Okay, you have a website, maybe you have a few sites now after reading my article about microsite campaigns, and with any luck (or should I say some SEO effort), you have visitors to your site(s).
Every visitor to your site is cherished – you worked hard or paid a lot of money to get those visitors – now it’s time to ask “how much money are you leaving on the table?” In other words, how can you get as many of those visitors to become students and clients of your yoga business?
There are two proven tools that will result in more website visitors trying your yoga studio. That’s all you ask – that they give your studio a try. Those tools are:
- free stuff; and
- live chat (discussed in Part II).
Let’s start with free stuff. Do you see the form with “Biggest Mistake” at the top of it? When you fill in that form, you get free stuff. That form is filled in almost every day. I like giving away free information – after all this blog is loaded with free information for yoga marketing. But I also like establishing a relationship with my readers. When you ask for my free stuff by filling in the form – you not only get the report “Huge Mistake Many Yoga Websites Make”, but I send you other e-mails with useful information for growing your yoga business – some of which is not on this blog.
Here’s the key – you can do exactly the same thing with prospective visitors to your website(s). Give them free stuff – all they have to do is ask for it. You can then establish a relationship with them by sending them e-newsletters and e-mails in the future. Even if they go to another studio for awhile, you’ll be able to gently remind them over and over that you’re around.
- But isn’t sending out emails and e-newsletters a lot of work?
- Should you have two forms on your site?
- Let’s look at the numbers
- What’s so great about AWeber?
- Internet Marketers aren’t the only business people using subscriptions
- Live chat
- Let’s Look at the Live Chat Numbers
- Putting it all together
Nope. That form to the right is created by AWeber (read below why choosing the right service right off the bat is so important) which once filled in by a person requesting my information, it triggers a series of pre-loaded email messages. You can do the same. Write up 50 messages and send one out each week or 12 and send one each month – whatever you think is best. Offer free stuff every week. Some examples might be:
- One free class
- One free week of classes
- Free videos of your classes so they can your routines at home.
- Informative / Entertaining articles
- Invitations to events and workshops you’re hosting.
- Yoga clothing / accessories sales.
You get the idea. Even though not all visitors to your website may not become customers right away – you can dramatically increase the odds of them becoming a customer in the future if you maintain a relationship with them.
You aren’t limited to sending pre-loaded emails either. You can send out a new email to your entire list any time.
A great sign-up incentive for your site visitors
I think the best sign-up incentive is to offer videos of you or one of your teachers teaching a class. This way you’re pretty much giving away a free yoga lesson that people can follow along with at home. Since the video file would be too large to send by email, send your email list a link to a page where they can view the video.
IMPORTANT #1: DON’T BREAK THE LAW
There is a difference between the people who simply contact you and people who ask to get your free offering and end up on your email list. YOU CANNOT send unsolicited emails to people who do not double opt in. What is double opt in? When you sign up with my form to the right (Biggest Mistake Form), you’ll receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. This process is the double opt in – you fill in the form and then confirm your subscription. The CAN SPAM laws forbid you sending emails to people who only fill in a form. Therefore, people who contact you via a contact form cannot be added to an email list (a law I suspect many business break – but you can reply to inquiries set out in the contact form).
Should you have two forms on your site?
Absolutely. Put your simple contact form in your contact page. You don’t want a double opt in for simple inquiries. Then place your free offer elsewhere on your site. In some of my offline business sites I place both the simple contact form and my free offer form on the home page. Experiment.
IMPORTANT #2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT SERVICE FIRST
Let’s say you don’t want to pay a monthly cost for AWeber (it’s $19 /month). So you try a free service to start – such as MailChimp. BIG MISTAKE. Why? Because when you do decide to upgrade to AWeber you can’t simply import or transfer your list. You will have to get your entire list to confirm their subscription again. Yup – you will lose most of your list.
Let’s look at the numbers
Suppose you get 50 visitors per day to all your websites. Let’s say 1 out of 10 people who visit your site sign up for your free video. That’s 5 subscribers per day. Let’s say 1 out of 35 subscribers become a student (that’s 1 per week) and that the average student attends 4 classes per month ($10 / class). That means your list will result in approximately 52 new students each year which profits you $520 per year. If your email service costs $19 per month, you net $272 in your first year.* However, as your list builds, you maintain the potential to turn existing subscribers to paying students years down the road. As you send them more great information, the better the chance they’ll eventually check out your studio. Your email list also adds huge value to your yoga studio if you ever wish to sell.
If in two years you switch from your freebie email service to AWeber and you lose 3/4 of your list, you will lose out on a great deal of potential profits just to save $19 per month.
How do I know this? Because recently I switched from MailChimp to AWeber and I lost most of a list I had built. I learned the hard way and it cost me big time!
What if you don’t switch from MailChimp or some other free service?
Yeah, you could stay, but it’s not as good of a service. Besides, MailChimp is only free up to 500 subscribers. If you add 35 subscribers per day – you’ll be at 500 in about a year. Then you either start paying for MailChimp or pay for a superior service such as AWeber.
What’s so great about AWeber?
- Easy to use;
- You can set up your blog posts to broadcast to your list;
- There are dozens of great looking forms to choose from that will look terrific in any website design;
- You can get pop-up forms for even greater subscription rates;
- There are fantastic analytics reporting all kinds of data about your subscribers (email open rates, delivery rates, etc.);
- You don’t need to know coding at all – just copy and paste a snippet of code and plug it wherever you want it in your website;
- The email delivery rates are second-to-none; and
- The customer and technical support is fantastic (phone and e-mail support is available).
