How do I shift my membership pricing for online yoga classes?

The world looks very different right now. Most studios have transitioned from their traditional brick and mortar classes to online only membership. It’s easy to think your studio is offering less – fewer classes, only online – and should charge less. That’s just not true.

Truth → Your yoga studio offers more than online classes.

The community your studio offers is vibrant and special. Right now, more than ever, people are looking for community. If they can, your members will want to keep supporting you, like you’ve supported them.

Don’t panic!

You’re afraid members won’t be able to pay – that cancelations will start rolling in by the dozens. Many studios are panicking and immediately dropping their pricing. That’s a mistake.

Some industries are taking a hit right now, but many people are still working from home and getting their full paycheck. Those members will be happy to keep paying their membership, as long as you’re offering them value!

Don’t change your pricing until your members ask for it.

There’s a sweet spot with your pricing. It all comes down to the numbers. Let’s say your members are all paying $100 a month. If you jump in and say “These are hard times, we’re cutting membership pricing down to $50 for online classes…” all the sudden you’ve lost half your income. That’s a BIG problem for keeping your studio alive in the long term.

Let’s say instead you keep things at $100. Sure, some people will come to you and put their memberships on pause or even cancel… but you’d be better off until you lost HALF your members.

MY ADVICE: Play it cool! And keep providing value!

Keep your pricing where it is for now, but be prepared. Get a down-sell ready. Then, when members come to you looking to cancel or pause their memberships, you’re ready to offer them an alternative. You have something prepared with them in mind.

Once you get to a threshold where the number of people on pause is really high it might be time to restructure your pricing. You’re not there yet.

Create a down-sell.

Get a good down-sell option ready for your members. Normally, you’re much more focused on bringing in new members. Now it’s all about keeping the members you have. You need to be prepared for cancelations. Don’t just give up.

Make the conversation about your members and what they need, not about the cancelation. The human to human deep-level connection you create in a yoga studio is special. Reach out personally and get the conversation started.

Truth → When things are back to normal, you want people to remember how well you handled this situation.

Say something like “We totally get it. It’s a crazy time right now. We’re still on a mission to help you be your strongest – now more than ever! Here’s what we’re doing for you… Right now, we have a special relief offer. Let’s talk about a membership that works for you.”

Truth → Not all your members have to pay the same amount.

Your members aren’t all paying the same now. Some joined during a promotion. Some are autopay. Some are annual. There are a variety of price points. Decide internally on a discount you could offer members who reach out to cancel.

If worst comes to worst and they are determined to cancel, offer them a pay what you can option or a pause instead. It won’t help you in the short term, but it will later. It’s MUCH easier to send out an email blast letting everyone know their memberships are back on than it is to recruit them again once things settle down.

What about virtual memberships?

Ultimately you will need a virtual membership offer to your online classes if you’re going to create any new sales.

The challenge is to not undermine your existing membership pricing that you’ve managed to keep your members on.

This comes down to a communication issue. You need to be pro-active and control the narrative by giving your regular members an offer. This should include an opportunity for them to stay on their full-priced membership as a way to support the studio and as much as possible offer additional value.

The keys to a strong online offer:

  • Keep your offer as simple as possible
  • Limit the number of options – 1 single online pricing option would be strongest, as consumers are either in or out right now
  • Ideally it should be auto-recurring
  • If you go with multiple virtual recurring options, the goal is to make a perceived value differential between the offers instead of just a price difference (eg. 5 live streamed classes vs. unlimited live streamed classes and access to recordings in the members area)
  • In terms of choosing a dollar amount, don’t try to compete virtual only class-based options that are already established, because you can’t

You can sell this new offer on your website. Just because your doors are closed, doesn’t mean you can’t get new business. You can still have the best of both worlds – an approachable online-only price point AND full-priced membership with added benefits and value.

Try this → Email all your past members and get them going on your online offer!

Giving old members or students without a current pass a re-intro offer or letting them know about the new offer you’re running is a great way to get them back on board! They already know your brand. They have experienced the value you offer. It’s time to get them back!

Reach out to your gung-ho students too – you know… the ones at class five times a week – and ask them to invite their friends around the country to your online classes with a virtual buddy pass. They’ll be happy to spread the word about how great your studio is!

Struggling to adjust your studio to social distancing rules? Confused about what to do next to keep your studio running? Get The Ultimate Studio Survival Guide during Social Distancing so you can respond with confidence and keep money coming into your studio during this time. Take action now to get our special PAY WHAT YOU CAN pricing. Click here to get started!

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