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marketing tactic for pilates teachers

The VIP Card
Three Quick & Easy Steps
To Build Student Loyalty

Armed with VIP Cards more of your students will become raving fans (students that come to your classes for years).

Strategy Overview

You go to your local cafe and set up a 10% discount off all drinks.  You tell your students something like, “Guess what my beloved and cherished students (that may be a bit too much), I’ve wangled a special 10% discount off drinks at our local XYZ Organic Cafe.  All you need to do is flash your Pilates VIP Card.”  The best part is that students will think you’re a God or Goddess. That means they’ll come to your classes for longer.  That means you don’t need to advertise your classes as much.  And that means you and your student wins.  We all love win-wins!

Step #1
Pick A Template

Option #1
Business Card With Metalic Finish Template

You can use vistaprint business cards using the metalic finish for your VIP Card. The metalic finish made the cards feel more substantial than a normal business card (remember you’re only giving them out to your students).

Option #2
Loyalty Card Template

You can use vistaprint’s loyalty card template.  I couldn’t believe how well this strategy worked!  My students love it.  If you’re using the loyalty card, you will need to initial a box on their card each week, until they have 10 boxes filled in.  It’s also a great way to chat and get to know your students, because they have to bring their loyalty card to you to get signed.

I find in my classes that 1 out of 10 students are really shy and find it hard to approach me (the loyalty card gives them courage to approach me).  This option obviously takes more time then option 1, but people love being rewarded for loyalty.

Loyalty Card Layout

Name Of Your Yoga Business
VIP Member
Name Of Your Website

Step 2
Get Discounts

Now you have your lovely new VIP Cards, it’s time to do a wee bit of networking.  Your mission is set up as many nifty “discounts” for your students as possible.

So, get in your car, bus, bike, feet, or whatever mode of transport that rocks your boat and go to all the businesses in your local area that you think your students would like to frequent.  Ask the business owner for a “special discount” for your students.  Most business owners will fall over themselves to get business from a group.  A group has purchasing power!

Who To Approach?

You could approach the following local businesses…

  • Acupuncturists
  • Alternative Health Practitioners
  • Cafes
  • Chiropractors
  • Complementary Therapists
  • Dieticians
  • Hair Dressers
  • Health Food Shops
  • Herbalists
  • Homeopaths
  • Hypnotherapists
  • Fair Trade Businesses
  • Flower Shops
  • Masseuses
  • Nutritionists
  • Organic Cafes
  • Physiotherapists

If you have a website, set up a page called: vip discounts. Now all you need to do is add all the local businesses who offer discounts to that page (e.g. a local health food shop who offers your students a 5% discount). Make sure you let your students know about the vip discounts page on your site.

Step 3
VIP Cards Announcement

Take your VIP cards to class and give them to your students and announce how it works.  For example, you could say:

“Hi everyone, here is your VIP card (walk around the room handing them out). There are 10 boxes on the card. Each time you come to a class, I will put my initials in the box. Once you’ve come to 10 classes and had 10 boxes filled up, you get a free class.  But that’s not it.  I’ve also hounded lots of local businesses in the area to get you “group discounts”. If you go to my “vip discounts” page you’ll see a list of businesses that offer discounts.  For example the XYZ organic cafe on the high street will give you a 5% discount off all drinks.” 

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George Watts

Yoga & Pilates Teacher
This post was lovingly brought to you by pilates/yoga teacher, George Watts. If you have a couple of minutes spare, take a little peek at my Pilates Instructor Lesson Plan Kit.