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Although I rock at following up with new clients, I choose not to pursue those who fall off the schedule. I know, we’re supposed to stay in touch with email marketing or a monthly newsletter. This keeps us top-of-mind for those clients who get busy and forget to book. I’m sure there are statistics that show this strategy is effective, but I don’t use it for several reasons.
First of all, self-care has to come from self-motivation. Anyone who’s ever tried to stick with a fitness program or meditation schedule can vouch for this. Commitment doesn’t come from emails; it comes from a desire to change or valuing the benefit of a consistent behavior. Those friendly reminders can backfire and cause feelings of guilt or unworthiness, definitely not the vibe I want associated with my practice.
Also, we make time for and spend money on the things that are important to us. Period. Every client who has told me they can’t afford massage is spending that money on something else. I’ve been on a tight budget for many years but when I really want or need something, I find a way to get it. If there truly is financial hardship, I certainly don’t want to be pressuring people to spend their gas and grocery money on a massage.
When we find someone we really like that gives us the experience we want, we remember it. We don’t need to be reminded who gives us the best haircut or makes the best pizza. We may choose to settle for something else because our favorite is inconvenient or costs more. Those choices don’t necessarily reflect our preferences, just what we’re able to do with the other demands we’re juggling.
And then, there are those clients who have left because they were dissatisfied. I can always tell by the pat on the back I get as we hug or their vagueness as we discuss rescheduling that I’ll never see them again. If I’m not a good fit for them, they shouldn’t come back. Trying to convince them otherwise reminds me of chasing my ninth grade boyfriend down the street after he broke up with me (even though I knew I shouldn’t).
There are times when I have important information to share with clients via email. If the only other emails they receive are appointment confirmations and reminders, they are more likely to notice, open and read emails about policy updates or price increases. Not doing regular email marketing prevents these messages from being overlooked.
I do reach out occasionally to those clients I felt a bond with that haven’t been in for a while to let them know I miss them and hope they’re doing well. This is not an automated, impersonal communication. It’s an authentic connection that I wish to maintain regardless of the amount of money it may or may not bring in.
As I said in the first paragraph, I’m sure email marketing has the statistics to prove it generates sales. If it feels good to you and you’re getting positive feedback from your clients, by all means use it. As a consumer, it simply doesn’t resonate with me unless it provides outstanding value. As a business owner, it feels imposing and repetitive. Being true to myself in my marketing activities is a cornerstone in building and maintaining a practice that I love!
What email marketing do you do and what have your results been? If you don’t use it, why not? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!