In business, “automation” is a buzzword, quickly conjuring images of a not-so-distant job market drastically reduced thanks to runaway automation. It can seem cold, impersonal and uninviting — all things that are in direct opposition to the practice of yoga. In actuality, marketing automation isn’t any of those things. When implemented properly, marketing automation can enhance the human element of your yoga studio in three important ways:

1. 24/7 Team Member

Often, the single largest expense for yoga studios is personnel, specifically instructors. A healthy studio needs to attract and retain clients with a robust and varied weekly class schedule. This critical need for experienced instructors can leave little budget for a properly staffed front desk, but when your front desk suffers, so do interpersonal relationships in your studio and business growth.  

Why? Front desk staff are the face of your business. They’re the first touchpoint with a new lead, establishing the tone for their prospect experience. If your front desk is overwhelmed and understaffed, important client-facing touchpoints fall through the cracks: unanswered phones, forgotten emails and leads waiting for follow-ups. Suddenly, your studio appears, at best, disinterested in new business or, at worst, abandoned.

Marketing automation works in tandem with studio staff members, filling in the gaps and boosting each team member’s effectiveness. Automated answering services ensure every call is answered and receive a callback. Automatic response emails give web leads critical first contact before your staff reaches out. Think of marketing automation as your 24/7 team MVP, keeping your studio responsive and open for business at all hours.

2. Amplifying Your Voice

Okay, so you automated your touchpoints, but doesn’t that mean bots are talking to your clients instead of you? Not exactly. Automated emails and texts can’t write themselves — not yet anyway — so you provide all the scripting. Even if responses are automated, you can infuse every word of your messaging with your studio’s personality and core beliefs. You’re not limiting your own voice, you’re amplifying it by establishing more contact opportunities.

3. Freedom From The Desk

The best part of marketing automation? Breaking the chain between you and your desk or computer. Once set up, automation works seamlessly in the background without hours of supervision. Email marketing campaigns can be scheduled out days, weeks or months in advance, sending out in scheduled succession. Automated follow-up schedules organize daily reach outs with clients and prospects, streamlining your day’s tasks so you knock them out faster. All this means more time doing what you do best, interacting face-to-face with your clients. Instead of a brief wave from the back office or glance up from front desk computer, you’re able to be present and engaged, which transforms not only your clients’ relationship with your studio, but your own as well.

Kevin Talley is the digital content coordinator for Club OS. He can be reached at ktalley@club-os.com.