Allissa’s friend Karleen ran an easy email contest to name a new treatment. You’ll never believe what happened next!
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Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I am Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines I’m Allissa Haines.
MR We’re your hosts. Welcome. What? [Laughing].
AH We are — we are your hosts.
MR [Laughing]. I was like, wait, what? What?
AH We have started recording a little earlier than our normal time because we were both kind of ready early, only I’m realizing that we probably both weren’t ready early.
MR [Laughing]. Yes. We are pre-9 a.m. recording, which is always dangerous. But I hope everyone had a great Halloween. I know we did. Thanks for humoring our Halloween photos of the shenanigans. I think Allissa posted some shenanigans on our Facebook page, so.
AH I did.
MR Thank you for that. I loved your pumpkins.
AH They came out really good. We only carved them, like, the day before Halloween, and then one of the kids finished hers on Halloween.
AH But can we take a moment to talk about — do you have a Christmas tree up already?
MR Oh, I know. I know. We’re just — so we bought a Christmas tree over the weekend because we wanted a new one for our new house. And Eli decided that because we have a new Christmas tree, he could not wait to put it up, so he kept badgering. He’s like, can we put up Christmas tree? Can we put the Christmas tree — so, like, we just gave in. [Laughing]. We just said, okay, fine. We’ll put up the Christmas —
AH Are you — is it, like, lit and decorated? Or is it —
MR It is lit and decorated. And he is so into the flashiest over-the-top Christmas stuff, so he picked out the star also, and it’s this — it has multicolored lights that rotate on the ceiling.
MR Like, we’re just leaning all in to the over-the-top Christmas decorations, and we’re just having a blast. So yes —
AH I —
MR — we have a Christmas tree up, and I’m not apologizing for it.
AH I don’t even know who you are anymore.
AH [Laughing]. And this morning before school — so we got up, and before I even got downstairs to do breakfast, Eli already had the Christmas tree lights and the star on before I even got downstairs. He is so excited.
MR He has no concept that it’s, like, two months away. He just doesn’t get it. [Laughing].
AH Yeah. You’re in trouble. It’s going to be a — it’s a lot of sleeps between now and Christmas, so.
MR I know. I know.
AH You’re in trouble. But —
MR But hey.
AH — whatever. What are we talking about today?
MR We are talking about contests. So easy — an easy contest to connect with your clients, specifically. I think you have some ideas on running a contest, right?
AH I do. And this is entirely, a hundred percent inspired by my friend Karleen. And I don’t know that I mention Karleen too much on this podcast. She is the only massage therapist I trade with. And she graduated just about a year ahead of me in school — at the same school, and we lived in the same town, and we kind of passed each other in school but didn’t really know each other. And then it — she — it — I think our daughters — my older stepdaughter and her daughter went through school together. And I kind of bumped into her once or twice in town after we’d both graduated, and then we became very, very good friends. And she is the person I refer lots of jobs to. And she’s amazing, and she’s really good at chair massage, and I’m terrible at it.
Anyhow, I adore Karleen. And the hilarious part of this for me is that Karleen is not a tech-y person. Like, she’s got a real basic kind of brochure-style website that I forced her to do several years ago. And she does email marketing, but not a lot, and it’s kind of scattered. She just does it when she feels like it. But she’s got a pretty full practice. She’s seeing as many patients as she wants to see. So rock on. Whatever. And she’s just the coolest person ever. But she did this thing that was so marketing-brilliant, and she did it in the most simple and effective “let’s not make a big fuss about it” way that I wanted to tell you all about it.
So here’s what she did. Karleen decided she was going to create a new treatment, and it was a combination of other treatments she did. It does, like, a facial massage with a foot — oh, reflexology treatment, and then her blended massage with Reiki or something like that. I don’t even know, and it’s not even — doesn’t even matter. But she was creating this new treatment that was a blend of other things that she does, and she wanted to come up with a name for the treatment and wasn’t sure what to call it and decided to run a contest. And she did it in the most simple “just using email” kind of way.
