Promotions to Retain Members
April 3, 2009
I’m going to address an issue I hear about in gyms a lot: How can I use promotions to get people to use my facility? What’s the best way to get someone in the door, and get them to stay? That is, how to use promotions to increase facility usage and, thereby, retain members.
What’s a good promotion?
Rather then giving away a free t-shirt, reducing initiation fees, or even giving a free fitness assessment I think the best idea is to run a promotion that offers a new member a free bottle of water every time they visit for the first month!
Why is that a good promotion?
This promotion may sound a little underwhelming. After all, a bottle of water appears cheap and “everyday” compared to a t-shirt, reducing initiation fees, or giving out free fitness assessments. But the free water bottle with every visit for the first month has some distinct advantages:
- It’s not just free stuff. It’s not just a free bottle of water that you’re giving away, it’s something useful that the member will use during their stay.
- It encourages them to come into the facility on a frequent and regular basis.
- The more they come in, the more likely they are to buy other products and services you sell.
- Usage and member retention have a high correlation. People who use the gym are more likely to renew/retain their membership.
- People are creatures of habit. Get them hooked early, and you have a customer for life.
This line of thought requires changing some bad habits that some of us picked up along the way. In the case of promotions, it’s the notion that you can use a one-time promotion – where you give away something costly for free, but only once – to lock the member in. Nothing about such promotions guarantee member retention. Regardless of the cost of the promotional product, it is fleeting, as is the member’s visits. However, instead of splurging all of the cost at once, spread it out and get the member to come back again and again. This provides you more of an opportunity for face-time with the member, and a higher likelihood of retaining the member.
All good membership management software provide you with a set of tools to promote your gym. Take the time to learn these tools and whether or not they allow you to promote one-time offers, like giving away a t-shirt or free fitness assessment, as well as promotions that are spread out over a span of time, like giving a free bottle with every gym visit for the first month. The promotional component of your software is just one of several very powerful tools that you’ll use. But it’s the one component that may make the difference from getting them in the door, and getting them to stay!
Get, Keep, and Know your members with MoSo
April 3rd, 2009 5:28 pm