Make the most of the January rush with strategies that turn leads into loyal members.
January is traditionally the busiest time of year for in-person fitness businesses. But what happens when the infamous rush dies down? Think long term, with strategies for onboarding and member journey that turns a few busy weeks into a successful year.
Create a compelling offer. The Christmas period might leave people with the urge to join a gym or sign up to classes, but your offer needs to cut through all the resistance. Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and come up with an offer that tackles worries around budget, nerves, and self-consciousness whilst also being motivating!
Meet prospective members where they’re at. Are your prospects on social media, or in local Facebook groups, do they read the local paper or will they be swayed by sponsorship of local events? Direct your marketing efforts to the right channels.
Your focus over December and January will naturally be on finding and signing up new members, but don’t forget about your existing customers.
Make your facility visible. Don’t assume everyone knows you’re there (even if you’re on the high street). Signs, posters, and banners will all catch the eye of prospective January sign-ups.
Leverage existing members by designing a win/win referral scheme, but make sure it doesn’t leave your current customers feeling undervalued. Remember that they might have mixed feelings about the January rush.
It’s not enough to have a lot of leads for January. You also need to optimise your onboarding process so people have a great first day, week, and month. Brush up on your sales strategy and make sure everyone on the team is comfortable about selling in a way that’s aligned with your brand values.
Revisit every stage of your onboarding process, from the first message, to that initial face-to-face meeting, through to follows ups after initial training sessions. Striive’s messaging and membership tools help you nurture and engage new members on one platform, saving you valuable time.
Thinking beyond that initial onboarding stage, how can you make the entire member experience memorable so January newbies keep coming back? This starts with the first contact they have with your team (whether that’s via phone call, DM or email). It then extends to how they are greeted and welcomed when they arrive on site.
Do you have a welcome pack for new members with merch, important documents, and partner offers? Who is responsible for explaining exactly how their membership works and who to contact if they have a question? How can you introduce them to your community, do you have a social media group or regular in-person socials?
Consider increasing capacity throughout January so nobody – new or old timer – is left waiting or unable to book. And if you’ve been thinking about branching out into new offers, add-on workshops, or extra classes, now is a great time.
Don’t forget existing members
Your focus over December and January will naturally be on finding and signing up new members, but don’t forget about your existing customers. It’s just as important to retain their membership over the busy months.
Think about ways you can add value to their membership and show them they are appreciated. Small freebies, new merch, a fun community fitness challenge, or a mutually beneficial referral system would keep them in the loop whilst your energy is taken up by newcomers.