Mindbody Software for Yoga Studios: Our Review and Experience

For those who have dreamed of one day owning their own yoga studio, this dream often comes from a desire to spread the joy that they have found through the practice of yoga. The reality of business management may not have been part of the original motivation; however, there are plenty of business management platforms designed to help those with wellness-based small businesses. Mindbody is one of the top platforms in this industry.

Mindbody offers a platform for yoga studios to attract new clients, and it handles everything from marketing to sales. Its 24-hour customer service can assist any business owner in using the platform effectively. While it is one of the top platforms of its kind, it also comes with a high price tag.

In the rest of this article, we will explore what exactly Mindbody has to offer for its clients and its customers. We will take a look at some of its pros as well as its cons. We will also take a look at its impact on the wellness industry during the pandemic, as well as a few popular alternatives.

What Is Mindbody Software?

Mindbody is a business management software that allows yoga studios and other wellness centers to publish their classes and services on a high-traffic platform. Clients can easily browse different classes and services available from these different providers. For example, if you are looking for a yoga class, you can hop on the platform and see what is being offered in your area. You can compare the different options available easily and conveniently.

This site also includes a mobile app version, and the client can book classes easily and instantly. They can even pay for the class through the platform. This gives the client plenty of freedom to choose classes without commitment in a way that fits their schedule. It is easy to choose a class, make a reservation, and even check in all from the app.

Additionally, the clients can peruse what else the studio has to offer. In addition to class information and pricing, they are able to see other key information. This can include the studio’s location, contact information, relevant teacher profiles, any additional amenities that may be provided (such as showers or lockers), as well as reviews from other students.

Mindbody for Businesses

From the business management side, wellness centers are able to display their information clearly and attractively to interested clients. The software is appealing to many small business owners because it handles marketing, scheduling, bookings, payment, and more.

In addition, Mindbody has prioritized its customer care and technical support services. Business owners are able to receive as much support as required, often around the clock, in order to get the platform working optimally for them and their unique business needs.

Mindbody offers a range of features and add-ons that are specifically designed for the wellness industry. With different packages and pricing schemes common in this field, Mindbody lets businesses set up their structure, whether it be a membership-based fee or a class-based fee. There are also ways to run special promotions such as buy-one-get-one-free or holiday discounts.

Pros of the Mindbody Software

Mindbody is one of the top platforms in its marketplace. It is used all over the world, from Istanbul to Argentina to India. It prides itself on its international customer base, with over 35 million people using the platform all over the world. It has succeeded in a number of ways that have made it popular with businesses and users alike. Let’s explore what some of these top features of the platform are.

Comfort and Ease for the User

One of the key benefits of this platform is its cohesion between the customer-side and the client-side. Users seeking classes and services can easily browse what they are interested in and gather information quickly and honestly. They can scan the reviews left by other students and see the faces of their potential new teachers. They can see the exact times and prices of the class they might be interested in attending at any given time.

This platform makes attending a yoga class as easy as ordering take-out or any other on-demand service. As a society, we are becoming more and more accustomed to doing everything from our phones or computers.

By including our wellness activities in this on-demand type of economy, we are able to book automatically and follow through with our plans seamlessly. Mindbody makes trying something new or doing so in a new environment as easy as a click on our smartphones.

In fact, every part of the registration process for the yogi can be done from the phone. Booking, payment, and even check-in can all be made from the platform. This feature is great for someone on a tight schedule but looking to squeeze in a class when they can. There’s no risk of having to wait at the front desk to sign in and potentially being late for the class itself.

What Does This Mean for the Yoga Studio?

Yoga studios ultimately want their students to be happy with their experience. Positive experiences keep their students coming back, which is great for the growth of the business. Happy students will share this experience with their friends, both in person and through reviews on the app. In order for the studio to thrive, it must be making sure that its clients are having the best possible experience.

For this reason, the ease of the platform for the clients translates to a benefit for the studio. If the client enjoyed the freedom of booking the class while on the go and the ability to check-in instantly, this would add to the positive experience of the class itself.

By making sure that both the actual yoga experience and the details of arriving in that class are positive, the studio is making it all the more likely that this new student will come back and potentially become a regular.

Additionally, since everything is done on the platform, the studio has concrete information about who is coming to what classes. They can analyze this data to see what works well in their studio and what can be improved. They can also more easily get to know their students, remembering their names and giving them a more personalized experience. The contact information provided is beneficial from a marketing standpoint as well.

Excellent Technical Support for Businesses

For the business owner, the platform can become easy for everyone to use due to its outstanding technical support. The customer service team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help studio owners figure out how to use the platform most effectively for their business. This support includes initial assistance with setting up a new account as well as its rollout and problem solving later on.

