The beginning of the year is a time for big dreams. People jot down resolutions, plan projects, and create goals. And often, they vow to live a healthier lifestyle by joining a gym.
This is great news for you, the gym owner.
With the right marketing and retention strategies, you'll keep some of those new members through the year and beyond. In this post, you will learn some do's and don'ts of how to keep your member's motivation up and your churn rates low.
DO: Have Your Gym Software Ready
If you already have gym software set up, you're ahead of the game (And if you don’t, you may want to make your own New Year's resolution to research it). You'll want to be comfortable with your software before January 1st so that you're ready to manage the influx of clients. By relying more on software, you'll have more time to dedicate to your retention efforts.
DON'T: Forget to Track Attendance
One of the things good management software does is track your gym members' attendance and alert you to any signs of churn. You'll want to pay attention to the attendance patterns of your Resolution Members. If they seem to be slowing down, check in with them to keep them motivated. Nearly 80% of people give up on their resolutions, so your challenge is to beat those odds.
DO: Send Out Nurture Emails
Nurture emails are effective when they reach your customers at the right moment. If your new clients start to skip classes or haven't been by the facility in a while, send them an email to let them know that they're missed. This will encourage them to come back to class and keep up with their resolutions. It'll be harder for them to give up when they feel noticed and supported by your gym. And this isn’t just about keeping your retention rates low–it’s about remembering why you wanted to help people to begin with.
DON'T: Push New Members Too Hard
At the beginning of the year, new gym members may be a bit nervous to be at your facility. You want to do everything you can to make them feel welcome in your community. Offer extra beginner classes so new clients can feel comfortable and start building confidence. Work with new clients to set realistic goals and plan how to reach them. Then, check up with them along the way to keep them on track.
DO: Advertise Early
More people than usual may be shopping for a new gym this time of year, but that doesn't mean you should just sit back and wait for them to walk in your front door. All of your competitors are out there trying to attract the same client base that you are. You should get your name out early and often, emphasizing new member deals and your beginner classes. Pay attention to what your competitors are offering, since new clients will be hunting for the best deal. And once new clients are in the door, work hard to keep them coming back.
DON'T: Neglect Your Existing Customers
A lot of consistent gym goers dislike January because the (usually temporary) crowds disturb their routines. Help ease their frustration by paying as much attention to their needs as you are to those of your new clients. Have extra staff members on hand in during busier times. You might even offer a special perk to members who existed before January 1st to show them that you recognize and appreciate their loyalty.
DO: Use Social Media
You want your clients to talk about your gym on social media. Social media posts serve as mini reviews, and good reviews help grow your member list. Tag your clients on your social posts (with their permission, of course!) so they can share the content with their networks. If you can get your members engaged your social channels become extension of your gym's community.
Happy New Year! Let us know what your New Year's resolutions are in the comments!