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The Marketing Guide to Retaining New Yoga Students

retain yoga students


The greatest attrition is when a student is new to a business.


For most yoga studio owners, a focus on attracting and retaining new yoga students is paramount. Once you get them in the door, the trick is to keep them coming back. However, industry-wide statistics paint a startling picture. Fifty percent of new students will not return to your business after the first visit. You must create a retention plan that motivates new students to return and become loyal members.

Here are five marketing strategies to attract and retain new yoga students.

1. Attract new students.

With attracting and retaining new yoga students, it’s necessary to price an irresistible 30-day introduction offer. What does that mean? It should be more attractive than comparable offers and motivate them to buy. A 30-day offer has the best retention of any intro in the marketplace for yoga because it gives students plenty of time to practice multiple times. Thirty days also gives you time to encourage their new yoga practice—long after the first month. Attending one yoga class does not convert anyone to anything!

2. Create effective marketing materials.

Using high-quality, close-up photos of actual students and instructors is the most effective marketing tool for yoga studios. People are drawn to realistic men and women who look happy and engaged in the practice. To increase engagement, be sure to take photos where you can see the faces of your models.

Lastly, the golden rule of marketing is to include the intro offer on all of your materials—the bigger the writing and the bolder the font, the more you will attract and sell.

3. Optimize your website.

In one-twentieth of a second, consumers make an opinion about your business based on your yoga website. The top one-third of your website should be optimized to sell the intro offer. The best practices include using high-quality, close-up images of instructors and students coupled with large, bold, colorful call-to-action buttons with the intro offer.

What is a call-to-action button? It is a button on your website that encourages your visitors to respond to the ad and purchase your offer. It should stand out from the rest of the page, be clear, and link directly to your intro offer on your online store.

4. Sell an auto-pay membership.

Selling an auto-pay membership is the key to long-term commitment and student retention. The key to pricing an auto-pay membership that students will buy is to ensure the best deal for the medium user.

A medium user is a student who practices a certain number of times per month. Industry statistics place a medium user at four to six times per month depending on how active or vigorous the yoga practice.

Most business owners price their auto-pay membership too high, so only the students practicing 10 or more times per month would buy it. The goal is to get as many students as you can on your membership—boosting revenue, increasing retention, and driving higher attendance.

5. Implement a process.

Without an intentional path to take students from new to loyal members, the average purchasing retention statistics are as low as five to 10 percent conversion to auto-pay membership. You can improve conversion drastically by implementing a sales process that incorporates multiple forms of contact with your students during the time of the intro offer. Contact can be a combination of email, text, phone call, handwritten note, or face-to-face communication.

A discount can be offered just before the offer expires. When these strategies are implemented effectively, auto-pay membership conversion can increase 50 percent or more.

Nicole-ChetaudTo receive more yoga business consulting from Nicole Chetaud, click here.

Nicole Chetaud
Nicole is a certified MINDBODY Business Consultant, working directly with hundreds of clients nationally and internationally in verticals such as yoga, pilates, and barre fitness. Nicole is a regular speaker at MINDBODY University, Yoga Journal conferences, and Wanderlust festivals. She teaches best practices for business in analyzing key performance indicators, marketing, sales, and client retention. She has presented at over 30 MINDBODY University events to over 3,000 MINDBODY clients in five years. She has been a certified Bikram yoga instructor since 2005, building on that expertise by completing the YogaWorks 200-hour teacher-training course in 2011. Nicole’s professional background includes three years as Sales & Events Manager for MINDBODY University (MBU) business education events, during which time she successfully brought MBU from a break-even endeavor to a profitable business center. To do so, she used innovative marketing campaigns and strategic sales initiatives, which she now shares with her loyal client base around the world. With more than a decade of experience in customer service, sales, and marketing across a variety of industries, Nicole has mentored thousands of business owners at the individual level, using a personable approach that her clients describe as “positive, inspiring, results oriented, and refreshing”. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from University of California, Santa Cruz. A dedicated mother and yoga teacher with a passion for healthy living, Nicole makes her home in beautiful Larkspur, CA.