Why Every Yoga Teacher (or Studio) Should have a Newsletter
In this article we will focus on a relatively older form of marketing: email. But even though there is generally less hype about email and email newsletters, having a good mailing list with (potential new) yogis is really effective to get and keep people’s attention on what is going on at your yoga studio.
It is always nice to receive interesting, fun and relevant emails about something you are really passionate about: yoga! If you receive these emails from a person, company or organization that you are familiar with, then you know the source is trustworthy and you are likely to open and read them.
So email marketing may be something different than the first thing you thought of while reading the title of this blog: SPAM maybe ;)
But there’s actually a really big difference between receiving dubious offers from companies you have never heard of, and using email for the promotion of your studio.
Share the right information
As we already pointed out in our previous blogs, it is important to share the right information with the right group of people. This is no different for emails or e-newsletters, except that now ‘the right group of people’ may even be more important. Because the first thing to keep in mind is: never send emails to people who didn’t agree to be included in your mailing list.
Make sure you grow your mailing list in a fun and reliable manner. Then you will see that using email as a marketing tool is nice and rewarding.
Where to start?
We will first focus on how to build a mailing list, which info to send out, how frequent, how to manage your mailing list and how to easily send out your email.
Building your mailing list from scratch
Building your mailing list is a task to be carried out with great care, as you should only save the email addresses of those people who actually agreed to receive your emails.
The second step is to send out the right information. If all goes well, your list will grow. If your emails fail to impress, people will unsubscribe and your email marketing will not bring you the results you had hoped for.
But if you do follow the right approach, your mailing list can be really helpful in promoting your yoga studio. You can build a longstanding and trustworthy relationship with your readers. This will positively influence the image that people have of your yoga studio and will indirectly also help your studio to grow.
There are three rules that you should stick to while growing your mailing list:
never send emails to people who didn’t agree to be included in your mailing list
unsubscribing from your mailing list should be simple
This means that every email (newsletter) that you send out should contain a link to unsubscribe. You can easily do this by using MailChimp. This is an application that you can use to send out emails. We will discuss this in more detail later in this blog.
- Never sell or loan your mailing list to third parties
This will seriously damage your credibility. Unfortunately many organizations misuse their mailing lists; therefore this type of marketing has such a bad reputation. But if you use yours right, it can be so rewarding!
How to do it right? Take good care of your mailing list and your readers and make sure you send out relevant information. Your mailing list and your studio will both profit and grow when you do this.
For those who are interested in receiving email updates about your studio, subscribing to your newsletter should be really easy. To be a 100% sure that people really want to receive your emails it is a good idea to use the ‘double opt-in’ method.
This means that, when a person subscribes to your newsletter they will receive an email with a link to confirm their email address. Only when the person actually clicks on this link they will be included in your mailing list.
Growing you list
There are many ways to get people interested to sign up for your newsletter.
For example, you could make certain info only available for those subscribed to your mailing list. You could create a PDF file with certain yoga poses and instructions or other info, which people can download only after subscribing to your newsletter. You could even promote this PDF through social media.
Another way to attract more readers is to send them a ‘gift’ after signing up. This could be anything, an actual gift (make sure you have their full address) or a free yoga class. You could also promote a special discount for new members, for example on their first 10 classes or their first month, when they subscribe to your newsletter.
Creating your list
Now it is clear how we should approach our mailing list, we can start creating one! After that we can start sending out emails.
It’s a good start to first include your current members.
Subsequently you want to add new people (as your aim is to grow your list and eventually your member base). For this we need an online form where people can sign up (with the double opt-in), a way to manage the mailing list, a template to write the emails and an easy way to send your email out to everybody at once.
Luckily you don’t have to organize this all by yourself. You can use existing software, for example MailChimp.
To grow your mailing list, make sure to have a subscription form on your website. A simple form in which people can fill out their email address, and optionally also their first and last name.
Furthermore, you also want to manage your list and send out your emails in mass. This and much more you can easily do by using MailChimp.
