ruscigno, was originally published in Massage Today.
In a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by connected devices, when we think of marketing, we often think of online and social media marketing. A lot of attention is given to Facebook and Twitter, as well as CPC advertising.
While those channels often provide great results, it's important to take some time to remember that the offline world offers plenty of marketing opportunities to help grow your business. While marketing occurs at various points throughout the customer life cycle, we will primarily focus on marketing strategies to obtain new clients. The key to growing any business is getting your name out there and while it will happen organically through word of mouth (if you provide a service worth talking about), there are quite a few things you can do to get the ball rolling.
The first strategy to discuss is direct mailing of acquisition post cards. This means sending a post card to all the homes in your neighborhood to let them know your business exists and you are looking for new customers. In terms of content, you want to use relaxing imagery and focus your writing on only the most important message. You will want to include your business name, address, contact information and a list of the services you provide. Acquisition cards work best when you have a special offer. For example, you can offer a 10% discount to people that bring in your post card. Not only is this a great incentive, but it also allows you to measure how effective your direct mail campaign is.
Once your card is designed, the next step is choosing where to send the post cards. For a highly populated area, you might only send to all homes within a one or two mile radius of your business. For a more rural area, it may be a ten-mile radius. The goal is to reach people within a reasonable distance of your clinic. Sending mail this way is referred to as ad-mail and there are plenty of companies that can help you organize mailing out your campaign.
Another great way to get your name out there is to get involved with the local community. Most neighborhoods throw community events and look for sponsorship money to help fund the event. These are great opportunities to get your name out there, because in return for your sponsorship dollars, your business name will be placed on banners, in brochures and often mentioned during speeches. Showing your support for the community is a great way to gain publicity and leave a positive impression with people. As with acquisition cards, you may want to offer a special to go along with your sponsorship.
In addition to neighborhood events, communities also often host trade shows or markets. What's available in your area largely depends on the size of your city and you may see opportunities ranging from exhibiting at large fitness trade shows to smaller street festival events where you can set up your massage table and promote your business to festival goers.
Continuing with the theme of getting involved with your community, the next marketing strategy is the sponsorship of a local sports team. This really seems to be an untapped opportunity for massage therapists. It's likely that your community has adult sports leagues for football, baseball, basketball and several other sports. This is great opportunity because when people play sports, they often sustain injuries and would benefit from a visit to your clinic. As the sponsor of a local sports team, your name will be first and foremost on the minds of the team you've sponsored, as well as all of their opponents, which amounts to hundreds of active adults in your neighborhood.
The strategy of targeting active adults doesn't stop there. You can also get in touch with your local gym and ask to leave some business cards or put up posters promoting your business. Active people tend to want to keep their muscles healthy and going to the gym is just one part of it. Letting them know that regular massages will improve their performance is a surefire way to grow your business. To reciprocate, you can offer to promote their gym to your clients.
Local, offline marketing can really be fun and allows you the opportunity to really get creative. We've only scratched the surface here, but the key take away is that you and your business are part of the local community and you shouldn't be afraid to get involved, shake a few hands and be shameless in the promotion of your business. After all, it's much harder to put a face to a name if you're trapped behind Facebook or Twitter all day.