Partnership marketing is a little-used marketing approach, but can be extremely effective. With yoga marketing partnerships you leverage your marketing messages directly to relevant people. Not only is it very effective, targeted, and inexpensive.
You can do partnership marketing on the internet and off the internet. Below I discuss numerous ways you can easily use partnerships resulting in targeted and viral marketing.
Let me illustrate partnership marketing with a very simple example. Yoga Studio XYZ has a list of 500 e-zine subscribers. XYZ becomes acquainted with a local spa that offers great massages. That spa has an e-mail list of 500 clients also. XYZ and the spa enter into an arrangement where, for example, the spa offers XYZ’s students a 25 percent discount for a massage and XYZ offers the spa’s clients a 25 percent discount off a package of 10 yoga classes. Then, XYZ features the spa’s discount in its e-zine to its students. The spa features XYZ’s 10-class discount deal to its clients in its e-zine. Not only do both businesses feature the respective deals to their respective clients/students, but each business can also recommend the other business. Those types of endorsements are very effective.
In this example, XYZ Yoga Studio managed to directly market, with a first rate endorsement, to 500 prospective students. The spa received the same deal.
You can arrange any discount you want. This type of arrangement is a win/win/win – for XYZ Yoga Studio, the spa and both businesses’ clients (they get discounted services).
Now, that example is one agreement with one business. Imagine all the potential local businesses you could arrange this type of deal with. The spa is an obvious Yoga Studio partner because persons who get massages and spa services are more likely willing to try yoga. Therefore, when you think about businesses to partner with, ask whether that businesses’ customers would do yoga.
To get your inspiration going, check out my list of potential businesses you could partner with.
The above example is just the beginning. The following is a list of ideas how you can market your yoga studio with partners.
- E-newsletter: similar to above, but instead of featuring just one other business, hyper-leverage your efforts with 3, 4, or 5 other businesses. Applying the above example, you give 25 percent off a 10 pack of yoga classes to 3 other businesses’ customers, and then you feature various discounts from your partnering businesses. If every business has an e-mail list of 500 customers, you’ll end up directly marketing to 1,500 prospective students.
- Print newsletter: same method as an e-newsletter. The upside is more people read printed newsletters. The downside is it costs money to print and mail newsletters. Also, it’s not very environmental. Personally, I would stick with the e-newsletter approach because it costs you nothing (except the discount, but then you’re getting new students).
- Personalized customer letters (via print and mail or e-mail): If you have consent from your students to send e-mails other than e-zines and blog posts, you might consider writing a nicely written e-mail that does the same swap as the spa example above. Instead of being an ad in an e-zine, this time it’s a personal e-mail or letter from you which will be a stronger endorsement and have higher reading percentage.
- Perhaps there’s a company whose clients likely wouldn’t try yoga, but you think your clients might be interested in the company’s products or services. You could enter an arrangement where you get a percentage of all sales as a result of your clients. You facilitate the sales by writing your clients outlining a great discount opportunity at this company. A great example is partnering with a car company. You write your clients telling them that you’re happy XYZ dealership is exclusively offering your clients 10 percent off its cars. Then, for every purchase from one of you clients, you get a percentage of the sale. Just be sure you establish a method to track the sales.
- If you sell products through your Web site, consider doing a swap with other yoga studios in other cities (or other online retailers who won’t be a competitor). For example, suppose you sell yoga/meditation supplements in your studio and online. You can approach a yoga studio that sells something equivalent, let’s say tea, and then feature each other’s products with links in each other’s e-zines. Both offers will include a discount off the retail price so the clients gain a benefit as well.
- If you gain traffic on your Web site, you can recommend (for a finders fee or percentage) various other products and services to your visitors. See a list of potential businesses you could partner with to get some ideas of products and services you could refer your visitors to. Consider approaching your partner and ask that your site visitors get their product/service for a discount price. This way your site visitors not only get a good recommendation, but they a discount on that service.
- Discuss with potential partners about having them recommend your site and/or studio on their web site. You could do a reciprocal recommendation or your offer a finders / referral fee for every client that comes in your door.
- Products for others: suppose you don’t have the cashflow to buy inventory, but you’d like to sell products on your Web site. What you can do is approach a product wholesaler and say you’ll feature the product on your Web site and/or e-zine in return that the price is discounted to the clients and the yoga studio owner gets $X amount per sale.
- Create or join a video sharing exchange: If you have only a few videos for your online library, enter into an exchange with other non-competing (outside of your geographic area) to share videos. This builds your online video library and spreads your work and teaching beyond your geographic area which could improve your name recognition for teacher training and workshops and retreats.
- Create a Web site link farm to improve all your SEO. Don’t do this with your competition. If you join a link farm – be sure it’s human edited and contains only relevant and quality sites.
- Write blog posts for other blogs. This again gets your name out and a link to your site. Spreading your name or studio is good if you sell products and/or teacher train.
- Consider partnering arrangements with other local yoga studios that offer benefits different than yours. This is a bit of a risk, but you might consider offering packages that lets both of your clients use both of your studios. This creates an affiliation which could increase students for both (or all if more than 2 studios) studios included.
- Consider going into a building with another studio that offers different benefits. More than one studio could be better. This is the mall effect. Together you become known as the yoga building. You could arrange packages for all your students to use each other’s studio. Consider working with other studios in town – you can cover for each other for vacations and help each other out. If you both offer different benefits, you should strive to cooperate rather than compete.
- Online viral marketing:
- Blog subscribers forwarding your blog and/or your e-zine to others. This is amazing free marketing for you and another excellent reason to write a blog and an e-zine.
- If you sell products on your Web site – offer excellent affiliate commissions. This means that if another Web site has a link to your online store and a customer comes into your store from that site (your affiliate) and makes a purchase, you pay that other site an affiliate commission. This is a terrific way to get other Web sites to link to your site and feed visitors to your online store. You could do a reciprocal feed link with another complementary online store as well. Be creative with affiliate and linking arrangements if you have an online store.
- If your site attracts traffic, be an affiliate (set up an affiliate link) for products you believe in and would recommend to your clients.
Don’t forget about word-of-mouth on the street.
- Referral bonuses: offer good discounts to clients for referrals household / couple discounts
- Your book: getting your book out there gets your name out there.
- Your hard copy newsletter: you never know where your newsletter will end up.