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Gym Email Marketing: 10 Emails You Should Be Sending

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Although many may think email is dead—the statistics prove otherwise.

A whopping 83% of global consumers say they prefer email when receiving communications from businesses.

And while many fitness brands may focus largely on social media marketing, email marketing offers complementary and tangible benefits when integrated into your larger marketing strategy.

Creating and sending fitness email newsletters is a powerful way to build stronger relationships with members, improve conversion rates, and generate new leads for your gym or fitness studio.

For gym email marketing to remain effective, you’ll need to keep an eye on industry trends to adapt your marketing strategies for success in 2022 and beyond.

Why gyms need an email marketing strategy

With the global shift to digitization, the use and effectiveness of email marketing have skyrocketed over the past few years.

Maintaining ongoing communication with members is fundamental to maintaining your memberships, engagement, and customer loyalty—especially in the wake of the pandemic—and fitness email marketing is an easy way to do that.

You may be wondering if you need to bother creating and sending fitness newsletters—and the answer is, yes.

Regardless of the size of your business, email campaigns are still an extremely effective and valuable marketing tool.

In fact, research shows that email marketing offers the highest ROI of any marketing channel.

Email marketing is an extremely valuable and widely used marketing method in the fitness industry because it helps businesses and consumers connect, build and maintain strong and ongoing communication.

However, as with anything, with increased importance and demand, also comes increased competition—which is why fitness business owners need to have an updated email marketing strategy in place to stay both relevant and ahead of the curve in 2022.

Before we dive in, here are some other ways having an updated email marketing strategy can help grow your fitness business and build brand awareness:

  • Clearly outlines business goals and objectives, and defines how campaign success will be measured
  • Planning everything out ahead of time by using an email marketing calendar provides consistent clarity and direction regarding the next steps
  • Because you already have things planned out (what you’ll be sending and when), you can automate your email campaigns based on your timeline (drip emails) or user behavior (triggered emails)
  • Tailoring your messages to particular market segments helps increase sales by providing content relevant to that audience, which leads to a higher conversion rate
  • Promoting specialized fitness programs and sharing membership news and updates will help you acquire new customers and retain existing ones
  • Provides an optimal customer buying journey by organizing both nurturing and converting sequences of emails
  • Helps grow your email list with potential members who have already shown interest in your fitness brand
  • Distribution platforms offer analytics and reporting, so you can easily assess the performance of campaigns to refine your efforts as needed
  • A high-performing email marketing funnel alleviates pressure from your advertising campaigns and limited spend

So now that we’ve talked about why fitness email marketing is important—let’s talk about where to start when creating your fitness email marketing strategy.

How to get started with fitness email marketing

An email marketing strategy is a detailed plan of action that provides direction and clarifies the purpose of your email marketing campaigns—meaning, it defines and addresses both the micro- and macro-level business needs and aspects.

A fitness newsletter is a form of email communication that is sent to consumers through your selected distribution service.

Fitness newsletters can be used for a variety of purposes—for example, providing updates about your fitness business, sharing relevant industry news and fitness tips, or celebrating members’ milestones.

While the content will vary depending on the purpose and the audience, the ultimate goal of email marketing is to capture readers’ attention and keep them engaged.

When creating your fitness marketing strategy, be sure to include and address the following considerations:

  • What is your overall objective for each campaign?
  • How many email campaigns will you create?
  • How many parts will there be to your welcome sequence?
  • How should you be segmenting your subscriber and distribution lists?
  •  Which segment of subscribers will receive a specific sequence?
  • When is the best time to send emails?
  • What will each campaign be named, and what will the corresponding subject line be?

Below are other key components that will need to be addressed in your fitness email marketing plan:

Defined business goals and objectives for each campaign

Starting with a clear understanding of your goals and objectives is critical to the success of your email campaigns. The focus of your emails will drive the content and design, as well as the relevancy to your recipients.

Defining the specific goal and what you hope to achieve from each fitness email campaign is critical to overall success—because without knowing how relative success will be measured and assessed, how will you be able to determine the effectiveness of your efforts and calculate ROI?

Choose an email marketing software

To launch an email marketing campaign, you’ll need to start by selecting a distribution platform to create, automate and deliver your campaigns to the relevant audiences.

You’ll also need an online form builder to capture the email addresses from your website traffic to grow your distribution lists and build up your fitness business.

Fortunately, most email marketing software solutions also offer built-in form-building capabilities—so you should be able to accomplish both through one service provider.

Here’s what you should be considering when deciding which email marketing system is best for your gym or fitness studio:

  • User-friendly and easy to build
  • Mobile-responsiveness
  • Ability to create tailored distribution lists

Build, segment, and tailor your gym’s email list

Segmenting your email lists can take some time, but it’s extremely important to the success of your email marketing campaigns.

Sometimes general information newsletters are appropriate to send to everyone, but creating tailored lists enables you to deliver the most engaging and consistent content to the right people.

Keep in mind—if you send too many emails that aren’t relevant to the recipients, you risk getting blocked or even reported for spam. 

Types of email campaigns for fitness businesses

Below is an outline of emails we recommend including in your welcome series:

  1. Welcome email

It may seem like a given, but it’s really important to do something to welcome new gym members as soon as they commit to joining your gym.

Sending a welcome email is one of the easiest ways to provide new members with all the essential information they need, and it allows you to reassure them that joining your facility was the right choice.

And, believe it or not, research shows that more than 8 out of 10 people will open a welcome email, generating 4x as many opens and 10x as many clicks as other email types.

If you’re currently using a gym management software like ours, you can easily create a new member email template and manage membership communication seamlessly. But if you’re still managing membership information and sending emails manually that’s okay, too, and we’re here to help.

When creating your welcome email template, we recommend including these key points:

  • Thank new members for joining and choosing your gym or fitness studio
  • Offer reassurance they made the right choice
  •  Provide information about the next steps and how to get started
  • Include a link to your website where they can find practical information
  • Include contact information in case of any questions

Ideally, you should send more than one welcome email to establish a solid relationship and maintain ongoing communication, so you may want to consider creating a series of introductory emails.

Plus, some members may need that little extra nudge in their inbox every so often to keep them motivated.

  1. General and educational newsletter

Sometimes, a “send all” is warranted—as is the case with general newsletters. The content of these campaigns can vary to keep subscribers “hungry” for more and inspire them to improve their lifestyles. In this way, you can also boost your open rates since your content will always be relevant.

General newsletters, usually sent on a weekly or monthly basis, will typically include information relevant to all members—for example, facility updates or new developments, new and upcoming class offerings and schedules, information about emerging trends in the fitness industry, and more.

A weekly or monthly newsletter should be just as informational as it is promotional. If your gym or fitness studio has a blog, this is a great place to feature your latest posts and increase your social media following.

The content of these campaigns can vary to keep subscribers “hungry” for more and inspire them to improve their lifestyles. In this way, you can also boost your open rates since your content will always be relevant

  1. Class schedules and appointment reminders

Every member is different, with different fitness goals in mind.

Some members will want to work out on machines and equipment on their own, while others will want to participate in group classes like aerobics, yoga, or Pilates.

It’s important to send newsletters with upcoming class schedules so your members can see what you have to offer. Since class schedules are subject to change, it’s a good idea to send monthly emails with a schedule of the following month’s classes

In these emails, you should include the days, times, and instructors, preferably with links to the sign-up pages on your website.

You should also include the ability to add classes to the calendars of subscribers in Google or Outlook, which can help them make a firm commitment to attending.

4.   Referral request

Most of us inherently understand the power of positive reviews.

As a gym owner, you’ve probably read some pretty compelling referral marketing statistics—for example, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know, and they’re four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.

Asking current members for referrals through a newsletter can increase your marketing ROI considerably. By creating a referral campaign, you can increase membership numbers while delighting your current members at the same time.

  1. Fitness milestone emails 

Just like sending any other type of email (confirmation, waitlist, newsletter), you send a milestone email when your customer accomplishes one of their goals or anniversaries at your gym or studio.

When you send a milestone email, it’s the celebratory tone and your enthusiasm that help your customer reaffirm why they made a commitment to your gym or studio in the first place.

Celebrating your gym members’ wins with them will strengthen your relationship, bond, and overall confidence in you as an instructor.

  1. Gym special offers and promotions

Email marketing is a great channel to promote your special offers due to its inherent “personal” nature. Moreover, you can also leverage urgency to create an irresistible message that your subscribers won’t ignore easily.

We’ve all seen a sampling station at the grocery store that allows you to try a new food or drink, but only for that day for a limited time. But after you’ve tasted a sample (if you haven’t before), you can decide if you’d like to take the product home or not.

The same theory applies to new gym members. Some people aren’t ready to make such a huge financial commitment to a new gym, especially when they’ve never used it before.

Offering free 7-day trials allows new potential members to experience your gym’s culture, customer services, and equipment without any required investment on their end.

  1.  Fitness challenges

When it comes to fitness challenges, the opportunities are limitless! You can choose to structure challenges any way you’d like, and it’s a great way to keep your online and offline customers engaged.

But to get members to sign up, they need to know about them first. Sending email newsletters is a great way to inform members of upcoming fitness challenges, which also makes it easy to forward along to their friends who may also have an interest in participating.

So be sure to send occasional newsletters to inform your members any time you launch a fitness challenge, and one or two more times leading up to the challenge before the cut-off date.  

What makes an effective gym marketing email?

Here are five core elements needed to create captivating fitness email campaigns that will immediately catch readers’ attention:

1.   Snappy, attention-grabbing headlines

The subject line is one of the most important parts of your email. We’re all busy people, and most recipients will make a snap judgment about whether or not to read your email based on the headline alone.

To entice readers to open your email, your headline should be a balance between being informative and intriguing.

  1.  High-quality, captivating visuals

Visuals are the first thing we look for, so the reader’s eye will be immediately drawn to whatever visuals you include. Using rich imagery is a great way to highlight an essential point and keep your readers engaged.

But it’s important to find the right balance between text and imagery because using too many images will increase your load times and risk losing the reader’s interest.

3.   Make text easy to scan

The simplicity of your fitness newsletters is key to their readability.

The majority of your subscribers will open your emails on their mobile devices, and long blocks of text can quickly cause readers to lose interest.

Break up your content into shorter, more digestible chunks.

4.   Include a clear call-to-action

If you want your readers to take specific action after reading your email, tell them.

Guide your readers to a clear call-to-action button so they understand the purpose of your email, and make it easy for them to do what you’d like.

5.   Optimize for mobile use

The vast majority of your subscribers will likely be reading your fitness newsletters on their phones or other mobile devices.

For this reason, you want to make sure your template is optimized for mobile use to provide a seamless user experience.

Leveraging email marketing automation

Doing all of the above becomes extremely difficult without the right tool. 

Most email marketers and business owners prefer to leverage email marketing automation for the following key reasons:

  1. Easy to set up and easy to use daily—an intuitive, user-friendly interface is necessary
  2. Capable of supporting both basic and complex automation requirements
  3. Pocket-friendly—no one wants to buy a tool that will cost them an arm and a leg every month

Measure results and tweak future campaigns as needed

In business, it all comes down to the numbers. Gym owners need to be able to calculate revenue over investment (ROI) to determine whether resources are being allocated efficiently.

It’s also crucial to track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)—for example, open rate, click-through rate, email bounces, and unsubscribe rate.

The data doesn’t lie—so if your campaigns have not been performing well, it’s time to switch it up and try something new. After each campaign, you assess the overall success and tweak things as necessary as you go along.

Conclusion

Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective and conversion-rich forms of digital marketing in the fitness industry and is consistently proven to be a highly effective marketing tool.

To learn how EZFacility’s all-in-one, cloud-based SaaS solution can improve your gym’s customer relationship management (CRM) and make membership management easy, schedule a free tour or online product demonstration today.

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Fitness and Gym Business Ideas for 2022

« Blog | Written by Hannah Gwillim | | (0) Comments

Have you ever tossed around business ideas to break into the fitness world, but had no idea where to begin? 

If you’re on the fence about building a fitness business or starting your own gym, we’re here to say: go for it!

Why not? When you’re passionate about health and fitness, and eager to make an impact on other people’s lives, it only makes sense to earn a living while doing it.

Living in a post-pandemic world, people are starting to prioritize their fitness like never before. This is combined with the fact there are always going to be people who want to eat better, look better, feel better, and be better. So, in no time at all, your small business could result in a ton of profit. In this post, you will find several business ideas to get you started.

1. Become a Personal Trainer

Personal training can be a very flexible career. This means you have options of where you want to work also. The possibilities are endless. You could work at a gym, make house calls, set up pop-up events someplace, and eventually take clients with you when you open your own space. Having a virtual option also allows for ultimate flexibility as a personal trainer. 

Because let’s face it, it’s tough to go at weight loss alone. Most individuals who want to kick start their fitness journey often seek out a personal trainer to get started on the right track. It’s nice to have someone who can assist and encourage you in achieving your personal goals and help you stay the course. So, from a client perspective, once you’ve found a personal trainer you’re comfortable with, you’re willing to follow them to the ends of the earth. Whatever it takes. That’s why personal training will always be a market with high potential.

2. Open a Specialty Gym

When opening a gym, you could make it a free for all, where anyone is welcome to come to do their thing on the equipment. That’s always fun! But, if you are particularly skilled or knowledgeable in a certain fitness area you enjoy, focus on it and transform it into your small business. Some examples may include CrossFit, Powerlifting, boxing, yoga, or dance. Sport-specific gyms are also a great option, as more athletes are beginning to focus on training that will directly help them within their sport. 

