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Membership vs. Loyalty Program

Someone asked recently if we had a membership program at Tree of Life.  Several of the larger Massage/Spa chains have membership programs that usually involve a monthly membership fee that provides one free massage and some other perks. We do not have a membership program but we do have a loyalty program.  Let’s look at the differences and compare the two types of programs. 

At first glance, the membership program would seem to provide a discipline of getting one massage per month.  Some programs are based on a “use it or lose it” approach that means if you do not get a massage in a specific month, you are still charged the fee. 

Let’s look at the two types of programs strictly on a cost basis.  The cost of membership programs vary but some of the popular ones are priced at $49.99-$59.99 per month.  This fee provides one free massage per month.  Keep in mind that at such programs each “1 hour massage” actually involves 50 minutes of time on the table due to the fact the therapist will have to interview the client before the massage and change the sheets before the next massage.  So, using the lower price of $49.99 per month over a six month period you would pay $299.94 for 300 minutes (6 sessions @ 50 minutes each) of massage.  Therefore your cost per minute of massage would be 99.98 cents. 

Now let’s look at the loyalty program we have at Tree of Life.  The “1 hour massage” costing $60 actually includes a full 60 minutes on the table.  The interview time and the room preparation time are not charged to you.  Our new loyalty program allows for one free massage after you have paid for and received five massages.  That means if you get a 1 hour massage each month for six months, you would have paid $300 – 5 sessions at $60 each, plus one free massage.  Compared to the $299.94 cost of the membership program, it looks like you paid 6 cents more.  However, the cost per minute of massage is 83.33 cents per minute since you received 360 minutes of massage (6 months @ 60 minutes each).  The extra 6 cents actually got you another full hour of massage!   

Of course these costs are just for comparison since membership programs vary.  There are other factors to consider when comparing the two types of programs as well.  Does the membership program allow you to carry over your massage at the membership price from month to month or is it a “use it or lose it” program?  Can you share your membership with family members? Will the same massage therapist you prefer be available each month for your membership massage?  The choice is yours, but be sure to compare all of the facts when looking at any membership or loyalty program.

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