This blog was co-written with our partners at Club OS

 

Setting prices for your studio is arguably one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. You’ve built a great space, you’ve hired a killer staff, and now you need to get people in the door. Price your classes or memberships too high, and you’ll scare away potential members. Price them too low, and your business won’t turn a profit.

When it comes to setting prices for your studio, remember that less is more. Keep your membership and purchase options clear, condensed, and competitively priced. How can you make that happen? Let’s break it down:

 

#1: Look At Your Demographic

Look at who your studio is appealing to. Do you have an upbeat, high-energy class that millennials would flock to? Is restorative yoga for the aging body your specialty? Clearly lay out the age demographic of your ideal clientele as well as their average income. Honing in on who you’re hoping to reach will keep your pricing competitive and reasonable, ensuring you’re bringing in the right people who will stick around. Our partners at Club OS recommend that you create a digital lead form that every prospect fills out. This will allow you to capture demographic information, making it easier to define your prices.

If you’re appealing to a wealthier, high-end clientele, for example, consider a more expensive, all-encompassing price. Members with a bit more money to spare are less likely to be turned away by a higher price tag, but may get frustrated by regular additional charges or add-ons they need to deal with. Think about SoulCycle, for example: The price per class is around $25, but it includes your shoe rental, towel service, and use of the studio’s facilities before or after your class. Consider a higher class price or monthly membership that includes all the bells and whistles if you’re looking to reach high-end users.

That said, if your studio appeals to a mass market instead, a lower starting price may be to your benefit. A more expensive base price may cause a little sticker shock to folks just looking to hit the gym a few times a week. If your ideal members are younger, “price-elastic” consumers, consider an optional pricing model. This would mean that your regular or entry-level price is lower, but members can pay for upgrades like personal training, towel service, or group exercise classes. The low starting price point will get members to join, and then you can entice them with the additional services that come at an extra charge.

The more options you offer also allows you to be more specific in your marketing and communication. Our partners at Club OS know the importance that communication plays in keeping your members around, and if you know what they are interested in and willing to pay for, you can customize your communication around that.

(Memberships aren’t the only way your studio can drive revenue for your studio. Check out our Guide to Promoting Retail at Your Studio.)

 

#2: Do Your Research

Think of a successful competitor in your area -- one who you admire that appeals to a similar demographic as your studio. What’s their pricing model? That doesn’t mean you should swipe the exact membership and class options they offer, but it can definitely give you an idea of what people in your area are willing to spend. If a competitor’s prices aren’t readily available on their website, you can still get an idea of how their memberships are set up with sites like Yelp or Google+. See why their members stay.

Our partners at Club OS have seen gyms and studios find success in sending out surveys to their current members, as well. Send out a survey that has some questions about your gym, and include a question about price. Most people will want a lower price, but it will help you find a happy medium based on feedback.

Dig into the industry standard pricing for your type of studio too. If you run a yoga studio, for example, you’ll likely want to offer both a class pack and an unlimited membership to accommodate the dedicated yogis as well as the athletes who just want to drop in here and there. But on the other hand, if you run a gym that focuses on self-directed workouts in your open space, you’ll probably want to offer one or two membership tiers, as well as additional package prices for personal training or specific classes.

 

#3: Keep It Simple

Did you know restaurants that offer more than seven food options per category actually overwhelm and confuse guests? The same goes for fitness studios. If people have too many choices when it comes to memberships, it’s more likely they won’t choose anything at all. Make it easy for your clients to choose which membership will work for them and understand what’s involved.

Which types of class packs or prices you offer will likely depend on what kind of business you have, so refer back to your research to see what your industry standard is. There’s no magic number when it comes to how many options you should have, but see if there’s overlap in your offerings. Are two of your membership options pretty similar with only one or two differences? See if you can combine those into one option to simplify your pricing model.

Keeping your pricing simple not only benefits your members: it benefits you! When you’ve got just a handful of pricing options, it’s easier to make sales predictions and membership goals for your business. When you limit the number of purchase options, you can get a better idea of which are most popular and how many of each you typically get in a month.

 

So, if you’re setting prices at your studio for the first time or looking to streamline your existing options, just remember: less is more.

 

Club OS is the leading technology solution for lead and member management in the fitness industry. With features such as texting, scheduling, automated follow-ups, email marketing, and more, Club OS is the tool you need to increase revenue.

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If you could use help marketing your studio's memberships, SWETI Services can help. Book a free marketing review with our team to get in -the-moment feedback on your current marketing efforts.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

Everyone loves the chance to try before they buy -- that’s why intro offers can be an easy and successful way to attract new members to your studio. In fact, our partner MINDBODY found that businesses with an intro offer attract 45% more new prospects than those without an offer. But, once they claim your offer, how do you convert intro offer customers into paying members?