CrossFit

Assuming you haven’t heard of the popular branded workout style, CrossFit has taken the world by storm since 2000. There are around 15,000 CrossFit gyms that span across 120 different countries. This popular style of fitness includes high-intensity interval training, also known as (HIIT). This style of training focuses on both strength and conditioning while most often in a group setting. 

Before choosing it as your gym business idea, you may want to consider the costs of opening a Crossfit gym. First, you’ll have to get certified through a weekend workshop. This workshop costs $1,000 and helps participants to learn the safe, correct techniques to perform workouts. After you are certified, fees to Crossfit will tally a total of $3,000 a year. Though this may seem like a lot, Crossfit is a well-known workout brand, which can help your gym gain traction when first starting out. If you want to start a gym with high-energy workouts and a tight-knit community feel, starting a CrossFit gym might be the right fitness idea for you!

Yoga Studio

People head to their yoga mats daily for many reasons. Not only does it improve overall flexibility and physical fitness, but it’s also a way to de-stress and clear the mind. And the better news is, this health trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Having a virtual option will be very beneficial in this sector as well. 

So, if you love yoga and want to help others work toward finding their spiritual grounding, take steps toward getting your yoga license and becoming a certified yoga fitness instructor. Most basic yoga teacher training programs start at 200 hours of yoga instruction, while the more intense certifications require 500 hours of training. 

A great way to start researching this gym business idea is to visit local yoga studios and introduce yourself to the owners and instructors. You can find out about local training programs where you can earn your certification, business advice, and what fellow fitness professionals have done to make their yoga studios successful. 

Dance Studio

If you are passionate about dance, you could open a dance studio. The best part is, that dancing can be a great workout for anyone! Dancing can be an exceptional avenue to staying physically fit and healthy in a fun, engaging way. Zumba is one example of how dance can be used for fitness purposes. While there are studios for more technical dance training, Zumba is great for anyone! 

Boxing Gym

Although it makes for an entertaining sport, the benefits of boxing are expansive. According to Forbes, trends showed that boxing has grown more than any other sport from 2010 to 2020. In addition to increasing hand-eye coordination, boxing is great for cardiovascular health. In a world where heart health is more important now than ever, boxing is a good way to promote a healthy heart. Boxing is also at the center of amazing gym communities. Whether you want to have a place for boxers to train, fitness goers to enjoy great workouts, or both, opening a boxing gym is another fantastic business idea to circulate!

Sports-Specific Gym

Maybe you have a specific sport in mind that is dear to your heart. If the answer is yes, there is good news for you! More and more athletes have begun to seek out sport-specific training. As competition becomes tougher, this is a great way for athletes to get ahead and excel at their sport. Across the country, more and more sports facilities have been setting up shops, including those that focus on training for baseball/softball, football, basketball, ice hockey, and track and field—to name a few. 

Sports performance training can be quite lucrative because of how niche and desirable this expertise is. Athletes who are serious about improving in their sport are willing to travel, invest more time, and pay extra to receive proper training. If you have advanced knowledge in how to optimize sports performance for athletes, this business idea can give you a competitive advantage over average gyms. 

3. Virtual Fitness

It is without question the pandemic changed the way we live in some shape or form. While this came with some hard changes, it also developed unique opportunities. Virtual fitness is an opportunity that many people are interested in, especially when the crunch for time doesn’t allow making the drive to the gym and back. Why not just pop open a smart device and get your workout in from home? This is a great option for individuals with busy schedules, and an equally great option for trainers who want to offer their fitness business from anywhere!

Having a virtual fitness option also allows you to record classes in advance. This can be a great time saver for both you and your clients. This way, you only have to run through the session once while your clients have the ability to access workouts whenever they are free! 

Virtual classes can be paid offerings, which introduce a good revenue stream for your business. But it is also important to consider how free virtual classes can be utilized to bring in new customers. Something that plagues most prospective gym goers is an unwillingness to commit to a training program, which is often driven by the client not knowing whether a specific gym or fitness service will be the right fit for their goals. Hosting free virtual fitness classes can be a good vehicle to break the ice for these individuals.  

Having a live virtual class option can also be a great way to have the community feel of a workout class, but from wherever your feet are! The possibilities are truly endless for virtual fitness, making it a great gym business idea to try.

4. Group Fitness Instruction

When it comes to physical fitness, it may be harder for some individuals to stay consistently motivated or held accountable. This is where a group fitness option can shine. If you offer group fitness classes, this can boost motivation and accountability amongst your clients. In return, your clients can stay consistent with their fitness goals while creating a unique team environment. This environment can be appealing to those who are just beginning their fitness journey as well.

Offering group fitness is another great way you can offer more to a larger client base. One-on-one sessions with personal trainers can hinder your availability and be more expensive than some clients are willing to invest. Group fitness can help you be more efficient with your time as a trainer while simultaneously providing a more affordable option for clients. Not only are you able to motivate a group fitness class, but your clients will also begin to build relationships amongst the group, furthering their motivation and loyalty. 

5. Outdoor Fitness

While some like to keep fitness and enjoying the outdoors separate, some people love to combine the two! Outdoor fitness has become popular recently, as it boasts not only physical fitness but fresh air and Vitamin D. Outdoor fitness classes can also be a part of your group fitness or bootcamp sessions. Mix it up one day and enjoy an outdoor space for your fitness business! In addition to bootcamps, outdoor fitness can include many creative fitness business ideas such as hiking, yoga, cycling, and even watersports if the landscape is right.

6. Bootcamp Fitness

Running a bootcamp program can also be a fun way to run your fitness business. Bootcamp fitness programs are usually high-intensity interval training (HIIT) based workouts. Hosting a bootcamp for a specified amount of time, or as a special weeklong program can also be a great gym business idea to get you started. Bootcamp fitness is a fun way to engage all different gym-goers. Weather permitting, bootcamp fitness in an outdoor space can be another appealing layer to add!

7. Workplace Fitness Instruction

 Believe it or not, another area where fitness is being promoted further is in the workplace. Promoting workplace fitness and healthy living is a win-win for both employers and employees. If you want to start a fitness business that works exclusively or partly with corporate offices, there is a space for it. Workplace fitness instruction is also a great area to work in fitness challenges among staff. Healthy competition can be motivating and promote consistency within fitness habits.

8. Become a Physical Therapist 

Do you have to go to school before you open a fitness business? Not necessarily. If you’re ready to get started right now, you will be happy to know there are plenty of fitness careers that only require certifications.

However, if you are good at hitting the books, it’s never a bad idea to earn a bachelor’s degree or doctoral degree, in any health-related field. These credentials can open the doors to many more fitness career possibilities like physical therapy.

With a physical therapy business, you can coach patients on how to manage or prevent injuries, like athletes. Becoming a physical therapist also comes with some great benefits. Physical therapy is a field that will continue to have above-average growth through 2029, so there is plenty of demand for the occupation. Physical therapy also has a high national average pay, as well as many different areas to break into. A few of these areas include sports, orthopedics, geriatrics, and women’s health. This option also boasts great flexibility to better your work-life balance. If you want to research more benefits and possible cons of becoming a physical therapist, you can give this article from Indeed.com a read

 9. Nutrition

If you’re more interested in what goes into the body, perhaps your gym business will include becoming a nutritionist to help with meal plans, weight loss, and healthy eating. After all, only a small percentage of results comes from the actual working out. The rest of a client’s results depends on what type of fuel they are loading up on and if they are eating healthy or not.

What’s especially great about the nutrition profession is that you can find work anywhere. If you want to be a nutritionist in someone else’s gym, cool. If you want to be a nutritionist in your gym, equally cool. You could start anywhere and branch out to your own place of business as your experience grows. Being a nutritionist is also an amazing way to make a huge impact on an individual’s overall health. 

10. Meditation/Mindfulness Coach

As our world evolves and life becomes more and more demanding, people seek out ways to help them stay grounded. Becoming a meditation or mindfulness coach is a great path toward helping individuals maintain mental health, which is critical to one’s overall health and physical well-being. If you are interested in becoming a meditation/mindfulness coach, there are plenty of certification courses to help you get your gym business started!

11. Branded Fitness Apparel

Maybe you love fitness, but becoming a personal trainer and/or opening your own gym doesn’t quite fit your style. How can you still impact the fitness community that you’re passionate about? One option is to start your own branded fitness apparel! There is a huge sector of individuals that take pride in their style while reaching their fitness goals. You can take part in each of their fitness journeys by offering apparel that will allow them to express themselves while reaching their various goals. Whether your apparel is geared towards function, fashion, or both, branded fitness apparel is a fitness business idea to consider.

Whether you’re ready to get started on your gym business idea today or want to give it some more thought, we hope this post sparked some creativity! Though knowing the direction of your gym business idea is the first step, you may think about what comes next. You are going to want someone to help you with things like billing clients, organizing class schedules, keeping track of revenue, and much more. This is where a gym management software solution like EZFacility is ready to guide you with all your gym business management needs! To speak with a software expert, you can schedule your free demo today.

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New Gym and Fitness Tech to Watch for in 2022

« Blog | Written by Kira Razavian | | (0) Comments

Keeping up with evolving technology is every modern business’ struggle, and gyms are no exception. Clients will be expecting more and more of your gym as their own personal tech grows and changes.

This list gives you a preview of the fitness technology to look out for this year. Invest only in what makes sense for your business, but always know what’s out there!

Wearables

Wearable technology is popular for personal use, but can also be used at gyms. Most wearable gym tech monitors heart rate and other vitals to give the wearer deeper insights into their performance. There are a few different types.

Wrist monitors

This is what most people think of when they hear “wearable fitness tech.” The Apple Watch and FitBit are some examples. Amazon even has its own version.

While many gym-goers have their own, it may be wise to have a few you can lend to members. Just make sure you have a good system for checking them in and out so they don’t get lost. 

Chest monitors

These work similarly to wrist monitors except they wrap around the wearer’s chest. Heart rate monitors on a chest strap are commonly used in group classes with heavy cardio so participants can see their progress against their target heart rate.

Rings

For those who don’t want something around their wrist or chest, new fitness-tracking rings offer a smaller alternative. They go around a client’s finger and monitor their heart rate from there.

Smart gym equipment

Have you ever wondered if you’re doing an exercise correctly? Of course you have. Smart gym equipment can answer that question for you with real-time feedback and built-in fitness tracking.

Many smart equipment companies also offer class subscriptions. Live and recorded classes can stream right to the device, where participants can monitor their progress on the same screen. Some products also gamify workouts, making the fitness journey more fun (and a little addictive).

Weights

New machines can automatically adjust resistance, track motion, show classes on a mirrored screen, and more. Consumers are impressed.

However, these machines are also very expensive for the average home-gym builder. Adding equipment like Tonal to your facility can bring in curious clients who want to give it a try.

Cardio

Treadmills, rowing machines, and stationary bikes are also getting smart. Companies like Peloton are leading the way, and customers love the ease and benefits of smart cardio. They can follow along with instructors and simultaneously monitor their heart rate.

Another example is the newest model of the Peloton stationary bike. It automatically adjusts resistance based on the class leader’s instructions. Expect to see more equipment on the market that does the easy work for you, so fitness can be the only manual task.   

Smart scales

Your gym likely has a normal scale that simply tells you a person’s weight. But newer, smarter scales are available to help your customers on their fitness journey.

Smart scales can connect to apps on members’ phones, break down body composition details, and calculate body mass index (BMI). Some scales can also connect to other fitness-related apps so all of one’s fitness data can be viewed in one place.

The best part? Many of these scales are under $100. Adding a few to your facility’s locker rooms is attainable and beneficial.

Gym management software

Paper sign-in sheets? Please. It’s 2022!

Gym management software is no longer a nice-to-have. Gym goers expect you to have it. They want their membership easily managed and a smooth, high-tech customer experience.

That’s where software like EZFacility comes in. Extensive features for gym owners and members alike make management easy.

Scheduling

Gym software enables your staff to schedule in one place and avoid overlaps. Members can more easily see the lineup of classes and availability of personal trainers, private rooms, etc. Users can also search the schedule to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Membership management

The hardest part of being a member at a gym should be the actual workouts, not managing a membership. The right software can give power to members so they can see and edit the details of their membership.

Members can also sign up for leagues, tournaments, and individual trainings on their own. This makes it fast for them and reduces the time your staff has to spend coordinating member activities.

Gym staff will also be able to automate fee collection, make different types of memberships, and manage valuable client relationships. Billing and payments are all handled in the same place. 

Point of sale

In an ideal gym world, products for sale don’t need to be in a separate system from memberships and other client info. EZFacility makes that ideal possible since it can act as a POS.

Reporting

Member stats and financial records can be visualized with the right gym software. You can learn more about your clientele and get ideas for business improvements.

Staff and personal trainer management

Members aren’t the only people gyms need to manage. EZFacility gym management software makes managing staff and personal trainers much easier than chasing around emails and phone calls.

Virtual classes

In this age, your gym is not only competing with other local gyms but also competing with online services that offer live and on-demand classes at members’ fingertips. It’s easy to pull up whatever class they want and they don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes.

So how do you reel in those customers who are tempted by the at-home wellness and fitness tech experience? Add your own virtual experiences to your gym’s repertoire.

Video library

Your gym’s website can do more than offer basic info and schedules. Record some classes and add them to a video library just for members.

You can host this on password-protected parts of your website or a private YouTube channel if you want to restrict it to members only. However, a free YouTube channel may also be a great way to bring in new clients!

Live streams

You can also try live streaming some of your popular classes. Do this on your website or start simple and stream it free on your social media pages.

