We all know there are gyms and fitness facilities all over the place–and at their core, they all offer essentially the same thing: a place to work out and improve physical health.
With so much variety among competitors, it can be challenging to figure out how to attract potential clients and retain existing ones. To remain competitive in this environment, it’s important to stand out rather than to fit in.
So, what can you do to help your gym to stand out from competitors?
Create a Winning Membership Sales Strategy
Getting new members to join your gym is only half the battle. Once new members join—how do keep them engaged to keep retention rates high, while simultaneously attracting new members?
Here are five ways to create a winning gym membership sales strategy:
1. Know your audience
Fitness business owners should understand that gym members’ expectations have changed dramatically since the pandemic hit.
With more fitness options than ever before including in-person workouts, online classes, and hybrid options—you need to determine your gym’s competitive advantage. From there it’s crucial to hone in and highlight that in your marketing materials to attract new gym members, keep current members engaged, and improve member retention rates.
2. Sell solutions, not products or services
The COVID-19 pandemic completely disrupted the fitness industry, especially businesses that were largely reliant on brick-and-mortar fitness operations. With the global focus on health increasing with demand for online and at-home health and wellness routines rising simultaneously, the industry responded to the global crisis by introducing the hybrid fitness model.
With a hybrid gym model, your digital offerings are meant to complement your brick-and-mortar operations. A hybrid gym offers the best of both worlds and includes a combination of in-person and online workout options. For example, your gym may offer in-person exercise classes that are also live-streamed and available on-demand for members who want to continue with home workouts.
The hybrid model is a great example of how the fitness industry has shifted gears to focus on developing and selling a solution—that is, offering online and digital fitness options to meet high demand during the lockdown, rather than focusing on “just” selling individual products or services.
3. Identify & manage growth
Have you ever wondered where in the online buying and registration process clients are dropping off? If you utilize gym management software like EZFacility, you can finally find out the answer (and more!) using our Google Analytics connector.
Whether you use EZFacility or another service provider in today’s digital landscape, it’s imperative to use gym management software to operate a gym efficiently, and to set the stage for business growth.
To assess success and identify growth opportunities, you need to have access to and a constant pulse on all of your financials at any given time. This simply isn’t possible without a secure software solution in place.
EZFacility’s comprehensive dashboard and reporting suite gives you an in-depth look under the hood of your gym at any time including financial, point-of-sale, marketing, payroll, membership, and more. As you continue to grow and open additional locations, you can rest assured that EZFacility is by your side and ready to grow with you.
4. Streamline & simplify
For a gym owner to be successful in today’s business climate, it’s imperative to get on board with the shift to digitization and to invest in a gym management system that can accommodate changing business needs, in addition to the needs of staff and customers.
If you want to operate a gym efficiently, you’ll need to find gym management software that streamlines every part of your business. Without a secure and centralized platform in place, you’ll waste countless hours of valuable time trying to track everything manually, which also greatly increases the likelihood of costly mistakes and human error.
Gym management software—also sometimes referred to as membership management software, a facility management system, or a gym software solution—is a platform of tools that will centralize and streamline your facility’s operations. The software makes it easy for gym owners to assign tasks to employees, manage inventory, improve the payments process, and more—all from one secure location.
5. Document & track everything
From membership management to payroll reports—to successfully run a gym, you need to document and track everything—and there’s a lot of everything. Simplify your life and business by streamlining your entire gym’s operations by utilizing facility management software like EZFacility.
With EZFacility, specifically, you can enjoy the following tools and benefits:
EZFacility’s membership management tools make it easy to create custom membership plans, manage relationships, sell services online, assign plastic or RFID member cards, track payments, and automate text and email reminders to reduce client delinquencies.
POS & Inventory Management
Our POS and inventory management features allow you to manage point-of-sale products from a desktop or mobile device, monitor product levels, automate reorder alerts, manage online or in-house coupon codes, and report on product profitability
Extensive Report Suite
EZFacility’s extensive report suite offers an in-depth look under the hood of your business. This includes quick and easy access to financial, point-of-sale, marketing, payroll, membership, training reports, and more. Export reports in a variety of file types, including .csv, .pdf, and .xlsx.
QuickBooks Online Integration
Easily connect with tools that you already use—like QuickBooks Online. Save time and stay organized by syncing EZFacility financials directly into the QuickBooks Online platform.
Marketing Strategies to Increase Gym Membership Sales
Gym owners should understand that consumers’ expectations have changed dramatically since the pandemic hit.
And with more fitness options than ever before—in-person workouts, online classes, and hybrid options—you need to determine your gym’s competitive advantage, and really hone in and highlight that in your marketing materials to attract new gym members, keep current members engaged, and improve member retention rates.
Here are five strategies to help you increase gym membership sales:
Perfect the member experience
The experience you provide is what makes your gym unique, and it’s what attracts people to your gym over competitors. Providing a great member experience gives you a competitive edge, and it’s critical to creating a positive association with your brand and building a community of loyal, engaged members. It also helps improve customer satisfaction and retention rates.
