Once you get a yoga student in your studio, how do you retain them? New students are often nervous; how do you make them comfortable so they come back? How do you turn their first yoga experience into a practice?
An Irresistible 30 Day Offer: This offers needs to be attractive enough to motivate them to buy it over other options. The 30 days allows a new student to practice multiple times with their schedule and sample the buffet of teachers and styles. Hopefully they will find a fit and develop a habit of practicing yoga.
Auto-pay Membership: Autopay is the key to long-term commitment. Pricing should ensure the best deal for medium users for example 4-6 times a month. Most businesses price this auto-pay plan too high, so that only the students practicing 10+ times a month find it worthwhile. The goal is to get as many students as you can on a re-occurring membership plan that drives higher attendance.
Offer an incentive to renew annual memberships without taking a break. This often is the time that members take advantage of other studio 30 day trials. Make it worth their while to stay. On a personal level, connect and thank them for their continued support.
Offer incentives to bring a friend: This allows newcomers to try no risk with their friend. It also minimizes the price objections for a member to invite a friend when drop-ins are high. I’ve also seen 2 for one offers for new students. This helps encourage new trials and they have a friend to share the experience with. Always put an expiration date on your offers.
On-boarding Process for New Students
Turn your 30 day trial into a process that creates engagement and loyalty. This could include special consideration from their first teacher, a tour, handouts, new student and what to expect sections on website. I’ve even heard of studios setting up a passport to encourage sampling more of the classes. You can improve conversion significantly by implementing a sales and communication process that reaches out to the new student in a variety of ways -email, text, phone, handwritten cards, and face-to-face during the time of the introductory offer. A discount can be offered just before the 30 day offer expires. Its best to automate most of this so you can save time and it doesn’t get forgotten.
Do the Research
Follow up with students to find out why they keep coming to your studio and why they don’t. Connecting with students who don’t renew is often hard to do especially for the owners themselves. But you need to! At for a sampling so you can learn. It may be hard, but call up students that don’t renew to find out why. Put them on your nurture lists (with permission) to keep reminding them of your offers and new events. Stay in touch so that when they have the money or time, you will be top of mind.
Create an Exceptional Experience
Find your own unique way of ensuring your new and existing students continue to have an exceptional experience and feel part of your community. Great classes, friendly staff and a pleasant ,welcoming atmosphere will keep them coming back and telling their friends. Make sure your teachers and staff participate in your on-boarding process and make your students feel welcome too. It is the full experience, from the inspirational quote on the wall to the tea at the end!