I don’t know what it is about massage packages that clients love, but they do! I’m guessing it’s the combination of saving money and giving themselves permission to visit more often (“I already paid for it, so I’d better use it!”). Whatever it is, creating discounted packages has built my practice by increasing sales AND getting clients to visit more frequently-everybody wins!
Last month, my three session packages (I call them 3-packs) accounted for 61% of total sales. I choose to only offer three prepaid massages at a time because once a client buys a 3-pack, they’re usually not paying me again until they’ve received those massages. That means if I have a week that has only prepaid clients on the schedule, I don’t make any money that week. Allowing only three prepaid session purchases at a time leaves less time between sales.
I also have a ninety-day expiration from the date of purchase for 3-packs, and I enforce it. To me, buying a discounted package is an agreement between the client and me (I’m offering a discount in exchange for a commitment to frequent booking). I only sell 3-packs to clients who are out of prepaid sessions, so they actually have ninety days to use two more (the first one is used the day they buy the 3-pack). This system requires a client to come in at least every six weeks to use up their package before it expires. If a package does expire, clients receive credit for any remaining massages on their package toward a full price service of equal or greater length. So if someone buys a sixty minute 3-pack for $139 and has one left at expiration, they have $47 ($139 ÷ 3, then rounded up) to apply to their next sixty minute session, meaning they’d pay $12 ($59 full price – $47) when they get that last massage.
I once offered clients the option of buying as many 3-packs as they would use in ninety days at the current price prior to a rate increase. I’ll never do that again! Not only did I have clients who purchased multiple packages get mad when they overestimated how many they’d use only to have them expire, but it was hard on my cash flow. My sales for that month were tremendous, but then I had to ration that money for three months until those clients were out of prepaid massages.
I have a weekly client who asked if she could buy more than one 3-pack at a time so she wasn’t paying as frequently. I wanted to accommodate her request without opening a can of worms (I refrain from offering special deals to individuals). I offered her the option of buying two 3-packs at a time in exchange for a sixty-day expiration. She agreed, and now I have a twice per week client who gets the same deal. This way, I’m protecting my cash flow (after all, it is a business) while providing a convenience for specific types of clients, not specific people.
In my experience, offering packages works*. I’ve explained how mine operate, but you can structure yours in whatever way meets the needs of your clients and your checkbook. You may choose to offer them seasonally, in combination with retail products, as an introductory offer, to introduce a new modality… whatever lets you create a successful massage practice that you love!
Are you offering packages and if so, how are they structured? Are they working well or creating chaos? Please share your experience in the comments. Thank you!
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*In 2016, I introduced a single session pay-as-you go monthly incentive as an alternative to packages. It has improved my cash flow and makes converting new clients easy.