Having consistent clients keeps you busy and protects your income from fluctuating. Using incentives to get clients to book more often is an excellent way to build a practice (in my experience). Whether or not you need to incorporate a loyalty or membership program depends on how full your schedule is now. If you usually have openings to fill each week this is an easy way to get them booked.
Let’s first talk about discounting our services. There’s the philosophy that in order for our work to be valued we have to charge more. This sounds reasonable enough but when you are just starting out, no one knows how good you are. Offering a deal will bring in more people which will build energy and momentum for your practice while making more money. Working on more people at a lower price will bring in more income than seeing a few people at a higher price. As your practice grows you can reconsider your approach to pricing.
In my last post, I shared my challenges with offering packages as the only discount option for clients. That system alone wasn’t working for me so I added a new frequency incentive. It’s basically a membership program that rewards frequent visits with a substantial discount. I’ve heard about different structures for these types of programs but the result is the same: you will have a fuller schedule and more predictable income while your clients get better outcomes.
This incentive program example comes from one of my former massage teachers. She had a ten-session punch card that she sold for a set amount. Clients received a discount for each session they used on the card and would renew once it was used up. Whether or not you have an expiration date is up to you. This system requires you to have either punch cards printed, use an app or keep records to track visits.
Another system I know of has clients sign up for an annual membership. From the day they purchase their membership, they receive a discount on all visits until it expires. The only thing to keep track of with this approach is when the membership renews. Some memberships offer specials throughout the year as well as discounts on regular visits.
A price increase is the perfect way to introduce an incentive program if you don’t have one now, especially if you haven’t raised your rates in the last year. You can keep your current prices as the membership rate and raise your regular fees. Regardless of what kind of loyalty program chosen, you’ll want to promote it. I sent an email to all of my active clients a few weeks before starting my new program and displayed it on a white board I have in my office. It’s in my brochure as well as on my website. I don’t have a membership fee at this point but that may change over time.
Getting clients on a regular massage schedule gives them better results and balances out your revenue stream. Creating an incentive program guarantees that more new clients will become regulars, period. This easy strategy has been a game changer in the practice that I love!
What concerns do you have about incentive programs? If you don’t see a comment box below please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!