 

Create the right kind of offer

Let's be real: People like FREE. Introductory offers that include a complimentary trial or day pass may receive the highest response. But, if you want to give prospects the opportunity to get to know your studio and get in the habit of going regularly, (and you do!) try a discounted rate for a week of unlimited classes or a discounted class pack instead. This attracts prospects who are willing to pay for your services (always a plus!) and encourages multiple visits so that habits and consistency are built up. Keep in mind, these offers are also more effective if they have an expiration date to use the classes, usually no more than 30 days.

 

Promote your offer

Only promoting your intro offer on your website isn’t enough. You should also be promoting the offer with digital ads, social posts, and email campaigns designed specifically for prospects. This is an inexpensive way to get the word out about your offer and encourage people who follow your studio to actually come in and try you out. Beyond digital marketing, you can also create a simple business card-sized 'offer card' for your staff and your members to conveniently share your current offering with others.

 

Get current members involved

Your current members can be your best ambassadors, so lean on them to get potential members in the door and keep them around. Try implementing a referral program with incentives for your members if you don’t already have one, or offer them one or two free guest passes per month. If prospective members get to try out your intro offer with a friend, it’s more likely they’ll come back. According to a Stanford University Study, even a simple phone call encouraged adults to be more active. Having a friend already at your gym who can call them up to come work out can increase the chances they’ll become an active member themselves.

 

Follow up

Once someone has claimed your intro offer, following up is critical. You should reach out within 24 hours via phone or email, and make it personalized with their name and the intro offer they’ve claimed. Show this prospective member that you’re excited to have them stop in. Be sure to include specific calls-to-action and details regarding how someone can redeem this amazing limited-time intro offer, or if bandwidth allows, have someone from your team personally schedule the session for them.

After they’ve had a chance to use their intro offer, reach out again with a quick conversation or survey regarding the client's experience during their intro class/trial. This step can be helpful for both parties. It's a reminder to clients that the business actually cares about their unique experience and it provides studios the opportunity to create an ideal space for their community based on feedback from real clients.

 

By designing the right type of offer, utilizing the resources already available to you to market that offer, and following up appropriately, you can regularly convert intro offer customers into members.

Want some help designing and marketing your next intro offer? Schedule your free marketing consultation, and learn more about how SWETI Services can help.

Emilee Robinson, Marketing Specialist

Social media can be a powerful tool to spread word of mouth about your business to potential new clients, but it can be an equally powerful way to get existing members to stay. It’s estimated that 78% of a business page’s Facebook fans are already customers, so your content on social media is a great place to speak directly to your current members and positively influence retention. How exactly can you do that? Try these four simple steps to leverage social media to increase retention for your business:

 

1). Be Easy to Find

According to the Harvard Business review, the number one factor in customer retention is reduction in customer effort. So, the less effort it takes for your customers to find you online, the more likely they are to be loyal to your studio. The easiest way to do this is staying consistent across platforms. If possible, make your username the same on each site, and make sure your pages are updated with your logo, current address, and contact information. Plus, according to The Social Media Examiner, the more high-quality followers and activity you have on your social media pages, the higher your pages will rank in Google searches -- thus making you even easier to find.

 

2). Listen

Social media is a conversation, so take the time to listen to your members. Is there a certain yoga class they really love? Do they have critical feedback about last week’s WOD? Your social pages are a prime location to gather feedback from your members. According to Twitter, customer service interactions via Twitter have increased by 250% in the past two years, so take the time to listen. Try logging onto your social pages once a day to interact with new comments or posts to your page, check for comments from members, and share any helpful feedback you see there with your team.

 

3). Actively Respond

Customer service is just as important online, so take the time to answer questions, take part in a conversation with your members, and craft a response to feedback. Show them that you’re listening with your response. If someone posts to your page saying they were unhappy with a class, empathize with their experience, explain why you do things they way you do, and let them know what steps you can take to make things right. Aspect Research has shown that addressing a complaint can increase customer advocacy by up to 25%, so it’s important to actively address any concerns from your members.
But, your online conversation shouldn’t be limited to addressing complaints -- engage your members, especially your most passionate members, in positive conversation. Your most passionate members can be your strongest brand advocates, spreading the word about your business to their friends, so get to know these people. If they comment on a recent Facebook post about your updated gym equipment, engage them in a conversation about it. Or, try tagging them in the comments for a post about their favorite cycling class. Knowing more about why these members love your business is great insight, and making them feel valued can increase the likelihood they’ll talk about your business with others.

 

4). Keep Them Engaged

Don’t wait for your members to start the conversation every time on your social media pages; be sure you’re regularly posting across your social sites to keep the conversation going. Three to five posts a week is a good number to aim for. Try creating a content calendar for your business, focusing on a balance between your studio’s goals for the month as well as the type of humor, questions, or motivational posts that will resonate with your members. These fun posts will showcase your personality and give members the chance to join in on the conversation, which creates the kind of connection that can lead to greater retention. Not sure where to start when it comes to a content calendar? Schedule a consultation with our team to learn more!

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Social Media Strategist at SWETI Services