Retaining Clients | A Yoga Studio’s Guide to Long-Term Success

One of the biggest challenges that face yoga studios today is the drop-off rate of new clients. If you’re on par with the average yoga studio, you’ll lose 50% of your students after their very first session. 

But why is that such a big deal? According to Harvard Business School, increasing client retention by only 5% can increase your business’s profitability by between 25 and 95 percent. That’s a large chunk of profit we’re talking about!

Client retention can take your business from surviving to absolutely thriving. Although the yoga and wellness industry is continuing to boom, there is also a lot of competition. This makes retaining clients a little more challenging, but it can be done – especially with the help of a yoga business coach.

See our video on our Retention Mastery Lab from the 2019 Yoga Business Summit here! ⤵️

This information was originally presented at the 2019 Yoga Business Summit. For more incredible yoga business marketing content, check out this year’s Yoga Business Summit, October 10-16, 2021 in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.

What Client Retention Can do for Your Business

To fully understand what retaining clients could do for your business, you need to see the stats. 

This is what happens in most yoga studios: 

  • 50 – 100 new students attend per month (less than 10% of their website traffic)
  • Lose 50% of people after the first visit
  • Average retention off intro is only 20-25%
  • Average months on autopay membership is 3-4
  • Have a 25% year-over-year retention (the top 10% of MindBody Class Based Businesses= 50%)

This means if you’re the average, your numbers look like this:

  • You have 50 new clients per month
  • After class 1, you have 25 people left (50% retention after class 1)
  • At the end of the month, you have 6 people left (25% of 25)
  • And 1 year later, you have 2 people left from the original 50 new clients (25% of 6 rounded up)

Assuming this scenario happens every month for 12 months, this means your business growth per 1 year of time is 24 people. (2 people x 12 months)

If the average value per client is $500 = $12,000 per year (24 people x $500)

If the average value per client is $1000 = $24,000 per year (24 people x $1000)

But the story doesn’t end there. Let’s take a look at where your yoga business could be if you managed to retain more clients. 

  • 50 new students per month
  • 35 left after the first class (70% return rate)
  • 12 people left at the end of the month (retention off of intro 35%)
  • 6 people left 1 year later (50% year over year retention)  This means your potential business growth in 1 year is 72 members (6 people x 12 months)

If the average value per client is $500 = $36000 per year

If the average value per client is $1000 = $72000 per year

And just like that, your yoga studio just became a whole lot more profitable. 

With a retention strategy in place, you can see a 3x increase in profits per year!

Note: if you also increase your first visits to the Yogapreneur Collective’s top performers average of 150 you could see an annual revenue increase of $228,000 or a 10x increase! (Comment below if you’d like help with the math on this) 

Now that you can see that it’s possible, let’s dive right into how you can go about increasing your baseline and client retention. 

How to Retain Clients at Your Yoga Studio

Now that you know just how profitable your yoga business could become, how do you go about retaining clients? Here are a few strategies that could change the game for your studio: 

Know How to Sell Your Intro

When you’re selling your intro to prospective clients, use the line, “What most people do…”. This is a psychological tactic that encourages people to follow the crowd. Their thought pattern goes something like this – if most people do it, it must be the most logical choice. 

You’ll then need to briefly explain your intro pass to the potential client, and then say nothing else until they’ve given you a response. The trick here is to offer no other options until you’ve heard from the prospective client. All you need to do is wait and listen. This is a magic trick you can thank us for later!

Make Their First Experience Memorable

There are a few ways to make your yoga classes memorable. The first is to welcome your yogis warmly, making them all feel appreciated for showing up. You can then casually inform them about any details they may need to know about (time changes of future classes, upcoming events, how and when classes are paid for). 

Bringing psychology back into the conversation, giving someone something for free makes them more likely to give you something back in return. First-time clients should be given something, such as free rental of a yoga mat, or access to amenities. This increases the chance that they will give you something in return, in this case, their business.

Acquire Contact Details

It’s important to get the contact details of potential yogis. This way it’s easier to market your yoga studio to people who are already interested. You can also send out reminders when your classes are happening, or with their permission, add them to groups to get notified of specials. 

This is also a constant reminder to your potential client that you exist. And if they enjoyed their first experience at your yoga studio, they’re sure to be back soon. 

Follow Up with Potential Yoga Clients

Once you have the potential yogis details, you can send them a message after their first class. You can thank them for joining you as well as sending them a list of class times for future reference. This will leave them with that warm fuzzy feeling inside and keep your yoga studio at the back of their minds. 

If they truly enjoyed your yoga class, this personal touch will bring them back again and again. People gravitate to places that make them feel cared for and seen. So if nothing else, be that place for your clients. 

Offer a Variety of Classes

If you only offer one type of yoga class, in which students are required to do the same yoga flows week after week, it’s unlikely that clients will stay for too long. Why would they stay when they’re not learning anything new? 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to offer a variety of classes. Whether this is simply mixing up yoga flows, or offering different types of yoga, a variation is so important. This way students can keep learning and growing in their yoga practice and stay for the ride, becoming loyal yogis at your yoga studio. 

The Long and the Short of Retaining Clients

It costs your yoga studio five times more to acquire a new client than to retain a client that has already stepped foot inside the door. So while prospecting clients is important, the real money is made when you learn how to retain them. 

All you have to do is: 

  • Know how to sell your intro
  • Make the first experience memorable
  • Acquire contact details
  • Follow up with potential yogis
  • Offer a variety of classes

Simple yoga studio marketing tactics can prevent you from allowing all those $$ to slip through your hands. Start implementing your retention strategy to increase your bottom line today!

If you’re ready to create insane, bottom-line busting marketing strategies that sell more yoga in 2022, check out the 2021 Yoga Business Summit in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. We’ll spend 7 days and 6 nights refining your core messaging, creating a plan to sell more yoga, and designing strategies that benefit your studio – and your sanity – years into the future. 

This year’s summit is designed to help you navigate the upcoming industry changes to positively impact your bottom line. 

Take me to the summit!

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