The holiday season presents an opportunity for new athlete acquisition like few things can. No matter how many years come and go, people are always going to have fitness-related resolutions which can be perfectly paired with a holiday gym promotion. While there is an increase in prospects, you also have to consider that you’re competing with other fitness options. That competition is no longer restricted to local gyms, but these prospects can now use web-based fitness tools easier than ever.
Our Third Annual Affiliate Gym Benchmark Report shows us that Leaders, affiliate gyms with at least $7,000 in monthly profits, are the least likely to discount. With that said, 61% of Leaders do offer some type of discount and many offer “promotional” discounts. At Zen Planner, we discourage traditional discounting for affiliate gyms, but we do think there is an opportunity for meaningful growth when they are thoughtfully executed.
A holiday gym promotion is an amazing special offer at your affiliate gym. Using data from the Third Annual Affiliate Gym Benchmark Report, let’s go through each stage together and reveal how the following holiday special is created:
Holiday Special: Join during the month of December, receive a free one-on-one session, free first week and free t-shirt!
Sign-up for this holiday special begins December 1st. Sign-up for this offer expires end of day December 31st. Not valid with any other offers. New customers only. Current customers will receive branded t-shirt and $25 coffee gift card for each referral during this time period. If registered between December 1st and December 31st, must redeem the offers before February 1st – offer expires end of day January 31st.
Choosing the Right Type of Special
At this first step, we need to begin the planning process by choosing which type of offer our holiday special will be. The best holiday specials are promotional discounts in that they incorporate some kind of experience, rather than simply cutting the price. Leaders know their service speaks for itself, so they strive to get prospects in the box and allow the experience to convert them into members. Leaders most commonly offer free classes and free one-on-one intro sessions. The free experience, whether it is a class or one-on-one, serves as a way to experience the value of your affiliate gym. Do you offer any kind of retail? If so, consider including that as an offer component too.
Show me the numbers: 49% of Leaders offer a free class and 46% offer a free one-on-one intro session.
Step 1: Become a member and receive Free One-on-One Introductory Session, Free First Week, Free Branded Shirt.
Establishing the Offer Details and Guidelines
This is a critical component of every special offer you run at your box. Overlooking the offer details and guidelines can cause a serious headache down the road. At this stage, we are answering these questions:
- When does this offer begin and end?
- Who is this offer for?
- What’s in it for current athletes?
Step 2: Sign-up for this holiday special begins December 1st. Sign-up expires end of day December 31st. Not valid with any other offers. New customers only. Current customers will receive branded t-shirt and $25 coffee gift card for each referral during this time period. If registered between December 1st and December 31st, must redeem the offers before February 1st – offer expires end of day January 31st.
Promoting the Plan
Holiday gym promotion involves two key steps, internal communication and external communication. Internal communication is simply briefing every staff member on the holiday special details. All grounds must be covered when communicating with your team; that is, they should know every detail of the offer and the external promotion plan. Furthermore, there should be a strategy for onboarding these new athletes and ensuring they are properly managed in your box management software. With that, the external communication piece is simply your marketing plan. To effectively promote the holiday special, there are a few basic actions to check off.
Step 3: Update the website with a banner or a blog post, depending on your level of control. Schedule several organic Facebook posts, and set up a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign. Include the holiday special in your regular email newsletter.
The holiday season is a special time in the fitness industry, and it’s a great opportunity to grow your community. In order to achieve this, be intentional with your special offers and make sure to focus on every single detail when planning.
Note: The offer mentioned in this blog post is not an actual offer of any kind from Zen Planner.
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Content Marketing Specialist
An exercise physiologist by training, Jimmy worked in fitness general management for eight years before joining Zen Planner. Jimmy is passionate about all things fitness and also practices Jiu-jitsu.