We've put together a list of the best summer gym promotion ideas to help you attract new members and engage your current ones. The majority of these ideas can be used universally for all types of fitness businesses – be it a yoga studio, traditional gym, online workout video platform, or local businesses.
Is the Summer Really a Challenging Time for Gym Owners?
While summer is typically associated with leisure, vacations, and outdoor activities, it presents unique challenges for gym owners and personal trainers. This period often sees a decline in gym attendance and a shift in priorities for many individuals.
It's not uncommon for people to experience periods when maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reaching fitness goals, and visiting the gym becomes less of a priority. The summer months are particularly susceptible to this trend, as many individuals lose interest in fitness after their initial New Year's resolutions fade away.
Data from Foursquare suggests that the second Saturday of the year, known as "Fall Off The Wagon Day," marks a significant drop in gym attendance as resolutioners abandon their fitness commitments and opt for fast food instead. This trend continues with a larger exodus in April.
Several factors contribute to empty gym floors during the summer:
- Favourable weather: People are more inclined to skip indoor gym sessions and engage in outdoor activities like jogging, swimming, or cycling, taking advantage of the pleasant weather.
- Holiday period: Even the most dedicated gym-goers often take breaks during their summer holidays, opting for relaxation and potentially training elsewhere for a while.
- Focus on results: Some individuals take time off during the summer to relax and showcase their hard-earned fitness achievements.
- Indulgence and relaxation: With time off work, people may indulge in unhealthy habits, neglecting workouts and paying less attention to nutrition.
However, despite these challenges, there are opportunities for gym owners to make the most of the summer season. Social media consumption remains consistent during this time, providing an ideal platform for implementing new and innovative promotion ideas.
Types of Summer Gym Promo Ideas by Purchase Trigger
For online campaigns, using a persuasive design paired with solid purchase triggers is key. The reason they work so well is that they appeal to the way our brains function.
Promotions that introduce a sense of scarcity create a feeling of urgency and encourage customers to take action. The concept of loss aversion, as demonstrated by Tversky and Kahneman, highlights that people are more motivated to avoid losses than to acquire gains.
By emphasizing limited quantities, time-limited offers, or exclusive deals, you tap into customers' aversion to missing out and increase the perceived value of your promotions.
Promotions also tap into another common driver. FoMO (fear of missing out) is the anxiety associated with not participating in a desirable event or experience.
By leveraging FoMO, gym owners can create marketing campaigns with limited-time offers (LTOs) that instil a sense of urgency and make customers feel they would miss out on valuable opportunities if they don't act promptly. Highlighting the benefits, profitability, fun, or interesting aspects of your promotions can further fuel customers' desire to participate.
Offering complimentary contract extensions or free access during less crowded times, such as in the summer, can be an effective promotion strategy. By providing additional value or exclusive perks, such as free months or specific services, you incentivize potential customers to join or existing members to continue their membership. This approach capitalizes on the reduced competition for gym resources during certain periods, making the offer more attractive and appealing.
10 Proven Ideas For Successful Summer Gym Promotions
Getting the word out to your target audience about your gym business has to be your priority all year round, but even more so in the summer, which is typically a quiet time. The question is: how can you effectively do this?
Let's start by looking at the anatomy of the perfect gym promotion for the summer holidays. There are various approaches you can take when structuring your campaign, and to provide you with inspiration, we have included real-life examples from different locations around the world.
Buy one, get one free (gym membership bundles)
Source: Artinerz Studios
Human psychology naturally gravitates towards bargains, and the allure of a free month pass (or even six, as seen in this example) is particularly enticing. In this case, Anytime Fitness implemented a strategic approach that didn't result in financial loss.
On average, gyms in the US generate approximately $517 per membership annually, allowing ample room for profit even when extending such an offer. It's worth noting that the majority of the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is typically paid upfront during the initial acquisition, further contributing to the profitability of this promotion.
Fitness challenges are highly effective in the fitness industry, and incorporating seasonal trends adds an extra layer of appeal.
Summer boot camps, in particular, attract people because they provide a clear deadline that aids in maintaining focus and motivation. To enhance their allure, consider offering rewards to those who successfully complete the challenge, such as a free month of membership or a personal training session. This incentivized approach will further strengthen the appeal of the summer boot camp and encourage participation.
Summer free gym membership upgrade
If your gym offers tiered pricing for membership, implementing a strategic marketing campaign to showcase the value of the higher-priced package can be highly effective. Emphasize the benefits and features exclusive to the premium tier to demonstrate its worth to potential customers.
It's important to note that offering complimentary upgrades during less crowded summer times can be a powerful tactic, as long as you deliver on your promise. This allows members to experience firsthand the added benefits of the higher-tier package, increasing the likelihood of future upgrades based on their positive experiences.
Ultimately, the key is to ensure that members genuinely feel the difference between the packages and recognize the value of the premium option. By delivering on your promises and providing a superior experience, you can successfully encourage members to upgrade their memberships.
Complimentary personal training session
Lack of confidence is a significant barrier for many people when it comes to trying new things, and it is the second biggest reason why individuals avoid going to the gym.
