This years promotion
I have just received a letter from Embody marketing inviting me to sign up for one of the 2000 spaces available for this years 4 national promotions.
The letter does not confirm which publications the promotions will be in this year.
When I looked on the website it still gives no further details or terms and conditions but simply instructs you to pay £20 by paypal to join. I just phoned Membership admin
who were unable to give any more info. Am I alone in wanting to know which publications the promos will be in before parting with money? Also, I need to see the terms and conditions before deciding if it is appropriate for me. The member of staff I spoke to was not able to say when or if this info would be forthcoming. Can anyone clarify the details for me ? I am happy to register an interest but need to know what I am signing up for before paying.
This doesnt sound very good, the members should be told where promotions are going to be publicised. Just for the record I havent had a letter telling me about 2008 promotions at all.
I totally agree. In fact I'm not inclined to pay £20 for this years promotions - I got absolutely nothing from The News of the world, Sainsburys AND the telegraph. I wasn't surprised about the Tele, as they had printed no contact details in the magazine!.
I paid, was it £12.50 FOR THAT!
I have said before, that I do not think it appropriate coverage for Complementary therapies. I'd like to see promotion in health magazines or woman's magazine, like 'Red', Woman and Home, Woman etc.
Another thing -Complementary thearpy is being questioned in the press, how many positive stories will they print? WE, are helping them to get more papers sold!
I have had nothing either which is very strange as I did it last year and i did have a good response from the Telegraph but not the others.
Is it only the chosen few then????
The Embody promotions letter arrived in my email inbox last night with the request to register asap. I didn't get much response to the first Telegraph promotion and felt that the News of the World promotion didn't really hit the type of client that I normally attract, therefore I chose not to participate last year.
This year I would like to have the information again to make an informed decision as to whether to participate - it would be really helpful if CThA could say who the promotions for the year are with.
As an aside I have also had an email about an ASDA promotion - I can make an informed decision there because I dont have an ASDA in my area!! :))
?? I've not had any emails saying anything, but I did get a letter. Asda - who for heavens sake wants to advertise with them! Not the sort of profile I'll be chasing after
Message from CThA
Thank you for your interest in the 2008 promotions.
Following the success of the 2007 promotion we have agreed with our promotional company to run four more promotions in 2008/9.
The first promotion is likely to be in April, with the later promotions roughly every 3 months after that. They will be 2 for 1 deals with major national newspapers and possibly an on pack promotion with a major brand.
We are actively negotiating with the newspapers at the moment and will let you know the details as soon as they are confirmed.
I would like to know which papers etc before I commit
Copy of replay thread to George Barwood - website administrator - I have just been very disappointed to find that EMBODY have just offered the ASDA deal to all its members but has not declared what payment has been made by ASDA to EMBODY.
Up until last night, I have been involved with a promotions house who were negotiating this deal and yesterday morning received verbal confirmation that the promotions house would be getting a PAID contract to deliver the exact same offer. Please note: The H Club would have been offering its members the opportunity to participate for free and without payment from the promotions house or to the promotions house.
Has ASDA made EMBODY the payment that it would have made to the above mentioned promotions house, who now inform me the contract was suddenly withdrawn yesterday ?. Alternately, has EMBODY received this approach from another marketing promotions house - if that is the case, why should the membership pay EMBODY to register to participate ?.
Please can I also enquire if EMBODY intends to continue generating work for us in this way and if it is thus going to become a marketing promotions house itself. Will you be receiving payment from the companies involved and getting we therepists to do the work for free - or should I say by paying £20 each to you to be listed on the EMBODY FOR YOU site - am I missing something or do we not already pay for that in our membership fee ?.
I have been involved with numerous marketing promotions houses for several years now and know that the sums they get paid are quite considerable, whilst The H Club has never had to make a payment to be listed with them.
