Unconventional Marketing ideas for your Dance Studio

Olivier Rousseau
3 February 2024 Dance 2 min read

Unconventional Marketing ideas for your Dance Studio

In this article, we’ll go over our 5 more unconventional ideas for marketing a modern dance studio.

We’ll cover

  1. How to Grow your subscriber list
  2. Registrations not open yet? Add a reminder for
  3. Start registrations much earlier than you think
  4. Don’t be afraid to pay for ads on Facebook/Instagram
  5. Use the end-of-session survey to promote the next session

Note: We will not cover the generic dance studio marketing ideas such as using social media, hosting an open house, partnering with local businesses, encourage online reviews etc. Every tip in the article has actionnable steps and examples to help you see progress right away.

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About the author: I’m Olivier, co-founder of Activity Messenger, an online registration software for dance studios. I also run a multi-franchise business dedicated to introducing sports to children aged 2-9 with over 100 employees. Over the last decade, I’ve spent over $200,000 on Facebook and Google ads, sent hundreds of email marketing campaigns, all aimed at increasing enrollment in classes and camps.

1- Grow your subscriber list

You may be surprised that I put this at the top (or that it’s unconventional), but I truly believe that this is the #1 missed opportunity for dance studios.

Here’s why:

At Activity Messenger, we see hundreds of businesses using email marketing to remind clients to sign up for their next class.

Which is great.

But many of them only reach current or past students.

And they don’t have an option for potential clients to subscribe to their newsletter from their website.

When we added the subscription option, we were surprised to see how many prospects opted in to receive notifications about future sessions.

 

Grow your email subscriber list for dance studios

Read more on how Activity Messenger can streamline your email marketing efforts.

Segment by registration status

Once we started building our email list, we also decided to segment by registration status.

Here’s why:

We’ve all gotten that marketing email a few days after a purchase that promotes the exact class you just signed up for.
Makes you want to unsubscribe, right?

And that’s exactly what people were doing.

So we switched to segmenting by registration status and 3 things happened:

✅ Unsubscribe rate dropped significantly
✅ Open rates went up
✅ Registrations increased

The reason?

Attendees now know that our outreach is relevant based on their past and current registrations.

They get fewer emails when they register early, so they are less likely to unsubscribe.
They get more if they haven’t registered yet, so they’re less likely to forget to sign up for Sophia’s to Dance classes this fall.

Busy parents love this!

Ways to grow your subscriber list

  1. Add subscribe option to your website
  2. Print a QR code at your front desk so people can subscribe
  3. Encourage people to sign up after your free trials, open houses or events

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📌 Pro Tip: Just by adding an email subscription form, we had over 100 new subscribers in less than 10 days during peak registration times. A lot of parents come to our site from an ad or search. In many cases, their child is too young, or they are simply not be available for the current session. These are quality leads who want you to be in touch the next time a session is available.

2- Registrations not opened yet? Add a reminder form

Last fall, I wanted to enroll my oldest in a dance class. I visited the dance studio’s website and was ready to buy.

But registration had not yet begun.

A few days went by and I completely forgot to register my son.

When I remembered, I had missed the first few weeks and didn’t bother to sign him up.

I ended up choosing a competing studio for the winter session.

My son loved it.

That studio lost my entire family (3 kids) to their competitor.

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All the studio had to do was open registration much earlier to turn us into customers.

As an operator, I know it’s not that easy.

I can hear the excuses going through your head:

“But I haven’t confirmed the location.”
“I’m not sure I’ll have the staff.”
“No one will sign up this early”
“My business is unique and this would never work in our industry.”

Ok… so say I accept your excuses.

I can still help you avoid losing clients for simply not having registrations up early enough.

With one simple tweak.

⏱ A reminder form.

Dance class reminder form

 

We recently had over 112 people fill out a reminder form before registrations for a program that only had 42 spots.

When registration opened, the classes filled up in a matter of hours (some in minutes).

How to create a reminder form for registrations

  1. Post the class option online before anything is finalized.
  2. Set it all up with the approximate dates and times
  3. Change the registration link to a reminder form (click here for an example)
  4. Send an SMS/Email reminder 24 hours before registration opens

3- Start registrations earlier (and offer an early bird-discount)

One of the biggest marketing hacks that helped us grow our business to 7 figures in annual revenue was so simple.

We open registration as early as possible (and much earlier than our competitors).

We offer early bird discounts to encourage early registration.

This helps with cash flow, staff scheduling, and best of all, you now have an army of ambassadors telling their friends to sign up before classes fill up.

Today, some of our classes fill up months in advance.

It takes a little time, but after a few sessions, parents know that classes fill up quickly and start registering earlier.

As a result, we have more information to adjust our advertising budget, open new classes, or even change class types to optimize revenue.

Start registrations earlier than you think (and give an early bird-discount)

📌 Pro Tip: We’ve been doing this for years and we usually have 25% to 30% of our registrations in before most of our competitors have even started taking registrations. It helps us better target our ads and email outreach because I know which classes need more visibility.

4- Don’t be afraid to pay for social ads

Facebook & Instagram Ads are a great way to promote your dance classes and camps.

Paying a few dollars a day to drive traffic to your website is well worth it.

Some people think that posting on your business profile is enough.

But organic reach has dropped dramatically in the last few years. Paid ads have become more important.

I usually create one set of ads per session.

It is not as time consuming as maintaining our social media and gives us much better results and reach.

All you have to do is set up an image or video ad. Target a radius of a few miles/kms around your location. Budget a few dollars per day. And there you go.

Instead of having a few open spots in your classes, a few hundred dollars of ad spend will give you that extra boost to fill your classes.

This has the potential to dramatically increase your profit margins, as every additional enrollment in a class is virtually pure profit.

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📌 Pro Tip: On a 7 day window, I typically get a cost of $7 to $10 per purchase on Facebook ads. Which is great. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of value. A lot of people will sign up without clicking on the ad or after the 7 day window is over. And a surprising percentage of people sign up for our newsletter, which gives me options for future outreach.

5- Use end of session survey to promote next session

A participant survey will help you understand your customers’ likes, dislikes, and where you need to improve.

With Activity Messenger, you can automate an email 2-3 days before the last class of the session.

Designing Your Dance Studio Survey in Canva

How to use your end-of-session reminder as a marketing tool?

  1. Include a link to sign up for the next session. (Increase retention revenue)
  2. Add an personalized certificate that people can print and share on social media. (Increase organic word-of-mouth)
  3. When someone completes your survey, ask them to share a testimonial on social media. (Optimize online peer review).

You can also follow up with people who have given you a great review and ask for a social media testimonial.

 

This article was focused on how Activity Messenger can you market your dance studio. But the platform can do much more for your dance studio.

Replace your current dance studio software (JackRabbit, DanceStudioPro etc)

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6 Best Dance Studio Software

Replace tools like Jotform, SurveyMonkey and Mailchimp for your dance studio

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Online Attendance tracking
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Written by Olivier Rousseau Olivier is a kids sports programs owner who has been operating for over a decade with locations in Montreal, Quebec city & Ottawa. He also helps Gymnastics Club, Swim Schools and Dance Studios streamline their operations. He is the co-founder of Activity Messenger an online registration platform for the sports & leisure industry.

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