Monday, December 15, 2014

Giving In-Kind Donations To Promote Your Practice

With the holiday season in full force, charitable events are in abundance. You have probably been asked many times before to contribute a gift certificate for a silent auction or raffle prize for some local fundraisers.  You most likely have one of the following responses: you say no, or you give them a basic gift certificate.   If you do give the donation, you either get a new client that comes in only when the have the certificate, and they never come back, or you never hear from the prize winner at all.  I see the complaints in the massage therapy forums online all the time.  So, what can you offer that won't break your bank, but will entice the new client to come in to try you out, and come back?  Here are a few ideas to try the next time someone asks you for a donation:

1. Give multiple gift cards.
 If it is a large event will well over a couple hundred of guests, I will send a few gift cards worth about half of a service.  My one hour massage is $75, so I may send 3 - $40 gift cards.  I give them with the stipulation that they must be given to different people and can not be used by the same person.  The people that redeem their gift cards, will also be paying for half of the service.  This will help with to convert them into a paying customer.

2. Offer something for each guest.
  Many events will have a gift bag for each guest.  You will be able to boost your marketing effort by giving each person something to take home with them.  This is a great time for a promotional product.

3. Develop a custom prize.
  Feel free to get dramatic on this one so that you create a real impression with the winner of your prize.  Create a gift basket to improve the presentation and include some items that you retail.  If you don't have any retail, a robe and a pair of slippers will do.  The more impressive your packaging is, the better your chances of redemption, also, the more chances for people at the event to talk about your prize.

4. Watch your expiration.
  Shorten the expiration on your gift cards to 3 months.  When people see a short expiration, it encourages them to redeem right away, otherwise they will hold onto the card and forget that they have it and never redeem.  Make sure to check your local law to make sure you can do this.  In Illinois, gift certificates must have a 5 year expiration on them, but only when payed for.  So, in this case, I am able to shorten the expiration on gift cards that I donate.

Do you donate prizes to charitable events?  Do you have any tips to share?  Comment below, or head on over to the Massage Marketing Toolbox facebook page to share your ideas.

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