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Boutique yoga studios have seen a pretty huge surge over the last few years. And while this is great for the industry, it also means there’s a ton of locations for yogis to choose from. With so many options, it’s important that your yoga studio stands out. People don’t just want an amazing instructor - they also want an incredible experience, culture, deal, etc. To put yourself on top, here’s how to take your practice from “good” to “great” and really grow your studio to attract more yogis.
A great offer
One sure way to pique people’s interest is with an awesome deal. Especially when it comes to new students, who usually want to test out a yoga studio before they commit as loyal members. So if you don’t provide a great initial offer, chances are they’ll go somewhere else that does.
In our experience working with fitness studios, a free week always kills it. This gives new yogis enough time to attend multiple classes, get to know different instructors, experience the culture of the studio, and even feel a difference in their bodies and minds. But most importantly… this is the perfect amount of time for them to get hooked.
Some studios even offer two free weeks. Either way, a deal that’s free gives new students even more inclination to come to your studio and see what you’re about. This way, they’re only investing their time, rather than both their time and money.
A lot of studios rely on discount sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. to get their offers seen. That might be a “good” strategy, but it’s not targeted. So the free week doesn’t get seen by the right people: yogis who are most likely to come to your studio.
With Facebook ads, though, you can promote your free week to a specific audience because you set the targeting yourself. And unlike Groupon, you only invest in the Facebook ad spend. Every time an offer or deal is purchased through Groupon, they take a cut of the profit - 50% of the revenue from each coupon bought. Groupon also charges a 2.5% fee to your yoga studio for any Groupons purchased with a credit card. Facebook advertising is a great strategy for studios because it has a killer financial return, it’s targeted, and it’s visually engaging in the news feed.
Once people see your Facebook offer for a free week and they redeem your deal through a contact form, the follow up process begins. This is where a lot of studios struggle. Often times, people only call someone interested in their studio 3 - 4 times before giving up. But it takes an average of 6 - 8 “touches” before someone decides to buy and become loyal to your business. So calling only a few times might be an okay strategy, but it’s not going to fill your studio.
Instead, as soon as someone redeems your yoga offer, call them right away. It’s best to reach out to them within 15 minutes of them filling out the form for your free week. Any longer and they’re either busy or not as interested. You want to catch them in the moment. Then, call them every day going forward until they either tell you to stop or they come into your studio. Stay inspiring and never reach out with a fear base strategy.
Another great follow up strategy is automation. This is where email marketing comes in. If you use a CRM like Infusionsoft or MailChimp, you can build drip campaigns so that your new yogis automatically get a confirmation email whenever they fill our the contact form for your free week. You can then schedule even more emails to go out for a week, two weeks, etc. reminding them to come into your studio to use your free week. Other options are targeted online medias in your industry with appropriate opt-in mailing lists of people with similar interest. You can even often geo-target the mailing list to cater to your particular area/city.
Because of your killer follow up process, you’ll have an influx of new yogis coming to your studio. While they’re only there for the free week at first, this is your chance to show them how great your practice is. This is where you want to provide them with an experience that’s above and beyond what they expected or have seen at other studios.
1. Provide a cool towel (lavender or mint) at the end of class to place on your yogis’ foreheads - this is especially great for hot yoga.
2. Enhance the culture and atmosphere of the room with elements like a gong or soft relaxing music.
3. Trigger your students’ senses by bringing in relaxing scents with essential oils.
What makes a great yoga studio is one that surprises and exceeds the expectations of your students. This is what gets them talking about you to their family and friends, and eventually encourages them to become loyal members.
So start with a great offer that intrigues, promote it to a niche audience on Facebook and other medias so it gets seen by the right people, then implement an amazing follow up process that’s both timely and strategic, and finally, do what you do best - give them an amazing yoga experience.