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The Art of Getting and Keeping Yoga Students


Attracting new yoga students while maintaining the client base you already have is a fine balance that you can master.

While yoga offers a gateway to improved relaxation, better health, increased mindfulness and overall body strength—things that everyone wants—running a successful yoga business still requires work. From the raw data of assets and liabilities to the fine details of emails to clients, there are a number of points of contact with your client along that way that can make or break a long-term connection.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you find your own balance in the business of client retention. And while you do the research, know that ultimately, your studio and your clients are still unique. When you find something that works—keep doing it.

And remember to have lots of ways for your current students to give you feedback. They know what they do and don’t like, and this information can only help you attract new clients and find improved ways to keep your current students happy.

Make an offer they can’t refuse.

To overcome the hesitations your potential new clients may have, be they financial or otherwise, create an introductory package to your studio that allows a new student access to your space for a two-week or 30-day trial, at a price that entices.

When they have the opportunity to try new teachers and class times, they’ll be able to get the best sense of the environment and services you’ve created and how it can fit into their lives. When a new client takes the step to try yoga, making the time for it may be one of their biggest concerns. Giving them an extended (longer than three days) trial period can help them get into a rhythm they will most likely want to continue.

Also, make sure you let your current students know about any introductory packages you have, as they are natural ambassadors for your studio.

Let your students know you care.

Stay in touch with your new and current clients. While follow-up emails may be wonderful tools, especially for students who haven’t been to class in a while, make sure you and your staff regularly check in with your students in person, in the moment.

Every student has come to your class for a different reason; and the more familiar you become with that reason, the easier it will be to help them. When they feel cared for and valued in your class, they’ll keep coming back.

As the saying goes, “Little things mean a lot.” Keep a holistic mindset when it comes to customer service. From the way you answer the phone to the way the bathroom is cleaned, your students are paying attention to the little things that make your studio special—or not.

Is it time to upgrade the printed schedule? Have you called your students lately just to say hi? Did that social media moment really work? Is it time to send a hand-written thank you? Be in touch with the vibe of your students—even the smallest gestures can mean the difference between that client staying for one class or one year.

Offer an upgrade.

Upgrades can provide you with a variety of options. When a student finishes an introductory offer or leaves after a membership expires, for example, have packages in place to bring those clients back in the door. Take a 30-day trial member and roll them into a three- or six-month discounted membership, for instance. By having upgrades available, in terms of membership, you allow pathways for students to come back for more in a naturally unfolding way.

If you have a two-week trial, give them the rest of the month at a special rate. Want them to sign up long-term? Discounted annual memberships may be a great way for both you and your students to have a win-win.

You can also think of upgrades as upgrades in service. If a student buys a certain number of sessions at full price, you can add a half- or full-hour of personalized instruction to the package. That’s another way to give loyal students more of what they love: time doing yoga in your studio.

If you have special yoga workshops during the year, having memberships that include those as part of the package is another way to offer an upgrade that serves both you and your students.