You, Your Yoga Studio, and The Magical Powers of the Internet

In many parts of the tech world, there is a feeling in the air that the big opportunities have been missed. That market share, and power, have been consolidated amongst Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook, and that the rest of us are fighting over scraps. At the same time, we’re starting to come to grips with the fact that we don’t really entirely understand the impact that the internet, and social media in particular, is having on us.

If you’re not careful, you can start believing that not only have we lost the magical powers of the internet, but that it’s turned against us as well. And while this probably could be the case, it doesn’t have to be, and there are important lessons bubbling up to the surface for those living in the world of brick and mortar independent studios on how to keep your business thriving.

Are there more distractions? Yes. Is there more competition? Probably. But these realities are merely a signal of the fundamental truth that we still hold the power and original promise of the internet in the palm of our hands. Individually, we are more empowered than ever to build the businesses and lives we want, and ultimately, we’re still the ones choosing how and where to spend our time on the internet.

Facebook has indeed wreaked havoc on countless publishers who believed they would always be able to reach their audiences through the network. But that needn’t lead you and your studio down the same path with Groupon, Classpass and Mindbody.

There’s a great cartoon by the Oatmeal (via daring fireball) the other day explaining the situation with Facebook, that could just as easily apply to your studio, swapping Facebook with any number of marketplaces vying for your studio's “inventory”.

What is truly fascinating today, is the degree to which the tech industry has turned it’s sights to the brick and mortal world. Amazon has acquired Whole Foods. Warby Parker has retail locations. Instagram celebrities promote clothing lines and YouTube celebrities go on tour. Google and Facebook are doubling down on Events (with Google Reserve and Facebook Local) and Facebook’s new mission is to "Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." (Protip: Your studio is better at building community, bringing people together and holding space for transformation than Facebook could ever hope to be.)

The lesson is that over a long enough time horizon, the internet alone is not sufficient. 

We want, crave and need physical places with physical interaction. The biggest, most powerful players in the industry know and understand this fundamental truth, and they are all actively working to expand their physical footprints with massive investments.

Your independent studio is now the holy grail over which billions of dollars of investment money are battling, and you should be fiercely be aware of any internet company that tells you it is you who needs them. 

Indeed it is they who needs you. 

They need your schedule, your classes, your instructors, your website traffic, your customers, your desk staff and your physical studio itself. And the truth is, a lot of studios (of course, not the smart studios using Tula software) are giving all of this away for $0 per month in exchange for the false promise that giving away your students and control of your pricing to a billion dollar software company is somehow going to be good for your business.

What does seem to have changed with the internet today, and what I do agree is happening, is the sense that internet companies are no longer working to serve and empower us. It feels in a lot of ways like they’ve all become a newer, grosser version of Comcast.

The internet is still serving us. But a lot of Internet companies, have started serving themselves.

What always has, and what always will separate Tula from everyone else in our space, is the degree to which our only aim is to provide you with the most modern tools available so you can manage your studio, grow your business and maintain high quality relationships with your students and customers. 

It probably won’t turn us into the biggest company serving independent studios, but our bet is that it’ll continue to make us the best.

And with this as our goal, the future for our customers - and for us - has never been brighter. 

Has the software your studio uses stopped serving you and started to serve themselves? Check out and see why we’re the best software in the world for independent studios.

Event Tags and even more custom calendar options!

We're thrilled to announce another new feature, this time focused on events and calendars, allowing our customer to tag their events and create custom calendars based on these tags. Let's say you own a studio and you're thinking about opening a second location, but you're still running everything as one business, well now you can simply tag your events and have a specific calendar for each of your locations.

Of course, that's just one of many ways you can use tags. Maybe you'd like to create a separate calendar dedicated to allowing people to sign up for a private yoga lesson, or maybe you want a separate calendar for your SUP yoga classes, or maybe you teach both yoga and pilates classes and you'd like a separate calendar for each. Maybe you're doing a teacher training and you want to have a calendar specifically for your teacher trainings. You get the idea!

Like a lot of features we build for Tula, our aim is to make things powerful, flexible and customizable for your specific business needs.

Adding a tag is super simple - simply create your events like normal - and you can add a tag to an individual event page or to an entire series of events when your on the event page. You'll notice a few additions to some existing pages, as well as a few new pages to help you easily manage your tags.

