Give the Gift of Experience This Holiday Season
By Meg Aidekman
The holiday season can be one of the slowest times for your studio. Perhaps it’s the result of Turkey Day tryptophan overload or just general winter weather malaise, but whatever the cause, it can be a challenge to boost your business during the upcoming months.
Give the gift of experience.
As customers get busy with the holidays, it can be hard to cut through all the seasonal clutter. A special offering from your studio can be just the trick to stand out. For fitness and yoga studios, there can be no better time to begin promoting a retreat than right before the holidays. While clients might be running around trying to check things off their holiday to-do lists, the allure of the warmth of a tropical retreat can capture their attention. Planning now will ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on the holiday season. Providing clients with an opportunity to escape can be the best gift of the year—both for them and your business.
Take advantage of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
While it might seem tough to compete with stores opening at midnight with lines down the block ready to sell flat screen TV’s, this time of year is when customers are most inclined to spend. So if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em—with something better than some gadget they will soon forget.
When promoting your retreat during these key times, take advantage of the shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Studios have successfully attracted and retained new clients by offering a free private training session to retreat attendees who sign up during their promotions or even a free month of membership. Find what works best for your studio and give your customers a little bit of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to sign them up for your retreat. Research shows people value experiences far more than material possessions, but if your clients are looking for something to wrap, perhaps you can throw in a t-shirt with your studio’s logo for all retreat attendees.
Convert resolutioners into lifetime members.
The key to bringing in customers during the holidays is cutting through the noise of all the other distractions of the season. But once you do, how do you get them to stay once the “New Year New You” glow has worn off?
Create a unique experience that they will always associate with your brand. Ensuring your studio has the best variety of offerings in the neighborhood is critical to keeping clients coming back again and again. Retreat attendees develop a personal connection with your studio. Clients are immersed in an intensive offering in a more intimate setting which can be truly transformative and turn them into lifelong devotees of your brand. Retreat attendees go on to purchase more memberships, packages, private sessions and workshop experiences from host studios.
Spread the joy this season.
Perhaps the best way to grow your client base during the holidays (and any time, really) is through word of mouth marketing. It is very common for retreat participants to invite one or two more people to join them, tell dozens of others about it directly, and hundreds more on social media, all the while building buzz for your studio. This gives you the opportunity to show prospective clients just how great your studio can be and it turns your existing clients into evangelists for your brand. Maybe your clients will want to make your retreat the best gift they give out to all their family and friends this season.
Solve holiday stress with a retreat.
Amidst all the glutinous indulgence, the holidays are also known to induce quite a bit of stress. Whether it’s all the shopping or Aunt Edna’s fruitcake giving them fits, offering clients a light at the end of the tunnel can be a great way to help them survive the season. Bonus points if this particular light at the end of the tunnel takes place on a beach in paradise. Research shows that merely the anticipation of a future positive experience can often be at least as valuable as the experience itself. Retreats are the ultimate way to give your clients the strength to power through the holiday season and chance to relax, reconnect and restore after it’s over.