Increase Membership with These 3 Marketing Tips

May 7, 2013

When it comes to running a successful health club, increasing your membership base is the name of the game. Unfortunately, many health clubs limit their marketing plans to basic referral programs and mailbox flyers. If you’re interested in expanding your gym’s membership base, mastering these three smart strategies will have a huge impact on your bottom line.

Acquisition and Retention

A successful marketing plan doesn’t just center on acquiring new members; it also focuses on maintaining existing ones. The following three marketing strategies can help you drum up new business, while also creating loyal members from your current customers.

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  • Leverage your trainers
    Most health club owners fail to recognize that they aren’t just a place to work out; they are a part of the multi-billion dollar wellness industry. It’s important to take advantage of this role by offering events and programs that pull people in to the club. Numerous health clubs use their trainers to host events that teach everything from strength training to nutrition; however, few realize they can go even further by offering educational sessions on weight loss, organic foods, stress management and effective training strategies for specific sports. The possibilities are virtually endless for thoughtful health club owners, who are willing to put forth the effort.
  • Community involvement
    Smart health club owners work within the community to connect with potential customers and increase brand recognition. For some, this means sponsoring runs and other recreation activities; for others, it means connecting with local apartments, businesses and associations to offer tenant and employee discounts. Whatever the case, businesses that establish roots within communities tend to enjoy higher profits and increased customer loyalty. This is an especially useful strategy in smaller communities, which have limited pools of customers.
  • Cultivate loyalty
    Almost every gym has a referral program that rewards existing members for recommending new customers. That said, few gyms offer loyalty programs which reward existing customers for their continued membership. While most gyms focus all of their attention on luring in new clients who are far more likely to lose interest and cancel their memberships after a short while; smart gym owners invest in maintaining their loyal members who are committed to fitness. When you make your long-term customers feel appreciated, they will do your marketing for you via word-of-mouth advertising. This may mean offering coupons for any extra products or services you provide, such as massages, tanning, supplements or clothing; or it could even mean membership discounts. Study your budget to see what you can afford. In the end, you’re not just paying to maintain a valuable member; you are recruiting him or her as an agent who will talk your company up amongst family, friends and co-workers.