Should you discount your massage rates due to COVID-19?
Massage pricing is always a hot topic among massage therapists, but it’s especially topical as therapists begin strategizing for re-opening their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Determining your rates is an important discussion to have as part of your overall strategic marketing plan and can help set you up for success as your return to work.
In the massage community, the general concerns around discounting rates during the COVID-19 crisis looks like this:
1. many people (including clients) are out of work or financially strapped, and
2. people aren’t going to want to return to massage, so we need to incentivize them through low pricing.
While it’s understandable to have these concerns, these things are not necessarily true.
Consider the following:
1. Are consumers willing to spend money on massage?
Just because we have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 as allied health professionals, doesn’t mean that everyone has.
In a consumer survey conducted by iSpa, they determined that 8 out of 10 massage consumers are willing to spend as much or more on massage as they did before the pandemic! Learn more here.
Many people, especially those that could afford regular massage to begin with, continue to have discretionary income. Don’t make the assumption that your clientele can’t afford your services. For those clients that are facing financial hardship, consider offering COVID discounts on a case by case basis upon request. It’s important to think about the additional steps you will need to take to open your practice, and the costs associated with them - more time in between clients, more laundry, purchasing masks, more cleaning supplies, etc. Take care of your own financial health first.
2. A newfound need for touch
Due to the nature of this crisis, we have all experienced isolation and likely a lack of touch. The awareness around the need for touch for mental and emotional health is greater than ever. More people (even outside of your regular massage consumers) are now aware of their need for human touch, and are seeking out massage, Yomassage, and other services to meet this need!
When we are finally able, those therapists that clearly demonstrate their adherence to new protocols to promote client safety will likely be in demand. The data shows that while some clients may have concerns about leaving home and receiving spa services, the majority say they are only a little or not at all nervous. Don’t discount how much your clients value your services as part of their overall health care routine - both for their physical and mental wellbeing.
The truth is that consumers are eager to return to massage, and many therapists have a long waitlist of clients ready and waiting to sign up when they reopen. Now is NOT the time to throw in the towel, it’s time to strengthen your business, and be ready for the surge of clients that will be coming your way when you reopen!
Thank you for reading! We hope this has been helpful for you and supports you when you decide the time is right to open your practice. If you would like to learn more about Yomassage and low/no touch offerings you can add to your practice, please visit this page.
We have created tons of other resources to support you in your practice during this time. You can find them here.
If you want to join the Yomassage community, you can do so through our free Yomassage Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/yomassage.