The support team is there to assist in any updates or changes the clients wish to make over time. This kind of support can include unique promotions or campaigns, special pricing, or changes to packages and services. As digital services are becoming increasingly popular, the technical support team is available for businesses looking to transition to streaming services for the first time.

Mindbody One

In addition to the technical support professionals that can be accessed at any time, Mindbody also offers a space where all business owners who use their platform can exchange ideas and learn from each other. It’s called Mindbody One, and this is a place where like-minded people can share their valuable experience, contributing to a global community of dedicated wellness professionals.

There are forums where people can ask questions relevant to their business and await answers from both peers and consultants from Mindbody itself. This feature has been particularly relevant in the age of the pandemic, as wellness studio owners all over the world suddenly faced an unprecedented problem and could collaborate to help generate ideas and come up with solutions.

In addition to the practical solutions and advice found on this forum, it is also a place to feel a sense of belonging in a community. This can help business owners rediscover their original inspiration even when passing through difficult times.

Extensive Marketing Suite

Mindbody is also prepared with automated marketing systems to help yoga studios keep in touch with their clientele. This is highly beneficial for studios, as it is much more cost-effective to keep existing clients coming back than acquiring new clients. This marketing suite is fully integrated, and it helps studios communicate with their clients effectively and personally.

Communication can be adjusted to the preferences of the studio. This includes who they are contacting and how often. Beautifully designed email templates are available to be sent out for any occasion, and strategic text messaging can be used to help bring back clients after their first experience.

Studios can also design specific campaigns for clients they haven’t seen in a while. They can send a special discount to these clients they may be afraid of losing, and the clients can click on the offer and make a booking right away. There are no extra steps required of the client, making it easier to take advantage of these special campaigns and bring them back to the studio.

Additionally, Mindbody tracks all the data of the marketing campaigns that you choose to utilize. With a glance at the accumulated data, you will be able to see which campaigns and strategies are effective for your business. You can use the data to make changes to your marketing approach and become even more effective in growing your business.

For a more detailed view of how this works, you can check out Mindbody’s explanatory video here on Youtube:

Messenger

One of Mindbody’s newer features is its Messenger. This is a unique artificial intelligence system that is particularly useful for businesses that may not always have someone to answer incoming calls.

So, how does Messenger work? When a client calls and no one is available to answer, the studio is able to send an automated message to that number. Through a series of automated messages, the client is able to book a class or service through text. This feature makes sure that no inquiry is left unattended. This feature can help your classes and services get booked by phone even when you’re not there to answer it.

If you’re curious as to what this looks like, you can check out a demonstration on Mindbody’s Youtube channel here:

Referral Program

Mindbody has referral programs in place for both the businesses and their clients. These are both ultimately beneficial to the business owner. Let’s take a look at how these work.

Client Referral Program

When a client recommends your studio to a friend and brings new business to your classes, you can set up a special reward for that client. This can be customized by the studio, perhaps a special discount on the next class. This way, the client feels rewarded for their loyalty to your studio. She may feel more inclined to tell more friends, increasing her rewards as she brings you more and more business.

This is a great way to grow the customer base, as your current clients will have access to a network of like-minded people who may not yet have heard of your studio. This grants you the opportunity to make new connections in a market well-suited for your business.

It also is a fantastic way to increase loyalty among your clients. If they feel rewarded for choosing your studio and sharing their good experience, they are likely to feel part of a community they enjoy. As they involve more and more people in this community, the studio may become a more connected place that people feel drawn to, beyond the world of discounts and promotions. This type of loyalty is great for the feel and profits of a business.

Customer Referral Program

Mindbody also has a customer referral program in place that financially rewards studio owners who recommend Mindbody to other business owners that they personally know. These referral bonuses are a great way to boost revenue and help other studio owners find management solutions.

Scheduling

Another bonus for studio owners is the ability to organize the classes, spaces, and instructors on the platform. The schedule is accessible to everyone, allowing the teachers to be clear on where and when they’re teaching. This organizational tool can help everything run more smoothly as there is centralized, clear information on what is happening from week to week.

This is also great if you have instructors that are managing multiple class schedules across different studios. It will help your instructors stay organized and have a point of reference for both their classes and their regular students.

High Traffic Platform

Because of the reasons we have explored above, Mindbody is a highly successful platform that many users treat as their go-to app when looking to book a wellness service. By including your business where prospective clients are likely to be, you are already making smart marketing decisions.

Because of its existing popularity, you are likely to attract new clients just by using this platform for your business management needs. If you are looking to attract new students, your classes and services will speak for themselves. As prospective students browse your page, seeing your attractive class offerings, the smiling faces of your instructors, and the positive reviews from fellow students, they will be attracted to what you have to offer.