The H Club runs a call centre and matching service for its member practitioners on these types of schemes - again a FREE service to our club practitioners. Is EMBODY also going to do this for the promotions it runs ?. If not, how are the voucher holders going to be screened and safety and security of the practitioners address details etc maintained ?.
Can you answer why we are being asked to pay EMBODY for registration and participation in these schemes when we are already paying you our membership fees?.
Can you also answer why we are being asked to pay further charges at £20 per year for registration on a promotion where EMBODY is not doing anything for us and is probably getting the payment that would otherwise have been made to a promotions house who worked to recruit and service the scheme ?.
The ASDA promotion was offered to us very recently, it is outside the four national promotions and is free for CThA members to participate if you wish.
We have not run a promotion with ASDA before and are open minded about its effectiveness, however they are a major national company, with up to 20 million customers per week so it has good potential.
We will continue to look for other promotional opportunities to offer to members.
The four promotions for £20 is likely to just break even, or make a small profit or loss, it certainly isn't a "money spinner". The promotions are negotiated in order to offer members a practical and cost effective way to promote their business by participating in major national campaigns.
In the end of the day it is down to the individual member to decide if they wish to participate, for many members it is a very effective way to atract new business, but not for all.
Last year's promotion was very well recieved, which is why we decided to offer a similar opportunity this year.
Im a member of a local therapy group. I had a few responses from The Telegraph, and they were only interested in having a free treatment. Of all the other therapists I have spoken I was surprised when then told me they did not gain anything from the promotions at all.
Please be advised - whilst ASDA may have 20 million customers this promotion is only going to be an issue of £1 million vouchers. The forecast coversion of this for the scheme was less than 2.5% uptake - fewer than 250000 people are expected to take up the offer. This marketing information is always available in any campaign and those are the figures anticipated by the previous promotions house working on this with ASDA up until only yesterday.
Please note, you still have not answered my questions
1. Is EMBODY being paid by either ASDA or by a promotions house for recruiting to this voucher scheme - if so how much ?
2. Why are therapists being asked to pay an ADDITIONAL £20 to be included in wpromotion campaigns - albeit not the ASDA one - what are we already paying membership fees for ?
3. Of the 100+ practitioners in our club - extremely few have had ANY success from the EMBODY schemes in terms of conversions. Indeed, not one person that I have spoken to had any success at all from either the Sainsbury or the Daily Mail promotions last year.
Can you please explain what you mean by saying that £20 is only expected to break even or make a small profit for EMBODY - what work has EMBODY done here - haven't you been approached by someone else just to simply open up your members database for anyone and everyone with a voucher to access?. What costs are involved in that ?.
What proportions of success for Beauty therapists and Complementary therapists?
Can I say that as a member I am very, very unhappy with the way this all appears to be unfolding.
Some have received letters, some emails and some of us (myself included) have recived nothing. What is going on in the admin dept?
I am very unhappy at the money that appears to be being generated for Embody as a business that does not appear to be passed onto it's members.
This is in my opinion all appearing quite unsavoury for the organisation.
It is time that Embody became more transparent in it's affairs. I think I will be paying a visit to Companies House (or English equivelent)
With the prospect of Regulation coming in very soon, Complementary therapists require to be taken as serious health professionals. I fail to see how - associating with this type of promotional advertising will do 'US' any favours!
Last year I had a zero response to the promotions all except the Daily Telegraph
from which I had 8 "freebie seekers" and one new client who I am still treating regularly now. My gut feeling is that the style of these other promotions was more
suited to the Beauty Therapist Association than the Complementary Therapists.
I have always felt the two do not really sit that well together when complementary therapists are seeking to be recognised as health professionals.
I too was very concerned that I was being invited (on the website) to pay £20 to partcipate in unknown promotions. Having just had a pretty poor experience of being part of a nectar card promotion (nothing to do with Embody), and having had absolutely nothing from the past Embody promotions I paid up for, I am reluctant to take part in any of this stuff that is clearly making money for someone at our expense. I haven't received anything from Embody about the Asda promotion. Are there different levels of Embody membership??
