As a yoga studio owner, a big chunk of your work is most probably spent on devising new ways to get your name in front of prospective clients. This can often result in you spending money on marketing tactics that may or may not result in a significant return on your investment. Before spending money on further advertising, perhaps it is time to look at your existing yoga referral program.
Referral programs are an excellent way to bring in new clients, while still keeping your existing yogis involved. Securing recommendations from trustworthy sources, such as friends and family, is a guaranteed step to seeing a rise in new members. There may well be a number of your current customer base who already help you to spread the word, encouraging their friends to come down and try your classes. Nevertheless, it is often helpful to give them a gentle nudge by offering them further incentives.
Rewarding your customers for their efforts makes them feel valued, which naturally encourages them to invite their friends and family, helping you to grow your numbers. Read on for some essential advice on building a referral program that truly works. Skip ahead to:
- The Benefits of Offering a Referral Program
- How a Referral Program Works
- 3 Examples of Great Referral Programs
- 8 Ways to Supercharge Your Yoga Referral Program
The Benefits of Offering a Referral Program
Referral programs are a simple and proven cost-effective way to enroll new members. Referrals also tend to bring in a loyal customer base. According to marketing statistics:
- People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend
- 92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew
- The lifetime value of a new referral customer is 16% higher than non-referrals
- Businesses with formalized referral programs experienced 86% more revenue growth over the past two years compared to those who don’t have programs in place
Nowadays, before potential clients even walk through the doors of your studio, they have access to an endless stock of online testimonials and reviews. They can learn a lot from a simple internet search. However, none of these testimonials will carry as much weight as a recommendation from a trusted source. Therefore, creating a formal referral program at your studio, encouraging clients to spread the word about your business is so crucial.
A referral program is both cost-effective and lucrative, and it can also lead to a more loyal customer base. It’s a win, win, win.
How a Referral Program Works
People may be less inclined to make numerous referrals for many reasons. Having a clearly laid out program helps make their mind up, in addition to a tangible reward. There are a variety of ways to implement your referral program. You can use software to track referrals made by satisfied clients, using either a referral code, a rewards card, or a referral link. Depending on your particular campaign, clients will typically receive a bonus or benefit of some sort for referring a friend. This can be anything from a free class, a discount on a class pack, or even a product. Referral marketing software can be set to release these rewards automatically.
3 Examples of Great Referral Programs
This ride-share app has built referrals directly into its product. When you create an account with Uber, you automatically receive a personalized referral code. Every time someone uses this referral code to create a new account, both parties get their next trip with Uber free of charge. Providing dual-sided rewards allows your customers to approach their contacts with direct value.
Tesla’s referral program offers up big rewards! The latest program offers Tesla referrals $1000 credit towards the price of a car. The Tesla owner who shared the referral code, in turn, receives rewards based on the number of referrals provided. The more referrals an owner sends, the more rewards they can earn. This ranges from new rims to a whole new car!!
This big-box gym offers members a choice of reward options! Members can select between a free 50-minute training session or a $20 MyStore coupon. To capitalize on this, they need to invite a friend to sign up. If their friend does join, they will receive their rewards, and also, their referral will receive a three-day trial pass. Rewards for everyone!
8 Ways to Supercharge Your Yoga Referral Program
Create an Exceptional Member Experience
The only genuine way for referral marketing to have a real impact on your business is if your customers truly want to refer you. If you want referrals, you must deliver an excellent studio experience and top customer service. This is ultimately what drives your studio, and without a solid base of exceptional service, everything that you manage to develop from referral marketing will deteriorate.
This applies to every element of your business, from making sure that customers are properly greeted when they enter, to following up with members who have missed classes lately, or who are returning from injury. If you make your members feel cared for and valued, they will be much more inclined to refer their friends and family.
Here are a few simple ideas to help enhance member experience:
- Discuss objectives and goals with your members and don’t forget to check in with them regularly
- Keep a tab on things your members are training for, this could be a marathon or simply getting ready to hit the slopes
- Celebrate birthdays and even’ studio anniversaries.’
- Make things as easy as possible for your members. Allow them to check-in for class, purchase packages on their own
Create a Reward Structure
Give your clients an incentive to help you. Compensate your clients and their networks for any referrals that they bring in. Come up with an enticing incentive that will encourage people – perhaps a discount on their next month’s membership, a free product or service, and entry into a competition you are running. Get creative with your rewards system and take note of which rewards particularly drive action.
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Make Referrals as Easy as Possible
To make the most out of a referral program, you must make the process as simple and pain-free as possible for your customers. Make it easy and straightforward, perhaps sending a pre-written email, filling out a simple form, or just sharing a post on social media.
Your timing is also crucial in yielding the best results. Ask your clients for a referral right after you have impressed them. This may be right after an incredible class, receiving top customer service, or even taking advantage of a current offer of yours. The most suitable time to ask for a referral is when you have made your client happy.
Ask Your Members to Spread the Word
Often, being transparent and straight to the point is the best way to get referrals. Simply asking your clients to invite friends and family to your studio, you can do this in person, via social media or even in your newsletter. Highlight how yoga can be even more uplifting when you share it with your loved ones. Create a template or an image that they can easily upload and share on social media. Also, you can remind your clients in person about your incentive-based referral program and encourage them to spread the word, allowing them to take advantage of the program personally.
Host an Event
Attracting new students can also be achieved by hosting events within your community. Perhaps an outdoor yoga class in the summer, or team up with a local hiking team and organize a ‘hiking and yoga day’. Hosting events will excite your current students, educate your community, and bring positive attention to your studio, which in turn should bring new faces through the door. Encourage your customers to bring a friend! Check out these 13 yoga trends for some event inspiration.
You can also host an open house and offer potential clients a free trial session. This is also an excellent opportunity to trial out new classes and get feedback from existing members.
Promote the Program
Simply put, if people don’t know about your referral program, it won’t succeed. To help spread the word:
- Mention it in your newsletter, website and through social media
- Encourage teachers to mention it in their classes
- Put up posters around your studio promoting it
- Be sure to remind customers of the rewards
- Track the members with the most referrals.
Make the Most of Social media
Instagram is a fast, simple, and effective way to introduce contests, where users are encouraged to follow your page and tag a few friends to be entered. Competitions can help to boost engagement quickly to a broader audience. Make use of this new wider audience and remind your followers about your referral program. Offer a reward and encourage your existing members to share your post and get their friends to sign up so that they can be entered to win. This brings in a whole new pool of potential new members brought in via a trusted source.
Collect Testimonials and Reviews
Reviews and testimonials are imperative. They give your clients a voice; boost consumer confidence, enhance your studio’s visibility, and can significantly increase sales. They are also a great tool to use for referrals. Share your client testimonials across your social platforms and encourage a bit of ‘word of mouth’ marketing!
People trust what others who have visited your studio are saying about you. Potential clients will often do their research and read reviews before signing up. Encourage your current clients to leave reviews; it helps to build your reputation within the community, as well as boosting your SEO.
The critical factor to keep in mind is that for your referral program to be a success, it should be valuable and relevant for your clients. Knowing your clients well will make a massive difference and is what ultimately makes referral marketing effective. To find out what matters most to your members – ask them.
Measure what works and re-invest in the most effective methods. Track all of your referral campaigns to decide which approaches were most useful for you. Never forget to keep engaging with your existing customer base. Consistent communication through blog posts, emails, social media, contests, and promotions, will help to strengthen your program and brand image.
Referral marketing is typically a matter of doing something notable, not necessarily expensive. It needs to be authentic and thoughtful. If your clients are referring you, it is because they already have faith in your studio and love the experience you provide.
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