Leveraging Black Friday for Your Fitness Business

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The holidays are a great time to offer enticing promotions at your gym. Following the doldrums of end of summer, the winter months always offer increased interest as people reflect on the previous year and try to kickstart the new year.

You can use the plethora of post-Thanksgiving landmarks to kickoff your busy season leading up to the start of the new year. Create campaigns around Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Twitter Tuesday, Workout Wednesday (er, sorry those last two aren’t a thing, unless you make them a thing).

Here are a few ideas to engage new and existing members to jumpstart the holiday season.

Incentivizing New Members

If you’re planning any time of New Year Special or Challenge, offer early bird pricing to those that sign up on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. They’re making resolutions and you’re offering incentives to lock-in their plans before Christmas budgets get demolished. Offer content to help them make it through the holidays without imbibing or indulging (too much).

If you normally offer a Free Class or Intro Session as your normal promotion, consider a “paid trial” that will take the person through the end of the year. In order to get the special price for the rest of the year, add a three or six month commitment to the back end, starting in January. You could also pair this offer with your New Year Special, in order to get those Early Birds in the gym right away.

Out with the old, in with the new. Discount your current inventory in order to make room for a new seasonal refresh. If you have branded items, consider offering those as a referral incentive or gift for new members.

Looking for other ways to engage and retain your members? Check out our 8 Step Retention Guide for more tips!
Re-engaging Alumni and Existing Members

Target alumni who signed up at this time in years past. Send them targeted messaging offering a discount as a former member to come back into the gym. Be sure to make note of those people that may have left because they were unhappy for whatever reason. Highlight improvements you’ve made, new equipment you’ve procured, or new instructors in the gym.

Your members will surely over-indulge the day prior. Consider a Detox or Calorie Burn Event. Encourage your members to invite friends and family. Offer generous referral bonuses, discounted gift card or gift bags for those in attendance. Getting your member base excited can multiply the impact of a good Black Friday promotional deal.


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natalie smith zen planner

Natalie Smith, Strategic Relationship Manager

Zen Planner

Natalie is a member of the Customer Advocate team at Zen Planner. Previous to working at Zen Planner, she managed a locally owned running store in North Carolina, where she gained her passion for health and fitness, as well as working with small businesses. She has completed numerous marathons and ultra-marathons and is now focusing her efforts on cycling, learning to ski and enjoying all Colorado has to offer. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, supporting local comedy and finding delicious food and beer around town.

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