So the first thing she did was send one email — she did this all via email marketing. She sent one email to announce the contest, she described the two treatments that she was combining to create one big fancy treatment, and then she gave very specific rules. And some of these rules, as she was conducting the contest, she realized she didn’t have in place right away, and then she realized she needed to later. So this is the culmination of “if she could do this contest again” what exactly she would do.
So what she said is, very simply, people should email a reply to that first email — just hit reply — with a suggestion for the name of the treatment. She would put one entry in place per person. Some people put in a whole bunch of entries, and she said, I would limit it to one entry per person if I was going to do it again. And she did have the rule where if someone duplicated a name — if I sent in a name of the treatment and if someone else sent it in, the first person who sent that name in would — their spot gets held for thinking up that name. And then Karleen picked her three favorite to move on to voting. And then the winner at the end of all this would get a free treatment, and anyone who participated — anyone who either made a suggestion in this first step or voted in one of the next steps I’ll talk about — would get some kind of offer. They would get something for participating in this contest.
So there were three emails total. I just told you about the first one where she announced the contest, described the treatment she was combining, and then gave people the rules and said, hey, hit reply with a suggestion for a name of this new treatment. And then there were two more emails that I’m going to tell you about after our halftime sponsor.
Michael, tell us who our halftime sponsor is.
MR Jojoba for the holidays.
Sponsor message And specifically it’s the Hobacare Holiday Gift Pack. This year, Jojoba is making it easy for you to share your love of jojoba, and they’re taking the hassle out of gift giving. Holiday gift packs are available in packs of 12 or 24, and they make fantastic gifts for friends and family and teachers and all that stuff and hostess gifts. And they’re offering this at a crazy value. They’re offering it at cost. And each little gift bag includes a 1-oz. bottle of jojoba, a $5 gift card towards a future purchase of jojoba, and it’s packaged in this really lovely little gift bag with a gift tag. It’s gorgeous. And the bag has room to add other things if you’d like, like a bar of soap or some natural lip balm or a nail file or herbal tea or anything, whatever you like to gift your clients. Even a little gift card in there. You could totally put a massage gift card in there. You could roll up a little gift certificate and shove it right in there. Anyhow, the 12 pack is only $24; the 24 pack is only $48. So yeah, these are $2 each, which is crazy low. And they are going to give you free shipping. So you can order now. Shipping starts actually today when we’re recording, November 4th, so it’s happening now through December 15th. And you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/holiday to order your gift pack. So that’s massagebusinessblueprint.com/holiday.
AH I’m so excited about these gift packs. I saw them, and they’re awesome.
So I’m going to sip my coffee, and then I’m going to tell you about the next two emails of Karleen’s campaign. All right. I needed that coffee to get through the rest of this because this is awesome.
So email two. A whole bunch of people responded to email one and gave suggestions to name this treatment. So Karleen picked her top three, and she sent email number two of this campaign saying, here are my top three choices; all you need to do is hit reply and tell me which one you’re voting for. And again, Karleen is old school. She literally just kept track with little hash marks on a piece of paper. You could totally do this digitally. There’s plenty of survey and voting — free survey and voting programs you could use online. But Karleen just went old school. She made it really easy for people. They just had to hit reply. Everybody’s capable of that. They didn’t have to go to some kind of outside third party. They hit reply. She tracked their responses according to her top three.
She gave it a certain amount of time — like, you have five days to vote — and at the end, she chose their winner with the most amount of votes. And this point — at this point is when she thought, you know — she was happy with how it turned out because — you know, I should have put in a little line about there that I might override votes if I like one treatment name better than others [laughing] because some of the ones that came in originally were pretty wackadoodle. And it turned out great because she had three wonderful choices to choose from, and people voted on those, and it all worked out wonderful. But she later on was like, ah, should have probably put a rider in about that.
