December is the time to be turning up the dial on your marketing programs to drive more business in January. New student marketing programs tend to be where most studios invest their time and money, but it’s also important to market to your existing base of students as well.
Here are a few pointers for the 3 major types of pre-New Year’s marketing campaigns you should be running.
New Student Acquisition Campaigns
Beginner fitness students often feel reluctant to start a new routine because they’re afraid of not being able to keep up or failing altogether. Make sure your messaging to potential students focuses on the benefits of taking a class and reinforces that your studio is a safe, judgment-free place. While Crunch’s “No Judgment Zone” slogan may be kind of cheesy, it speaks exactly to this new student insecurity.
New students are also enticed by deals, so think about what special incentives you can offer to woo over students who are on the fence, whether it’s waiving your studio signup fee, letting them take a class free, or giving a percentage off an annual membership to your studio. Just remember that deals can be a double-edged sword: Pricing too low can undercut your profits and also make it tough for students to transition to full pricing when their introductory class series or membership runs out.
Lastly, don’t forget to harness the power of recommendations from your current students. There are all kinds of ways you can reward students for referring your studio on social, writing you a great review, or bringing a friend along to classes. Consider your budget before defining the terms of your student referral program.
Inactive Student Win-Back Campaigns
Every studio has its core group of committed, active students who come to classes a couple of times a week—but they also have a group of inactive or inconsistent students as well. This latter group represents a huge opportunity for you! Someone who already knows about your studio and what your classes are like is much more likely to come back to you again in the new year than someone who’s never taken a class with you before.
Using previous attendance history and instructor notes, you can send targeted marketing messages to these students. For example, you might announce new session times for a class they previously attended, or send a message on behalf of the instructor they trained with encouraging them to try other classes that he or she teaches.
You can also offer inactive students an incentive to commit to coming on a regular basis by buying a discounted class series or bringing a friend along to their first class free. They’ll be more likely to commit as part of a new year’s resolution than they may have been when they initially attended one of your classes.
Active Student Upsell Campaigns
While new students may give you a temporary boost at the beginning of the year, your most loyal students will help you grow your revenue long term. Your marketing communications and offers to this group of students should take a more personal tone and reinforce how much you appreciate the business they’re given you already.
For example, you could send current students an offer providing early access to sign up for a new workshop. You could also send a note to tell them about new class times with their favorite instructor. If you sell retail items, you might incentivize New Year’s retail purchases with a free gift or percentage off a purchase over a certain dollar amount.
When it comes to marketing for your studio, the possibilities are endless. Whatever kind of messages you send, make sure they’re relevant and engaging.
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