You may be surprised by the response you get. Just make sure to promote the stream so people know when it starts and how to tune in. You could also partner with other gyms or influencers to do joint streams. 

Virtual reality (VR)

Ready to get really futuristic with your fit tech? Virtual reality is gaining popularity in the gaming world, but it’s coming for the fitness industry, too.

Get ready to see more fitness programs for VR headsets. Your members may appreciate the immersive experience.

Fitness recovery tech

Recovery is essential for continued fitness success and growth. It completes the fitness regimen and gets gym members ready for their next round.  

One of the most popular recovery tech companies is Therabody, which manufactures tools such as massage guns, vibrating rollers, compression systems, and more. These devices are well-known in the fitness community and may have a place at your facility.

Soreness/stiffness

Hand-held massage devices can help knead the soreness and stiffness out of post-workout muscles. Therabody’s popular Theragun products come with multiple attachments and massage types.

Whatever brand you go with, offering massage guns to gym members can remind them that you care about their whole fitness process, not just the workout.

Muscle Conditioning

Muscle-simulating electrical pulses can aid recovery and condition muscles. These devices stick nodes onto the skin and can connect to apps that control intensity.

Fitness apps and trackers

The majority of Americans – a whopping 85 percent – own smartphones. Not incorporating that into your gym programs would be a missed opportunity.

Fortunately, many of these apps are cheap or free. We’ve listed a few different types below.

Workout class apps

Subscription workout class services often have their own apps. Users can log in and have an organized video library ready to go.

Your gym could incorporate one of these apps into memberships. Or, create an app with your own video library to really stand out to your members.

Workout trackers

Fitness enthusiasts can use apps to track all their workout stats now. From mapping an outdoor run to recording calories burned during a HIIT session, gym-goers want a way to see all their stats in one place.

Calorie trackers

Apps such as MyFitnessPal help users keep track of their meals, calories, and macros. Adding these types of applications to your gym’s programs can up your training game. 

How to incorporate new technology in your gym

The wide variety of fitness technology available on the market today can be overwhelming. Here are three steps to keep you focused as you add some of this new tech to your facilities and

programs.

1. Survey your members

Send out a survey to your current members to determine their interest in new tech. It’s always better to hear from your customers rather than take a guess and make the wrong investment.

2. Start small

It’s tempting to overhaul everything at once. While large-scale tech updates are impressive, they’re also expensive.

Make investments in new technology little by little. Replace a few machines at a time, or add online classes one type at a time.

Going slowly will also give your gym members time to adjust. It can be intimidating if everything changes overnight. 

3. Stay up-to-date

Your fitness facility’s future success depends on keeping up with consumer demands, and that includes having the latest technology. Keep up with industry news and make it a goal to invest in a few updates every quarter. 

Final thoughts

Your gym doesn’t need to have all the latest devices to be unique – your community, staff, and leadership give your gym the heart customers want. But offering advanced devices never hurts!

As you learn about what your customers want, make sure you’re still taking a step back to look at the full picture. Your job is to provide a place where fitness thrives, not just a place where a bunch of fitness technology sits.

How is your facility treating the whole individual and supporting their goals? All of your gym and fitness tech should revolve around that question first. 

fitness-assessment-pexels-lukas-590022

The Simple Guide to Creating Fitness Assessments for Your Customers

« Blog | Written by Kira Razavian | | (2) Comments

When customers join your gym, they’re looking for one main thing: results. Implementing a fitness assessment system will not only enable your customers to effectively measure their results, but also give you insight into your customer base.

Here, we break down what a fitness assessment is, what factors to consider, the measurements you should include, and how to assess fitness goals.

What is a fitness assessment?

A fitness assessment is a short survey used to evaluate a gym customer’s current fitness level, fitness history, and their goals.

The format can be as simple as a quick Google Form, or you can add in some personal physical assessments.

The benefits of fitness assessments

Fitness assessment data is much more than just a client check-up. Gym owners and other fitness industry professionals can use them to foster community and get new ideas.

Set benchmarks

A well-designed fitness questionnaire can determine a gym client’s current level of wellness. Their results can be used in the future to see how far they’ve come.

These benchmarks can also be used gym-wide. Can your fitness community raise their average scores together?

Understand your clientele

If you organize your assessment data in easy-to-read dashboards, you can see where your gym members’ fitness levels are. Are your customers already very fit and looking to maintain? Are they elite athletes? Or are they average and trying to get better? Knowing where they stand will help you see your business in a new light.

Plan new programs

When you understand your gym’s customers better, you can build your business around their needs. Fitness assessments can help you get ideas for new offerings or exercise programs to go beyond the trends

When to offer a fitness assessment

These questionnaires can be offered as often as they are relevant. Here are a few ideas for scheduling your assessments.

New membership

Offer an assessment as soon as someone signs up for a gym membership. It shows the customer that you are invested in their wellness, and you get valuable data on new members.

Changing goals

Fitness assessments aren’t always one-size-fits-all. Someone looking to pack on muscle and someone looking to lose lots of fat may want very different benchmarks.

Encourage members to fill out a new assessment whenever their goals change. Make sure you have a few different sets of fitness survey questions prepared for these goals ahead of time.

Monthly or quarterly

Many gym members are looking for consistency – and consistent progress. If their goal is long-term, ask them to fill out a survey every month or every quarter.

This will show them how they’re performing against their benchmarks. It will also give gym owners and personal trainers an idea of how effective their programs are.

Elements to consider

When building your facility’s fitness assessment, these basic factors will affect your customers’ answers – and what you do with them. Ask about them directly on the survey and keep them in mind when interpreting answers. 

Age

Different ages have different recommended amounts of weekly exercise. The CDC recommends the following based on the needs of various age groups:

Adults 18 to 64

Those in this age group should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. They should also work in strength exercises at least two days per week.

Adults 65+

Recommendations for these adults are the same as those 18 to 64. However, it’s also recommended that they add in activities that can improve balance.

Physical ability

What is impacting your members’ level of physical ability? For example, someone who uses a wheelchair will have different abilities (and needs) than someone who doesn’t.

For those with chronic conditions and/or disabilities, the CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week in addition to two days per week of muscle training. Pregnant people should also get 150 minutes of exercise per week.

Previous injuries

Past injuries can affect a member’s current abilities. You may want to ask about affected body parts and how long ago the injuries occurred.

This can also inform the types of exercise and warmups you recommend. For example, a member may have the goal of increasing their running distance but have a history of shin splints. Knowing to recommend pre-run stretches will be good for them and improve your client relationship.

Exercise experience

Some of your gym’s members may be seasoned workout professionals. Others may be working out for the first time in their lives.

A member’s experience level will not only affect their answers on your assessment, but also how they interpret their results and recommended course of action. Frequent exercisers will understand gym jargon, but newbies will need a little more hand-holding.  

Diet

A gym member’s diet can help or hinder their progress. If you don’t ask about it directly, make sure to offer more information on diets that will contribute to fitness success.

Capacity and time

How much time at the gym can your customers realistically handle? This will vary depending on family situations, careers, or even how close someone lives to the facility.

Customer goals

The most important thing to keep in mind when someone fills out your gym’s assessment is what their goals are. Their satisfaction with your facility depends on the results they see, and knowing their goals will help you push them toward the results they want.

You can also realistically evaluate their goals using the assessment and the other elements above. For example, say that one of your customers has a goal of losing twenty pounds this month but only has a couple hours a week to come to the gym. Use this to spark a conversation about shifting either their goal or their time commitment.

What to include in a fitness assessment

Before diving into goals and timelines, your fitness survey should start with very basic health questions. It will almost feel like the paperwork you fill out at the doctor’s office.

Then you’ll get a little more granular with some fitness-related assessments. We used this info from the Mayo Clinic for some standard guidelines.   

Height and weight

After name and birthday, ask about height and weight. For those looking to lose or gain, this will act as a benchmark. It will also help you determine the customer’s BMI.

Body mass index (BMI) is one of many ways health professionals can determine if someone has a healthy weight. This calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute uses height and weight to calculate BMI.

Keep in mind that BMI is not always a reliable indicator of a healthy weight, especially for very muscular builds. This is because it doesn’t distinguish between excess fat and excess muscle.

Body fat

In this section of the questionnaire, take some body measurements that will help you determine the customer’s body composition. One important measurement is the waist-to-hip ratio.   

Using a tape measure, record the circumference of the smallest part of the waist and largest part of the hips. If the waist is larger than the hips, that may indicate a health problem.

Next, get a little more technical by breaking down the body composition and measuring body fat percentage. You can do this with simple tools like skinfold calipers or a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) device.

A person’s body fat percentage reflects how much of their body is composed of fat. On average, women’s body fat percentage will be higher than men’s. These charts from Medical News Today break it down further by gender and age.   

Heart rate

Measuring heart health is an important part of getting the full picture of someone’s fitness level. Start with resting heart rate.

Resting heart rate

Your resting heart rate is a measure of how many times your heart beats per minute when your body is at rest. A healthy resting heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

With regular exercise, a high resting heart rate may become lower over time. Get your baseline with the fitness assessment and see how it changes after a few months.

1.5-mile run

Another way to measure your heart health is through an aerobic fitness test, such as running a mile and half. The ideal run time varies by age.

AgeWomen: Time in minutesMen: Time in minutes
251311
3513.511.5
451412
551613
6517.514

Table from Mayo Clinic

Strength and endurance

Use pushups and situps as strength tests to get a baseline level of a gym member’s muscular fitness.

Pushup test

Find out the maximum number of pushups your gym customer can do. They can self-report this, or a trainer can observe them.

On average, men should be able to do more pushups than women and younger people should be able to do more than older people.

AgeWomen: Number of pushupsMen: Number of pushups
252028
351921
451416
551012
651010

Table from Mayo Clinic

Situp test

Count the maximum number of situps your customer can do. They can self-report or get help counting from a personal trainer.

AgeWomen: Number of situpsMen: Number of situps
253944
353040
452535
552130
651224

Table from Mayo Clinic

Flexibility

There are a few different ways to measure flexibility. Start by asking if the gym member can touch their toes from a standing position. Many people measure their own flexibility by this one factor, so it’s good to take note of it before starting an exercise program.

Sit-and-reach is a standard test of flexibility. To get this benchmark, ask the client to sit on the floor with their legs outstretched.

A yardstick should be placed between their legs with their feet landing on either side of the fifteen-inch mark. Ask them to reach as far as they can past their feet, holding for one full second. Use the best of three tries.

AgeWomen: Farthest reachMen: Farthest reach
2521.5 in. (55 cm)19.5 in. (50 cm)
3520.5 in. (52 cm)18.5 in. (47 cm)
4520 in. (51 cm)17.5 in. (44 cm)
5519 in. (48 cm)16.5 in. (42 cm)
6517.5 in. (44 cm)15.5 in. (39 cm)

Table from Mayo Clinic

Building fitness goals into the assessment

Once your customer knows where their fitness level stands, it’s time to record their goals so they can track their progress.

Don’t just leave a blank space where clients can write down whatever goals they want. At the end of your assessment, build in goal-oriented questions that follow the S.M.A.R.T. format.

Specific

A goal like “I want to lose weight” is flimsy, and flimsy goals are hard to stick to. If a gym member wants to lose weight, ask them to be specific. How many pounds and ounces are they looking to lose?

Measurable

A specific amount of weight loss is one example of a measurable goal. Some others include adding a number of reps to a weight lifting set, running a mile a few minutes faster, or losing an inch and a half off their waist.

Every time someone retakes the fitness assessment, make sure to check these goals and record updated numbers. They could also record their own progress if they have personal fitness technology.

Achievable

When asking about their goals, make sure the customer knows whether the goal is realistic. Losing 40 pounds in a month is a stretch, but five might be a good place to start.

Relevant

A customer might think they can get their ex back with a little bit of training, but that’s not something you can actually measure at the gym. Remind customers that their goals should be directly related to what they can accomplish at your facility.

Time-bound

Each goal should have an associated time limit. Whether it’s in a day, a month, or a year, ask exactly when your client wants to accomplish their goal.

Final thoughts

Providing a standardized fitness assessment to your gym customers is the ideal way to make them feel like you’re invested in their progress. A thorough questionnaire that helps members track their goals will help you stand out from the rest of the fitness market and set you apart as a gym owner that cares.

Using this article as a basis for your questions, create a survey that works for your gym. Your facility survey will help current members improve and attract new members.

Summer Fitness Event Ideas for 2022

Fun Fitness Event Ideas for Summer 2022

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Whether you’re looking to spread the word about your fitness club’s grand opening (or a new product or service offering), add additional streams of revenue, increase your social media presence, or build brand awareness, fitness events are a fun way gym owners can promote their facility and any summer promotions they may be offering.

Why Host Fitness Events?

As a fitness club owner, strategically incorporating multiple revenue streams is the best way to create a solid foundation for financial success. Fitness events also help build a sense of community, which will keep current members engaged while also attracting new ones. Additionally, posting about your upcoming event on social media will help generate brand awareness and build your online presence.

Fun Fitness Event Ideas

When deciding which event ideas are the best fit for you, be sure to consider your target audience, goals, and budget to ensure you’re hosting events that your current members will love to keep them engaged, while also attracting new potential members.

Looking for some creative event ideas for the summer? Start here.

1.   Socials

Socials give your members and potential members a chance to connect and interact with each other, with the primary goal being to nurture bonds and build a sense of community. Socials create a space for connections so your local community can grow in and outside of your fitness club. Types of social events can include a special after-hours personal training session for a select group, a non-alcoholic night out, or a healthy eating event.

