The idea of creating January offers to bring new clients in on the New Year rush is nothing new. Every B2C business worth its salt leverages the start of a new year in its marketing and advertising. But what about February offers? Does it make sense to have a big marketing push for fitness clients in February? Let’s explore the idea.
Why do New Year January offers always work
New Year’s offers are probably a tried-and-tested part of your yearly marketing plan. And if it works, why change it? We’re not suggesting you scrap your January client acquisition altogether, but there could be alternatives to leverage Q1.
January offers are particularly effective in the fitness industry because clients have usually set a fitness, health, or weight-loss related resolution (even if they don’t explicitly call it that). Most people feel a bit out of shape and out of control after a month of festive indulgence. And the start of the year feels like the perfect time to crack on with that “new year, new me” energy.
Add to that the fact that people expect to see discounted offers in January – and the fact that anything bought as a Christmas present needs to be redeemed in January – and you’re all set for a bumper month. But could there be a different way?
The pros and cons of pushing a February fitness offer
Pushing your January offers back to February makes a lot of sense. January is a long month, and many people are still feeling the impact of Christmas spending. And by the time they actually get round to acting on their New Year’s Resolutions, the month can be almost over.
Then there are your existing clients. How do they feel about an influx of newbies taking up the equipment, gym space, or their favourite class on the timetable. As a PT, you know that’s unreasonable, but you kind of see their point. Bringing the newcomers in a few weeks later than usual can spread the impact and keep everyone happy.
February has a different kind of energy to long, drawn-out January. It’s a short month, a perfect four weeks which seems designed for a dedicated block of fitness focus. And people’s pay packets go a lot further in February.
In terms of marketing, yes the “New Year” hook might be in the past. But February brings its own set of opportunities for persuasive messaging – Valentine’s Day is just one of them.
Ultimately, whilst many people might plan to join a gym or sign up to PT in January, how many actually do? Why not have a second wave of marketing to scoop up all those well-intentioned people who are now enjoying their first payday of the year?
How to create a marketing strategy with January and February offers
We think it would be a smart move to create a dual strategy for January and February. January can act as a soft-launch way to give potential new clients taster sessions or a trial period (whilst giving you the opportunity to prioritise and nurture existing members). February is your second bite at the apple, enabling you to bring those new people in on full memberships.
Still focused on January? We get it, we're traditionalist at times too. Take a look at our blog Preparing Your Fitness Business For The January Rush
Examples of a New Year fitness client acquisition strategy
For January: create low-cost offers such as a week’s trial or a low-tier membership that gives 1-2 sessions a week. Make sure these potential clients get a warm welcome and get to see all the benefits of full membership. Treat them as part of the community, giving them access to your Facebook groups, social events, and business updates. Get them on your email list and start emailing them with value-based comms, member results, and a true sense of your fitness community.
For February: arrange a call or meeting with all those January newbies, to discuss future goals and review their fantastic progress. Extend a new offer to them, similar to your typical New Year offer. This might be their first month at a discount, or one week free if they sign up on a Direct Debit. At this point, ramp up the sense of community by giving them some branded merch or featuring them as a success story on your socials.
What do you think? Does the idea of a February “New Year” offer make sense to you and your target client?