Steady Income and Loyal Clients: The Secret’s Out!

MassageBook Membership Program

The following blog post was sponsored by MassageBook.

Does it sometimes feel like you’re constantly on the hunt for new clients? And when you have a new client, hoping they’ll come back again (and again)?

It can be a stressful and never-ending cycle that leaves you feeling unsure about your income from month to month.

But what if I told you there’s a proven and simple solution to this problem?

Monthly membership programs can turn occasional clients into regulars—and provide you with a steady, reliable stream of income.

Wondering if a membership program is right for your massage or bodywork practice? Here’s a simple test to help you determine if a membership program is a good fit for you:

  • Do you want to decrease customer turnover and dramatically improve customer loyalty?
  • Would you like a constant, predictable stream of monthly revenue?
  • Do you want to be able to offer clients an easy way to say “yes” to re-booking?
  • Would you like to significantly improve your referral business?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then a massage membership program could be the answer to your problems.

Membership programs offer wide-ranging benefits that can reduce your level of stress from having a wildly varying schedule and can stabilize income that varies greatly month to month. Offering your clients a membership option is a win-win that increases client satisfaction, boosts customer loyalty, and solves multiple issues many small-practice owners face.

Most appealingly, a membership plan helps predict your monthly income and increases your income. Truly the best of both worlds!

You might be wondering what types of membership program structures work best. The data from over 11,000 massage practices across the country show four clear trends:

  • Massage practices that offer membership plans have more regular clients and tend to generate significantly more income than those that don’t
  • Recurring monthly membership plans are the most popular plans
  • Membership plans tend to be “lightly” discounted (less than 10 percent)
  • Practices that offer membership plans are eight times more likely to add an additional therapist to their business

Now let’s talk about membership renewals—the make or break of a successful membership program. You can package your services into a membership program and sell it like hotcakes, but getting your members to renew is a different ball game. The fact is, it’s tough to get people to stick around if you’re not consistently providing a high-quality massage experience.

It's like trying to get a cat to take a bath—nearly impossible.

Even if you’ve been providing a great experience to a client every visit, it can still be a challenge to get them to renew. So, how do you keep your members coming back? Simple—surprise and delight with the quality of experience you offer, and offer incentives to renew.

These incentives don’t have to break the bank. Just make sure they have high-perceived value for your members. For example, if you offer neuromuscular or sports massage, throw in a free tube of Biofreeze, discount coupons from a local health food store, or a complimentary first visit to your friend’s acupuncture practice.

This is called “bundling”—and it works. There are a gazillion ways to bundle creatively and increase the perceived value of a membership.

Pro tip: Practices that offer a discount on their gift certificates to members sell significantly more gift certificates. Often, those gift certificates are given to folks who are new clients. And just like that, you’ve created a referral engine for even more new clients . . .

How hard is it to start and manage a membership program?

Actually, it can be very simple with the help of inexpensive software tools. Software makes it easy to automatically track and manage your members, making it a great tool for any massage therapy business owner.

Offering your clients a membership program can be the answer to some of the biggest problems small massage practices face. It can provide a reliable and growing stream of income, improve customer loyalty, and make it easier to sell more products and services.

Mark Volkmann, MassageBook

Mark Volkmann, Founder, MassageBook

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