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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The 7 Deadly Sins of Email Etiquette

Email marketing is definitely something we should be doing as massage therapists to keep connected with our clients.  (Did you catch Hillary's guest post a few weeks ago? A great testament to the power of email and building a list!) While it's not as exciting as social media, it's more personal and speaks directly to our client - it has potential to be much more effective than social media.  (If measuring effectiveness in ACTUAL BOOKINGS and not just "followers" or "likes" in social media.)   I'm not saying that social media doesn't have it's place in marketing for your massage business, because I think it does.  I do, however, think a lot of therapists who are struggling to build their practice are putting too much emphasis on social media and not enough on other areas to reach their ideal clients.  (More on this topic and ways I do feel social media is valuable later.)

When I was building my practice, I used email as a tool to help fill my schedule.  I'm dating myself here, but this was before social media was an option.  So it was a no-brainer for me to put some energy into email marketing.  This was also before awesome services like Mailchimp (or at least as far as I knew at the time), so I was doing old school emailing.

There's some cardinal rules to emailing for marketing purposes.  I highly suggest a service to make your life easier.  For one, it includes the unsubscribe link which is required by law so you're not spamming people with unwanted emails.  I like Mailchimp because it's free for up to 2,000 email addresses or something crazy like that.  But there are other similar services I have used as well - they are all pretty user friendly and easy to create beautiful emails.  I'll be doing another post soon with more info and details of using services like Mailchimp - so watch for it if you're interested in learning more.

If you're using a service like this, some of these mistakes won't be an issue because it's automatically prevented within the service.  However, these are all good things to keep in mind when emailing clients:

The 7 Deadly Sins of Email Etiquette:

  1. Not using BCC when emailing groups.
    BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy.  It's just plain rude to email clients en mass and have their email address for everyone to see in the "To" field.  Or using CC (carbon copy) which also allows all receiving the email to see the addressees.
    Don't do this.  It's unprofessional.  Your clients will notice and will not appreciate it.
  2. Not having permission to email.
    It's always a good idea to have your clients permission to email them, and let them know ahead of time how often they can expect an email from you.  A monthly newsletter?  A weekly email with last minute openings?  Create some lists for clients to be a part of so they can receive all or only part of your email blasts.  Let them know what to expect.
  3. Overusing High Priority.
    This won't be an issue with a service like Mailchimp, but flagging an email as "high priority" when it isn't will only irritate your clients.  Especially if they are in the corporate world and using email for business.
    For the love of all that is holy, please don't do this.  This is considered yelling in text.  It will send the wrong message.  Same goes for using many different fonts, colors, etc. Many things that make a bad website can be applied to emails as well.
  5. Delivery and Read receipts.
    Not an issue with mailchimp as it shows you who has opened your emails.  This is another annoyance in regular email.
  6. Non-professional address for business communication.
    I had posted something a while back on our Facebook page about using professional email addresses and it was quite the controversial topic.  I certainly wasn't saying that therapists aren't professional if using a gmail or yahoo account, but that it's more professional to use your business domain name in your email address.
    Unless, of course, you have something like for your address.  In that case, then yes. I am saying that's unprofessional.
    While I'm a proponent of being yourself in your marketing, aim for being your best professional self.
    Use your business name if using a free email service. sounds better, right?
    Or use your domain name.  If you don't have a website yet, or don't have email with it, you can easily get a Google Apps account for $50/year or $5/month that includes a gmail account using your company name. is even better, right?
  7. No unsubscribe option.
    This is the spamming legalities I was referring to earlier in this post. Make it easy for clients to unsubscribe from your emails.  It's the law!

What do you think?  Do you have more to add to the list of deadly sins? 
I'll be writing more in the coming months on using email marketing to promote your massage business... so stay tuned.

Related posts:

Set Yourself Apart From the Competition
Powerful Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Clients
5 Lessons I've Learned

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling. She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 14 years. 

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