Due to the high traffic on the Mindbody platform, you will be increasing the volume of prospective students who view your page. The more views you naturally generate on the site will lead to more bookings and interest. This is particularly advantageous for the business owner looking to attract clients that will be a great match for the existing, outstanding services.

According to Mindbody itself, the site has over 1.3 million active users each month. From these users, over 3.7 million classes are booked every month as well. The platform continues to grow, with a reported 145,000 new users finding the platform on a monthly basis.

Cloud-Based for Convenience

Finally, Mindbody is a cloud-based service, which means that studio owners can access their information no matter where they are. As long as they can connect to the internet, they will be able to access their account and review any information they need. There is no need to be tied to a specific computer in a designated location. Mindbody is just as portable for business owners as it is for the on-the-go clientele.

In addition to the cloud-based setup, Mindbody is also available for all popular operating systems. This means that no matter if you have a Windows system or Linux, Apple, or Android, you will be able to easily use the Mindbody software. This accessibility is the same for your clients. They will be able to access the site or the app to book their classes no matter what kind of phone they have.

Mindbody Pros in the Pandemic

2020 has brought unprecedented changes to the world, and this certainly includes the traditional structure of yoga studios. As group gatherings worldwide have been temporarily banned in the service of fighting the pandemic, yoga studios have had to turn to new ways to help their clients. This has created a transition from live classes to other digital, socially distanced options.

Videos and live streams have now become a popular choice for studios and yoga teachers as they look to connect with their clients who need to stay at home. Live streaming has taken place over a variety of platforms, including general meeting platforms like Zoom. However, when using a mainstream streaming platform, logistics such as booking, logging in, and payment can get complicated for both the client and the teacher or studio.

When new things seem complicated, it is easy for people to give up before they’ve really given it a shot. The easier studios can make this transition for the client, the more likely they are to maintain their business in this challenging time.

Mindbody has met this new need in the market with what they call the “One Hybrid Solution.” In addition to their previously available services, they have added many key options that have made the platform even more relevant in this time of digital meetups and classes.

Live Streaming

The way live classes were available to browse, book, and pay for instantly in the past has now been expanded to videos and live streams as well. Clients are able to browse these new digital options, book and pay for these classes instantly. This eliminates any uncertainty about paying and accessing classes as many newly-online yoga teachers may be grappling with.

Not only are the logistics of the new digital classes taken care of by Mindbody, but the streaming is also done right on the platform. There is no need to include any other streaming solution. It can all be done centrally on the same platform. This makes the whole transition to the digital class easier for clients and studios alike.

In addition to streaming right from the platform, studios can still take advantage of Mindbody’s 24/7 technical support in order to smoothly transition into this increasingly digital model. The team is available for suggestions on how to set up the live stream, both in terms of devices and smaller details, like sound and stability.

This support is especially appealing to studio owners who are less familiar with doing things digitally and need the extra support as they transition.

As live streaming becomes a more and more necessary option for studios all over the world, the ease of Mindbody’s streaming platform allows studios to stay connected with their clients even when they can’t see them in person. This is key in keeping the relationship strong between the clients and the studio, maintaining business while this period of pandemic precautions passes.

New Measures for Live Classes

Mindbody has also introduced further assistance for studios that are able to offer limited live classes during this time. As clients choose their classes and make their reservations, they can select a predesignated spot from the platform.

This feature shows how many people can attend the class and the areas that will be kept empty due to social distancing. This allows clients to gather the information they might consider important to their health before committing to a class.

In an effort to encourage social distancing and less close-proximity human interaction, the platform has also made things such as health waivers available digitally. With the ability to book, select a socially-distanced spot, provide a digital signature and pay, all from the platform, everyone is able to maintain as much social distance as possible. They can do this while they continue to care for their bodies with their yoga practice.

To see an overview of these new features rolled out by Mindbody, you can check out this Youtube video:

Cons of the Mindbody Software

The features of the Mindbody software are quite extensive and continue to grow as the world becomes increasingly digital. However, the platform has its drawbacks, like anything else. Let’s take a look at the top critiques of those using this platform.

Cost

Mindbody is one of the more expensive options on the market. Part of this comes from their tiered system of pricing. The platform has different plans, from basic packages at lower price points to packages with extensive features with a higher price tag. The allure of the platform’s extensive options can entice some business owners before realizing the reality of what all of those options would actually cost.

Packages

Currently, Mindbody offers four different packages that contain different features and different price points. Each of these packages is tailored to different-sized studios and their unique needs. To see the most up-to-date pricing, you can view the official site here.

The most affordable and basic package from Mindbody is called the Starter. This is the package with the lowest price tag and is designed for smaller studios on a budget looking to cover their basic needs. It is also a stepping stone, a way to try out Mindbody with the thought of moving to a more extensive package later on.

