The #1 and #2 reasons for offering any event at your school are retention and new memberships. In last week’s post, I provided tips to help you get your martial arts birthday party follow-up program off the ground.
In this post, I’ll cover our follow-up system in detail to help you gain those new potential memberships that can result from hosting birthday parties. Keep in mind that you can use this system as a base for follow-up for any of your events—not just birthday parties—with a few minor changes.
Step 1: VIP Pass
At the end of the party, all of the guests are handed a VIP pass, which entitles them to one free introductory lesson with the owner of the studio (me). They must call or email me for an appointment. I had 1,000 cards printed for less than $50 through VistaPrint.
Step 2: Martial Arts Birthday Party Follow-Up Email
After each party, I upload all of the event registrations to an Excel file and enter all hard copy information into the same file. I then save it and tag it as “GB attended an event” (GB for Giroux Bros.) Then I put into my martial arts management software offered through Member Solutions.
As soon as this information is transferred, they receive an automated, personalized email from me that looks something like this:
I see that your child attended an event at the studio this weekend, and I heard that all the kids had a blast!
The instructors should have handed you a VIP Pass for a free introductory lesson. I wanted to follow up to see if you were interested in scheduling one with me this week or next.
I will give you a call in a few days as well to set one up for you.
Thanks, and I look forward to meeting you and your family soon!
Owner | 7th Degree Black Belt
Step 3: Martial Arts Birthday Party Follow-Up Entry
I take 10 or 15 minutes to enter all the leads into my cell phone and mark them accordingly to have quick access to the information when I call. An example is Bday217 | Mary | Joey and Lexi 7 and 8.
Mary is the mother listed with the child or childrens names and ages.
To help with my own time management, I make these calls during my commute. I’ve had the most success reaching people during the late morning to early afternoon timeframe while the kids are in school.
If I don’t reach them live, I leave a voicemail. I only call them once unless a call back is requested.
At the end of the week, another automated email is sent, which looks something like this:
I’ve been trying to reach you. I wanted to see if you were interested in coming in for your free trial lesson. I still have a few spots available next week. If you are interested, please give me a call.
Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Owner | 7th Degree Black Belt
Step 4: Drip System
Although these leads are warm, remember that they haven’t specifically asked for any information. They’ve simply attended an event at our studio and hopefully had a great time.
If my initial attempts haven’t sparked a response, I put them into my drip system.
Within the member management software, I tag them as Children Program Prospects 2015. They will receive a series of seven informational emails, automatically-timed, three weeks from one another as a result. The emails are in a newsletter format and discuss topics such as listening skills, bullying, ADD, and ADHD to name a few. I also include these prospects in my direct mail campaigns that I launch three to four times a year.
I hope this information has been helpful. If anyone has questions on hosting birthday parties in your martial arts school or setting up a lead follow-up program, please don’t hesitate to ask. As always, I’m happy to help.
Contact Client Services with any additional questions you might have.
About the author: Steve Giroux has been training in martial arts for 30 years and is a 7th Degree Black Belt in Chun Kuk Do. In 1999, he graduated from Bentley College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy with a minor concentration in Law. After founding his studio in January of 1999, Steve has successfully grown revenues over the years after starting at only $7,000 in his first year. You can contact Steve via email at Steve@GirouxBrosMartialArts.com.