If you have a look at http://www.complementary.assoc.org.uk/ you will see the two places in the right-hand column for the Asda promotion and the other offers for 2008.
I am a little susprised too at not receiving anything about these promotions through the post as has happened in previous years. Maybe Embody are using a mailing house that sends out letters as and when it's not too busy - hence why some have had letters and others haven't!
Maybe I'm a "glass half full" type of girl but I have taken part in all the promotions over the last two years. Maybe because of where I'm based and that I seem to be the only member in the promotions for a few mile radius, has meant I have had a fair amount of success with only some wanting the free offer only! One of my best clients started with me through the Daily Telegraph in 2006 and others do come back periodically. None of them would have known about me if it wasn't for the promotion!
Good luck to everyone and I look forward to hearing about what the offers actually involve!
If Lorraine who called on behalf of the CThA would like to call me back I am now in my centre. You left a message asking me to call you. I would much prefer if Embody paid for the call, thank you.
We don't actually open till 9am so no-one was here to take your call this morning (regarding my message further up)
I would be very interested to know the conversion rate which therapists experience from these offers. Personally I had no take-up at all of the News of the World and Sainsbury offers last year; the Telegraph offer has kept me very busy the last 2 years but has not resulted in a single client. I think if would be very informative if Embody were to conduct a survey gathering this feedback from all participants. This is surely the measure of success of the promotions, I would hope that Embody would not want to peddle more and more of them without evaluating whether they have been worthwhile. It is also data which Embody members would find useful when deciding whether or not to take part.
I've also received the Asda email, though won't be taking it up as I'm a healthcare professional and don't really think thats appropriate for me.
I haven't had a letter asking me to register for the 2008 promotions though as others have said I would be reluctant to pay a charge to do so given the lack of response I had from them in 2007.
I am interested in hearing a response to the questions about whether Embody is receiving payment for these kind of offers though!
Initally i sign up for the Asda promotion as i live near a large Asda store and thought this could generate some new clients.
However, having read the above posts i have now withdrawn from the offer.
I would like to thank Gillian for highlighting the issues surrounding this promotion.
In view of the number of replies on this post it would be good to get a full response from Embody - it seems there are many questions here going unanswered.
Didn't know what a hornets nest I had opened here.
I was called by STeve Wright last week (EMBODY) and was advised that yes, EMBODY was being paid for the ASDA promotion but no, the members were not - they were being asked to work for FREE.
I know just how much hard work it can be to set up these types of promotions, it can take many many hours of presentations ot ASDA staff, many hours of to-ing and fro-ing about how many people you have, how you can cover the store spread, how you will receive client calls, how they will be answered, how to ensure all vouchers are registered and all people called back, what to do if you aren't immediately available when the voucher holders call,, call scripts on voucher holder questions - everything from how to handle customer queries to how to handle their complaints - in specific (not just gerenal), how much calls will costs the voucher holders, what to do about those who don't have answer phones when you call them back, how to ensure you get in contact even if they give you mistaken phone numbers, the list goes on - and it all has to be documented and presented to the client - ASDA !. This work takes time.
I have no problem with EMBODY being paid - I DO have a problem with members not being told that EMBODY were being paid. Also, that the members are not told how that payment is to be used for the benefit of those members who did participate.
The holiday vouchers, quite frankly, are also a FREEBIE that have been supplied to the promotions house who brought this to EMBODY. The small print in the terms and conditions will very likely make them not that attractive to the majority anyway. The usual conversion rates for this sort of thing will have been applied - ie between 1/2% and 2 1/2 % coversion.
As this ASDA campaign is going out to ANYONE who walks into ASDA and has a spend in store - you also don't know who you will be getting using the vouchers - the demographics of the client base need to be considered - just what type of person do you want to be treating?. How many of those can you convert ie how many can afford you, how many alreday have a therapist they see regularly anyway, how far do they live from you, age, gender, etc etc.
