June – Prime Time for Gift Coupons!
Dads and grads and brides and grooms! (Try saying that fast 10 times!) June is bustin’ out all over! And it’s a great month for bustin’ out Gift Coupon sales in your wellness practice, because it’s the traditional time of year for… dads and grads and brides and grooms!
I recently sold a package of 8 mini-massages to a blushing bride-to-be for her bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s gifts. When the recipients call to book their 30-minute massage appointments, I will offer them an upgrade to a longer massage and/or spa services for an additional fee – a value-added service for them and more income for me!
Last week a new client who came in for her first massage, walked out with 3 Fathers Day Gift Coupons in her purse – for her husband, her father and her father-in-law! She said the humorous promo sign by the toilet motivated her!
Gift Coupon sales are a major source of income in my massage therapy practice. Almost every day, a client buys a Gift Coupon for a special occasion, or packages of mini-massage coupons to keep on hand for last-minute gifts, or for times when they need to give presents to many people for one occasion.
If you’re not currently selling Gift Coupons, consider adding this income-generator to your offerings. If you do offer them – but don’t sell as many as you’d like – try these13 ideas to boost your sales:
1. Promote Gift Coupons for holidays. Plan promotions for each holiday and start your campaign 4-6 weeks before the date. The month of June, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mothers Day are the 3 biggest holidays for Gift Coupon sales, so plan accordingly not to miss out on these golden opportunities. Get the word out to your clients via email, postal mail, phone calls, social media and office signs.
2. Make Gift Coupons visible. Create a display in your reception area, ideally where clients can see it when they check in and again when check out. Have a sign saying something like: “Share the Gift of Health for Someone Special!” And be sure to mention it, in case they’re in a hurry and don’t read the sign.
3. Display signs to promote your Gift Coupons. An ideal place to post a sign is on the back of the treatment room door, so clients see it as they leave the room. Make sure you have attractive signs visibly posted throughout your office. Another good display area is the restroom – in clear view of the toilet!
4. Talk to clients in person. When people come in for appointments near holidays, remind them that you sell Gift Coupons. There’s no need for pushy sales. Simply remind them that Gift Coupons are available for wonderful healthy gifts – much better than a bottle of scotch!
5. Send out reminders. Make phone calls, mail postcards and/or send email to remind clients that Gift Coupons make great last-minute gifts because they are easy to buy and they are appropriate for all sizes, all ages, all genders and all occasions. Offer to postal mail or email the Gift Coupon to the recipient.
6. Offer an incentive. For more sales, make sure there’s something in it for the buyer! If the buyer is a client, give them a value-added service at their next appointment – something that does not increase your time or cost. Examples: Integrate hot stones into a massage, add a special recipe with nutrition counseling or a customized asana series for a yoga student. See what you can come up with that fits your modality, and give the client extra value without adding to your cost.
7. Send a letter. Be sure to contact inactive as well as active clients. Emphasize how easy it is to shop for everyone on their gift list for many occasions. Offer to sell by phone or on your website, making sure you’re prepared to accept credit card payments.
8. Offer shorter time frames. Instead of selling Gift Coupons for one-hour appointments, sell just half-hour times. If your service or product is not time-based, consider a smaller offering that still provides value. With a lower cost per unit, people are likely to purchase more, which will increase your overall sales.
9. Offer to upgrade. When the Gift Coupon recipient calls to schedule their appointment, offer to add additional time or service for an additional fee. For example, a 30-minute treatment could be upgraded to 60 minutes, or acupuncture could include moxa. They see it as getting a bargain, such as a 60-minute massage for the cost of 30 minutes. Again, if your business is not time-based like massage, think of a low-cost, high-value upgrade that you can offer.
10. Sell only high-quality Gift Coupons. Use full-color professional printing on large cards with envelopes, to increase the Gift Coupon’s perceived value. Or have plastic renewable gift cards made.
11. In addition to Gift Coupons, you can offer other gift items from your retail area, and make up gift bags which include a Gift Coupon and a few small gifts.
12. A big seller in my massage practice is packets of 4 or 8 multiple Gift Coupons for mini-massages – 15 or 30 minute sessions. People love these when they have lots of gifts for one occasion, such as a bridal shower, or to keep on hand for last-minute gifts when they don’t have time to shop. Recipients are always invited to upgrade to a longer session when they call to schedule.
13. Set up a Gift Coupon Station. I have a special table that I decorate for each for each important Gift Coupon occasion – Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Bridal, Graduation and Christmas. Include flowers and/or balloons; pens, envelopes & stamps (offer to mail for them); a sign, price list, sample GCs, extra gifts.
I recommend using the terms Gift Coupon, Gift Voucher and Gift Card instead of Gift Certificate, and here’s why: Most states have laws about the expiration date on gift certificates, usually 1-5 years from date of purchase. (Here in Hawaii, it’s 2 years). Coupons, on the other hand, are allowed a short expiration time – days or weeks.(think about all those grocery coupons with expire dates – can’t do that on a gift certificate!) Because we want those gift recipients to come in ASAP and not lose track of their gift, a Gift Coupon with a 7-30 day expiration will encourage them to redeem their coupon soon – before they lose it! This also gives you a sooner opportunity to educate them about the benefits of ongoing care and get them on your regular schedule.
If you don’t sell Gift Coupons, consider adding this income-booster to your services. If you don’t sell as many as you’d like – try these effective ideas to boost your sales! Remember – each Gift Coupon recipient is a potential regular client who will also buy Gift Coupons and refer others!