2.   Pop-up fitness class

A pop-up fitness class gives gym owners a way to generate buzz in a new location or with a new class offering. These types of events can attract a new demographic, spread awareness in previously untapped locations and generate more brand awareness. Consider using parks or other public spaces by arranging partnerships with local businesses.

3.   One-off free fitness class

If you’re getting ready to launch a new fitness class or just hired a new instructor, consider offering a one-off free fitness class event. It’s a great way to give potential members an experience with your gym before they commit to a membership. You can invite influencers from the local community to your launch event to generate more buzz around your new class or fitness instructor.

4.   Workout challenges

Workout challenges are a fun way to keep members engaged and working toward their fitness goals. They help your members set challenging yet realistic goals within a time specified timeframe—and when participants start to see the physical results, they’ll also start to associate your fitness club with success and be more motivated to keep coming back. Workout challenges are also a great way for gym owners to generate new leads, increase referrals, and assist in building long term relationships with clients and the local community.

5.   Health and fitness retreats

Health and fitness retreats are growing sectors. They do require more planning and monetary investment, but they can generate a steady stream of income for gym owners. Yoga retreats, mindfulness breaks, and weekends away give your members the opportunity to connect with your fitness club on a personal level and elevate the brand. Fitness retreats can target current gym members and non-members, and can be held at locations all over the world.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to create a buzz around a launch, generate additional revenue streams, or build brand awareness—the possibilities are endless when planning fun summer fitness events! With a thorough understanding of your target audience, goals, and budget, you can create a fitness event that your current gym members love, while also attracting new members and building stronger relationships within your local community.

How to Make Your Gym Stand Out

How to Help Your Gym to Stand Out From Competitors

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

We all know there are gyms and health clubs 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 your existing ones.

To remain competitive, it’s important to stand out rather than to fit in. So, what can you do to differentiate your gym from competitors?

Read on to learn four ways you can make your gym shine and stand out amongst your competitors.

1. Focus on the Member Experience

In today’s increasingly digital world, ensuring a positive member experience is more important than ever. A great customer experience provides your business with a competitive edge, improves customer satisfaction and customer engagement, and helps you attract potential clients. Conversely, a bad experience has the opposite effect, and can quickly lead people to cancel their memberships, or leave negative reviews online and on social media.

The experience you provide is what makes your gym unique, and it’s what attracts people to your products or services over your 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.

The member experience begins at the first point of contact with customers and encompasses all the touch points throughout the customer journey. 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.

2. Expand Your Digital Fitness Offerings

Online training and on-demand classes were perfect solutions for fitness businesses trying to stay afloat and generate new income streams during worldwide lockdowns and forced business closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, online training became so popular during the pandemic that it secured the no.1 spot in ACSM’s 2021 fitness trends report

The demand for digital and hybrid fitness options isn’t going away any time soon. Many members have grown accustomed to the flexibility, and they still want the option to go to the gym a few days a week, or to get their workouts done at home.

To stay competitive in 2022, fitness businesses should continue to focus on expanding, improving, and marketing online fitness offerings. Consumers now expect a hybrid combination of in-person and online workout options, and they want to be able to research, book services, and communicate with brands easily.

3. Showcase Online Reviews & Member Testimonials

When it comes to business, nothing speaks louder than results. And in the fitness industry, customer reviews and testimonials are a powerful way to showcase results, build trust, demonstrate your ability to deliver an exceptional member experience, and offer social proof that you’re able to help clients achieve their goals. 

Your online presence will affect everything from how many people follow you on social media to your company’s bottom line. For fitness businesses, a positive reputation can help attract new potential clients, entice a better selection of prospective employees, create more business opportunities, improve your local search engine rankings, and more. Conversely, a negative reputation can lead to loss of sales, membership churn, high employee turnover, and other costly consequences.

When a potential client is considering making a purchase decision, they want to make the best choice—and they base their decision on which product or service appears to be superior. Nearly 90% of consumers worldwide make an effort to read reviews before buying products, and 86% of customers rely on word of mouth recommendations and online reviews. These statistics illustrate the importance of your online reputation and digital footprint, as well the impact of positive reviews.

4. Streamline Operations

Gym management software continues to grow in popularity given its ability to increase efficiency and productivity, reduce the risk of human error, save time and money, and enhance the member experience. On top of that, the low upfront cost structure of a cloud-based software solution makes it a financially attractive option for fitness businesses of all sizes.

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.

Gym software makes it easy for members to update payment information, pay outstanding balances, view your calendar, schedule sessions, purchase packages or memberships, register their kids for summer camp or soccer clinics, and more—all online, and all on their own.

Conclusion

For a gym owner to be successful in today’s business climate, it’s imperative to get onboard with the fitness industry’s shift to digital, and to invest in a gym management system that can accommodate changing business needs, in addition to the needs of employees and members.

To learn how EZFacility’s comprehensive gym management software can help you easily connect with members and potential clients, convert leads into long-lasting relationships, and streamline operations so you can focus on the most important aspects of running your business, schedule a free demo and personalized product tour today.

Workout Challenges to Keep Member Motivation High

Motivate Your Members With These Fun Workout Challenges

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Workout challenges are a fun way to keep members engaged and working toward their fitness goals. They help your members set challenging yet realistic goals within a time specified timeframe—and when participants start to see the physical results, they’ll also start to associate your fitness facility with success and be more motivated to keep coming back.

From a fitness business standpoint, workout challenges are also a great way to generate new leads, increase referrals, and assist in building long term relationships with clients.

Key Considerations When Designing Workout Challenges

When it comes to workout challenges, the opportunities are limitless. You can choose to structure them any way you’d like, and it’s a great way to keep your online and offline customers engaged. 

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Once you set your duration for each challenge, be sure it’s communicated clearly to participants so they know what to expect.
  • Promote your workout challenges on your social media pages to generate buzz and encourage more sign ups. 
  • Results can be tracked using a mobile app, gym software, or your staff can create a leaderboard and manually enter results. Participants can take pictures of their results, if need be.
  • An individual challenge has members working toward a set goal, such as running 100 within a certain time frame. Rewards are typically smaller with individual challenges since every participant could be a winner.
  • A competitive challenge has members compete against each other. Since awards are usually tiered and given in the order in which participants finish, rewards are usually larger.
  • Once you determine how many people will be rewarded for participating in your workout challenges, you must decide what the reward(s) will be. Popular rewards include free swag, a personal training session, or a discount on membership.

Read on to learn six of the most popular types of workout challenges.

Six Popular Workout Challenges

So, which workout challenges are best for your fitness facility? The great news is that you can structure them however you’d like—feel free to create your own, or pull inspiration from the examples outlined below:

  1. Most Club Visits

Most Club Visits is an easy challenge to set up and run, and there’s no better way to incentivize your members to come in as much as possible than with a total check-ins challenge.

  1. Improve Your Personal Best by 10%

Most people enjoy certain activities and exercises, and this type of workout challenge encourages members to work toward their long-term fitness goals by improving upon their favorite workout routines—whether that’s rowing, running, walking, or any type of lift.

To successfully run this challenge, ask everyone who wants to participate to come in on a particular day to record their best number to-date and document it.

  1. Cycling Challenges

Cycling challenges work especially well for members who may not be able to run. The challenge can be based on distance traveled, the speed at which it was traveled, or the duration.

  1. Running Challenges

Running challenges are one of the most common types of workout challenges because members can go at their own pace. The challenge can be based on total distance, or the speed at which a certain distance is run.

  1. Rowing Challenges

Rowing is a popular workout because of its aerobic intensity and full-body training, so consider adding a rowing challenge to your repertoire. You can use the machine’s digital dashboard to set time, distance and speed challenges.

  1. Calories Burned

This challenge makes the goal an end-result, so it gives your members a little more freedom to choose the exercises they’re most comfortable with.

Conclusion

Workout challenges can benefit your fitness business by improving member engagement and retention rates, generating new leads, and increasing referrals. They also benefit your members by providing a fun and competitive setting for members to pursue their fitness goals, make friends, and develop a sense of community and belonging. It’s a win:win.

What workout challenges have you held at your gym? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Why Your Gym Needs a Strong Membership Retention Strategy

Why Your Gym Needs a Strong Membership Retention Strategy

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

By now, we’ve all seen the extent to which COVID-19 has disrupted the fitness industry—from the physical location where people work out to the heightened expectations consumers have regarding how gyms should operate and what health and safety protocols should be in effect. 

Fitness business owners should understand that gym members’ 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.

5 Ways to Increase Member Retention Rates in 2022

Getting new members to join your gym is only half the battle. Once new members join—how do you keep members engaged and member retention rates high?

Below are five easy strategies to give your gym retention rates a boost.

1.   Communicate health and safety protocols

With the Omicron BA.2 Subvariant sweeping across the U.S., health and safety protocols are once again top-of-mind for most gym members. Customers now expect gyms to have health and safety standards in place to minimize the transmission of COVID-19—and they want to know what specific steps you’re taking to help keep them safe and comfortable when visiting your gym.

Consider creating a one-sheeter that outlines what steps your gym or health club is implementing and post it throughout your facility, ideally in highly trafficked and visible locations—for example, at the front desk, near the water fountains, on the bathroom doors, etc. You can also easily copy and paste the information from the one sheeter into a newsletter template, and send out an email blast to your database

2.   Focus on the member experience

In today’s increasingly digital world, delivering a positive member experience is more important than ever. Providing an exceptional member experience not only helps you attract new gym members—it gives your facility a competitive edge, and improves customer satisfaction and retention rates.

It’s important to remember that the member experience extends beyond just signing up members—it needs to be emulated across multiple platforms and touchpoints. Additionally, you need to understand how your members think, and what they want.

3.   The hybrid model

The hybrid gym model has become the new norm in the fitness industry. 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. It 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 or available on-demand for members who want to continue with home workouts.

Because the pandemic continues to create new challenges and restrictions on society, a hybrid fitness model puts gym owners in a more secure position to navigate the current climate, as well as future obstacles that may arise.

4.   Small Group Training

As a gym or health club owner, you’re constantly thinking about ways to keep members engaged and improve member retention rates—especially considering 50% of members quit the gym within the first six months. One solution is to provide consistent motivation.

Small group training classes are a great way for gym members to meet, interact and socialize with each other. It also helps them bond with each other, and creates a sense of belonging at your gym. When you have a community of members that are excited to come to your facility and interact with one another, it creates a better overall member experience for everyone. 

5.   Utilize gym management software

If you’re a gym owner, you already know how much time and energy it takes just to manage the day-to-day operations. From scheduling staff and fitness classes to overseeing equipment maintenance and inspections, the number of moving parts at any given time can be overwhelming.

Gym management software continues to grow in popularity given its ability to increase efficiency and productivity, improve communication, save time and money, and enhance the member experience. On top of that, the low upfront cost structure of a cloud-based software solution makes it a financially attractive option for fitness businesses of all sizes.

Conclusion

The fitness industry is still treading uncharted waters, and the pandemic will continue to impact the ways consumers engage with gyms and health clubs. During these uncertain times, maintaining ongoing communication is fundamental to attracting new gym members, as well as keeping member engagement and retention rates high.

To learn how EZFacility’s comprehensive software solution can help you create custom membership plans and effectively manage gym member relationships, schedule a free online demo or personalized product tour today.

Take Youth Soccer Programs Digital with EZFacility

How to Use Digital Marketing to Promote Youth Sports Soccer Programs

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

If your background is in sports and athletic coaching, you may find yourself struggling to understand “the whole marketing thing”—let alone, which strategies and tactics you can use to effectively promote your youth soccer program, increase registrations and enrollments, and build stronger relationships with your team, players’ parents and the community-at-large.

But that’s why we’re here to help!

Read on to learn why building a strong, seamless online experience is more important now than ever, and three things you’ll want to keep in mind when developing a digital strategy for your youth soccer program. 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Youth Soccer

The COVID-19 pandemic completely disrupted youth soccer participation when local governments began imposing business closures, stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies. On top of that, online usage and mobile rates skyrocketed as more people flocked to their phones than ever before.

And now that many children and families are ready to re-engage with youth sports, it’s important to understand how the landscape has changed so you can figure out how to assist and improve future registrations and participation.

Three Ways to Build Your Youth Soccer’ Leagues Online Presence

Here’s a rundown of three things to keep in mind as you build your online presence:

1.   Keep your website up-to-date

It’s not enough to just have a website—you need to make sure your website stays up-to-date, and that it’s mobile responsive. When players’ parents are looking for youth sports programs in their area, their first stop is likely an online search engine or social media platform. To appear in searches, make sure your club is updated regularly with recent and relevant content.

Make sure you create noticeable links or buttons on your site so that players’ parents can find them easily and be able to follow them. This will also help minimize the amount of time your staff has to track down various practice schedules, tournament dates, and so forth.

2.   Use your social media accounts

Social media is an easy and free way to help parents looking for local activities to enrich their kids’ weekends and summers. Having a strong social media and online presence for your youth soccer program is important as it can extend your reach and spread information quickly.

Another easy way to build up interest in your youth soccer program is to regularly post photos of players, their parents, and any related events you may have. People, especially youth soccer players and their parents, love seeing themselves being featured in Facebook posts.

3.   Keep in touch with the community

Stay in touch with both past and present players and their parents. Use your email database to easily send reminders on the new programs, check up on the ones who have missed registrations, and let them know why they should not miss the next.

Offering incentives, referrals, or discounts for early registrations or referring new players is another effective way to give your registration numbers a boost.

The complete solution for your youth soccer league

Your youth soccer league’s path to success involves everything from facility scheduling to online registration and more.

