I see a lot of yoga studio websites, and there are a few missing elements that I notice over and over again. Fixing one or all of these mistakes below can boost your studio’s class sizes, outreach, and bottom line.
Most yoga studios offer once-off workshops, trainings, and special events in addition to their weekly class schedule. Options for registering and paying for these events range from “pay at the door with cash” to “integrated ecommerce solution” and everything in between. Having an online system for taking payments and managing these events is invaluable.
WordPress. If you’re using WordPress, check out The Events Calendar along with their Easy Digital Downloads extension. You might have to get someone with experience to integrate this for you if you run into problems, but the upside of having events and payments on your own website will become apparent when you see how it affects your efficiency and attendance. Going this route also means you’re free to choose whatever payment processor you’re comfortable with (Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, etc), and keep customers on your site.
Mind Body Online. If you are a Mind Body Online customer, you have a couple of options. First you’d create the event in Mind Body Online. Then create the event on your website (using an events plugin or your website builder’s tools). Finally, paste a link to your MBO event (how to: create deep links to Mind Body Online) and just copy and paste the URL in your website’s event. Students will visit your site, view the event on your site, but checkout/register through MBO.
HealCode. Another way to show your Mind Body Online event is to use a service like HealCode and its event widget. This will generate a list of events on your site as well as creating the deep links to the event in your Mind Body Online account. Then customers will go through the same checkout process as above. The benefit of this route is only having to create the event in one place (MBO), not on your website.
EventBrite. A final option would a completely separate service like Event Brite to just handle your event listings and payments. This is more costly than the others but it definitely takes care of a lot of the housekeeping and maintenance associated with other options.
You’d be surprised at how many yoga studio websites make their class schedule difficult to find, difficult to understand, or are completely out of date. Some students want to know up-to-the-minute info (like if a class will have a sub), while others just want to make sure the Hot Yoga class they want to go to tonight wasn’t changed to a Yin Yoga class two weeks ago.
Again there are a couple of options here, in order of awesome to least awesome:
Not all of your website visitors have been to your studio before, and some of them have never done yoga. Making these visitors your students should be high up on the list of your website’s goals.
Ideal Scenario: You have a package such as $30 for 2 weeks unlimited yoga for new students. Prospective student sees your New Student Offering, purchases online, and everyone is happy. This can be done through Mind Body Online by creating a new student package and then posting a link to this page on your website in a prominent location. Better yet, on a dedicated New Student landing page that also has a contact form (see below).
If you don’t use Mind Body Online, then you’ll have to find a way to work with your system to make this work.
Second-best Scenario: You at least have a New Student page with relevant info, along with a contact form which encourages students who have never done yoga before to ask questions about what their experience will be like. This form ties into your email marketing software that sends a follow-up email containing a discount code to use when they come in for their first class. HealCode does a good job of handling this, it’s called their Prospect Form.
An email marketing list is super important, even for brick-and-mortar business like yoga studios. You’ve got to be able to communicate with your students for promotions, discounts, new offerings, special events, and to build community. A great way to grow your email list is through Content Marketing, which in its simplest form goes something like this:
So for a yoga studio what might good content marketing offerings look like? You can use a mix of quality yoga-related content and other incentives like discounts to grow your list:
If you’re not using MailChimp for your email marketing lists already, it’s pretty easy to integrate one of their forms on your website. Just create a welcome email with a link to your free offering in it, and you’re good to go.
Hopefully there is at least one takeaway here for everybody running a yoga studio website. To some they’ll be obvious no-brainers, but for others, I hope you see your class sizes grow!