MassageBook claims to be a “Success Engine” for Massage Therapists. What that means to me is they help you manage your practice with ease (and not just aspects of your business but rather your whole business). These are big claims from the maker of this software. In this article, I am going to address many of these aspects to provide you a fair and objective massage software review.
Before I go into the details about MassageBook and what it can do for your practice, I want to share with you the rating criteria I came up with to help provide a more useful and objective review. There are 8 categories of the review criteria. Below is the name of each one and its meaning.
- Pricing. Pricing is most likely the first thing people look at when the look into massage online scheduling software. Once someone knows a price, they pretty much say to themselves “it’s okay” or “it’s too expensive”. Unfortunately, this preconceived notion prevents Massage Therapists from better understanding what the software actually does, compared to how much it costs. My rating system for pricing is based on what the software actually does for the cost to use, as well as in comparison to what else is available (I’ve reviewed 12 different softwares and determined the average cost for using an online scheduling software is about $23 a month).
- Responsive. There are different ways someone can use an online scheduling software. You could use it from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You could also use an app or a web-based version of the software. This rating criterion is called “responsive” because it will cover how compatible the software is with all of the viewing platforms that you use.
- User Friendliness. You will be using this software every day (or close to it). What helps is if it’s easy to navigate and use. You also want to feel good while you are using it. Why deal with headaches or heartaches because of a bad software that’s not user friendly? From this rating criterion, you will know how you will feel when using this software.
- Customer Friendliness. You’re not the only one who will use this software. It is so important to also make sure that your clients feel good when they use the software! However, they won’t be using it like you do. I’m going to make sure that you know the software is also good for your clients to use.
- SOAP Notes. I’ve added the SOAP notes criterion because I know it’s important for your practice and several massage scheduling softwares include SOAP notes as a feature. But just because SOAP notes are offered doesn’t mean that they’re good. Considerations like how SOAP notes are stored, shared, and what kind of visual aids are available need to be weighted as either pros or cons. I’ve done the research for you and you will have a full understanding of what you can and can’t do with SOAP notes for this software.
- Automation. Part of investing in a massage scheduling software is the ability to automate certain processes. Automation saves you time and money. If your online scheduling software is compatible with your website and social media pages, that will make things more automated. It will further help you feel saner because you won’t have to remember so many things that you need to do. In this rating criterion, I am going to help you know what will save you time and money if you use this software.
- Payment Processing. Yes, some online scheduling softwares take payments. Maybe you want a software that will hold a credit card as a reservation or charge clients for a no show. Payment processing can make your life a lot easier when the software is working right. I’ll be sharing a lot of helpful information about the software’s payment processing capabilities and what it can or can’t do for your business.
- Add-Ons. Sometimes softwares have some cool features that you may have not even considered. I’ll review these features, providing more information about whether they’re worth your time and money.
When reading through each criterion, you will see an overall rating number after the title. I used the familiar “on a scale from 1 – 10” rating system. This number represents the quality of the software, specific to the criterion reviewed. For example, if you see a number 5 in the section, you will know it is average. 1 is poor. 10 is excellent. After each number rating is shared, there will be explanations and examples about how the software provides this feature.
Now that you know the what and how of this massage software review for MassageBook, let’s dive right in.
Software for Massage Therapists- MassageBook Review
MassageBook offers a free version. This is good you can’t beat free. The free version has its limitations though. For example, it appears that the digital intake forms and the email marketing are not included in the free version. You will have to decide what your needs are based on the company’s tiered pricing.
I’ve never been a fan of tiered pricing and MassagBook has taken the concept to heart. They have 5 options. This can be slightly confusing because you may not see one of their features to be valuable enough to invest in the increase of cost. Although there are 5 options to choose from, the fortunate thing is that the highest priced version is still inexpensive. It’s currently priced at $30/month.
If you are a member of ABMP, you can save from 20 to 50% off, depending on what you purchase. Here’s a view of what pricing is like when the ABMP discount is applied:
MassageBook might have the vision to compete with MindBody. It’s hard to tell at this point because MassageBook is not as big as MindBody. But the reason why I raise this point is because MassageBook offers a desktop app for computer use and a mobile app for tablets and phones. This is in addition to accessing the massage software from the MassageBook website.
This is all helpful. It’s great to have options for accessing the software. However, it is publicly noted that the mobile apps (for tablets and phones) have more limited use than the desktop or website applications. A recent review of the software on the Mac App store states “The website is great but I wish the app would do more of the features that the site does- like being able to write SOAP notes for example. Or even have an iPad version with the extra features. But I would love to be able to do everything on the app that the site can do.”
