Discount’ and ‘sale’ can be terrifying words. It can feel like you are devaluing your service by putting your prices at a lower rate for various reasons. However, if done the right way, discounts and sales can help your business thrive.
It is pretty common to see a ‘New Student Discount’ being offered at studios. They are a great incentive to persuade potential clients to try out more than just one single class. It is hard to convince someone of the benefits of any form of fitness just after their first class, so this style of discount is beneficial to everyone involved.
At Hot Yoga East Nashville, owner Brooke Allison offers a new student deal: for 10 classes in two weeks at $20. For that small fee, Allison said she really sees students taking advantage of this offering.
“New student rates definitely bring in new members — it is a low-risk financial commitment to try something or somewhere new,” said Allison. “I like this pack because it sounds like a great deal, it is a great deal, and it encourages the student to use all 10 classes in a short period of time so they can really experience the positive change and benefit of committing to hot yoga as a habit and consistent practice.”
Kelsey Starr, owner of Numi Yoga in College Park, Maryland, also attributed a new student discount to bringing in the most members. Not only are they getting students to try out their classes for two weeks, but they are getting more revenue brought in than if they were just charging drop-in class rates.
“I think experiencing a regular practice, more than sporadically, allows the client to see what we are inviting them into,” said Starr. “We do see most of our new clients opting to upgrade from a drop in to this new pass to get the opportunity to experience different classes and teachers and to have a fuller understanding of what we offer.”
It is important to take your community demographics into account before creating discounts. Understanding the different ages, job styles and hobbies of your studio’s neighborhood can help you create discounts that actually benefit others.
For instance, at Hot Yoga East Nashville, they are in a city populated by a large amount of people in the music industry. People leave the confines of their hometowns to move to Nashville in pursuit of a career. Because of this, Allison offers a special rate to those in the music and service industry.
“The East Nashville population is made up of a lot of musicians and people in the service industry,” said Allison. “We see a lot of folks use that discount, which also helps make our community at the studio more diverse and creative.”
While College Park, Maryland, isn’t the next Nashville, Numi Yoga also takes into account its surroundings and offers multiple discounts for college students. Since the University of Maryland is right down the street, Starr offers back-to-school discounts and sales during finals week to encourage students to drop by the studio.
“I think people value convenience in location when looking at movement and fitness options,” said Starr. “Especially folks who are new to yoga. I have a unique situation near a college campus, so we discount passes for students. I also run promotions at nearby employers to offer passes to their staff for 10 percent off.”
Once you capture these new students with your discounts, it’s easy to just be satisfied that they are coming and continue reaching out to more potential clients. However, it is sometimes nice to offer an incentive or discount to your faithful students that have been with you since the beginning or a number of months.
Allison offers a highly discounted price for students who commit to a six or 12-month pack at her studio. This offer encourages students to get a deeper understanding of their yoga practice and are able to really get involved at the studio.
“The 12 month up-front payment is a savings of over $700, so that is a nice discount for a regular member,” said Allison. “I don’t believe in encouraging people to bounce around from deal to deal or Groupon to Groupon. I prefer to give an incentive for them to be committed to their practice and to this community.”
Because Numi Yoga is situated in a college town, Starr sees a large drop in attendance during the summer months. However, she has countered that by offering extended class packs at a cheaper rate.
“In the summer we know people are traveling and have a sporadic schedule,” said Starr. “It can seem daunting to commit to a yoga pass, so we offered a discount on our 10 pack in June and got a great response.”
While offering discounts may seem like you are devaluing your product by offering it at a reduced rate, you are essentially building customer loyalty, enhancing your brand awareness and hopefully increasing sales.