Here are three ways our comprehensive software solution can help:

  1. Registration: Provide clients the flexibility to register as a team or as individuals. Utilize online waivers and simplify fee collection with the use of registration deposits and a variety of processing options.
  2. Scheduling: Generate schedules for your leagues and tournaments reflecting team preferences, venue availability, bye-weeks and tournament seeds using our automated scheduler.
  3. Public Website: Provide clients real-time access to view standings, stay up to date on current league leaders, check scores and even browse through classified ads from teams looking for players.

Want to learn more? Schedule a free demo and personalized product tour today.

Increase Online Sports League Registration Numbers with EZFacility

Five Easy Ways to Increase Your Sports League’s Registration Numbers

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

When you manage a sports league, the most important job during the offseason is promoting your league and securing players. The nature of your sports league will dictate your target audience and potential customers—so the first step is to figure out who they are, what they want, and what forms of marketing they’re most likely to respond to and engage with.

Once you have a solid understanding of your target audience—which, for the purposes of this blog, we’re assuming you do—you’ll be able to effectively utilize the strategies outlined below to guide your marketing efforts, as well as the tone, language and structure of your communications.

Read on to learn five quick and easy ways to increase your sports league’s online registration numbers.

1. Organic Social Media Efforts

Consumers are more dependent on digital content than they’ve ever been in the past. In fact, one recent global study found that engagement on social media has increased 61% over regular usage rates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two of the hottest and most rapidly growing social media platforms you should consider using to generate more online registrations are TikTok and Instagram.

TikTok

TikTok has overtaken Google as the world’s most visited online destination, and boasts a staggering 105% user growth rate in the US over the past two years. TikTok is a free, short-form video and social media app, and is available for download on both Apple and Android devices. The major difference between TikTok and other social media platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, is that TikTok is based on small, short video clips.

When utilized as a part of your larger social media marketing strategy, TikTok can be a great way to promote your sports league by creating fun video content, tapping into a niche community, and engaging with a younger demographic (if applicable to your league).

Instagram

Instagram now has over 1 billion users worldwide, and the social media giant has been shown to have a strong impact on consumer opinions. With the right approach, you can utilize your Instagram page to increase your number of followers, build meaningful connections with your audience, increase your sports league’s online registrations, and gain unfiltered feedback that you can use to evaluate the success of your league management.

2. Paid Ads on Social Media

As of January 2022, there are 3.96 billion total social media users across all platforms. With the average consumer now spending an unprecedented amount of time online, utilizing targeted advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. And, fortunately, there are a number of tools at your disposal that make it easier than ever, regardless of which social media platforms you choose.

3. SMS Marketing / Text Message Marketing

Text message marketing has come a long way since the early 2000s. Today, it’s one of the most highly effective, and cost effective, marketing methods available.

With roughly 97% of Americans owning some type of mobile phone—and approximately 85% of mobile phone users having smart phones—everyone’s more connected, and constantly connected, than ever before. On top of that, the average text message conversion rate is 30%.

It makes sense, then, to utilize SMS marketing to promote your sports league’s online registration page. It’s also a great way to touch base with your contact base, keep them informed of any important changes or updates, and to continue building the relationship in a nonintrusive way. Keep your texts short, friendly, and informative, and be sure to let subscribers know where to find your online registration.

4. Email Marketing

With time and resources limited, it’s understandable that you’ll want to make sure your marketing budget is being allocated wisely and effectively. You may be wondering if email marketing is really worth it, considering all the other marketing options available to businesses nowadays.

The answer is yes—and here’s why: Beyond being able to use scheduling software to create and distribute tailored email marketing campaigns to encourage more online registrations, email marketing has also been shown to be an extremely valuable tool in building upon existing relationships with customers, in addition to reaching new potential customers. 

Keep your emails short and sweet. The copy should be upbeat, visually appealing, easy to skim, and clear in nature. This applies to the subject line as well. And don’t forget to include a clear call-to-action button with a link to your sports league’s online registration page.

5. Sports League Management Software

EZFacility’s sports league management software gives you a complete set of features bundled into one intuitive, responsive platform. Our cloud-based, comprehensive SaaS service simplifies the scheduling and management of fields, courts, leagues, tournaments, teams, coaches, memberships, and more.

Conclusion

All successful businesses—including sports leagues—are built on strong relationships. The stronger the relationship, the deeper the level of customer loyalty and repeat business.

Since successful league management is reliant upon community involvement and engagement, it’s absolutely fundamental that you clearly define—and understand—your target audience so that you can create a solid marketing plan around their needs and preferences to build long-lasting relationships. 

To learn more about EZFacility’s comprehensive sports league management, contact us today to schedule a free no-commitment demo and personalized product tour. 

Simplify Basketball League Registration with EZFacility

Up Your Game With League Management Software and Scheduling

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

When you’re running a basketball league, your head needs to be in the game. So, if you’ve been wondering what you can do to spend less time worrying about registration forms and other time-consuming administrative tasks—you’re in luck!

In this blog, we’ll talk about how basketball league management software can be an affordable solution tailored to meet your league’s unique needs.

What is Basketball Management Software?

Basketball league management software is an online tool that can be used to simplify and streamline the scheduling of basketball courts, teams, coaches, leagues, tournaments, and more.

Benefits of Basketball League Management Software

Whether you’re simply looking to save time on administrative tasks, or need some help managing the more complex aspects—the right basketball league management software can be the difference between a swish or a flop.  

EZFacility’s sports league management and registration software gives you every tool you need to manage your basketball leagues with a complete set of features bundled into one responsive, user-friendly platform that updates in real-time.

Here are just a few ways we can help you save time, simplify online bookings, and improve overall league management:

  • Online Registration: Provide clients the flexibility to register as a team or as individuals. Utilize online waivers and simplify fee collection with the use of registration deposits and a variety of processing options.
  • Schedule Maker: Generate schedules for your leagues and tournaments reflecting team preferences, venue availability, bye-weeks and tournament seeds using our automated scheduler.
  • Public Website: Provide clients real-time access to view standings, stay up to date on current league leaders, check scores and even browse through classified ads from teams looking for players.
  • League Management: Create complex league and tournament schedules in minutes. Keep games running on time with referee assignments, printable scorecards, and photo ID cards for player verification.
  • Customization: Make EZLeagues your own. Transform EZLeagues to match your brand, or embed it within your own website. With familiar customization tools, you can tailor the look-and-feel in minutes.

Additional features include:

  • Real-Time TV Display
  • Custom Color Schemes
  • Automated Game Reminders
  • Sports Specific Game Cards
  • League & Tournament Classified Ads
  • IFrame Integration
  • Officials Management
  • Advertising Capability
  • Detailed Reporting

Take Your Basketball League to the Next Level

If you’re ready to up your game, contact us today to schedule a free demo and personalized product tour.

5 Tips for Your Baseball League

Hard-Hitting Social Media Strategies to Promote Your Baseball League

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Although sports marketing is a bit different than traditional marketing, the fundamentals of the game are the same.

In this blog, we’ll cover five swinging strategies to help you promote your baseball league and increase registration numbers.

1. Create a Winning Game Plan

A sports marketing plan is an outline that should include all of the marketing efforts you have planned for the next month, quarter, or year. It should also clearly define how your marketing efforts directly align and support your league’s goals.

To create an effective sports marketing program for your baseball league, be sure to include the following key elements:

  • Overview of marketing goals and objectives: Your marketing goals should be SMART—that is, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • Assessment of your baseball league’s current marketing efforts: An analysis of the current state of the organization concerning its marketing positioning.
  • Description of your target market and customer needs: Here’s where to include the critical information for your target market—who they are, where they’re located, as well as any preferences, needs, or gaps that will be relevant to your marketing efforts.
  •  Outline of marketing activities: A list of all the marketing campaigns and baseball marketing strategies planned for the period and the indicated timelines.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs): Critical indicators of progress toward a desired goal or target. KPIs provide focus for strategic and operational improvement by establishing an analytic baseline by which to measure success.

2. Leverage Your Baseball League’s Sponsors

Leveraging your sponsors is an easy way to increase your league’s visibility, while also giving them some reciprocal added value. As you secure new sponsorships, ask to collaborate with their marketing teams to come up with clever ways you can cross-promote one another across social media accounts.

By working with your sponsors, you can ensure your messaging and promotions are aligned with what they’re looking for, and help you build strong working relationships that can lead to long-term sponsorship commitments.

3. Share Behind the Scenes Content

Instead of simply sharing photos and videos on game day, drum up some pre-game excitement by giving your fan base and supporters a look behind the scenes. Sharing behind the scenes content feels more genuine, which social media users are more likely to engage with.

Something as simple as posting photos or clips of player warm-ups or practices can have surprisingly positive effects—for example, increasing your online presence, piquing the interest of new potential sponsors, as well as attracting new players and increasing online registrations. 

4. Utilize Branded Hashtags

Hashtags are one of the most wide-ranging (and free!) social media marketing tools at your disposal. They have the power to spread your message across multiple social media platforms, and they can help you track trending topics, engage in relevant and timely conversations, market your sports events, and more. In fact, according to Twitter, Tweets with hashtags get 100% more engagement.

Piggy-backing off of an existing hashtag can be useful for capitalizing on a new trend or hot topic discussion, but be aware that your message could get lost in the noise if the hashtag is, or becomes, highly saturated.

A branded hashtag is a custom hashtag unique to your brand, which is helpful in both paid and organic social media marketing efforts. You can use branded hashtags to create buzz for your baseball league, encourage user-generated content, run contests and promotions, and increase league registrations. 

5. Share Highlights

To successfully market your baseball league, you’ll need to do more than just promote it. People who aren’t able to attend games in-person will still want to feel like a part of the experience, which is why sharing highlights from games on your social media accounts can be a highly effective way to promote your baseball league. This also allows your fan base to share highlights on their personal pages, which will help boost your engagement metrics as well.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for ways to save time on administrative work and streamline league management so you can focus on knocking it out of the park with these hard-hitting marketing strategies, click here to learn how EZFacility can help.

How to Market Your Indoor Soccer Facility

How to Market Your Indoor Soccer Facility

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

According to Deloitte’s 2022 Sports Industry Outlook, the role and duty of sports in society will continue to receive increased attention, with a focus on sustainability and mental health. The study findings also predict the sports industry will continue to see an influx of money from new sources, shifting power dynamics in college sports, more widespread use of emerging technologies, and a greater focus on broader societal issues in 2022.

So even if your indoor soccer facility business is currently booming, it’s good business practice to always be planning for the future and to pay close attention to emerging industry trends to ensure long term success and profitability.

Read on to learn three examples of sports marketing efforts that can help build your brand, attract potential clients, boost sales, and increase your online presence and digital ranking.

Social Media Marketing

Utilizing social media platforms is the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to reach your target market, drive traffic to your website, increase conversions, boost sales, and establish your brand identity and credibility.

Audiences are more dependent on digital content than they’ve ever been in the past. In fact, one recent global study found that engagement on social media has increased 61% over regular usage rates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it’s no longer enough for brands to just create content—to succeed in today’s digital landscape, sports marketers need to understand which social media platforms are best suited for their brand, how to create engaging content tailored to their target market, and how to deliver that content to ensure it’s actually seen by the right people.

While there’s no magic formula to dictate which social media platforms you should use or how often you should post, consistency is key. For this reason, it’s a good idea to start by focusing on one or two social media platforms at a time instead of trying to master them all. 

It’s also important to remember that social media platforms are always evolving to meet the needs of their users, so you’ll want to review your social media marketing plan throughout the year to make sure it’s updated to reflect the current industry landscape and emerging trends.

Two of the hottest and most rapidly growing social media platforms you should consider using to promote your indoor soccer facility business are TikTok and Instagram.

TikTok

If you haven’t heard by now—TikTok is a pretty big deal. So much so, that TikTok has overtaken Google as the world’s most visited online destination. TikTok is a free, short-form video and social media app, and is available for download on both Apple and Android devices. The major difference between TikTok and other social media platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, is that TikTok is based on small, short video clips.

The impact that TikTok has on consumers’ attitudes and purchase decisions is irrefutable. In fact, the social media giant’s influence is so widely acknowledged that the phrase “TikTok made me buy it” has over 4.1 billion views of the hashtag on the app.

When utilized as a part of your larger social media marketing strategy, TikTok is a highly effective way to promote your indoor soccer facility business by creating fun video content, building a niche community, and tapping into a younger demographic. 

(Read more: Why Fitness Businesses Should Be Leveraging TikTok)

Instagram

Instagram now has over 1 billion users worldwide, and 80% of Instagram users say they use the platform for help when deciding to buy a product or service. Instagram’s strong impact on consumers’ buying journey has created tremendous new growth opportunities in the digital sports marketing space.

Now more than ever, social media users want to build bonds with brands, and they’re more likely to base their buying decisions on a company’s purpose and mission. Instagram is a great way to promote a higher level of transparency, and features like Live Videos and Instagram Stories provide you with unique ways to offer behind-the-scenes looks and interesting insights into your indoor soccer facility business.

With the right approach, you can effectively utilize your Instagram page to increase your number of followers, build meaningful connections with users, and gain unfiltered consumer feedback that you can use to grow your indoor soccer facility business.

(Read more: 5 Ways to Maximize Reach on Instagram)

Text Message Marketing

Text message marketing—also referred to as SMS 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 market.

While text message marketing campaigns can sometimes be more expensive than email marketing campaigns—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. 