The member experience begins at the first point of contact with customers and encompasses all the touch points throughout the customer journey. It’s important to remember, though, that the member experience extends beyond just the sign-up process—it needs to be consistently emulated across multiple platforms and touchpoints.
To ensure you’re providing a positive member experience, you need to continuously offer exceptional customer support, anticipate customers’ needs and expectations, and make your members feel like your gym offers something they can’t get anywhere else.
Remember—you’re selling a long-term relationship with a continuous service, so it’s imperative that you build a strong team of engaged employees, solicit customer feedback, and continue to monitor digital trends in the fitness space to make sure you’re keeping up with the shifting landscape.
Testimonial marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your gym, build a positive reputation, and make your fitness facility look more favorable to potential customers.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to create a testimonial marketing plan because you can almost guarantee potential customers will take to the internet to look for online ratings and customer reviews before they make any purchase decisions.
In fact, 97% of consumers confirm the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions, and 92% of consumers say they’ll hesitate to buy a product if there are no reviews left by customers.
Customer reviews, video testimonials, star ratings, and the like also heavily influence purchasing decisions and lead conversion, so it’s important to constantly monitor and respond to your gym reviews to keep your reputation favorable and your business growing.
The great news is—72% of customers say they’ll provide reviews and testimonials simply if a local business asks them to! With the right marketing efforts in place, you can easily beef up your online presence by garnering more online reviews and customer testimonials.
Email marketing is an extremely valuable and widely used marketing method in the fitness industry because it helps businesses and consumers connect, build and manage strong and ongoing communication.
With the global shift to digitization, the use and effectiveness of email marketing have skyrocketed over the past few years. It’s become a routine part of our daily lives as professionals, individuals, and consumers.
In fact, research shows that email marketing offers the highest ROI of any marketing channel.
- You can anticipate an average return of $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing.
- Email marketing is 40x more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined
- 50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once per month
- Nearly 22% of all email campaigns are opened within the first hour of sending
- 59% of respondents say that marketing emails have influenced their purchases
So, what does this data tell us?
It means there’s a great opportunity for fitness businesses of all sizes to reach their target market, no matter what their audience looks like.
Given the increasingly competitive digital landscape, some gyms are going “old school” and reverting back to a much simpler, highly effective, yet often underappreciated marketing tool—the good ole’ text message and push notifications.
SMS marketing—also referred to as text message marketing—is when businesses send text messages to promote their products and services to consumers, provide important updates, and to maintain ongoing communication with their target audience to keep their fitness business top-of-mind.
Below are four key advantages of SMS marketing, and how it can help you grow your fitness business:
While text message marketing campaigns can sometimes be more expensive than email marketing campaigns (depending on your service provider)—they’re typically less expensive than many paid ad options, especially on popular social media platforms. And because SMS messaging campaigns offer such a high ROI, they’re considered cost-effective.
Attract new customers
You can use text message marketing to attract new members to your fitness facility by offering a free day at the gym, or some free swag if they sign up to receive texts. If you’re currently using a gym management software that offers text message automation, you can easily schedule follow-up texts to be sent to those who didn’t fully complete the online sign up form.
Upsell current customers
It’s often much easier to upsell existing members than it is to attract new ones. Because you want your members to get the most out of your gym, you need to make sure they’re aware of everything your facility has to offer. Use SMS messaging to inform existing customers of the benefits and added value of upgrading their memberships.
Increase conversion rates
The average text message conversion rate is 30%—whereas the average email marketing conversion rate is 3.26%. Even more impressive, text message marketing’s conversion rates rose 102% YoY in 2020.
With 97% of Americans now owning some type of mobile phone—and approximately 85% of mobile phone users having smart phones—SMS marketing makes a lot of sense with everyone being more connected, and constantly connected, than ever before.
Social Media Marketing
A social media marketing strategy is a detailed plan of everything you hope to achieve from your social media efforts, including specific tactics of how you plan to communicate your message across each social media platform.
Social media is not only a great way to promote your business, but it is also a place to create a strong brand image for your fitness businesses. Each social media platform has a different set of norms with varying user demographics.
Another unique thing about social media is that it can be paid, owned, or earned media, depending on how you utilize it.
- Paid media refers to posts or special placements on social media supported by advertising budgets versus organic or free content.
- Owned media is content you create and control, like your website and social media platforms.
- Earned media is content others create about your fitness brand–for example, user reviews, media placements, or social media users sharing your content or posting about your brand on their personal pages.
The social media marketing landscape is constantly changing while competition continues to grow, so it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse, pay close attention to emerging trends, and always be on the lookout for ways to incorporate that into your social media marketing strategy to create timely, relevant and engaging content.
Take your gym membership sales to the next level
The best way to get the word out about your gym is to use a combination of the marketing strategies outlined above.
It will take some time and trial-and-error to determine which are the most effective for your gym—but, keep in mind—the more touch points you create with members and potential customers, the more likely you are to stay top-of-mind and to distinguish your gym from its competitors.
EZFacility’s gym management software offers a full suite of marketing tools and an extensive report suite to help you take membership sales to the next level.
Want to learn more? Try EZFacility for free by scheduling a free, no-commitment demo and product tour.