In the Starter package, you will receive access to some of the features we have previously discussed. The first available feature is the basic ability to list your studio and classes on the Mindbody platform to be available to potential customers. You will also be able to make all of your bookings from this platform. Last, you will have access to management tools pertaining to your staff and clients. You also have access to basic reports.

That’s where the included features of the Starter package end. If you are looking to add additional features, these are considered “add ons” and can be added to your package for an additional fee. Also, there are some “add ons” that you can get in more extensive packages that are simply not available to Starter customers, no matter if they are willing to pay or not.

This brings us to our next package, called the Accelerate package. This package includes everything that the starter includes and more.

First, with the Accelerate package, you will gain full access to all available reports. You will also have access to better check-in features and digitized client paperwork and forms. You will have more control over the design and look of your marketing emails and access to an AI system that organizes contacts by different key features.

If you move on to the next package, the Ultimate, you will receive everything listed above in the Starter and Accelerate packages. You will also enjoy more automation when it comes to your marketing strategies, shifting the burden from you to the AI systems in place. You will also unlock a feature that guides your clients to leave you reviews, encouraging a growing, positive rating for your studio.

This is also the package where referrals begin to have incentives attached, making it more likely for your clients to spread the word about your business. This package includes all the benefits we have previously discussed in this article.

Lastly, there is the Ultimate Plus package. This contains everything mentioned in the previous package with one bonus feature: your own custom mobile app. You can design a mobile app exactly how you like with the support and know-how of the Mindbody team. If this is something your studio is ready for, you can do this with the final package of Mindbody.

The size and needs of your studio will impact which package is the best choice. You may be content with a more affordable option, or you may find that what you want will start to be quite costly each month. If so, you can explore the Mindbody alternatives explored at the end of this article.

Clientele

While Mindbody has plenty of options to help, studios connect with clientele and keep them engaged with their services. The underlying freedom of the app that makes it appealing can have a downside for studio owners.

Part of the allure of this software for the client is the ability to freely choose a class no matter when or where. This may make it easier to attract new drop-in students, but they may only be in town temporarily or not always available at this time.

The ability to browse and choose freely allows new students to find your studio easily. However, this same ability may also lead them to a competing studio on a different day. Studio owners may feel frustrated at the number of new students who only come once and never return, even if they had a great experience. However, there is always a chance with every new client that they will not only turn into a regular but spread the word to their friends.

All in all, the freedom of the app isn’t necessarily a con. It depends on the person using it. Are they traveling? Are they interested in trying out many studios to find the best fit? Are they just looking to take advantage of a promotion? You may find a mix of these motivations with the new students coming to you from Mindbody.

Tech Savvy Market

Lastly, one drawback of the platform is due to its very nature. Since clients will access the software likely by an app or perhaps on their computer, the people using Mindbody will likely be younger, tech-savvy individuals who are comfortable living their life digitally. This may exclude others who are less comfortable using their personal information online or saving payment information in an app.

Depending on who you are trying to reach, you may find yourself missing out on potential clients who are unlikely to download an app or use a website. You may need to build your word-of-mouth reputation or local marketing to get the word out to community members who may be interested in your services.

This kind of marketing is also advantageous to building a larger community of regulars who are not looking for multiple options or not taking a class on holiday.

Alternatives to Mindbody

If you’re curious about what other options are out there, don’t worry. We have compiled a few alternatives here. While Mindbody is one of the most popular options, it is certainly not the only software that can help you run a successful business.

Zen Planner

Zen Planner is similar to Mindbody and is also used across the wellness industry, from yoga studios to various gyms. Its goal is to simplify the business management side of things to help busy small business owners spend more time on other tasks outside of administration.

From this platform, clients can book easily, and the business owner can design their communication to carry out effective marketing campaigns. This system also helps business owners track relevant data so they can make smart decisions regarding their business.

GloFox

GloFox is another popular option used by yoga studios and other wellness businesses. It has many similar business management features as Mindbody and has also begun to transform in this time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. It now offers its customers easy-to-use options to give their classes online from the platform.

Wild Apricot

If you’re looking for the most affordable option in this market, you should consider Wild Apricot. This is similar software that is popularly used in the wellness industry. It also offers many similar features, but at a low monthly cost or even a free basic version. If you are just starting with your business, you may consider this low-cost alternative.

Final Thoughts

Mindbody, especially in this age of increased digitization, is at the top of its game. It provides a high-traffic platform that offers solutions for yoga studio owners and other wellness professionals. While Mindbody can help attract clients and internal business management, it can come with a high price tag. If you find the price worth it, you are sure to enjoy the easy-to-use app that clients love.

Sources

Sita

Mother of three and Yogi of 20+ years and 200 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher. I am also a Certified Thai massage therapist and I have taught Gymnastics for more than 10 years. In the last couple of years, I've been a big promotor of intermittent fasting.

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