Text message marketing and email marketing work similarly—but data shows that SMS marketing campaigns consistently outperform its modern-day counterpart, despite its simple and straightforward nature. Text messaging has six times the engagement as email rate of email, and 96% of marketers using text messages said it helped them drive revenue.

If that’s not enough to convince you—more than 69% of consumers would be extremely likely or likely to connect with a brand to receive SMS customer service, and 58% of consumers believe text messages are the most effective way for brands to communicate.

(Read more: What is SMS Marketing and What Are the Benefits?)

Sports Club Management Software

Sports club management software can help manage all aspects of your facility—from coach and lesson scheduling to player invoicing and payments. It simplifies and streamlines the management, marketing, and scheduling of leagues, trainers, memberships, tournaments, and more—all of which helps increase revenue by saving time, reducing error, and creating a more seamless customer experience.

EZFacility’s comprehensive suite of marketing tools allows you to customize and send advanced email marketing campaigns and automated text messages to develop new customer relationships or nurture leads throughout the buying process. With automated email and text message functionality–you can also ensure clients receive the right information at the most opportune time.

Want to learn more? Schedule a free online demonstration and personalized product tour today.

You may also be interested in:

Soccer Facility Business Trends

Key Considerations Before Building a New Sports Facility

How to Increase Revenue at Your Indoor Soccer Facility

Soccer Facility Trends to Watch in 2022

Soccer Facility Trends to Watch in 2022

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Construction of sports and recreation facilities was largely stalled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, creating the immediate need for business owners to quickly identify new and diversified revenues streams as they navigated forced business closures, stay-at-home orders, social distancing requirements, and the global shift to digitization.

The pandemic was catastrophic for many businesses and industries, but especially those that relied almost entirely on in-person sales, operations and participation—for example, sports and recreation facilities, soccer leagues and sports complexes.

The Accelerated Rise of the Digital Economy

With the entire world looking to technology to bridge the gaps left in the wake of the pandemic, we—as a global society—have become entrenched in a time of unparalleled investment and reliance upon emerging technologies.

The global shift to digitization, rapid and ongoing technological advancements and improvements, and paradigm shifts in the way people engage with sports—and each other—have ushered in an exciting new era for soccer leagues, sports complexes, and other sports and recreation-related business.

Three Soccer Facility Trends to Watch in 2022

Below, we’ve outlined three of 2022’s top soccer trends that are predicted to impact everything from sports complex design to soccer player and attendee experiences.  

1.   Multifunctional Facilities & Versatile Spaces

While many sports complexes were traditionally designed to serve a distinct purpose—for example, the investor needed an indoor soccer facility or an outdoor football stadium—we’re now seeing a massive shift to versatility in space usage and advancements in technology to create dynamic, multifunctional spaces that allow for seamless transitions between activities. 

Sport-specific complexes are great in the right context, but they’re rarely able to be used appropriately for recreation centers. And because you’ll want to host as many soccer events, sports games, training camps, and other sports-related events/activities as possible, you’ll need a venue that’s versatile and able to adapt to changing needs to ensure long-term growth and viability by diversifying your revenue streams.

For example, at Tottenham Stadium—home of the English Premiere League’s Tottenham Hotspur—the stadium’s field can be adjusted based on the sport that’s being played. The stadium typically hosts soccer events which require a natural grass pitch—but the venue also hosts two NFL games per season, in which artificial turf is used.

2.   Interactive Kiosks

Placing kiosks—small booths or structures—throughout common spaces of your sports facility is a simple concept that’s been around for a long time. And they’ve been around a long time because they’ve proven their worth.

Traditionally, kiosks were mostly used as information booths and required staff to operate them. But now, thanks to advancements in technology, digital kiosks offer more dynamic, interactive and user-friendly content—as well as advertising and sponsorship opportunities—and they don’t require staff to operate.

For example, AT&T Stadium—home of the Dallas Cowboys—offers interactive kiosks to help fans connect with their favorite football players. Guests can take photos of themselves at the venue’s selfie stations, and then simply press a few buttons to add their favorite players into the picture with them.

Photo kiosks usually prompt fans to input their email address so they can have their photo emailed to them, right then. Then fans are able to upload and share the photo across their social media channels—which, in turn, enables data capture while also boosting your venue’s digital presence, social media engagement, and online ranking.

3.   Robotic Concessions

Concession stands are a must-have for soccer facilities because there will always be a demand for food and beverage options between the soccer players and other athletes, attendees, and staff. It just makes good business sense.

And, fortunately for venue owners—they’re also typically a huge money maker. But let’s not forget that concession stands do come at a cost to sports complex owners—one of biggest costs being the staff required to operate them. As technology continues to improve and advance rapidly, it’s only a matter of time before robotic concessions start popping up in sports facilities of all sizes, all over the world. 

For example, a robotic arm named Flippy was introduced at Dodger Stadium during the 2018 World Series to help manage increased demand for concessions. In 2019, Flippy became a mainstay in Los Angeles as the Chicago-based concession company is working on their technology to increase efficiency and reduce costs inside stadiums.

Flippy has since been spotted working hard at CaliBurger in downtown Pasadena, and White Castle recently announced plans to gradually roll out 100 new Flippy 2s over the next few years.

Conclusion

One big takeaway from the pandemic is that businesses need to prioritize working smarter—and the way to do that is by utilizing technology. We’re not yet clear of COVID, and businesses all over the United States are still facing labor and supply shortages.

As a soccer facility or sports complex owner, the best thing you can do to prepare the future during periods of uncertainty is to start saving money now by utilizing technology to streamline operations, reduce costly errors and inefficiencies, and limit risk.

To learn how EZFacility’s sports facility management software simplifies the scheduling and management of fields, courts, leagues, tournaments, teams, coaches, memberships, and more—schedule a free online demonstration and personalized product tour today.

You may also be interested in:

Key Considerations Before Building a New Sports Facility

How to Increase Revenue at Your Indoor Soccer Facility

Marketing Ideas for an Indoor Soccer Facility Business

Tips to Increase Revenue at Your Indoor Soccer Facility

Tips to Increase Revenue at Your Indoor Soccer Facility

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Over the past two years, flexibility has become essential for businesses to survive all the changes and uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus.

Ensuring your indoor soccer facility can consistently generate a sufficient source of revenue is critical to long term success and profitability. In today’s business landscape, that means getting creative and adapting to changing needs.

If you’re wondering how to achieve this, here are four ways sports facilities can diversify revenue streams to increase profitability and growth potential.  

Multifunctional Sports Facilities

While many sports facilities were traditionally designed to serve a distinct purpose, we’re now seeing a massive shift to versatility in space usage to create dynamic, multifunctional spaces that allow for seamless transitions between activities.

One great example of this is Tottenham Stadium. Home of the English Premiere League’s Tottenham Hotspur, Tottenham Stadium’s field can be adjusted based on the sport that’s being played. The stadium typically hosts soccer events which require a natural grass pitch—but the venue also hosts two NFL games per season, in which artificial turf is used.

In order to host as many soccer events, training camps, group lessons and other sports-related activities as possible, you’ll want a sports facilities venue that’s versatile and able to adapt to changing needs in order to position your indoor soccer facility for long term growth by diversifying your sources of revenue.

Sponsorships

Sponsorships can bring in big money for your indoor soccer facility—but it’s important to be selective about accepting sponsorships. Because you will have to display sponsors’ marketing collateral throughout your facility, it’s important to be selective and only accept support from brands or organizations that reflect your company’s values.

Advertising

Advertising is one of the most effective ways to increase revenue for your indoor soccer facility. It’s a no-brainer to take advantage of idle space by selling advertising opportunities in the most popular areas of your facility where they’ll have the greatest visibility and ROI.

Examples include:

  •  Entrance gate
  • Concession stands
  • Restrooms
  • Scoreboards
  • Perimeter Fences
  • Seating

Sports Facilities Management Software

Sports facilities management software continues to grow in popularity given its ability to increase efficiency and productivity, reduce the risk of human error, save time and money, and enhance the customer experience. On top of that, the low upfront cost structure of a cloud-based software solution makes it a financially attractive option for soccer clubs and sports facilities of all sizes.

Benefits of choosing EZFacility

EZFacility makes it possible to manage your soccer club or indoor soccer facility, from any device with our fully responsive and easy-to-navigate user interface. Save time with simple, clean workflows and processes designed to anticipate your business needs. We’re securely hosted on Amazon Web Services and boast a 99.99% uptime.

Additional benefits include:

  • Sports Facility Scheduling: Simplify your sports facilities management using our color-coded calendar to view resource availability, create reservations, and assign instructors, officials, and coaches.
  • Check-in & Memberships: Scan in members, create detailed client profiles, automatically collect dues, verify player identities and registration status with branded player cards.
  • Point of Sale: Speed up purchases, gain control over your non-recurring revenue, and allow members to make payments throughout your club by simply scanning their ID card.
  • Online Registration: Allow players to register online for leagues, tournaments, camps and clinics. Provide online access to forms, waivers, and payment history.
  • Coach & Lesson Scheduling: Manage all aspects of league and tournament scheduling and provide real-time team schedules, registration, stats, and standings on your website.
  • Billing & Payments: Consolidate all revenue streams into one system to track the sale of packages, memberships, and point of sale items.

Want to learn more? Schedule a free online demonstration and personalized product tour today!

You may also be interested in:

Key Considerations Before Building a New Sports Facility

Marketing Ideas for an Indoor Soccer Facility Business

Soccer Facility Business Trends

What to Know Before Building a New Sports Facility

What to Know Before Building a New Sports Facility

« Blog | Written by Emily Duty | | (0) Comments

So, you’re thinking of building a sports facility and you’re doing a little homework first. Congratulations!

In this blog, we’ll cover key items to consider before embarking on this exciting new business journey.

First Things First

When creating anything in life, a solid foundation is key. In this case, a literal solid foundation is what you will need. That requires proper funds, appropriate regulations, and reliable contractors.

Funding

Name an adventure that doesn’t encounter a few hiccups, right? Nobody wants them to happen but being prepared can save time, money, and setbacks. Calculate how much money you will need for the entire project from start to finish. Then, tag on a bit more to cover emergencies and unplanned hurdles.

Regulations

Next, check with your local municipality center. Each local municipality center has information related to specific zoning and building regulations. You, of course, want everything done up to code and that is smart thinking. As the age old saying goes, “Haste makes waste.”

Contractors

Look for contractors with great reviews and plenty of experience building sports facilities. Check out their website and past projects, too. And really take your time selecting one. Your vision is only as strong as the company building it.

Sporting Events and Parking

Before determining the size of the sports complex and building type, two things are crucial. And, they go hand in hand. First, you need to imagine the future sports events you want to hold in your sports complex. After that, think about the amount of parking needed to accommodate everyone. And then some! Because remember, you will be competing with other nearby facilities for guests.

Parking

Parking gets a second shout-out here because it is often overlooked. Many places decide on minimum parking. The problem with minimum parking is, it doesn’t allow for growth and expansions down the line. So, adequate parking space is a big deal! 

Also, the location and layout matter. When designing a parking lot, think about the distance from the playing field.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How far will guests have to walk from their vehicles to the sporting events?
  2. Are any vehicles in danger of being hit? Because depending on the sport, there could be a chance of stray balls and broken windshields. This means you might need proper signage, protection nets, or a different layout.
  3. Speaking of the layout, is it easy to navigate, and is congestion going to be an issue?
  4. What is the type of lighting you are thinking about? Proper nighttime lighting is important for safety and security. But it also raises your budget. So, start listing cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly, options like LED.

Athletic Surface and Weather Conditions

The athletic surface and outdoor weather conditions also go hand in hand. And they matter to the teams who will be playing at your facility. There are pros and cons with natural grass and artificial turf. Artificial turf is pricklier and more prone to heat. And natural grass requires maintenance such as mowing and pesticides. Whereas, artificial turf does not. Also, natural grass can become muddy and slippery after a rain downpour.

If your playing facility is outside, consider installing a lightning detection system. Most events are during rain or shine. But for a more weather-controlled option, indoor sports facilities are great, too. Some might even prefer it. Here’s why.

Conclusion

Building a new sports facility can be a lot to think about. This list is only the beginning! Once you’re up and running, some other key considerations include creating a business plan, researching management software programs, building out a solid team, and incorporating marketing strategies. Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date with more industry tips.

You may also be interested in:

Soccer Facility Business Trends

How to Increase Revenue at Your Indoor Soccer Facility

Marketing Ideas for an Indoor Soccer Facility Business

Baseball Facility Management Software by EZFacility

Benefits of Sports Club Management Software

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Sports club management has never been easier, thanks to the rise of sports facility and league management software.  Sports club management software helps facility owners manage all aspects of their sports facility—from coach and lesson scheduling to player invoicing and payments.

By streamlining the scheduling and management of your baseball facility, you’ll save time and money, improve member management, kickstart new growth opportunities, and more.

Benefits of Sports Club Management Software

Sports club management software makes it easy to manage your entire baseball or batting cage facility with a complete set of features bundled into one intuitive, accessible, secure, and responsive platform.

Improve Communication & Collaboration

Communication barriers can lead to misinformation, misunderstandings and errors, all of which end up costing valuable time and money. Sports club management tools make communication and collaboration between staff members easy by providing a centralized platform for real-time collaboration, brainstorming and problem solving.

Having one central hub where your team can quickly access and communicate about vital information in real-time helps them collaborate faster and more effectively, reduces the risk of miscommunication, improves team performance, and increases operational efficiency.

Save Time & Money

Being able to accurately track and assess the actual amount of time, staff, equipment, and resources required to cover everyday operations is absolutely vital to long-term success. 

