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Business Management

Setting up Your Online Classes: MindBody vs. Punchpass

Have you set up your online classes using MindBody software? Punchpass' integration with Zoom lets you simplify your fitness, dance or yoga class setup.

April 6, 2020

We’re doing something unusual today on the Punchpass blog.

A yoga studio we know expressed such frustration while trying to set up their online classes using MindBody that they shared their whole experience with us.  They called the process “a total nightmare.”

We’re going to share their MindBody setup experience with you.

Before we get into that, however, let’s put in a nutshell how we do it at Punchpass.

Online Classes via Punchpass: An Overview

As you know, we offer an integration with Zoom so that you can offer and monetize your online classes quickly and easily. That means any fitness instructor or studio can make classes “virtual” using their Punchpass scheduling software in a few easy steps.

A student’s attendance is automatically linked to their pass or membership, and the price of the class or package can be easily customized. So you keep your students engaged, enrolled and revenue coming in. 

Punchpass automatically emails a Zoom video link to any student registered for your class.

You don’t have to run any reports, cut and paste any email lists, or type in special codes.

Best of all, you don’t have to worry that your students missed getting the email to join the class, or that the email didn’t have the class link inside. 

Punchpass’s 5-Minute Setup for Online Classes

It is super easy to get your classes online with Punchpass.

  1. Visit the class you want to enable, click the Actions dropdown and select Turn Class into Online Zoom Class. The class details page will now show that the class is Online, and include the Zoom Meeting/Class Join URL. Punchpass AUTOMATICALLY creates the Zoom meeting in your account! Punchpass will note that the class is an Online Class on your admin schedule AND your public schedule.
  1. Turn on reservation reminders in Manage Settings > Online Reservations. When customers book into an online class, they will receive the Zoom link in the class confirmation email in the reservation “reminder” as well as in an additional email automatically sent 20-30 minutes prior to the class. The “Join URL” is also automatically added to the description field for the ‘Add To Calendar’ event that they can click on after making a reservation. Customers just need to click the link to join. Zoom will prompt them to download their app, but they will not need a Zoom account to attend!
  1. Start your class!!!
    To START the class, you or your instructors with access, will want to click the “Click here to START online class” button. This button will appear 20-30 minutes before the class time and will be active for 2 hours. You can also log into your Zoom account, click on the meeting and start the meeting from Zoom.

The MindBody Setup Saga: It Wasn’t Pretty

We’re going to let our friends at the yoga studio tell you how they tried to set up an online video class in MindBody. These are the words they shared with us about their experience…

“It took a week and more than 10 hours of time and was STILL glitchy!”

Our First Call to Customer Service

We called to find out how to do it and had to wait on hold for two hours.

Once we got on the line with the customer service representative, we were told that MBO does not work with Zoom, so they couldn’t help us with setting up a Zoom class. 

MBO recommended that if we wanted to email any kind of video link to our students, as part of a class, we should have our front desk staff or manager run a report before each class. 

If the studio doesn’t have a staffer to do this – and it has to be done in real time before each class – we were told to have each instructor do it themselves. We would have to change our instructor’s access settings to the software in order to give them permission to run the reports, and export the students’ emails. 

Our Attempt to Figure out What MBO’s Customer Service Had Told Us

Needless to say, we weren’t able to figure out how to email the student’s their Zoom link before class.

Our Second Call to Customer Service

We called MBO back, and the wait time was 90 minutes. The voice recording also told us that unless our site was broken or we were having a major emergency, we should go to MBO’s website support page for help.

Our Visit to MBO’s Support Page

We went to online support and here’s what we found – a nine step process for getting a student’s email to send them a video class link.

How MBO Advised Us to Send Our Clients the Online Class Link

MBO’s support document for setting up live, online classes says: “It’s easy to remind clients the class is about to start and send them the appropriate link through Mindbody.”

Does this process sound easy to you?:

If you want to send an email using your business’ email service:

  1. Go to the Classes tab.
  2. Click on the Sign-In sheet for the specific class you want to contact.
  3. In the upper right corner, click the Tag New icon.
  4. Navigate to the Sign-In sheet of another class the instructor teaches (if applicable), and click the Tag Add icon.
  5. Repeat Step 4 until you’ve added all applicable email addresses to the tag feature.
  6. Go to Reports > Clients > Mailing Lists.
  7. Check the box for Tagged Clients Only.
  8. Generate.
  9. Copy the email addresses of the clients and paste them into whatever email service you use.

Note: This feature is only available with certain software packages.

We Did Some Additional Sleuthing Trying to Figure out a Way to Do This More Easily

We noticed that MBO had another recommended way to send out the emails, using its Class Registration Notes feature. So we decided to try that.

However, it took us an hour to figure out where the Registration Notes field was and then how to link the notes to the “Auto-Email” feature.

Our First Time Running a Class Online Did Not Go Well

The first class we tried this with, the system sent an email to the registered students but it didn’t include the Zoom link.

We Have to Follow This Nightmarish Routine for Each Online Class?!?

Then we realized that before every video class, the instructor would have to follow this process:

Here’s MBO’s video set up process:

  1. Go to your class schedule and edit each class name to start with the word: VIRTUAL.
  2. Go to “Classes” then “Edit Class Set Up” then click on “Edit this Class/Event Description” then scroll down and click on “Additional Options.” Then scroll down to “Registration notes (used in confirmation auto emails)” and enter in the following; Here is your Zoom link. Cut/paste from Zoom the class link. 
  3. Go to “Manager Tools” then “Auto-Emails”, then “Select Auto Email” and scroll through a drop down menu of 52 different Auto Emails. Get confused, go to the MBO support website and watch a video about which Auto Email does what. Make an educated guess that it’s probably the “Reservation Confirmation (Single)” auto email. 
  4. Follow these instructions from the MBO support site:
  • You can create a Zoom invite link and include it in the Registration notes of each class. 
  • Then, include the replace phrase REGNOTES in the Reservation confirmation, Recurring reservation, or Reminders auto emails
  • Clients can then use those links to hop on to your live streamed class.  
  • Note: Because Zoom is a third-party service, we can’t help you set this up.
  • Note: You may want to check the meeting attendance against your roster to make sure no one’s hopping in for a freebie. (Wait, what?!)

The Bottom Line?

Running classes online with Punchpass is far quicker and easier and more foolproof than trying to run online classes using MindBody.

To put it mildly.