Anyhow, people voted, she gave it however long she stated, like five days, and then she sent out email three that had the winning name of the treatment. She used the first name of the winner — it was like, Linda’s suggestion won; Linda gets a free treatment — and then she also had a coupon that offered $10 off to anyone who got that treatment for the next 30 days. So if they booked it and got it in the next 30 days, they got 10 bucks off that new treatment. And this new treatment is a higher price point — a much higher price point and it’s a longer treatment, so even with the $10 off, it was really enticing people to try a longer treatment that was going to cost them more money than the regular treatment they booked. So she was still going to be making more money even with the $10 off.
So the final thoughts on this are that, one, lots of people responded who had kind of dropped off of her radar, like people who she’d been sending emails to, they hadn’t unsubscribed, but they also hadn’t booked in a year or more. And she got a lot of people responding who wanted to participate in the contest — and people that she thought were really long lost, and a few of those long-lost clients reached out for an appointment. Sometimes it wasn’t that new special treatment, but they — being part of this contest kind of incited their love for her again and got them off their butts, and they scheduled an appointment.
And — and I predicted this would happen because she told me — we had a conversation about this whole contest. We had breakfast right in the middle of it, and I said, you know what? I bet a lot of people aren’t going to call you to upgrade their upcoming appointment that they already have scheduled, but when they see you at that appointment when they book their next one, they’re going to upgrade that next one. And she was like, all right; we’ll see. And as of when I saw her last week, which was about two weeks from the contest ending, she had had at least five of her regular clients come in for their regular appointment and upgrade their next one to this new treatment.
So it totally worked. She got some people back that she hadn’t heard from in a while, it really kind of excited her client base, and a bunch of her regulars have now upgraded to this pricier, more lucrative treatment. So mission accomplished, Karleen. And that is how — and the beauty in this is the simplicity, right? There was nothing fancy. She had to write three emails. They were really short. She used an email template she already had in Mailchimp. It was just simple. It didn’t take her a ton of extra work. And she’s totally gotten a pay increase because a bunch of people have booked this new more lucrative appointment, and she got a couple clients who were long lost back on the books. So win-win. Totally awesome. Probably more effective than I’ve had my last-minute appointment emails be lately. Hats off to Karleen, who I don’t give enough credit for her old-school techniques sometimes.
And that’s my story.
MR I really love how old-school this is. Like, I really needed this because I have a tendency to always go after the fanciest technology and the coolest way to do all this data gathering, and I always go over the top with all these tools. And I really needed to hear how effective this old-school “hit reply and send me a note” kind of thing can be. And people just love the lack of impediment to responding that way. They don’t have to learn some new app or go to some website. They just basically hit reply. I love how old-school it is, and I really needed to hear that. [Laughing].
MR So thank you, Karleen.
AH And it’s funny because I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about email marketing, and so many people just crap all over it. And we’re going to talk more about this in an upcoming episode, but it really is still the most effective retainment tool —
AH — if you’re serving clients between the ages of 35 and 100. You know, it might not be as effective for the kids, but not many of us are serving the under-30 set anyway. So I really love email as a retention tool, and I’m going to get on a soapbox about that soon.
AH Anywho, that’s it.
MR Well, thanks, Allissa. Thanks, Karleen.
AH Yeah. Karleen’s the best. Shout-out to Karleen who’s probably in the top five hands-on therapists I’ve ever know in my life and also one of the most kind and wonderful people. And she makes peanut brittle at Christmas, so I’m really excited about that.
MR Wow. Well, I can’t wait to meet Karleen someday. [Laughing]. I’m a superfan already.
AH She’s pretty much the best.
MR All right. Well, thanks for that.
And thanks, everyone, for joining us. Hey, give us some feedback. If you try something like this, we’d love to hear about it. You can email us feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as you may have guessed, our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. So check us out there as well. And if you would like to consider joining our premium member community if you’re not a member already, check it out there as well. It is $17 a month, and there’s a ton of stuff there, which I don’t have time to go into today. You can read all about it on the website. So again, thanks for joining us today. Have an awesome day. We’ll see you next time.