I love my gym. It’s next to the Pacific Ocean, all the equipment is brand new, the weightroom is never overcrowded, and the classes are included in my membership fees. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but the pool and beachside terrace alone make it worth the high cost.
As a consumer, I have no shortage of options when it comes to finding the right gym membership for me. I also had no idea that finding my gym on Google was not just a happy accident, but rather the result of a my gym's tactical digital marketing strategy.
As a club owner, customer happiness is your priority. Not only are you tasked with the responsibility of keeping your current members satisfied, but you also have to continuously find ways to appeal to new clients to grow your gym membership sales. As client churn and retention are constant factors, gym membership sales strategies are central to driving your business and gaining profit.
Here are the best ways to increase your gym membership sales:
Identify Your Club’s Niche to Reach Your Market
The worldwide fitness craze has completely changed the traditional definition of a “gym.” Now fitness clubs come in all types of shapes, sizes, price ranges, and specialties, so finding a way to stick out to new members is definitely a challenge. First determine your club’s brand and unique selling points by answering these questions:
What can we provide our members that other clubs cannot?
Who is our target customer?
Why should new members try our club?
Once you have answered these questions, create your fitness club’s sales strategies. In order to execute the perfect plan to boost gym membership sales, you will need to devise a plan that matches the distinct identity of your club.
Not only will you find ways to target your specific market, but you will also have to set up a pricing model that aligns with your club’s structure and services to make the most profit out of your memberships sold.
Boutique Clubs Pricing Model
Boutique fitness studios have dramatically risen in popularity in the last decade, including an annual 450% increase from 2010-2014. Since boutique fitness studios usually rely on classes, your pricing model should correlate with your services to maximize profit.
You will need to decide all your prices and payment options: what will your classes cost? Will your clients pay upfront for a pack of classes or for classes individually? If a client misses a class without following cancellation procedures, will you charge penalty fees or charge for the class regardless?
Depending on your club’s style and frequency of workout classes, you can decide whether to offer unlimited classes within a month for a fixed price, packages of classes at a discounted price, or to stick with pay as you go for individual classes. You can also charge flat membership fees for an unlimited amount of classes and increase the average monthly spend through add-ons, such as renting yoga mats, towels, or other equipment.
There are no “right” answers to these questions. As an owner you can experiment with policies to see what best advantages your boutique club.
High-End Fitness/Leisure Clubs Pricing Model
Since your clientele is likely willing to spend more on expensive monthly memberships, they will also expect more from your club. Your club should attract new members with top-notch classes, advanced equipment, and luxurious amenities that match your fees. Therefore, instead of scaring off potential customers by restrictive long-term contracts, let your services and club features convince your clients to stay. The upfront high price of a long-term contract for a high-end club will intimidate a lot more clients than a much more affordable monthly membership price.
Budget Fitness Clubs Pricing Model
On the other hand, if your fitness club is built more for convenience and affordability, your gym membership sales will benefit most from opposite types of contracts: long-term or non-existent. Traditionally, offering long-term contracts was the heart of budget gym membership sales strategies; the logic being that longer term memberships would keep clients instead of being tempted by offers from gyms that provide more services.
However, now as gyms have become increasingly self-operating, there are alternative strategies. For the sake of accessibility for the customer, many budget gyms strictly prioritize convenience, like 24 hour access, no binding contracts, and shockingly low prices. Budget gyms have been booming, even in countries with extremely saturated fitness club markets.
In the United Kingdom, “there are now more than 500 low-cost clubs (less than £20 a month), accounting for 15% of the market value and more than a third of total membership.” The success of these clubs is credited to advertising to clients who are just beginning their fitness journeys: some of them will move on to higher end clubs, but many of these clients will stick to their convenient memberships.
Diversify your Marketing Methods
Just like how your current members do not match up to one particular profile, your methods to find new members should also be varied.
In order for your advertising for gym membership sales to be effective and have the furthest outreach, you need to be as digital friendly and accessible as possible. Most of your target audience will search the internet as their first resource when looking for any local business.
The first rule is about attribution. If you have a client portal, you can have a custom integration done with Perfect Gym’s Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) and Google Analytics to report on how many leads are coming online. Make sure to use Urchin Tracking Modules (UTMS). UTMs are tags that you can add to your website’s URL that will track where your online traffic is coming from.
When these are combined with your CRM in your club management software, you can find out which marketing channels (social media, content, paid, etc.) are bringing you the most won prospects.
Certainly you’ll have members that don’t sign up online, and that’s okay. Be sure to have your sales representative or front desk staff ask each prospect how they heard about your fitness club, and attribute the lead manually.
Whether they came in manually or online, you’ll need a CRM to monitor the success of your gym membership sales.
Converting Leads into Gym Members
Don’t let all your hard work and money you put into your marketing campaigns go to waste!
Make sure that your diverse campaigns all end with the same result: collecting and storing client information. After collecting all client personal and contact information, ensure this information is funneled into a your CRM system so that these promising leads do not become missed opportunities.
A huge problem many clubs face in gym membership sales is letting leads get lost in the system without proper follow-up. Since the majority of your leads will not immediately join your fitness club for a variety of reasons, periodic follow-ups with deals and offers is a crucial gym membership sales strategy.
However, when these leads are stored with poor organization, prospective clients can be discouraged from joining if they feel annoyed by repetitive sales pitches. This is easy to avoid by assigning leads to specific sales staff, who can then simply update the status of the lead over time.
Perfect Gym’s CRM module provides a start-to-finish system to effectively manage leads to optimize new gym membership sales.
First, all leads will be logged in your CRM Client Database.
Your lead information should include the basics such as: name, phone number, email, rating (how hot or cold the lead is), Consultant in charge of the lead, status of lead, source, and time/date the lead was created.
CRMs eliminate confusion by clearly stating a consultant in charge of pursuing the lead as well as updating the lead’s “status”, or where in the sales process the lead is currently in.
Once logged, the CRM funnel visualization will be organized with all your gym sales statistics:
At a glance, you will be up to date on the current status of leads, activity of your sales consultants, and your leads to sales conversions. All of these features can be adjusted to show data from certain dates, by source, or by type of visit (walk-in or remote contact).
You can direct your sales manager to monitor the pipeline for the entire sales staff and assign leads accordingly, thanks to the calendar section. These will display tasks and upcoming schedules, meetings and any other responsibilities.
A smooth sales process ensures that sales reps are recording and logging every interaction. This is to leave a digital footprint of the lead’s entire journey, from prospect to paying client.
With a CRM, your consultants can easily report their interaction with leads, including potential meetings, outcomes of these meetings, and whether the lead has decided to purchase membership or went cold.
Tver time, you can measure the success of each sales team member’s efforts and the stages at which they’ve pushed prospects through the sales pipeline.
Tou can view assigned leads, created leads, referrals, calls made, contacts, booked appointments, completed appointments, sales, and rejections. Like other modules of the CRM, this information can be filtered by dates or lead sources.
This structure will eliminate any confusion or disorganization about who should be responsible for a particular lead or what needs to be done to pursue the membership sale.
Even if leads go cold, it is important to keep them logged in the database and to still occasionally follow up with automated emails. This emails can potentially make a lead “hot” again if this customer’s gym needs or interests change in the future. Considering that fitness clubs across the map constantly battle turnover and retention issues, continued outreach campaigns can be extremely successful.
While gym membership sales are not “easy”, using strategy and software to organize the process is half the battle.