I’m more of a New Year’s reflection than resolution kind of person. When it comes to my business, I like to review the past year and look for what worked, what didn’t and what I can do differently before setting new goals. Early last year, I went over the previous month to see which marketing strategies had paid off the most (“Top Five Marketing Successes“). This is now an annual ritual.
The process is simple:
- First, count the number of unique clients (not total appointments) from any given month.
- Then note how each client came to you. If they were referred, how did the person who told them about you come to you? Work backwards until you get to the original referring client. Everyone they have referred will go into the same category.
- Next, define five categories. For example, I have all clients who heard about me from promotions I did myself in one category. This includes chance meetings, flyers, promo gift certificates, etc. If these are your main marketing techniques, define five different things you’ve tried.
- Once each client is classified, add up the number of clients in each category. Divide the number of clients per category by the total number of clients from the month to get a percentage.
Now that we have some real data, we can objectively evaluate what’s working and what’s not. This gives us a clear picture of where we should be spending our time, money and energy to market our practice. The results may be surprising but doing an actual analysis every so often helps us create a marketing plan that will grow the business rather than spinning our wheels.
My results from this year’s review are:
- 40% – Groupon/Living Social
- 30% – met previously (another job or my original practice out of school)
- 13% – self-promotions (promo gift certificates, chance meetings and soliciting a doctor’s office)
- 11% – American Specialty Health (a third-party health insurance partner that contracts with wellness practitioners for discounted benefits to their members)
- 6% – Google search
So how does this compare with last year and how will we use this information to create a marketing plan for the coming year?
- Groupon is still the leading marketing tool for my practice (38% of the clients I saw last month came from a Groupon). Living Social only brought in 2% of the clients I saw last month. Most of the clients in this category either purchased my first deal back in 2014 and are still with me or have been referred by someone who did. I’ve had my current active Groupon deal going since June. It’s higher priced so only sells three to four vouchers per month, providing a nice trickle of new clients. Talk about getting my money’s worth!
- People I’ve known for a while continue to send their friends, family and coworkers but sometimes these referrals take time to materialize.
- The only traditional self-generated efforts that are currently paying off for me are promotional gift certificates (three clients last month), chance meetings (two clients) and soliciting a doctor’s office (the office manager has been a regular client for over two years now). The brochures and rack cards I’ve left at nearby gyms and a swim center haven’t generated enough clients for me to justify having them printed and keeping them stocked.
- American Specialty Health continues to bring me clients even though I discontinued our affiliation over a year ago! The original client I got from them has moved away but one person she told about me has been a fantastic source of high-quality referrals. None of these people have ever paid the ASH discounted price.
- As of now, my website is on page one of a Google search for barefoot massage Denver (thanks to my website page titles no doubt) but on page three of a search for ashiatsu Denver (my Groupon deal is on page two). Since I don’t have a more attractive Groupon running, my website isn’t seeing as much action as it was a few months ago. This is important to know because most potential clients are searching the internet to find massage therapists. I’ll start going to my website every day to give it more visits so it ranks higher.
Doing a marketing audit on a regular basis will make your efforts more effective. You’ll know what to do more of and what just isn’t worth it. Staying on top of where my clients are coming from is a simple way to keep the practice that I love growing!
I’d love to hear the results of your marketing audit and how you’ll use what you’ve discovered. If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!