When all of your customer and league information is organized in a central database, your staff can easily access all the information necessary to keep track of rentals, financial records, status of participants’ forms, rosters, and contact information.

Benefits of Choosing EZFacility

EZFacility’s comprehensive software solution makes it easy to manage your entire baseball or batting cage business with a complete set of features bundled into one intuitive, accessible, secure, and responsive platform.

Here are just a few ways we can help you grow your baseball facility:

Accessible anytime, anywhere—and always secure!

Manage your baseball facility anywhere from any device with our fully responsive easy-to-navigate user interface. Save time with simple, clean workflows and processes designed to anticipate the needs of your staff. We’re securely hosted on Amazon Web Services and boast a 99.99% uptime.

Streamline Scheduling

Maximize coach productivity, save time and increase your cash flow. Define pitching coach availability, quickly update batting cage schedules, create single or recurring sessions, and send clients automated emails and text reminders.

You can also generate schedules for your leagues and tournaments based on team preferences, venue availability, and tournament seeds using our automated scheduler.

Streamline Billing

Choosing a sports club management software that includes integrated payment processing is a huge plus. Simplify your billing process with customized payment schedules, automated invoicing and expiring credit card reminders. Accept online payments and track package, membership and equipment sales.

League Management

Enroll, maintain, track and retain players. Quickly access detailed player profiles, create coaching packages, track attendance, alert members to schedule changes, and target new revenue opportunities.

With EZFacility, clients have real-time access to view standings, stay up to date on current league leaders, check scores and even browse through classified ads from teams looking for players.

Automate Billing Invoicing & Payments

Simplify your billing process with customized payment schedules, automated invoicing and expiring credit card reminders. Accept online payments and track package, membership and equipment sales.

Conclusion

There are countless advantages to sports club management software–and ours can be customized to meet your specific business needs!

Want to learn more? Schedule a free online demonstration and personalized product tour today.

How to Market Your Batting Cage Business

Key Elements of a Sports Marketing Plan

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Knock it out of the park with these hard-hitting baseball marketing strategies

You may have the best batting cage facility in the world—but if no one knows about it, your business most likely won’t succeed. If you want to start or grow a batting cage business, people need to know you exist—and the way to make that happen is through marketing.

We know it can be challenging to figure out where to allocate your marketing budget and resources, and what your marketing mix should include. So, read on to learn some sports marketing tips and baseball marketing strategies to help you build up your batting cage business.  

What Is a Sports Marketing Plan?

A sports marketing plan is an outline that should include all of the marketing campaigns and marketing strategies you have planned for the next month, quarter, or year. It should also clearly define how your marketing efforts directly align and support your business goals.

Key Elements of a Sports Marketing Plan

An effective sports marketing plan should include the following key elements:

  • Overview of sports marketing goals and objectives: Your marketing goals should be SMART—that is, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • Assessment of your baseball facility’s current marketing position: An analysis of the current state of the organization concerning its marketing positioning.
  • Description of your target market and customer needs: Here, you will include your target marketing demographics
  • Outline of marketing activities: A list of all the marketing campaigns and baseball marketing strategies planned for the period and the indicated timelines.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs): Critical indicators of progress toward a desired goal or target. KPIs provide focus for strategic and operational improvement by establishing an analytic baseline by which to measure success.

Examples of Sports Marketing Strategies

The options are limitless when it comes to sports marketing, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why it’s so important to have a strong marketing plan in place—it forces you to think through the important steps required to achieve your marketing goals.

While the specifics will vary based on your unique business needs, below are four tried-and-true marketing strategies you should consider for your batting cage facility:

1. Create targeted ad campaigns on social media

With the average consumer now spending an unprecedented amount of time online, and nearly half of the global population using social media, utilizing targeted advertising is one of the most effective ways to market your batting cage business. And, fortunately, social media networks—like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok—have made it easier and more cost-effective than ever.

In terms of performance and engagement, social media ads that contain video strongly outperform those that use static images, so it’s worth investing the time to create engaging video clips to get the greatest return from your ad spend.

2. Focus on content marketing

Outbound marketing is the old way of doing business. With more people turning to their digital devices to interact with sports brands, your marketing mix should include a heavy focus on digital content creation.

Considering content marketing can generate over three times as many leads as outbound marketing—and costs approximately 62% less—it’s pretty clear why investing in content marketing makes sense for sports businesses and baseball facilities.

3. Demonstrate value using social media

Social media marketing is no longer optional—it’s a must. In a world now dominated by digital marketing, consumers’ feeds are being flooded by businesses vying to capture their attention. It’s no longer enough to just create content—your content needs to be compelling enough to break through the noise, capture viewers’ attention.

4. Utilize Text Message Marketing

Text message marketing has come a long way since the early 2000s. Today, it’s one of the most highly effective, and cost effective, marketing strategies available. You can use push notifications to attract new customers to your batting cage facility by offering them a free trial or guest pass, a discount on their first visit, or free branded swag if they sign up to receive texts.

A push notification strategy is also an effective way to keep customers engaged with your business, improve retention rates, and boost revenue. Today’s consumers want to build relationships with brands—and push notifications help strengthen the bond with your customers by offering a simple, familiar way to keep in touch. In fact, one study found that push messages increase retention rates three to 10 times, and increase engagement by 88 percent!

Conclusion

With the global tendency continuing to shift toward digitization, creating a strong sports marketing plan with a heavy focus on digital marketing is an imperative.

To learn how EZFacility’s comprehensive software solution can help you attract new customers, nurture leads, increase conversions, and grow your batting cage business, schedule a free online demonstration and personalized product tour today!

How to Write a Batting Cage Business Plan

Why You Need A Batting Cage Business Plan

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

If you want to open a batting cage business, the first step is to develop a comprehensive business plan. Creating a business plan will help you develop a greater understanding of your industry, competitors, target market, and help you identify ways to differentiate your facility so you can plan for long term success. 

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a written document that defines company goals and objectives, and explains how the company plans to achieve those goals. The best way to set yourself up for future success is to start with a solid plan—and an effective business plan should guide you through the phases of starting, managing and growing your batting cage business.

Although business plans are especially helpful for new businesses, every company should have one.

Do I need a business plan?

Think of your business plan as the compass that will guide your batting cage business and keep everyone moving in the right direction. Your business plan is the place to put all of your thoughts and plans in one place, so it’s important to take your time to ensure you cover all elements and aspects of your batting cage business.

Having a strong business plan will help you:

  1. Assess your competitors
  2. Develop a greater understanding of your target market
  3. Serve as a guide to grow your business
  4. Help you reach milestones
  5. Help you secure funding

What should my business plan include?

Below is an overview of key areas to include when creating your batting cage business plan:

1. Cover Page

A small yet fundamental component of your business plan is the cover page, which should include the name of your batting cage business, location, and contact information.

2. Table of Contents:

The table of contents is where you’ll provide an outline of what readers can expect to find in your business plan. It also helps readers quickly skim or skip to the areas of greatest interest.

3. Executive Summary:

The executive summary is where you’ll summarize the contents of your business plan in a concise, detailed and compelling way. This section should be no longer than one page, and should answer key questions such as:

  • What are your business goals and how will you achieve them?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What are your financial projections?
  • What’s your competitive advantage?

4. Industry Background

In this section, you’ll provide past and current information about the size, trends and critical features of your industry. This section should answer questions such as:

  • What is the industry?
  • What is the industry outlook?
  • Who are the competitors?
  • What are the barriers to entry?

5.   Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should provide key information about your major competitors, as well as an assessment of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.

6.   Market Analysis

Learning about your target market and their needs, preferences and demographic data is an integral part of any business plan. By identifying and understanding your target market, you’ll learn how—and where—to reach and connect with them. This section should also demonstrate that there is a real need or demand in the market that your new batting cage business will fulfill.

7.   Sales and Marketing

In the sales and marketing section of your business plan, you’ll explain how you plan to allocate marketing resources to most effectively reach new customers and convert them into long term customers. Be sure to include specific marketing strategies and explain how they align with business goals and objectives.  

8.   Cost Projections and Funding

The financial section is the foundation of any good business plan. It should provide current and future projections of your facility’s financial performance, and show how much money you need to generate in order to be profitable and poised for continued growth.

Conclusion

When opening a batting cage business, having a well-researched and comprehensive business plan in place is vital to the success of your company. Your business plan will be your guidebook to growing your facility, and will also serve as a benchmark to measure success year-after-year.    

To learn how our baseball facility and league scheduling software can help you manage all aspects of your batting cage business—anytime, anywhere, and from any device—sign up for a free trial and online demonstration.

How to Start a Batting Cage Business

How to Open a Batting Cage Business

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

As the saying goes, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” For baseball and softball enthusiasts, opening a batting cage business is an opportunity to turn passion into purpose—and profit.

A batting cage business provides a place where baseball and softball players, teams, and the general public can practice the sport in a safe environment and improve their game. And while the majority of customers will be baseball and softball players—batting cages are also a popular source of entertainment for families, friends, couples, and individuals who enjoy the sport.

So, if you’ve ever thought about opening a batting cage business—you’re in luck!

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the basics of opening a battle cage business so you can start planning and turn your dream into a reality.

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Batting Cage Business

Like any new business venture—opening a batting cage facility will require significant preparation, planning, and investment. It’s absolutely critical to do your due diligence so you know what to expect, and can prepare accordingly.

Below, we’ve put together a simple guide to starting a batting cage business. Following these steps will help make sure your new business venture is well-planned, properly registered, and legally compliant.

1.   Name Your Batting Cage Business

Choosing a name for your batting cage facility may be one of the most fun decisions you’ll make as a new business owner—but, be aware, it can be deceptively difficult to decide on a name that’s both straight forward yet intriguing, and one that will mature well with your business. Your business name will be around with you for a long time, so it’s important to carefully consider your options.

Once you’ve decided on a name for your batting cage business and confirmed its availability, it’s important to secure your domain name and social media handles as soon as possible—and before someone else does—so you can start building your online presence.

2.   Define Your Target Market

Most likely, the majority of your customer base will be baseball and softball players of various ages and levels). But, keep in mind, sports facilities that offer other entertainment options—like indoor soccer, mini golf, or go-karts—and dining options will typically appeal to a wider audience (like families and friend groups), and are more likely to draw a consistent crowd by appealing to a wider audience.

You may want to consider purchasing a marketing research report to help you better understand the surrounding community and its needs. This critical insight will help you decide how your batting cage facility can specifically fulfill those needs and add value to the community, which will largely impact your long-term viability and success. 

3.   Choose a Location

“Location. Location. Location.” It’s one of the most popular sayings in business for a pretty obvious reason—location matters. A lot. The physical location you choose for your batting cage business may very well be the difference between success or failure.

Your customer base will be heavily influenced by the location you choose. For example, if your facility is located near a school district or neighborhoods with young families, you’ll attract a larger customer base than you would if your location is far removed from residents, is in an unsafe on undesirable location, is located near competing businesses, or is in an area where residents have little to no interest in the sport.

You’ll also need to decide whether you purchase or lease a property as this will impact your location options. Once you find a location you love that’s within your budget, you’ll need to check the local zoning requirements to make sure your businesses will be in compliance so you don’t run into any unexpected legal issues.

4.   Complete the Legal Aspects

There are a number of legal requirements to opening a batting cage facility. In addition to registering your business name with the county clerk, you’ll also need to file articles of incorporation or articles of organization with your state government and pay a filing fee. It’s also recommended to purchase a business owner’s insurance policy, which will provide liability and property protection for your batting cage business.

5.   Purchase Equipment & Supplies

Now it’s time to shop!

Prepare a list of everything you’ll need before opening your doors—from desk pens and balls and bats to batting cages and pitching machines. You’ll also need to create a floor plan with dimensions noted to ensure you have the space and a plan for where everything will go.

6.   Leverage Technology to Maximize Efficiency

As a batting cage business owner, it’s crucial to stay aware of what new technology is on the horizon, how it may benefit you, and how it will affect the larger industry landscape. Equally as important, you must be willing to adapt and invest in technology to improve your business operations and remain competitive.

Baseball facility and league management software makes it possible to automate your most complex processes—thereby saving you time and money—while also improving operational efficiency, communication, membership management, and more.

Conclusion

Starting and growing a batting cage business will require strategic planning and significant investments of time, money and resources—but there’s no better place to invest than in yourself, and in your business!

EZFacility’s comprehensive software solution makes it possible to manage your batting cage business from any device with our fully responsive easy-to-navigate user interface. Save time with simple, clean workflows and processes designed to anticipate the needs of your staff.

Want to learn more? Schedule a free online demonstration and personalized product tour today.

which-web-browser-is-best

Which Web Browser Should I Use to Access My EZFacility Software?

« Blog | Written by Miranda Pruitt | | (0) Comments

Most likely, your preference for a particular web browser is based on your experience with specific devices or brands. Mac and iPhone users are familiar with Safari. PC users know Microsoft Edge. Android users are accustomed to Google Chrome.

When it comes to your software, however, certain browsers can offer distinct advantages. “At EZFacility, we recommend Chrome to our clients,” says Greg Barra, Manager of Support & Training. “Not only is it a popular browser, it’s also easy to use and offers some of the best add-ons and customization, which makes it a good option for our users.”

Why is Chrome our favorite web browser?

While each browser offers advantages, Chrome stands apart from its competitors as the most popular choice for e-commerce users. “Since Chrome is the market leader, it made sense for us to optimize our system to perform on the platform,” commented EZFacility’s Director of R&D, Mike Vidal.

