How to Create a Referral Program for Your Fitness Boot Camp

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bootcamp-in-the-parkNo matter how much your members love your boot camp, if you don’t have a referral program in place they probably won’t send you referrals. Although that sounds harsh, it’s the truth. Very few people will give referrals if there’s not an incentive in place to remind them to do so.

But there’s good news. Referral programs are easy to create and completely worth the effort it takes to build one. In today’s post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create a program for your boot camp.

Attracting More of the Best Members

To start, we want to dive deeper into why a referral program is important. Here are a couple of the top reasons:

More Members, at a Lower Cost:

With a referral program, your members do the advertising for you. Because of that, referral leads cost you less to acquire. And since most people trust recommendations from their friends, you need significantly less time and effort to convert a referral lead. In all, the effectiveness of a referral program means you’ll bring in far more new members through referrals than you will through paid advertising.

Get your copy of our free 7-Step Guide to Creating a Successful Referral Program

Happier, More Valuable Members:

Referral members come in as trusting, happy and engaged members because they’ve already self-selected you based on the recommendation of a friend. That trust leads them to buy more in products and services and stay with you for a longer period of time. Based on these factors, referral members are more valuable from a financial standpoint. They are also more fun to be around and contribute to your culture and community.

Creating Your Referral Program

Now that you understand why you need a referral program, here’s the process for creating one.

Creating the Offer: You’ll want to think about two main things when creating your program: the incentive and who will be rewarded for a referral.

  1. The Incentive: how do you want to incentivize referrals? You know your members and community best so think about what it will take to get them talking about your boot camp. Consider using gift cards, offering discounts on memberships or giving away retail merchandise. You may think of other rewards that will work better for your business, and that’s great. No matter what you decide, be sure to include public recognition by thanking your referring members in front of others. Public recognition is a free but powerful incentive.
  2. Eligibility: you’ll get more referrals if you reward your member and the person they’ve referred because it creates an incentive for both parties. But that doesn’t mean both parties need to be given the same reward. If you think about motivation here, a newly referred lead might be best motivated to become a regular member with a discount on their first month’s fees. Conversely, to get your members talking about your boot camp, they might be more motivated by gift cards or merchandise. So think about the action you want and how you can best incentivize it.
Advertising the Program:

Your program won’t be a success if you don’t tell your members about it. Take advantage of the fact that you have many different ways to communicate with your members and try the following:

  1. Announce your program on social media and in your private Facebook group.
  2. Include a small blurb about it in your monthly newsletter.
  3. Put it on your website.
  4. Print referral cards for your members to hand out to their family and friends.
  5. Have your instructors talk about it in their classes.

Referral programs are one of our favorite forms of advertising. The benefits of referrals are just too good to miss out on. We hope this post inspired you to create your own program or get excited once again about the program you have.


Get step-by-step tips on creating, promoting and measuring your own referral program in our free guide, 7-Step Guide to Creating a Successful Referral Program.

create a customer referral program

Shilo Lucyk

Shilo Lucyk

In her spare time Shilo enjoys teaching yoga classes, doing CrossFit® and reading anything she can get her hands on.

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