Marketing to Formers Students

Marketing to Formers Students

Let’s face it, none of us like to lose a good student, however, even a well-run professional martial arts school is still likely to lose at least 2-4 members each month per 100 students. Losing 4 students a month=48 for the year and a loss of at least $57,600 in tuition income-!

A school that doesn’t have a good retention system, a great curriculum, and a customer-friendly team in place probably loses more than this.

Even if you run a great martial arts program with a flexible schedule and fun, exciting classes, you still have to compete with:


  • Divorce and other Family Issues
  • Outside Interests
  • Money Issues

    Now for the great news!

    Getting a past student to rejoin can cost you as little as $0 out of your pocket! You just have to be willing to devote a little time to them.

    Replacing them with a new student usually costs between $20-$50 in advertising expense plus time. This month’s lesson will show you a system for remotivating old students into rejoining your school. Consistently working to get rejoins will be a regular part of your school operating system and growth plan.


    Five Winning Ways to Get Rejoins

    Here are five ways to get rejoins that cost little to nothing to implement. 1. Social Networking Sites
    2. Personal Phone Calls
    3. We Missed You Postcards

    4. Invite Them to a Special Event

    5. Create an Irresistible Rejoin Offer
    For an effective rejoin program you’ll want to implement all five ideas.

1. Social Media

Use social media sites to reconnect with past students. Most of them can be found on Facebook and Twitter.  A good way to get them re-engaged in your school is to get them to like or join your Facebook school business page or group.

From your Facebook account send out friend requests and invites to your past students inviting them to like your school’s page or join your school group. Even if they don’t have a Facebook account yet, you can use their email to invite them.

Here is an email template that you can use and customize to invite your past members to “Like” your school page.

Dear Kathy,

We have missed you at USA Karate! It’s been a while since we’ve seen you and we have lots of exciting things going on that I think you’d be interested in.

USA Karate has a page on Facebook (by the same name) and we’d like to invite you to like and follow the page so that you can see what we’re up to.

We hope you’ve been well and would love to hear back from you. We want you to know that you’re welcome to drop in and visit or begin taking classes again.

In the subject line of your email put “USA Karate” is on Facebook – are you?

Once your past member has become a friend or follower, joined your group, or “liked” you, they’ll be able to keep track of your posts.

Periodically make comments about their photos, posts and links that their friends will see as well. Be sure to acknowledge their birthday on their wall and offer them a free month of training as a gift.

Also, make a habit of inviting them to all of your events through the site and encourage them to share the info with a friend.

2. Personal Phone Calls

Let your former students know how much you’ve missed them in class by telephone. This gives you an opportunity to hear how they’ve been and find out if they’ve ever considered coming back to train. You’ll get plenty of voice mails which gives you the opportunity to leave a powerful message and ask them to check back in with you.

Here’s an example of how a call former student telephone call would go:

“Hi Matt? This is John Graden with USA Karate, I was wondering how you’ve been?” (Enthusiastically)

After letting them respond to your question next say:

“Well, I wanted to give you a personal phone call to invite you to come to a special class we’re offering. It’s a refresher course for people like yourself who have missed training and could use a refresher course to get back into training. Is that something you’re interested in?”

If you get voice mail, simply merge the sentences together in a way that makes sense and ask for a callback. Be sure your voice or the caller’s voice sounds warm, friendly, and comes across as genuine.

“Hi, Matt- this is John Graden from USA Karate. I wanted to check in to see how you’re doing and to let you know about a new course we’re offering for former students to help them get back into training. I’d love to tell you more about it.

We’re on Facebook, not sure if you are. But if you could give me a courtesy call back to check-in, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks Matt.”

A personal call or voice mail is something that not many people take the time to do these days. Even if you don’t get a callback, they will appreciate the call and be more receptive towards you next time you attempt to contact them.

3. We Missed You Postcards

In this time of text and email, a physical post or letter will get attention, especially to younger students.

We miss you postcards are a great way to make contact with your past students. Even in a big stack of mail full of bills, people are likely to look at each postcard as they sort through their mail.

Send a card with a martial arts theme like the ones you’ll find at Martial Arts Greeting that allows you enough space on the back to write a personal “hand-written” message or to have an offer to rejoin at a discount.

Custom martial arts postcards are very affordable to purchase and mail. You’ll spend under a dollar on each including postage in most cases and if someone rejoins may reap over 1,200 a year in tuition and purchases. That’s a great R.O.I

4. Special Invitations

Invite past students to attend an event, preferably at your school. Once they’re at the event make sure that they enjoy themselves. Welcome them, communicate with them and help them meet new friends or reintroduce them to old ones. Help them build relationships.

Special events that you can invite them to are:

  • Past & Present Student Reunion Party

  • Rank Promotions & Graduations

  • Open Houses & Anniversary Celebrations

  • Fundraisers & Community Service

  • Movie Nights, Kids Lock-ins & Picnics

  • Seminars & Guest Instructors

At your events-go with a soft sell. You don’t want them to think that you only invited them in to try to convince them to rejoin.

It’s appropriate to ask them if they’ve ever considered training again and that you have a special for past students and see how they respond. If they say no, then you can say if they ever change their mind, they’re welcome back or brief them on the offer and move on. Either way, treat them like gold and make them feel welcome and like part of your school community.

5. Create an Irresistible Rejoin Offer

Create a great offer to entice your past students to return to training. Communicate your offer via mail, phone calls, email, on social networking sites, at events, etc; and make it good.

Just as with any enrollment offer, be sure to remind them of the benefits of training, have a sense of urgency built into the offer an expiration date of no more than 14 days from the time the offer was first announced.

Run a variety of irresistible offers and rotate them each month for a different group of past students such as:

    • No enrollment & first month free

    • Rollback the tuition rates to when they were first a student

    • Get 50% more training ( if they enroll for 6 months-give them 9 months)

2 for 1 friends and family program


Communicate your offer to your rejoin prospects in a variety of ways: phone, email, web, snail-mail, and text message when appropriate, and you’ll be surprised at the Return on your investment.

If you’re charging just $100.00 a month or $1200 a year and got five rejoins a month (which if you’ve been in business over a year is completely possible) that’s another $6,000 a month in contract value and in a year’s time a potential $72,000 in extra tuition income.

So again, rejoins are far less expensive and easier to get than new students since they already know what you’re all about. Getting them re-engaged in your school is the first step to them rejoining or at least referring new members your way and is a low-cost way to grow your school! 

Action Checklist- What to do now:

1. Go through your records of inactive students and break them down into 3-4 groups. Group 1- inactive less than 3 months; Group 2-inactive less than 6 months; Group 3 inactive less than 1 year; and Group 4 inactive over a year.

If your school is newer, then you may have just 1 or 2 groups to list.

2. Create a rejoin log that tells which group is being contacted and how and when they are being contacted. Make sure your log also includes a place for notes each time a former student is communicated with so details as what happened or was said can be recorded.

This way you can track which forms of communication resulted in a rejoin, how many times they were contacted, etc.

Empower Kickboxing™ Martial Arts Curriculum