Your database starts with the registration of new students. We have talked about my precious book where everybody writes down their names as they come in, however, the very first time that a student shows up they have to fill in a registration form.
This registration form covers the basic information, such as name, address, phone, email (super important!) and date of birth.
I actually use all this information.
Name and phone number for obvious reasons… The address you can use to map your students, that way you will know where they are and you can target your marketing and advertising.
If you were to move the studio you would be able to choose the location with sound information about your students’ home addresses.
The name also helps with gender, that way you can know who is coming to your studio and who might be interested in joining.
The date of birth also helps you understand your target market, since you know how old your students are. Also, I send a happy birthday email to my students, so I add this information to my calendar and reminders in my computer.
Email, the most important piece of information after the name!
The email… So important, it’s through this channel that you can keep your students updated to what is happening at the studio… Workshops, events, retreats, holidays, etc.
Therefore, their email the most important part of your database.
State of health
After the basic details, in the registration form your students should have a few lines where they report their state of health, pregnancy, surgery, back problems, cancer, etc.… so that you can consider it when giving them alternatives and variations to the posses.
Where you found us
After this, there’s a space where your students will tell you how they heard about the studio: word of mouth from friend, relative or colleague, street sign, Internet, etc. It depends on what advertising you are doing.
This allows you to know where your advertising and promotion money is bringing you the most students.
Responsibility and liability
The bottom part of the registration form is a small print of the responsibility of the students of their own bodies, it reminds them that we facilitate but they know better about their own body.
Signature and date
And finally, they get to sign and date the form… Since I do allow children in my classes (10 years and over) then I get the parents to sign for them.
Keep it updated
It’s good practice to dedicate at least a few minutes a week to update your database with all new students, that way you don’t have to do a whole bunch at a time.
In my database I include all details and how they heard of the studio and when they joined… This information helps me base my decisions on real data and invest my low advertising budget smartly…
Use the information
Use your database to make decisions based on real information, who’s your target market, where is it located, how old they are, how they heard of your studio, gender, and general state of health.
I cannot tell you enough how important all this information is. Make sure you do add a registration form to your studio.
The database itself
I use two different software platforms for my database:
Mail Chimp is an online free tool to build databases and send emails to the people in them.
It’s important to have a program like this one, because:
- It saves your precious database in the cloud so you will never lose it.
- You can have different lists for different purposes, for example a list with just people with health issues, so when you have a special workshop for them, you only send it to the people that are interested.
- You can link it to your social media so when you send an email it will be automatically posted in your social media of choice.
- Your emails will not go to spam folders (this is in general, there are some corporate emails who will send them there).
- You’ll be able to design and structure your emails with heaps of easy, user-friendly templates.
- It keeps track of: who has read your email (by person), who has clicked on it, where they are located, and lots more reports.
- It will comply with all legal emailing regulations, rules, policies and everything we don’t even know exist.
- You can send a test email before you send it to everyone so you can see how it looks on different devices.
- You will be able to download your database.
- Students who are no longer interested are able to unsubscribe, this way you only keep a very valuable database of genuinely interested people.
With Google Contacts you will be able to use your database in different useful ways that can’t be done with Mail Chimp.
Every now and then I download my database from Mail Chimp, and then import it into Google Contacts.
The beauty of Google Contacts is that you can add your students’ birthdays to your reminders, so that you can text or email your students on their special day.
Also, through Google Contacts you will be able to sync your database with your mobile, this way you will have your student’s information on the go, whenever you need to contact them.
In this Tutorial: MailChimp to Google Contacts you will be able to import your database from Mail Chimp into Google Contacts.
The database will give your Home Yoga Studio a great market value for your business.