Yoga Studios Guide to Stickiness: The Secret of Long Term Retention

Getting your yoga students to stick around for a long time isn’t always easy. However, if you are strategic about retention, it can have a huge impact on your yoga business revenue, operating costs, and peace of mind. While retaining a student in the first year is incredibly important, how do you actually improve your year-over-year retention of students? 

It is far easier to retain students that have already been through the doors of your studio than it is to acquire new students, so working on your long-term yoga student retention is the key to increasing your bottom line, and your profitability. We are going to dive into the seven key areas you need to look at to successfully retain your students year-over-year. 

Yoga student engagement

You need to create the desire to practice both with CONSISTENCY and FREQUENCY. Letting your yoga students know that great improvement comes when they are putting in the effort on a regular basis is the key to getting them to visit your studio more often. These are the ways you can improve yoga student engagement:

  • Intelligent pricing – optimize your pricing to get your students on a monthly membership. 
  • Functioning sales process – have a team that knows how to sell students on your pricing.
  • Client experience – this should be at the very core of what you do. You should provide a great class, but create a good impression and a superior client experience. It is proven that the more interactions someone has at a yoga studio, the more likely they are to come back. So ensure that you are engaging your students on a regular basis to ensure student retention. 
  • Motivational aids – challenges, group competitions, rewards for frequent or milestone visits. 
  • Keep marketing – blog posts, email campaigns for members, newsletters, social media posts, and SMS automation.

Cost of switching yoga studios 

The longer a student is at your yoga studio, the more SUNK COSTS they acquire. By spending time and money at your studio, they are investing in your studio so inevitably become more loyal to your business. These are a couple of things that ensure students become more emotionally invested in your business: 

  1. Yoga gear that is specific to your style, or branded yoga gear (that might be uncomfortable wearing to another studio).
  2. A new starter course specific to your studio
  3. Special technique workshops for YOUR style of practice
  4. Static pricing for people on a membership (when prices increase, they remain on the older pricing to encourage long-term retention).
  5. Cancellation funnel – a form that students fill out, or a video they need to watch before canceling. Perhaps even a call they need to have with you before canceling, so you may encourage them to stay, or at the very least find out their reason for leaving. 

Choice 

Students always have a choice as to where they want to do their yoga practice. But you want to eliminate the competition. Put your finger guns away! We are not talking about taking down your opponents. You simply want to offer SO much more that students feel you are the only option. 

  • Make the offering of your studio UNIQUE. 
  • Lean into the way in which you are special.
  • Develop, articulate and indoctrinate your unique selling point.
  • Niche down more! (if possible).

Control of money flow

You want to be in control of your money flow. You want your students to not have to think about the cost of their yoga practice, but rather the value it adds to their lives. In order to take the cost out of their minds, consider implementing a direct-to-membership pricing option. You’ll also eliminate the need for them to say “YES” again by sending them straight to membership. 

Yoga studio community 

Community is people connecting with one another. Community is not just students being connected to their teachers, they need to feel connected to one another as well. 

Community creates a context for the conversation. It gives individuals both identity and status. There are many ways you can create a sense of community within your studio. Having a chill-out space where people can relax and get to know each other greatly improves a studio’s sense of community. Hosting events is another way to allow your students to get to know each other. 

You can also use social media to connect with your students. Follow your students and comment on their posts, which encourages engagement between students as well. 

Cause 

Your cause is your WHY factor. What problem do your classes or your yoga training solve? It’s generally something that ties into your mission, vision, power statement, and branding!

This can be a tricky one. While your cause doesn’t necessarily need to be their cause, your cause does need to be something that your students believe in. 

Yoga student contracts

Contracts can work, but they NEED to be done the right way. Most people are scared to be tied down, so you don’t want to initially tie them into a long-term membership. A contract should be an agreement between you and your student. An understanding that you are entering into a relationship – and that there are benefits on both sides. 

If your student agrees to a long-term relationship, for instance, a 12-month contract, there should be a noticeable upside. For the student, there should be a significant monthly price difference, and for the studio, they have guaranteed income from that particular student for at least 12 months. This is an obvious win-win situation. 

This should be offered to students who are perhaps already on your membership offering or have been attending classes on a weekly basis for a significant amount of time. 

Increasing your long-term yoga student retention 

Now that you have a better idea of how to make these simple changes to your business, you can effectively encourage your students to stick around for years. Unfortunately, you will always be battling for priority in your student’s life, but making your yoga studio an invaluable asset to each and every student is how you win the battle. 

Are you ready to retain more yoga students year after year? Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon have students who stick around for the long term!

Want to have a conversation with a yoga business coach about your retention strategies? Join the conversation for free in the Yogapreneur Collective network.

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