What also worries me is that EMBODY did NOT ask any of these questions before agreeing to take the money and support this campaign. As practitioners, you always need to consider the following for each and every campaign ----
Is being busy doing FREE work going to help pay the motgage ?. How many of the FREE clients convert ?. Is the promotion a beauty or a complementary therapy based promotion? Is the promotion saying what you want about your profession and your treatments or is it manifesting the 'nice to have relaxing beauty' theme or the 'essential to have, healthy lifestyle' theme ?.
I would recommend everyone looks at the information suppplied and asks them self - am I ready for this campaign - after all, if you are in it, you can't withdraw until the end of the validity period on the tickets - no matter how many or few vouchers are issued and how great or little the uptake - you have entered a contract and should abide by it's terms and conditions - but we don't know what these are do we ? Can anyone in EMBODY tell us ?
I have received a letter inviting me to take part in the newspaper promotions, perhaps because I didnt join it previously and I wont be this time either.
I think there are only a couple of times when you may give free treatments, to a hospice or similar - where although the treatments may be free the wealth of experience/humble pie etc., you get makes up for that.
Also when you first qualify and you want to gain some experience outside your training of dealing with the public, this also includes possibly giving free treatments but the receiver of the treatment give a minimum of £x towards the charity you may be raising money for.
As others have said here, why should we give free treatments? Who else do you know who gives a professional service for nothing. (if treatments are going to be free why isnt the training, memberships etc. People who take freebies rarely return to pay. I have given 'freebies' at promotions etc., before but my experience too is that there is little or no return on it. Even promotions or pamper days that you are paid for, the recepients who are being treated, because someone else is paying, rarely come to you individually for treatments at a later date. I am not referring here to the sessions given in companies where the staff do either have to contribute toward the cost or pay for it entirely - some OSM work for example. There are also some companies who give out vouchers to winners of work related promotions, they are ok because the organisers pay you for the tresatment and sometimes the receipient does come back!
Generally speaking if youre not being paid I dont know why you are there! I have done a few freebie promotions in the past and whilst it was good meeting the public etc., if you are looking for further business at some point, forget it.
This seems to be a difficult area. I took part in the first Telegraph offer, which did recruit me quite a few clients (some of whom I still have today, so I'm not too bothered about having client-retention problem.) However, subsequent ones have been very dissappointing - Sainsbury and NEws of the world drew a complete blank, and the last telegraph one resulted in mostly existing clients collecting vouchers, so proved very expensive for me, especially as I had to pay Embdoy for the priviledge of taking part. Furthermore, my recollection was that in early stages of these schemes you said were picking therapists from different areas geographically, so there woudn;t be too much competition. That didn't work out.
All in all, I have opted not to pay the registration fee asked by Embody: I don't think this is a particularly fair system. The NEwspapers definitely get the best deal in that they get more sales. We are in effect being asked to subsidise their marketing. I think the above mentioned Asda campaign takes the biscuit - they're not even provideing the holiday vouchers, so we're being asked to subsidise the holiday company as well.
And all this, in a market where we now cannot advertise ourselves directly in newspapers due ot the government crackdown on the sale of sexual services. But that is another topic which I really woudl like some advice and discussion on.
PS and it REALLY worries me that Embody does not seem to be taking much part in this discussion!
Hear hear Amanda...come now Embody, surely this warrants a FULL response.
Thanks Linden - and Beverley, my experience of the last Telegraph offer was the same - kept gettign calls about waxing and body piercing! Also Carol - very pertinent comments. Even the charity I work for sometimes pays me (I do give a discount) but I don't get that many referrals.
