Every year we face the same old pre-Christmas lull. Everyone is bracing themselves for overspending, overindulgence, and overstressing. They can’t even begin to think about shoe-horning another activity into their already busy schedule, or parting with any more money.
So, the question is, how can your fitness club increase membership sales during your quietest time of year?
Here are our top 3 ways to beat the Christmas lull:
1. Offer free membership until 2020. Here’s why it works…
On a very basic level, you’re offering a good deal. Not only that, by choosing your wording carefully, Free membership until 2020 rather than Get the rest of the year free, you create the impression of a long standing, high value offer. Even though the time scale is actually the same, 2020 sounds further away than the end of the year.
It makes people feel organised. At a time when everyone’s brains are increasingly intoxicated by sleigh bells ringing and snowflakes glistening, family politics and last-minute gifts, what if you made them feel one step ahead? Because, let’s face it, the first resolutions in January will be 1. Eat better and 2. Exercise more.
Promoting the offer
There are several ways you can do this. We’d recommend using the full mix to generate the best results.
Send an email campaign.
Email campaigns allow you to use images to visually appeal to prospects. It also provides the opportunity to contact someone through a less intrusive method, whilst still providing all the information they need.
Send an SMS campaign.
Whilst people can often miss an email, very rarely do they miss a text message. Whilst SMS has a cost associated, it is often worth the spend to know that your message has a 98% chance of being read*.
Update your digital assets.
Think about what action your prospect is likely to take after receiving a call, email or SMS message… It’s most likely to be your website and your social media. Make sure that the offer is visible and accessible on both these platforms and that the phrasing is almost identical to that used in the email/SMS, creating a familiar point of reference. It’s also worth ensuring you have some eye-catching images. Images are particularly powerful on social media, with tweets getting 35% more retweets when containing an image,** while photos on Facebook receive 53% more likes and 104% more comments than the average post***.
Tie in your outreach.
By tying in your outreach, you create a 360 degree marketing campaign with all bases covered. Ensure your outreach is as effective as possible by using a demographic tool. This enables you to understand your current membership and prospect base, informing you who your typical customer is. This enables you to take that demographic information and find out where these types of people primarily live and target these areas accordingly. This could be in person, for example, outreaching with flyers at a supermarket near that area.
Top Tip: Use mobile data capture technology to capture all key prospect information, after all of your hard work you don’t want a prospect to leave without giving you any details! Consider choosing a member management software provider that has a prospect module built in, so you have a central database to store your prospect data and can go on to market to them easily.
2. Implement a special Christmas Referral Challenge
Member referrals are a great way to increase membership sales by utilising your club’s strongest asset, your members. By creating a special Christmas referral challenge, you are not only helping to drive membership sales at your quietest time of year, you are also invigorating engagement with current members!
Here are a few ideas for a Christmas Referral Challenge:
A one-off membership fee reduction, for example, £5 off January’s DD fee when you refer a friend in December.
Offer a Christmas gift for every referral. This could be a festive coffee in your onsite café or some branded apparel. Just make it fun and exciting!
Offer a continued reduction in membership fee throughout 2020.
Top ways to communicate your Christmas referral challenge:
Mobile Push Notifications
If you provide your members with a member app, sending a mobile notification is the most effective way to promote your Christmas referral challenge. Push notifications can generate a click through rate of up to 45%!
Update all your current members with details about your Christmas referral challenge. Clearly state all benefits and how the member can participate. The information should be simple, easy to understand and most of all appealing.
These should be short and sweet. It’s a great idea to include a URL directly to more information, this could be a page on your website.
Big and bold. These will be easily noticed and are great talking points for the first few weeks you introduce your programme.
Put these up in all communal areas. Don’t neglect areas such as changing or treatment rooms.
Talk to your members, especially those you have built up good relationships with or those that have been very loyal to your club.
3. Offer Free Guest Passes
Invite your members to bring in their friends on the first weekend of December, for free. This is a great chance to capture some details and hopefully get some referred sales.
Ready to beat the Christmas lull?
The ClubWise ‘all in one’ club management system includes an in-built referral system which gives members the ability to refer friends and family to the gym. You can introduce and track successful referral campaigns via reports, and reward members for referrals as you wish. ClubWise also offers the option of a fully integrated app-based member loyalty programme – FitSense Rewards. FitSense Rewards works to incentivise in club activity and referrals with exciting and high perceived value rewards. Both programmes provide a fantastic way to increase membership sales in December!