How to Accelerate Your Marketing With E-Gift Cards

November 6, 2017

David Ganulin-Promotion Vault Sales & Marketing Director

As fitness club owners or managers, you often wear a good number of hats, chief among them Sales & Marketing Director. This means that you’re in a constant struggle to find alternatives to the same old incentives of discounts, credits and other freebies. If the phrase, “same old,” causes a sour taste to climb up the back of your throat, that’s good because your future members and customers are tired of the same old thing, too. They come to you because they’re looking for new energy and a new spark in their lives. You already know that and you’re staying at the top of your game to give this to them.

You’re no doubt asking yourself things like: “How do I get more members? How can I get my current members to refer their friends and family? How do I increase PT utilization? How do I get more ACH billings? Why isn’t my current Yellow Pages ad working? (!?!) What ever happened with that targeted direct mailer?” I can go on, but the point remains that every single club wants the exact same things and all have the same pain points. Whether you’re a $200 a month club or a $10 a month club, your customers—and prospects—are exactly the same as everyone else.

If you’re prepared to accept the premise that your people are—indeed—made of the same DNA, the next step is to be able to answer the number one question every single one of your prospects or members asks (consciously or not) before doing anything: What’s In It For Me? We’re all ego driven creatures whether we want to admit it or not, so as business owners who are asking your people to do something—you need to have an answer. The game has changed and today’s consumer perceives a brand’s strength in the market place NOT by the discounts that are offered, but by the additional value that is added to the offer.

How does your club change its narrative and not offer the same tired promotions that literally every other club is doing? The answer is surprisingly simple: Add value! Give them an electronic gift card (“e-gift card”) from merchants like Amazon,, Starbucks, Lululemon, Athleta, Nike, Uber, Whole Foods and others for taking the actions you want them to take. What actions? Literally anything you can think of: Take a tour. Take their free fitness assessment so you can sell Small Group or Personal Training.  Refer their friends and family. Switch billing from credit card to checking account and on and on. Put a gift card in front of them and watch your bottom line skyrocket. Promotion Vault has been in business for 10+ years and we’ve seen this across hundreds of clubs of all types and hundreds of thousands of members.

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Adding a gift card adds an approximate 20% increase on ANY actions you want prospects or members to take and, when placed side by side with in-club cards, outperform them nearly 20 to 1. We’ve also seen that, for cards from $10-20 dollars (which are the most common) only about 30% are activated. That means approximately 70% of your incentive distributions are never felt on your bottom line. The key is that–unlike all other Gift Card providers—with Promotion Vault you only pay for activated gift cards.

One club who was originally giving away a free month, saw a 36% increase in referrals once they started adding gift cards. Another saw 34% of new members signing up with ACH and 80+ members convert to ACH per club every 30 days. A third saw a 22% increase in guest passes activated and their conversion rate to membership increased from 9% up to 17%.

Promotion Vault makes it simple to maximize your marketing efforts by adding strategic and high value gift card incentives. Our engine is seamlessly integrated into your ABC data allowing us to target the right person for the right reward with laser sharp accuracy. Promotion Vault communicates with your eligible customer on your behalf with your branding via automated correspondence and provides 24/7 support for your customers that require assistance in taking advantage of their incentives. We’re the largest e-gift card provider to the health and fitness industry and proud to be one of only 12 Platinum Partners of ABC Financial. To get started on a free trial (no monthly or set-up fees—ever!) and be sent your “incentives versus discounts” ROI calculator click here now.