I think the discussion that perhaps needs to take place is about public perception and pr - particularly in the light of the government crackdown on advertising. Our local paper has stopped Complementary Therapies completely, on hte basis that anything involving massage is open to abuse. In some ways I agree, but on the other hand, how do we continue to reach new people? I do get referrals, and I am on various web registers, but I work a lot with elderly and infirm, which I really enjoy, but they are not great internet users. My first 2 clients are still with me today: they both have MS, and responded to the first ad I ran in the local paper back in 02. Having said that, I did have to wade through loads of calls from guys wanting more than a massage, however carefully I worded the ad. I've been told that our local paper classifieds manager is looking into the problem, and I've put in a query about what is their policy view - will keep you posted. Interestingly, they still take ads from beauty salons offering massage etc, so it is a bit unfair on those of us who work from home or mobile.
Any ideas, in the meantime? It would seem that Embody isn't really doing enough (any) positive PR for us.
I would just like to let Embody know that I too had absolutely no
response from the Telegraph promotion either. Am very disappointed that there doesn't seem to be an effective way to promote your business. I have also tried pamper evenings, everyone is out for freebies, and are not interested in coming back for further treatments. I would certainly not like to offer a treatment for free. It's hard enough to get paying clients in the first place, and I can't afford to use oils/creams/heating/lighting etc. and get nothing in return.
Would be interested to hear comments from other therapists.
I have learned to charge and not to do any of these school pamper evenings for 'FREE'. What I prefer, is to have a timed list that people can sign up to AND pay when they sign. I'll charge either £5 for a school and £8 for a Fayre.
In fact, I know that a lot of these organisers now find it very hard to find any therapist to come without payment.
After all, it takes a lot of your time - arriving an hour before to set up, treatments at 15 minute intervals, then takes 30-40 mins packing away and that's not including your travel time and cost.
There appear to be two themes running together here -
a) Are FREE treatments worth it ?
Our 7/8 years of statistics show 95% uptake is by FREEBIE hunters. No shows are running at about 20%. Conversions to repeat (once), about 5%. Long term repeaters - approx 1%
That is why in all our voucher promotions - The H Club has specifically agreed that we can now 'up-sell'.
By that we mean - if the voucher is an offer of a FREE 15 minute taster (including consultation - that doesn't leave much time for anything eles) we only allow people to use the voucher in our 'off-peak' times.
BUT, if the client wants a fully flexible choice from our working hours and is prepared to take a one hour treatment at £44 we give them 25% discount. This stops the FREEBIE hunters and encourages the genuine potential clients.
b) The second theme is that vucher prmotions should be carefully chosen to differentiate between Beauty treats and Complementary Therapy treats. It is important that we do not de-value the health benefits that are specific to therapeutic treatments.
Beauty massage can be most effective as a relaxant, but there is far more we complementary therapists can and do offer by way of health benefits.
It is VERY important that EMBODY ensures it does not devalue the health benefits by allowing marketing promotions houses to portray the two things as being one and the same.
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I have just received this from EMBODY - they are asking therapists to collect the vouchers and send them back. Why when we are not being paid anything for the vouchers- is it because all the other campaigns seem to have been so disasterous and EMBODY wishes to counter those claims ?.
I am however aghast that as this promotion is being run by Mosaic - and will be being paid for by Muller - why is it being taken as the second promotion for which EMBODY members have paid - It is not costing EMBODY anything - indeed, I would even ask, is this like the aborted ASDA promotion through Mosaic - are EMBODY being paid by Mosaic as well as being paid £20 by us members ?.
Second Embody Promotion begins tomorrow
From: Embody Promotions (email@example.com)
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Sent:18 May 2008 06:22:26
Dear Gillian The Müllerlight on pack promotion begins tomorrow, 2.5 million promotional packs will begin to hit the shelves tomorrow.
For terms and conditions see: www.embodyforyou.com/Promotions/MullerlightTermsAndConditions
To help us monitor the response to this promotion, please can you collect all vouchers you receive and send them in to us at the end of the promotion to the address below.
Embody Embody Promotions
PO Box 6955
Tel: 0870 005 2646 Fax: 0844 779 8898
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Web : www.EmbodyForYou.com
A division of Education & Media Services Limited.