Easily add tags to events

Manage your studio tags

View your events by tag

View your events by tag

Create custom calendars by tag

Create custom calendars by tag

We're thrilled to add this powerful new feature for our customers, and if you need any help getting your tags set up just reach out to us through the support channel!

Introducing email triggers on pass purchases

I'm excited to share with you a new, powerful feature we've released this week: The ability to set multiple custom emails on pass purchases! With this new feature, our customers can do things like:

  • Set up a drip welcome email campaign for people who purchase an intro pass
  • Send instructions for a retreat your planning, when people purchase a pass to the retreat
  • Give people instructions for where to meet you on the beach for your SUP yoga classes
  • Remind people about the benefits of your memberships when they purchase a non-membership pass.

As an individual feature it's a quite simple concept: when people purchase a pass, you can send them a custom email, or a group of custom emails, set to a time delay of your choosing. But as the above list shows, there are a number of different uses for this feature. 

How to set it up

To start using this new triggers feature, simply create a new pass, or edit an existing pass. On that page you'll see the option of adding a trigger to a pass:

2017-09-29 at 10.17 AM 2.png

If you want to add another email, simply choose to add another trigger, and write that email...

2017-09-29 at 10.39 AM.png

And if you want another email, well you get it. :)


Once you've added triggers to a pass, you can easily see what passes have triggers on them by way of the little lightning bolt that will now appear next to the pass name.

2017-09-29 at 10.15 AM.png

This new feature is available on any plan with the retention center enabled and is available at no extra cost for people already on those plans. We're excited about this extra bit of power we're able to put into the hands of our customers, and we hope you like this as much as we do!

Tula Software Announces Partnership with Zebra Athletics

I’m thrilled to announce today that Tula Software has entered a formal Partnership Agreement with Zebra Athletics, the leading equipment provider and number one brand in the martial arts industry, to bring Tula Software to independent studios in the martial arts community.

This partnership will allow us to continue to be the leading software provider for independent yoga studios, while also helping us expand our reach into other industries with class based businessesas we grow as a company and as a product. Importantly, Zebra will “lead the charge” as it relates to introducing Tula Software to the martial arts community from a sales, marketing and branding standpoint, while allowing Tula to maintain our focus on providing the easiest to use, most powerful software product for independent studios. 

We will bring to independent martial arts studios the same dedication to their success that we have brought to yoga studios for over five years: A powerful, easy to use product; an advanced registration system that empowers the studio; a frictionless registration experience for students; the lowest credit card processing rates in the industry; and of course, unbeatable customer support.

As part of this partnership, Tula will also be helping to introduce yoga studios to Zebra’s flooring and studio equipment. Like Tula, Zebra is an independent family owned business based in the midwest, with a core mission to help independent studios succeed. Through this partnership, Tula customers, both present and future, will have access to state of the art flooring options, financing options for new build-outs, and a whole lot more. 

It is a common experience for both Tula and Zebra that new and existing businesses come to us to strengthen their studios and to keep their businesses running smoothly. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Zebra and we’re looking forward to being introduced to the larger martial arts community, making new friends and helping Zebra make new contacts in the yoga community. 

We’ll both be in Las Vegas this weekend at the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Masters Championships where we’re announcing our partnership. If you happen to be in town, come on by and say hello!

More Summer Updates

We have another set of updates we've shipped out recently that we wanted to outline. As we regularly mention, we're always working behind the scenes to enhance Tula in both big and little ways. Here are some of our latest updates:

The return of one to one emails

We had to turn one to one emails off for a bit as technically those were more of transactional emails than group marketing emails, and our email service provider wanted us to treat them differently. That work is done now so you can once again send one to one emails to your students.

New report: Expirations report

It's always been possible to get an idea of when passes were expiring, but we never had an explicit "expirations report" where you could easily choose a date range to see all the passes, and the people who held them, that were expiring within a date range. Now you do with our new expirations report!

Class Attendance report updates

Our class attendance report was timing out sometimes, in particular with larger data sets. We've made some updates to this report to move it to a background job where the report is delivered to you via email once it's run. It's much better and faster now.

iPhone Bug on Profiles

At times the iphone app would crash when viewing a student profile. This was related to our support of international phone numbers and we've pushed out a small update to fix this bug. Now there's no more crashing on any of the student profiles in the iphone or ipad apps.

More to come!

We have a few other things (bigger things!) that we've been working on that we're very excited to announce. We're not quite ready but we should have another announcement for you in early September with one of our most highly requested features!