Overcoming this feeling of intimidation is crucial for them, especially when it comes to fitness. This is particularly relevant during the summer, as people seek ways to get in shape and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Fortunately, having a personal trainer by their side can greatly alleviate these concerns and make a significant impact on their fitness journey.
They offer personalized workout plans that provide structure and help people see tangible results, which in turn motivates them to keep going. With a personal trainer, individuals can step out of their comfort zones, try new exercises, and embrace a healthier lifestyle.
Rewards-based referral program
Referral marketing is without a doubt one of the most effective summer gym promotion ideas out there. It leverages the power of your current members as a valuable source of new prospects. By offering incentives, you can encourage your members to refer their friends and acquaintances to join the gym.
To determine what rewards would be enticing for your members, it's important to understand their preferences. Expressing gratitude goes a long way in fostering member loyalty. Consider offering rewards such as free gym memberships, such as a complimentary month for each successful referral of a new paying member. Additionally, you can provide gym merchandise or complimentary packages of personal training sessions as attractive incentives.
Lower membership price
Lowering the membership price can be a powerful strategy to attract and convert prospective members during summer.
Research has shown that offering discounts can elicit feelings of joy, as the levels of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, rise among customers. Discounts not only create a sense of happiness but also empower customers by giving them agency in their decision-making process.
Particularly during the vendor selection stage of the purchase journey, a well-timed discount can be the decisive factor that prompts a prospect to become a paying member. By strategically implementing lower membership prices, you can tap into these psychological factors and increase the likelihood of converting prospects into loyal members.
Freebies: swag, free sessions
Offering freebies such as gym swag and complimentary sessions can be a highly effective promotion idea. Studies show that 65% of consumers are influenced in their purchasing frequency by receiving rewards. Providing free gym time or exclusive swag as a limited-time offer (e.g., for the first 100 purchases) creates a sense of urgency and excitement among potential customers.
To further enhance the perceived value of gym memberships, consider offering a complimentary fitness program tailored to help new clients achieve their specific fitness goals. This additional service demonstrates your commitment to their success and helps them envision the value they will receive from their membership.
Extended trial periods can be a compelling promotion strategy as they provide prospective clients with ample time to truly experience your gym's offerings. By going beyond the usual free-day trial, you demonstrate your confidence in the quality and consistency of your services. Consider offering options such as:
- a free training day,
- a complimentary fitness class,
- or a free week pass to potential clients.
These extended trial opportunities allow individuals to fully immerse themselves in the gym experience, enabling them to form a well-informed opinion about your facility and its benefits. By providing these extended trials, you showcase your commitment to delivering value and building trust with prospective clients.
Source: Planet Fitness
Offering free memberships may initially seem counter-intuitive, but when implemented effectively, it can be a highly successful gym promotion strategy. A notable example is Planet Fitness, which gained national attention with its "Teen Summer Challenge" in 2019. By providing free access to their facilities for teenagers, the fitness challenge aimed to encourage young individuals to be more active and less reliant on technology.
The impact of offering free classes and gym time on the company's revenue was significant. Chris Rondeau, the CEO of Planet Fitness, highlighted that many parents were inspired by their children's dedication and commitment, leading them to purchase paid memberships for themselves. This demonstrates the potential long-term benefits of providing free memberships as a means to attract new customers.
By strategically offering free memberships, you not only generate interest and engagement among prospective members but also have the opportunity to showcase the value and benefits of your gym. This approach can create a positive ripple effect, as motivated individuals inspire their friends and family to join, resulting in increased revenue and a larger customer base.
Personalized retention campaigns
Implementing personalized retention campaigns can be a game-changer for your gym's success. By leveraging gym management software, you can effectively identify members who are at risk of churning. In software like Perfect Gym, this risk is measured as a percentage in the "Churn risk" column, providing valuable insights.
The beauty of first-party data is that it represents your actual customers, real individuals whom you can engage with directly. Armed with this information, you have the power to intervene before your customers start considering other options. You can take proactive steps such as offering personalized discounts, initiating conversations about how you can assist them in reaching their fitness goals or simply requesting feedback to improve their experience.
How to Run a Summer Gym Promotion Campaign?
Running a successful summer gym promotion campaign requires leveraging the power of email marketing and automation in today's digitally-driven market. To effectively reach your sales targets, it is crucial to utilize gym management and marketing software that allows you to track and evaluate the performance of each campaign, tailored specifically to your audience.
Based on 2021 HubSpot Blog Research, the following email marketing strategies have proven to be highly effective:
- Subscriber Segmentation: Segmenting your subscriber list allows you to target specific groups with tailored messages that resonate with their interests and preferences. This strategy has been found to be successful by 78% of marketers.
- Message Personalization: Personalizing your email content and subject lines based on individual subscriber data and behaviour creates a more personalized and engaging experience. This approach has been effective for 72% of marketers.
- Email Automation Campaigns: Utilizing automation tools to trigger and send emails based on specific actions or events, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, or follow-up messages, can significantly enhance engagement and conversion rates. This strategy has yielded positive results for 71% of marketers.