Like Groupon or other daily deal programs, universal memberships or passes like ClassPass can be both a boon and a burden to your studio. New clients are awesome; the lower income and classes chock full of newbies (plus fewer spaces for your regular, fully-paid clients) are less awesome.
If you’re interested in offering your classes or services as part of a universal pass, here’s what you can do to minimize the negative impact these programs can have on your bank account and studio culture.
Negotiate a better rev share
Remember that you don’t have to accept the first terms you see. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better revenue split. This is your business, after all, and you’re the one who will be having to make do on lower income per client.
Severely limit what classes you make available
If your Tuesday 6pm class is predictably full of regulars, don’t offer that to universal pass members! Instead, give them access to your Saturday 4pm or your Friday 5pm—or whichever classes are usually lighter attendance. That way, you’re not taking spaces away from regular, full paid clients.
Making available classes scarce will ensure that your instructors know when to expect newbies (possibly a LOT of newbies) in class, and won’t be disappointed when they have to spend most of class explaining down dog instead of working on inversions.
Consider offering an intro class
If you offer an intro class to introduce new clients to your equipment, method, or techniques, this is an ideal candidate for including in a universal membership. Many studios already offer introductory classes for free or at a greatly reduced rate, so offering those classes to universal pass members doesn’t affect your bottom line quite as much.
If you are able to, have those introductory classes be the only classes available to universal pass members. If they want to take full classes at your studio, they need to purchase a regular pass.
Once those universal pass members take your introductory class, be ready with a “today only” offer for a discount on a full-paid class pass or membership.
We suggest offering a significant discount, such as between 15-30% (but make sure it doesn’t break the bank!) and tell universal pass members they can only purchase.
Don’t chase the hard to get ones
There’s no two ways about it. Some clients are just deal seekers and studio hoppers. If you’re able to identify someone as that kind of client, don’t spend too much time trying to convert them. Give them a great experience as you do with all your clients, but focus your efforts elsewhere.
What have your experiences with universal memberships been like? Share your thoughts here, or tell us on Twitter!
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