Chrome offers best-in-class security, an intuitive interface, and an extensive library of third-party extensions to enhance the user’s experience. It offers excellent malware protection on almost any device, giving you peace of mind as you use your club’s management software. You can also customize your Chrome homepage, which puts your EZFacility software and other vital business tools at your fingertips at all times.

To use Chrome to access your EZFacility software, simply Download Chrome and follow the instructions below to make it your default browser.

How to set Google Chrome as your default browser on Mac:

  1. If you haven’t already, Download Chrome.
  2. Launch Chrome.
  3. Click the three vertical dots in the top-right corner of your screen.
  4. Click “Settings.”
  5. Under “Default browser,” select “Make default.”

How to set Google Chrome as your default browser on PC

Windows 10 or later:

  1. If you haven’t already, Download Chrome.
  2. Open the Start menu by clicking the blue Windows logo.
  3. Click the gear icon to open Settings.
  4. Click either “System” or “Apps,” depending on if you’re running the Original or Creators version of Windows. Then select “Default apps.”
  5. Under “Web browser,” click your current browser.
  6. In the “Choose an app” window, click “Google Chrome” to set it as your default browser.

Windows 8 or older:

  1. If you haven’t already, Download Chrome.
  2. Click the Start menu at the bottom of your screen, represented by the Windows logo.
  3. Click “Control Panel” and then “Programs.”
  4. Select “Default Programs” and then “Set your default programs.”
  5. On the left side, select “Google Chrome” and then “Set this program as default.”
  6. Click “OK” to save your changes.
how to sell gym memberships

EZFacility Software Release: EZPayments Launches in the UK, Smartwaiver Updates

« Blog Product Release Notes | Written by Miranda Pruitt | | (2) Comments

Today’s release launches a new payment processing solution to EZFacility’s clients in the UK, along with updates to our Smartwaiver integration for improved document management. More than ever before, sports and fitness businesses are operating in a digital world—from virtual classes to mobile booking to digital waivers. As the industry evolves, our development team is hard at work building the tools you need to adapt and grow in this ever-changing landscape.

Continue reading “EZFacility Software Release: EZPayments Launches in the UK, Smartwaiver Updates”
2022 Fitness Trend Predictions

2022 Fitness Trends & Predictions

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

The beginning of a new year is a popular time for fitness businesses to assess the previous year’s performance, to evaluate the current state of the health and fitness industry, and to keep a close eye on developing technology and changing consumer behavior to identify emerging fitness trends that will be important in the year to come.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the health and fitness industry has faced countless and ongoing challenges. Fitness businesses were hit hard by unforeseen, abrupt, and lengthy business closures—which simultaneously created the immediate need and demand for digital fitness experiences and offerings.

And although the shift to digitization generated a lot of new online opportunities for health and fitness businesses, it also created new streams of competition in the already hyper-competitive online arena.

To help you better understand what to expect from the fitness industry this year, below is a run-down of five top fitness trends of 2022.

Below, we’ll take you through some of the biggest fitness trends we expect to see in 2022, from the ongoing demand for digital fitness options to the shifting definition of wellness–and everything in between.  

1.     Wearable Technology

The no. 1 fitness trend for 2022 is wearable technology, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual survey of global fitness trends.

Wearable tech includes smart watches, fitness trackers, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices. It’s a useful exercise motivator that also tracks important information like steps, heart rate, calories burned, and sleep patterns.

Survey findings also estimate wearable tech has grown to be a $100 billion industry, and it’s projected for continued growth throughout 2022.

New innovations to wearable tech extend beyond “just fitness”—and new features include insight into metrics like blood pressure, body temperature, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and electrocardiogram.

Considering how heavily society has come to rely on the internet and smart devices for just about everything, it should come as no surprise that wearable tech tops the list for this year’s hottest fitness trend.

2.     Online Training and On-Demand Offerings

Online training and on-demand classes were perfect solutions for fitness businesses trying to stay afloat and generate new income streams during worldwide lockdowns and forced business closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, online training became so popular during the pandemic that it secured the no.1 spot in ACSM’s 2021 fitness trends report

And even though health and fitness businesses are allowed to operate from their physical locations once again, the demand for online training isn’t going away any time soon. Many members have grown accustomed to the flexibility, and they still want the option to go to the gym a few days a week, or to get their workouts done at home.

To stay competitive in 2022, fitness businesses should continue to focus on expanding, improving, and marketing online fitness offerings. And remember—online training shouldn’t be viewed as a competitor to traditional brick-and-mortar business—rather, it should be a supplemental way to generate income while also providing added value and convenience to members.

3.     High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT Workouts)

High intensity interval training (commonly referred to as HIIT) is a form of exercise that’s defined by its workout format—a short burst of high intensity exercise alternated with a recovery period of rest or low intensity exercise.

HIIT workouts continue to gain popularity in 2022 given the effectiveness, flexibility, accessibility, and short time requirements. The beauty of HIIT workouts is that they’re designed to be quick and effective. But despite the short duration, HIIT workouts can actually be a far more efficient way to burn calories and lose body fat in less time than traditional steady-state exercise.

4.     Mind-Body Health and Fitness

In 2022, the concepts of health and fitness will continue to merge as society is redefining what wellness means from a more holistic standpoint. New considerations focus on balancing diet and nutrition, mental health, and physical activity—as opposed to focusing solely on weight loss or muscle gain.

More people are starting to realize that achieving mind-body health requires ongoing effort. And with more people looking to find more effective ways to ease stress, anxiety and improve mental health, wellness practices like Pilates, yoga, meditation, as well as diet and nutritional coaching, will continue to gain traction and rise in popularity this year.

5.     Small Group Training

The pandemic changed how we approach group fitness—and some people just aren’t comfortable returning to in-person group classes operating near full capacity. Offering small group training makes your gym more inclusive and affordable for people from different backgrounds, which helps give your facility a competitive edge.

Small group training is an instructor-led, group exercise class that typically includes between 2-10 participants. It’s essentially the same thing as personal training, except with a small group instead of individuals working one-on-one with personal trainers. 

Conclusion

The future of fitness is digital transformation—and to keep up, fitness businesses need trusted gym management software.

To learn how EZFacility can help streamline all aspects of your fitness business from one easy-to-use gym management system, schedule a free online demonstration and personalized product tour today.

marketing calendar

How to Create a Fitness Marketing Calendar

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to start planning your fitness company’s 2022 marketing calendar.

Creating a marketing calendar template and keeping it up-to-date is essential for generating revenue and meeting your gym’s financial goals in the year to come. It also helps to ensure that all of your marketing efforts are strategic, and that your marketing campaigns directly contribute to your facility’s goals and objectives.

And, by mapping out your marketing plan in a calendar, you create a centralized hub that helps your marketing team plan and navigate marketing campaigns more cohesively, efficiently and effectively.

In this blog, we’ll talk about the basics of a fitness marketing calendar—what it is, and why you need one—as well as tips on how to create a 2022 marketing calendar for your fitness business.

What Is a Fitness Marketing Calendar?

Think of your gym’s 2022 marketing calendar as a visual roadmap for all your marketing activities for the year. It should serve as a chronological guide to executing your marketing campaigns, and it’s an actionable tool that helps you achieve marketing goals within a set timeframe.

Why Do I Need a Fitness Marketing Calendar?

You may be familiar with the saying “proper planning prevents poor performance”—and this couldn’t be truer of fitness marketing. Some of the most common reasons that fitness marketing efforts fail are due to lack of strategy, lack of understanding about your target audience, lack of testing, and/or lack of tailoring and retargeting marketing strategies.

When it comes to fitness marketing, planning ahead is often the difference between a good year and a rough one. And although a marketing calendar doesn’t guarantee success, it does establish the framework your marketing team needs to create, coordinate and execute tailored marketing campaigns.

Three Key Benefits of a Fitness Marketing Calendar

Below three other important reasons you should get to work on your gym’s 2022 marketing calendar ASAP:

1.   It improves communication and collaboration.

A fitness marketing calendar helps improve communication and collaboration among team members by clearly indicating who is responsible for accomplishing each task, and when it’s due. It also helps to identify any gaps in process or progress, allowing team members to tweak and tailor schedules if needed.

2.   It helps your marketing team stay on track.

A marketing calendar helps team members avoid missing deadlines by providing upfront planning and foresight. It also helps your marketing team see how tasks progress on a step by step basis, which then helps them adjust accordingly to maintain realistic expectations.

3.   It saves time and money.

When it comes to business, time equals money. And because a fitness marketing calendar outlines tasks and team member responsibilities upfront and in an easily digestible way, it helps reduce confusion and saves time (=money) that would have otherwise been spent trying to align your team and keeping everyone on the same page.

How to Create Your 2022 Marketing Calendar

If you’re ready to start working on your 2022 marketing calendar, follow these three simple steps:

Step 1: Plan

The first step is to define your goals and objectives. The more specific you are, the better results you’ll get—so it’s important to be very clear about what you hope to achieve.

While the ultimate goal of most fitness businesses is to generate more revenue—this can mean different things to different business owners.

Here are a few examples of objectives you may hope to achieve through your marketing efforts:

  • Generate 100 new membership leads this week
  • Sell 100 personal training services this month
  • Attract 350 new email subscribers this quarter

Step 2: Brainstorm

After you’ve defined your marketing objectives, you need to determine how you’re going to achieve them. You’ll also want to include fundamentals like launch dates for new services, courses, programs, or classes.

To help decide which marketing campaigns and tactics are the best fit for your fitness facility, give yourself a set timeframe to brainstorm and jot down as many ideas as you can. Once you’ve written all your ideas down, go back through your list and determine which ideas are best suited for your various marketing channels and platforms.

After you’ve created your list of marketing ideas and determined your communication channels and launch dates, it’s time to input all that information into your marketing calendar template.

Step 3: Schedule

Now that you’re equipped with a list of topic ideas, it’s time to organize, categorize, and schedule them in your marketing content calendar.

Your marketing calendar template can be structured a number of different ways, and it can be as simple or complex as you’d like. For example, some fitness businesses use basic spreadsheets to create their marketing calendar templates, while others utilize more innovative technology like gym management software.

Regardless of which format you choose, start by inputting any important topics/dates that aren’t flexible, like product launch deadlines or major industry events. Then, plug in some additional content ideas in the weeks leading up to the special date or event to build up the hype and excitement. Finally, add in your content ideas that aren’t tied to a specific date, and organize them by theme or category.

Conclusion

In today’s digital age, the effectiveness of your fitness marketing calendar can be maximized by measuring the results of each marketing campaign once it’s completed.

By analyzing historical data and performance metrics, you’ll be able to see which marketing campaigns were the most successful, whether or not they helped achieve your facility’s goals, and how quickly those goals were met.

This critical insight allows fitness business owners and team members to learn from past efforts in order to improve future performance, and to identify and avoid future potential pitfalls.

Did you know that EZFacility’s comprehensive report suite offers an in-depth look under the hood of your business–including financial, point-of-sale, marketing, payroll, membership and training reports?

Want to learn more? Schedule a free online demonstration and personalized product tour today.

empire-sportfit-tri-phone-preview

Grow Your Gym With a Branded Mobile App

« Blog | Written by Amber Wojcek | | (0) Comments

The average person has about 40 apps on their phone, comprising everything from banking to video games. More and more, people expect to be able to manage their days using self-service functions of phone apps. Providing a mobile app for your members is not only convenient for them, but provides a crucial avenue to build client retention for your fitness business.

Why Apps Work

In the tech world, companies try to make their products more “sticky;” in other words, how do you make a customer keep using your product and make it so integral to their life that they won’t want to cancel? Apps are often one of the top ways product teams try to engage customers and extend their time as customers.

There are a few different ways that apps achieve company growth and retention goals:

1.     Apps help you stay connected

It’s harder and harder to get in front of your customers – whether it’s through email, mail, or social media. But apps can help you stay connected by sending relevant push notifications. Consider using pushes to remind members that they have an upcoming class or to prompt them to sign up for a personal training session.

2.     Apps help people save time

Think about the times when you get an email which tells you to go to a website, where you need to remember a password and then verify your identity on another app. It makes you want to never log in again, right? Compare that to the experience of opening an app you know well – a couple of taps later, and you’re able to do what you need to.

In addition to the simplicity, apps also offer a level of convenience you won’t get elsewhere. You give members the ability to check gym hours while waiting in the line at the grocery store. By making client engagement quick and easy, you’re more likely to have those clients engage!

3.     Apps give you more opportunities

When you implement an app, you also get access to a wealth of data about your members. You’ll be able to see who is using the app and who is making purchases. You can use this information to fuel your outreach and try to engage people who haven’t been visiting or ask common gym-goers for referrals.

How to Stand Out

One report found that there are over 70,000 fitness apps worldwide. That makes launching your own branded mobile app really overwhelming. But, good news: you aren’t trying to compete with FitBit or any other app in the app store.

The key is to remember that your app is a helpful tool in your client management toolkit. Your goal is to get existing and new members to adopt and use the app, and not to have people find your app and then join the gym.

Publicize your app on social media, on your website, and in your emails. When you link to your apps, don’t forget to include the specific link to the Google Play Store; don’t assume everyone’s on Apple. And when you’re onboarding a new member, guide them through the process and help them to download the app while they’re with you. It’ll be worth it to keep your members coming back.

How to Get Custom a Branded App

It’s clear that implementing an app for your business can not only aid in growing your business but also improve client satisfaction. So, what’s next? Your gym membership software may provide custom branded apps that integrate seamlessly with your other gym management tools. When they all speak to each other, it makes it easy to schedule classes, manage members, and handle purchases and billing.