So – don’t break the law and don’t build a list that you’ll eventually lose. Most importantly, start building a list now. If you add 500 subscribers per year (35 per week), in 4 years you’ll have a list of 2,000 subscribers. If you ever roll out DVDs for sale, start selling other products, expand your studio, or start any other revenue generating service – you’ll have a massive customer base right out of the gates.
Perhaps you’re thinking “I’ve signed up for email lists and they annoy me constantly with lousy sales pitches every day”. This is a very legitimate concern. But how you treat your subscribers is up to you. Treat them like gold – send them nothing but useful information and you’ll have grateful subscribers who trust you and who may one day become a customer of your yoga studio.
Internet Marketers aren’t the only business people using subscriptions
Fortune 500 companies, law firms, consultants, medical treatment providers, banks – pretty much all types of businesses build subscriber lists because “the money is in the list”. Start building your yoga business bigger and faster with a subscriber list today. You won’t regret it.
What is Live Chat?
Okay, I don’t have live chat on this site – but it’s a blog – I’m not selling any products or services directly. But you are – and that’s why live chat is a such a great tool.
Live chat is a way that website visitors can have a typed conversation with you or an employee of yours in real time. It’s a button saying “Let’s Chat” or something similar you display prominently on your site(s). You can indicate whether you’re available or not available. If not available, your visitors can easily leave you a message (this is better than nothing). It also gives you a way to deliver great customer service to existing customers.
If a visitor clicks to chat, you’re notified and both of you have text boxes in which to type messages back and forth.
Like an e-mail subscriber service, a great live chat service is very inexpensive. I highly recommend Provide Support which costs $15 per month for an unlimited number of websites (they offer a free trial so you can see if it’s worth it). The best part is you don’t need to install any software. Provide Support’s entire system is web-based – you simply log in to your account and manage your entire console on the Internet (i.e. cloud computing).
Live Chat Offers Instant Gratification for Your Website Visitors
I don’t like calling businesses. I don’t like waiting for answers. Live chat solves both these problems for your customers who are just like me. Often I’d rather avoid waiting for an answer than asking it through a form or making a telephone call. However, when a website has live chat, I don’t mind waiting 20 seconds for a live answer.
Live Chat is More Efficient than a Telephone Call
When you’re on the phone, you can only deal with one customer at at time. On live chat you can easily assist 3 to 5 customers at a time. You can also keep copies of all transcripts and send a transcript to your customers).
What if You Don’t Have Time to Keep Live Chat Going 24/7?
No problem – you can simply set it to “leave a message”. When you’re available, then turn it on again. You can be available wherever you have an Internet connection. If you go to a conference or workshop, you can at least part of the time be available for prospective customer inquiries. If you have a receptionist – then you can train your receptionist to be the live chat operator. Your receptionist probably knows the answers to most questions anyway.
Live Chat Will Give You a Competitive Advantage
Most likely most of your competitors don’t use live chat. Get an advantage now using live chat. At the very least – if you have Web traffic to your website(s), give live chat a trial run and see whether you get inquiries and whether those inquiries result in paying customers.
Let’s Look at the Live Chat Numbers
In Part I I used a scenario of 50 website visitors per day. I’ll do so here as well. Suppose 5 of those 50 visitors per day start a live chat with you during which you’re able to immediately answer their questions. If 1 out of 35 live chat customers become a student of your studio (taking 1 class per week at $10 / class = $520 per year), then your live chat service will add 52 students to your studio in a year. You’ll earn $520 in revenue for the year on a live chat investment of only $180 ($15/month). That’s a $340 profit.*
Okay, I acknowledge you’ll never know whether a live chat customer would have become a yoga studio customer regardless whether you have live chat. There is no way to know for sure. However, give it a trial and see if you get a bump in new students. Besides, with live chat your existing customers can more easily contact you. As you know, retaining yoga students is absolutely fundamental to building your business. When you can easily and cheaply improve your customer service, then it’s well worth the time, effort, and nominal cost.
Putting it all together
In my last two posts Putting Your Internet Yoga Marketing Campaign All Together (using microsites) and Part I of How Much Money is Your Yoga Studio Leaving on the Table as well as this post – I’ve given you the tools to build a solid Web presence and then turning website visitors into yoga students – all for the following low cost:
- Website theme with StudioPress: $70 (unlimited number of websites and blogs);
- Website hosting: $7 /month (unlimited websites);
- AWeber e-mail subscriber service: $19/month; and
- Provide Support Live Chat: $15/month (place it on an unlimited number of sites)
Total Cost: $70 up front; $41 monthly.
With the example of 50 visitors per day to your sites using an email subscriber and live chat I showed it’s not impossible to earn $272 + $340 = $612 in annual profit (for the first year*). Imagine if you get 100 or 200 daily visitors – all the more possible with more websites.
The point is: developing and executing an outstanding Internet yoga marketing campaign is not difficult and not expensive once you get informed. Both AWeber and Provide Support offer trial periods so it’s risk free. With StudioPress themes and Bluehost – you can leverage your investment because once you pay the initial cost for the theme and the $7 per month for hosting – you can build unlimited websites.
Once you put in these tools, continue building traffic. More traffic with these great conversion tools equals more yoga students for you!
*The number set out in this post and Part I are illustrative. Using any or all of the tools set out in this website does not guarantee results. Results may vary. Take advantage of the trial offers and see whether it works for you.
* The numbers used in this post are for illustrative purposes only. I intended to be conservative. Numbers and results may vary.