How to make ClassPass work for your studio

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.

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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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  1. fitnessgal

    If you care about Fitness Studios you should not recommend Classpass. Classpass is out to commoditize studios which will put many out of business and make the rest poorer. This is the opposite of what we want.

    Fitness Studios must not sign up with Classpass. It puts yours and everyone else’s fitness studio in danger. You cannot simply supplement your income with a little Classpass. That is the fantasy Classpass sells. Membership is critical to a Fitness Studio’s success or failure. Classpass takes this away. It is the money earned “no matter what” — the “recurring membership” that is critical to a fitness studio. Classpass takes this for itself when they take your members. A studio will need 10 regular new classpass members for every membership they lose. This is not happening and fitness studios are beginning to die. Users like Classpass just as they loved restaurant deals on Groupon. Restaurants dropped Groupon because it didnt work. Fitness studios are entering into a deal with the devil that they will not escape from because unlike a single Groupon deal… Classpass is recurring. When they take away your membership it will never come back. Classpass is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They present themselves as a studio’s friend but really they are taking memberships away from studios. Until and unless Classpass institutes a rule to stop members leaving fitness studios for to become members of classpass they are killing fitness studios. Classpass attempts to fake fitness studios out by their rule of only allow a member to go to a specific studio 3 times in a month but that only furthers the Classpass goal by getting members to go to many fitness studios belonging to nobody but Classpass. Already according to the CEO Payal 1 out of 4 Classpass members dropped their memberships with fitness studios to join classpass. By attempting to supplement a fitness studios income using Classpass a studio introduces classpass to all its members and teaches them to use Classpass.

    1. alysemb
      alysemb Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment! There are definitely positives and negatives to offering universal memberships, and we’ve seen a wide range of responses from studios who have experimented with these kinds of deals, and my goal with this post is to share those experiences.

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