3 Essential Tips for Keeping Yoga Students Happy

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Fact: It’s five times more expensive to get a new student to sign up than it is to keep a current student.

Even with a high number of new members every month, a high drop rate is fiscally bad news for business even if you have a high number of new students. It’s costly to continuously add new students and if you cannot get the customers you currently have to stay enrolled, then you’re going to struggle with growing your studio.

So how do you keep your students happy, improve retention rates, and spend less on acquiring new students to replace the ones you lose? Here are 3 tips:

1. Understand Your Numbers

Before you address your student retention management, you need to first understand the metrics that describe your retention rate. Your retention rate is the percentage of members who stay enrolled with you out of the number who signed up over a period of time. For example, how many students have stayed enrolled this month from last month? The closer your retention rate is to 100%, the better.

If you hate looking at spreadsheets of data, we feel your pain. It doesn’t help that many class management software generate reports as super boring tables and charts that are difficult to interpret. Some software (*cough* MINDBODY *cough*) has nearly 100 Xcel-generated reports. Understanding what’s actually going on in reports like that can be hard work.

Ugh. It’s frustrating to have access to data that you have to work at understanding. And what’s the point of paying for software that doesn’t make understanding your business any easier?

fitDEGREE reports make understanding your numbers much easier. Rather than focusing on numbers and reporting, we show you the trends that matter—trends you can actually act on.

These reports are detailed, colorful charts that break data down by your demographics (gender, age, race), enrollment, and revenue. Rather than leaving it up to you to interpret, these reports show you what’s working and isn’t working in a way that can really guide you to improving retention. Make your software do the work for you so you can better understand who your students are and what they like best from your studio.

2. Offer Series Classes to Hook Them

While having monthly membership-based classes is what you ultimately want for your studio to have steady revenue, it’s not always a reliable method of getting people into your studio. We live in a generation of trying things before committing to them. People don’t want to commit to a membership at your studio until they know they’re into you––it’s a yoga student’s market, after all. There’s certainly no shortage of yoga teachers out there.

So how do you hook people into committing to regular classes at your studio? It turns out series classes are super effective in getting your demographics in the door. Memberships like ClassPass empower your prospective members to try different studios in the area for a monthly fee. If you market your studio well and create a reputation worth talking about in the ClassPass community, you can make a nice chunk of revenue from ClassPass trials.

Offering prospects a series of three to 10 classes for a flat price rather than trying to sell your studio membership upfront will encourage people to stick around. Whether simply skeptical about if your studio is right for a prospect or they just aren’t sure yet—a lot of people take a long time to commit. Rather than seeing this as an obstacle to studio growth and retention, it can actually be an asset. Try leaning into the “try it” age and creating packaged series classes that cater to the non-committal.

3. Stay in Touch with Your Members

Okay, so it might seem obvious but staying in touch with your members is an important way to get people wanting to come back. People have busy lives. They get busy or lose interest and coming to yoga class becomes a lower priority. But if you send personalized reminders to your members via push notifications to come to class, they’re much more likely to continue coming. It’s a small gesture but it shows your members their presence in your studio is appreciated.

fitDEGREE has a feature that allows you to do just this and to automate the messages you send out. You can also stay in touch with your members by sending them event reminders and posting announcements in the feed of your branded mobile app––how cool is that?

Conclusion

The above tips are solid methods of improving your retention, however, the best method of retention starts in the studio. Your ability to retain members is based directly on the quality of experience and level of service you provide your members. Remember that your reputation will build your numbers, so keep them happy!