When is the last time you went on a date? Even if it was a while ago, you probably remember the experience well. Lots of small talk and some awkward pauses as you got to know one another. If you liked your date enough to want to see him or her again, you went on a second date. If you didn’t, you probably went on to date someone else.
Why do we bring up the topic of dating? It’s similar to how your drop-in and Groupon visitors are dating your studio. These single-visit students come in, check you out and decide if there’s a reason to see you again. This sounds obvious, but the problem is that many studio owners fail to give their single-visit students a reason to stick around. When that happens, they miss out on a golden opportunity to convert them into members.
If this sounds familiar or you think your conversion rate could be better, here are six strategies to help you convert your single-visits into long-term members.
1. Invite Single Drop-ins to Become a Member
Make your single-visit students feel like they matter by inviting them to join your community. Yes, this is a simple suggestion, but verbally inviting them to join is something many studio owners fail to do. And just like our analogy about dating, if you don’t ask for the second date, you won’t get it.
2. Offer Special Benefits
Make being a member an attractive option by offering exclusive member-only benefits. Try the following:
- Complimentary member-only monthly events
- Two free guest passes per month (this also helps generate referrals)
- Discounts on merchandise and workshops
- Priority class reservations
3. Offer a First Month Special Rate
Catch and convert your drop-ins early by offering an attractive first-month membership deal that auto-renews at the regular monthly membership rate. Use your member management software to automate an email with an offer that triggers after a drop-in or Groupon user’s first class.
4. Provide Low Commitment, Flexible Options
Capture the commitment phobic by offering short-term memberships, like those with three or six-month terms. Also offer a generous cancellation policy, so members don’t have to worry about being locked-in when their life changes.
Offering flexible memberships is another way to move people away from single-visits while still giving them choices. To make this work for your studio, figure out how often your drop-in students come to class. Then build memberships to match the most common frequencies. Here are some examples:
- One class per week, or five classes per calendar month
- Two classes per week, or eight classes per calendar month
- Three classes per week, or nine classes a month
- Unlimited classes per week and month
5. Enforce Groupon Terms and Expiration Dates
Sell more memberships by being firm on Groupon terms and expiration dates. Sure, we know your passion is to help people get healthy and fit, so being a stickler about terms and expiration dates might not seem all that important. After all, if they’re eventually using their Groupon, they’re working out, right? But the problem is that by being lenient on expiration dates, you’re undermining your ability to sell memberships. And memberships are ultimately the best option for helping people get healthy and fit.
6. Make Being a Member Easy
Sign and keep new members month after month by making it easy to be a member. After all, if paying you each month is a hassle, your members will eventually cancel. To ensure that doesn’t happen, automate your billing and payment processing so your monthly payment collection is done automatically and behind the scenes. Once you set a new student’s membership to auto-renew, it will be billed and charged on their credit card automatically.
Converting your drop-ins and Groupon students isn’t hard, it just takes putting a few key strategies in place.
While Groupon can be a great way to get new members in the door, be careful about continuing to give these individuals a discount. To learn more about how discounts can end up hurting your business, get your copy of our free Boutique Fitness Benchmark Report.
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.