Promoting Your Gym. Part 4: Be Different
: By: Sam Bodger
This is an updated version the ‘Guide to Marketing Your Gym‘ ebook originally made available for download on www.amazonleisure.co.uk on 25th January 2016. The new version will be released in sections and then uploaded as a pdf.
7. Offer Different Membership Packages
Different people want different things from their gym or health club however most gyms only offer a single membership package, sometimes offering concessionary rates to pensioners and the unemployed. By offering more membership options you may be able to open up your gym to a wider range of people.
Some people may want to get in shape for a summer holiday or a wedding whereas other people may prefer an all-inclusive premium package.
Below are a few suggestions that could help to grow your membership:
Premium Membership. Include a heart rate monitoring chest strap or watch with the package and offer some digital services like online progress tracking or integration with a smartphone app. This way you can greatly increase the perceived value of your package among those who enjoy using technology for fitness tracking. You could include a set number of hours with a Personal Trainer each week as part of the premium package. Some people like to have the best and by offering a package that feels superior to anything your competition is offering, you can more easily appeal to that niche of the market.
Short-Term Goal Programs. By offering packages like ‘Drop a Dress Size in 21 Days’ or ‘Get in Shape for Your Wedding / the Summer’ people can sign up for a limited time for a one-off payment with no automatic renewal of membership. You could integrate this with some personal training sessions to help direct the short term members. This can take away the fear of forgetting to cancel your membership that many potential customers have and could maybe even encourage people to sign up for a full membership later on once they realise how much they enjoy going.
Corporate Membership. Try offering discounted rates to local businesses with a special corporate package. A 20% discount could bring people in to your gym that you otherwise would not have got. Offer the business owner an even bigger discount or even free membership once they have signed up a certain number of their staff. This may give them an incentive to sign up as many employees as possible.
Basic Membership. Consider offering a budget package for ‘off peak’ usage. You can limit the hours that basic members can use the gym to your less busy times like 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. You can use this to bring in people who would not usually be able to afford gym membership without over-crowding the place during your busier times.
8. Run Competitions
Everybody loves getting something for free, but people love winning something even more. By linking the competition to a charity event and a putting out a press release (see part 5) you can increase interest in your promotion and raise your profile further.
By running competitions that are connected to the services that you are offering, you can use a competition to promote a new service like a fitness class or to draw attention to your new piece of equipment.
A few suggestions for competitions are featured below:
Run a Prize Draw. Put on a raffle and publicise it in the wider community, not just in your gym. You could ask a couple of popular local shops to sell tickets in exchange for offering the owners or staff free sessions or a discount on membership. Offer prizes that are of low cost to you but of high value to the prize winner like a month’s free personal training or a month’s gym membership. You may even find the person who wins becomes a paying customer at the end of their free month.
Fitness Endurance Competition. Do a 24-hour ‘Exercise Until You Drop!’ challenge, try linking up with a popular or relevant charity and encouraging those entering to seek out sponsorship based on how many hours they can last. By having a good prize for the person who lasts the longest, you will attract interest. This is the kind of event that could attract the attention of the local media, especially with the charitable angle, and can link up very nicely with a press release.
Who’s Made the Biggest Gains? This is more of a long term project, it would probably need to be run over 6 months or a year and could be work along the lines of the Weight Watchers slimming competitions. Members who want to enter could have a before picture taken, get weighed and have their chest and biceps measured.
Gym Wars. Do you have a friendly rivalry with another local gym? Consider a series of events where your members compete against theirs. Are there any local charity causes that your competition could raise some money for? If so you may be able to get some press attention which could generate extra publicity.
Put on an ‘Iron Man’ Challenge. Design a circuit at your gym and see who can complete it in the fastest time. An example of a circuit could be to run 2 miles on a treadmill, row 2 miles, cycle 2 miles and run on a cross trainer for 2 miles with some strength challenges in between. Consider offering both a standard challenge and a ‘hardcore’ challenge with longer distances and heavier weights as this will give more people a chance to be involved. As with the endurance competitions, this can be tied in with a charity and may attract the interest of the local paper or radio station.
Version 2 of the Guide to Marketing Your Gym will be available in the coming weeks and further sections will be posted here beforehand. Visit the news section of the Amazon Leisure website for further articles and information.
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