How to Market for a Successful Pilates Studio
A healthy Pilates business continues to offer new and exciting amenities to its members.
Special events, promotions and discounts help keep the business fresh and attract new clients. From multi-class discount passes to holiday open houses, ideas for promoting your Pilates business are limitless.
Kim Casto, owner of Bodylines Pilates Studio in Harvard and Lancaster, Massachusetts, has kept her business thriving thanks to doing several different promotions throughout the years. While her studio mainly has memberships and private lesson packages, from time to time she offers special deals for existing clients. For instance, if a client refers a friend in February, both receive 50 percent off the next month’s membership, she said.
“However, we find we receive more referrals from our events ‘Women, Wine, and Wellness Pilates for Pink’, a breast cancer fundraiser; and ‘GNO’, a Girls Night Out fundraiser events, that we organize with local PTO organizations,” Casto said.
“For the last two years, our most successful promotion for clients is our ‘Best Sale Ever’ in January,” Casto said. “Clients can upgrade their membership for no additional cost for two months, but they must maintain the upgraded membership for four additional months. This also helps us out in June, which is one of the more challenging revenue months here.”
Try it for free
Tiered memberships with a multiple-class incentive might attract more business; the more often clients come to work out, the lower the per-class cost, according to Casto.
Casto also noted that drop-in classes where the first class is free often lead to more sales. “We generally pair it with a ‘tour’ so [potential clients] know they will be speaking with someone about membership and programs,” she said. Bodylines typically hosts one to four open houses each year and sometimes offers a free week to the community or friends of clients.
Get involved in the community
Active involvement in the community serves to enhance Bodylines’ business image and attract new clients, according to Casto. Her studio led the “Playground Pilates” event, a local fundraiser that helped financially support a new playground structure.
“We sponsor the local baseball program, high school and youth football programs, local youth field hockey teams, and two local road races that support the schools. In addition, we volunteer our time to a local cancer center, where we hold weekly classes and run a large fundraiser event every year,” Casto said. “On ‘Desk Pilates’ Elementary Field Day’, we have a Pilates station at the local high school and speak on behalf of a ‘Profession in Fitness.’ We regularly host events that seem to attract attention with our clients, their friends, and the community.”
One idea Casto does not endorse is a rewards program. “I worked for a chain of health clubs for 10 years and found that rewards programs can sometimes backfire and can be challenging to manage. Once you start offering it, you are committed to continuing to offer it, otherwise it leaves a bad impression for clients when you take it away,” she said.
“I prefer to focus my efforts on exceptional service, attention to detail, quality programs, impeccable cleanliness, and passionate and professional staff.”