User Friendliness- 5/10
Creating a business account is very simple to do. The only thing that may present a challenge is to choose what domain name you want to use. By default the software lists your business name after the massagebook.com/biz portion (which is mandatory) and then lists your business name. For example, I listed my practice as Body Resonance Massage but didn’t want that long of a website address. After some thought and checking to see if anything was available, I selected an acronym.
I’m not a fan of using website addresses like these because it can hurt your business branding. Unfortunately, this is the only way you can proceed to use their software though.
Setting up and using your MassageBook account can be confusing because MassageBook wants you to do two things:
- They want you to set up a professional profile.
- They want you to set up a business page.
For me, this is unattractive because their system functions in a way that you have to become a part of it. MassageBook isn’t a product you use. Rather, it’s a scheme that conjugates your information when you sign up. Your info adds to their branding. This is the opposite of what would benefit you, which would be the product integrating with your brand.
Customer Friendliness- 3.5/10
MassageBook has simplified the scheduling process for your clients if…
If they have an account. You may think no big deal but this is actually critical. You see, your clients don’t want to create an account. They’re not interested in filling out their profile page, adding pictures, and feeling like they’re signing up for Facebook. They want to schedule with you, secure a time slot, and be done with it. MassageBook made a huge mistake when they made their software require your clients to create accounts.
SOAP Notes- 9.5/10
Wow! It’s really helpful that MassageBook’s Founder is a Massage Therapist. Their SOAP notes feature is their strongest attribute. There are things you can do with SOAP notes that are really impressive. You can click anywhere on an image to get a closer look of the muscle tissues.
Additionally, with a higher priced subscription, you can automate part of the SOAP notes writing process.
When I wrote the massage software review for ClinicSense, I was excited about the visual anatomy included in writing SOAP notes. MassageBook has taken the SOAP notes feature to the next level though. Very impressive!
Because of Massagebook’s intention of being a “success engine”, the company has created many features that automate managing your business. For example, anytime a client uses the system to schedule with you, their information is stored in a customer database that is easily searchable. (This is called a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.) Here are some more things that Massagebook automates to help you save time and money managing your practice.
- Intake forms can be “pushed” to first time clients, requiring them to fill out the form before they come to your treatment room. It saves you time and helps you stay organized, allowing you to know where to access the intake form.
- The SOAP notes are stored in the client database. In addition to the organization of the notes, you can set up reminders for yourself to fill out the SOAP notes.
- Massagebook integrates with Facebook, allowing you set up a Facebook “Business” page where you can book appointments and build a community following of potential and current clients.
- Massagebook gives you lots of options to set up appointment reminders. You can choose text (if you have a premium membership) or email and you can a reminder will be sent a day before the appointment.
Payment Processing- 2/10
Massagebook claims it’s easy to set up their payment processing system. It is. However, it doesn’t make everything else easy for you because when it comes time for your clients to pay (in person), you have to use a 3rd party card reader (like Stripe or Square). And then there comes that time (And this happens often. I have personal experience with this.) when your card reader doesn’t work. What do you do then? You have to manually enter the credit card number. Every time! (This was very annoying in my personal experience as a client. My Massage Therapist was also unhappy with how that worked).
Assuming your client prepays, things will be a lot easier. But we both know that it’s rare clients prepay for every session.
Also, consider the fact Massagebook keeps 2.75% of every transaction. I’m not sure if you use a 3rd party card reader, you have to give percentages of your session to both MassageBook and that provider. If you do know, please comment below.
Add Ons- 5/10
There are additional features Massagebook offers to make managing your practice easier. Below is a list of some of the features with explanations of how it can help your practice:
- Client Reviews. Because Massagebook makes clients create a user account to book, it also encourages clients to rate and review your services. This is a good thing should every future client use Massagebook to book session. But that’s highly unlikely. You’re best visibility of client reviews is on sites such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
- Gift Certificates. They can be sold and used online. Everything is tracked. A neat thing about how Massagebook helps you promote and sell gift certificates is any certificate that is purchased online, can be emailed to the recipient, even if you don’t know who they are/have their email address.
- Email Marketing Integration. Massagebook provides its own system for email marketing. You can create templates and track how many people are viewing your email messages.
Software for Massage Therapists Overall Rating- 5.5/10
Massagebook’s software offers a lot but I question the quality of how well it makes managing your practice more simple and efficient. For example, the payment processing feature of requiring a manually entered credit card number is super inconvenient.
I wouldn’t recommend Massagebook for a Massage Therapist that runs their own practice. Instead, I would recommend using Artichoke. Artichoke is a massage software that is also meant for sole practitioners.
I’ve written a comprehensive massage software review for Artichoke. You can learn more about it here.