Sign up for MailChimp here, it’s really easy.
There are several steps you should go through to get the most out of MailChimp.
- Set up your mailing list
- Import email addresses (you can easily export your member list from Momoyoga and import it into MailChimp)
- Create a subscription form
- Add the subscription form to your website
- Create your first email newsletter
- Send it out
You only have to repeat step 5 and 6 when you want to send out additional emails.
Should you have questions about any of these steps, you can look for more information on the MailChimp website or by googling ‘your question + MailChimp’. For example: ‘MailChimp how to include form in WordPress website’.
MailChimp is free up until a certain number of people in your mailing list. Normally, the free account should be sufficient for yoga studios. So using MailChimp costs you nothing and it makes sending out newsletters is pretty easy.
What to include in your email newsletters?
First question that comes up.. what should I include in my emails?
The answer is simple: make sure your content is relevant.
This may sound simple indeed, but it can be hard to get started. Do give it a try though. Once you actually get started and follow all the steps, you will see it is a relatively easy and fun way to promote your yoga studio.
Relevant means information that is in line with the interests of your readers.
Your readers will be interested in yoga. Possibly a specific type of yoga or meditation, which your studio is specialized in.
Keeping this in mind makes it a lot easier to come up with all sorts of things related to yoga.
Maybe you’re thinking “but there is already so much information available online”. That’s true, however, most of your readers probably don’t have the time to explore all these websites, neither to gain the level of experience that you have regarding all things yoga.
They can’t afford to browse around the web looking for events, read articles, go to lectures and follow workshops etc.
But they do have a passion for yoga! So they are certainly keen on reading the info that you have selected for them.
Nowadays there is so much info available that it is hard to distinguish what is relevant. Precisely for this reason your expertise is needed to share specific and up-to-date info with your readers.
So use your expertise, things you’ve learned during your trainings, lectures, articles you’ve read etc. Also stay up-to-date by reading things on the internet or in books that you could share with your readers.
Write some nice articles and share them from time to time. You will see that your readers will appreciate it and that your mailing list will grow over time.
Series of articles
Another wonderful thing to do is creating a series of articles about a specific topic and share one article each day/week/month. We previously discussed this in A blog for your yoga studio.
With MailChimp you can really easily create a series of emails and schedule them to be sent out anytime you want, be it in a week, a month or whenever. Like this you can prepare a batch of articles and they will be sent out to your mailing list automatically in set intervals.
Tip: also publish this series of articles on your blog or website.
News and updates
Every time you make changes or new additions to your class schedule this is a good reason to send out an email. For example ‘from the 1st of September we will also offer Hatha yoga classes’.
Same for when you are teaching a ‘special’ class, host an event, have a special sale or promotion, a new teacher etc.
How often can you send out emails? In principle this depends on what kind of info you send out.
Emailing every day or every couple of days is not a very good idea. But sending out a newsletter one day and an announcement for a new class some time later could be ok.
In general, scheduling an email every 2 to 4 weeks is perfectly fine.
You can bundle several short news items in one newsletter or choose to send out an email with one special announcement, like a workshop or a promotion.
Set your emails to be sent out automatically to new subscribers
In addition to sending out emails to you mailing list manually every 2 to 4 weeks, you can also choose to send out some emails automatically.
Earlier we described how you can schedule a series of emails on a specific topic to be sent out to your mailing list in MailChimp. However, if you prepare and schedule these emails all at once, the people who will subscribe to your newsletter after this time, will not receive them. Simply because they were not part of the mailing list at the time when you scheduled the emails.
Luckily you can arrange for the series of emails to be sent out automatically in set intervals to new subscribers. For example, email one of the series one day after they subscribed, email two of the series 15 days later, email three another 15 days later etc.
Like this you can ‘recycle’ valuable content which new subscribers otherwise would have missed.
By now you know how you create a mailing list, how you manage it, how new people can subscribe, what info to send out and how to actually send out your emails.
Good luck with using email marketing for the promotion of your yoga studio! Do you have questions? Let us know!