With the new year on the horizon, health club owners are trying to figure out how to attract new members. Before and after pictures. A trim Santa Claus. Only $20.17 to get started. Even a “New Year, New You” promotion and tagline. The years may have changed, but the promotions have all been done before. Honestly, they’ve all been overdone. But as a health club or fitness studio owner, you know that bringing in the business with the ringing-in of the New Year is vital to your success. In fact, about 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and many of those lead the list with a healthy resolution such as losing weight or running a marathon.
The good news is that you don’t have to use stale marketing tactics to bring in resolution-makers. And you don’t even have to wait until the new year to bring them into your club.
By getting an early start on attracting new members, you can not only spread out your earning months, but see a bigger boost to your bottom line. Here are six resolutions to give your sales team an early holiday present of new member sales:
1. Resolve to Blog: Start blogging early about healthy holiday eating, keeping your workouts going during the busy holiday season, creating healthy habits, and getting a jump-start on New Year’s resolutions. By using your content to build authority and trust with your potential market—and using terms they may be searching for during the holiday season to boost your search engine rankings—your more traditional New Year’s marketing will resonate with your target market.
2. Resolve to Be Social: Post pictures of healthy dishes and recipes on Pinterest. Encourage your trainers to put exercise tips on your YouTube channel. Put photos of cool holiday decorations on Instagram. Don’t forget LinkedIn—post articles on reducing holiday stress during the holidays. Post your staff’s New Year’s resolutions on Facebook or in videos so that your potential members see that you are sympathetic to those looking to improve.
3. Resolve to Partner: During the holidays, people are in a spending frenzy. Partner with local retailers that sell athletic wear, yoga accessories, supplements, and other items that your potential customers may be buying—or where others may be shopping for them. Create a package where a three-month mini-membership or a 10-session card is sold with new sneakers or yoga pants. This will give these potential members a reason to come into your studio and learn to love you. Short of that, have the retail partner’s clerk put a free trial card in the bag with the purchase and have him or her tell the customer that it’s a gift from the store. In return, you can reciprocate to the retail partner by giving your members collateral from the retail partner’s store.
4. Resolve for Referrals: Your current members already know how great you are. They’ve had your help reaching or working toward their goals (which may have started as resolutions). Have them help you reach out to their friends and families. New Year’s (and the holidays in general) is a fantastic time to run a referral campaign to help bring in new members and give something back to your current membership base.
5. Resolve for Retention: Don’t forget your existing members while shopping for new ones. Odds are, your current members have healthy New Year’s resolutions as well. You can boost ancillary sales and retention by offering weight-loss contests, “New Year’s resolution” personal training packages, and more to keep them coming in during the holidays and with the crowds of the New Year’s rush.
6. Resolve to Have Resolve: Most people make their resolutions list with the intention of starting January 1. However, it can often take far longer than that to get started—or keep going after several starts and stops. Plan a campaign now to “talk” to those people who had the best of intentions and need a bit of a push with your email, social, blog, and traditional advertising with a “Never Too Late for New Year’s Resolutions” message. Plan this for February and then again in the summer, for those who haven’t stuck to their plans.
With solid planning and some creativity, you can start marketing your health club or studio early to make sure that your New Year’s resolution to be successful is easy to meet by building demand from fitness resolution-makers.
What are your New Year’s marketing resolutions?