12 Sales and Marketing Terms Massage Therapists Need to Know

John Gelb is a friend of mine, and the head honcho over at At Peace Media where you’ll find great massage music and outstanding webinar-style CE courses for massage therapists. John is not a massage therapist, but he understands us more than most civilians I’ve met, so I’m excited to bring you this guest post. Enjoy!

1. Friction

This is a perfect example of jargon. Friction might mean one specific thing in, say, massage, and then another when you’re talking about high or low friction in the sales process.

Low friction is the goal, because friction is anything that may impede the sale.

Example: Your homepage has a large clickable image inviting me to purchase a special spring massage package. I click it and instead of being able to purchase the deal on the next page, I find another link to click. Then I’m taken to a third party website and have to fill out a 2-page form before I can even enter my credit card number. That’s an example of high friction and as a customer, I’ll probably get frustrated and go check Facebook instead of finishing the transaction.

2. Scalable

Scalability is a characteristic of a system or process that describes its capability to cope under increased or decreased workloads. This is tied into “economies of scale” where ideally there is an increase in efficiency of production as the number of goods being produced increases.

Example: A scalable massage practice maintains or improves its profit margins while the clients and bookings increase.

3. Barrier to entry

Barrier to entry is a term used to describe the complex mix of barriers when a business enters a new market. The article, Barrier to Market Entry, on Inc.com describes the two extremes: “Entry into a market is always in some way possible yet also constrained in some ways—except in purely theoretical descriptions. The two extremes are described by a state-supported absolute monopoly on the one hand (an insurmountable barrier to a new entrant) and a market on the other hand where entry has zero cost (a totally barrier-free market).”

The major categories that translate into barriers are cost, capital, know-how, location, and state power.

Example: A small business owner like yourself benefits in an underserved area, with good location, and plenty of “differentiation” that makes you stand out from the competition. This would be a low barrier to entry.

4. Buying cycle (Sales cycle, purchase cycle, life cycle)

People go through stages as they interact with your company, and each stage requires different marketing actions. HubSpot calls this “Lifecycle Marketing.”

Depending on who is talking, the buying cycle stages can be defined differently, but it goes something like this for your ideal customer:

Problem recognition
I feel like I need a massage.

Information search
Where might I get a massage? Let’s ask Google (or my best friend, Kathy).

SmartCity Massage has a good deal right now. I trust my friend Kathy and her favorite massage therapist is Mark Jones. From my online research I’ve definitely ruled out E-Z Massage.

Purchase decision
Can I really afford this massage? Should I go ahead and book it now, or wait a week? Should I call or just fill out this form online?

Post-purchase behavior
I booked my appointment with Mark Jones, received a stellar massage, now I’m booking an appointment for next month! And I’m going to give Mark a shout out on Twitter.

5. Content marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating valuable content that will attract your target market to your website or brand.

Content examples: blog articles, infographics, how-to videos, and downloadables like ebooks and guides.

6. Call to Action (CTA)

Words, buttons, images that are used to get a visitor to take a certain action. A CTA at the end of a blog post might be a simple link or a button that says “Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!”

Or, something like this (subtle, right?) …

7. Conversion Rate

A conversion rate, generically, is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on a website. The action could be purchasing something (which is a conversion from visitor to customer) or they could be filling out a form (conversion from visitor to lead).

Example: If 100 people visit your online booking form, and 30 of them fill out that form, then the form has a 30% conversion rate…not too shabby. If the conversion rate is low, it’s time to fix the form or process to get a higher conversion rate.

8. Inbound marketing

HubSpot has been the leader of formalizing inbound marketing, and according to their website it is “the most effective marketing method for doing business online.” It is the process of turning strangers into customers and promoters of your business, through strategic use of tactics like blogging, social networking, keyword optimization, lead capturing, email marketing and more. This is the visual representation of how to attract visitors, convert them to leads, close a sale and delight your customers using Inbound Marketing methods:

Image credit: HubSpot

 9. Pay Per Click (PPC)

You’ll hear this whenever someone is talking about Google Ads or other kinds of online advertising. PPC is a payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying click-throughs (when someone clicks on your ad).

10. Memes

An internet meme is a concept that spreads from person to person throughout the web. It’s a term borrowed from cultural studies about the spread of information. Think of photos or images with text on them (like the original LOLcats have evolved into the many iterations of talking cat memes, like Grumpy Cat). Tip: You can use memes in your social media marketing!


11. Downsell and Upsell

When a client or customer rejects a more expensive product, you might try to sell them something more affordable. This is the opposite of upselling a more expensive product or an additional item to a customer who wants to buy something less expensive.

Example of downselling: Client is interested in your (10) one hour massage package but hesitates over the price. You might suggest a (5) one hour massage package instead.

Example of upselling: Client buys a gift certificate, and you suggest a bottle of massage oil or lotion to go along with it.

12. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of choosing targeted keyword phrases related to a site, and ensuring that the site places well when those keyword phrases are part of a web search. Everyone gets really worked up about SEO because they want to be at the top of the Google search results page. Nice job, Young Thumbs! You are winning.

What are some marketing and sales terms that you’ve come across that made you scratch your head?

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