Research firm TGI has recently estimated that a staggering 73% of all leisure members never actually go to the gym – even though it is thought that more than 13.7% of the population are now signed up to a health club or leisure centre.
If you’re a leisure marketer, you’ll know only too well the struggle of customer retention within this busy and vibrant industry, and with these stats comes an increased chance of cancellation once the time comes to renew.
Here are 4 easy ways to get those distant members back on board – without breaking a sweat!
The internet, and the advent of review sites, has changed the way in which your members navigate the buying process. Today’s customers are quick to take to the Internet when they feel strongly about the service they’ve received from a brand, and research shows that 70% of consumers consult online ratings and reviews before making a purchase. Actively encouraging feedback from your customers is vital for:
- Discovering who isn’t satisfied – and seeing if you can rectify the situation
- Understanding what you’re doing right
- … And where there’s room for improvement.
A good survey tool will allow you to gain an in-depth insight into trending perceptions of your brand, offering unlimited questions of all different types to ensure your responses are as clear as can be. Ask about your costs, your customer service, your facilities and anything else you can think of that could affect the attendance of your members.
Reassure the Gymophobes!
Although many leisure customers will begin to drift away because their motivation has faded, we know that many people would love to get to the gym, but fear holds them back from doing so. This often stems from personal insecurities – perhaps about seeming inexperienced to other members.
Many companies will accept their customer’s monthly payment and treat that as the end goal – but you know that your member’s customer journey has the potential to be a long one.
Instead, go the extra mile and, in your communications, include articles that reassure their worries in your monthly newsletter. Why not include testimonials from some of your loyal members, who speak about their initial gym-related nerves and explain how they grew their confidence
You could even include a ‘Top Tips for Feeling Comfortable Whilst Working Out’ guide, e.g. ‘crank up your iPod’, or ‘these are the quietest times’, etc. There are so many options, and by creating and distributing content that addresses this common issue is likely to see your retention rates significantly increase.
‘Bring a Friend’ campaigns
Many people like to work out or get pampered with a friend. After all, many studies show that lack of support from someone close often correlates strongly with exercise abandonment. Increase your member’s motivation by handing out a ‘free pass for a friend’ voucher that can be redeemed at your reception area. This way, as well as working to increase motivation in order to retain your existing members, you’re also increasing the chances of attracting new ones.
Stay in Touch
The average customer has a lot going on in their lives; from work, to families, to staying social with friends, the day can slip away from us before we know it, and luxuries like visiting the gym or going for that evening swim or spa session can often take a backseat.
In the leisure industry, it can be a challenge to keep your brand front of mind – but it’s also critical that you stay in touch with your database – especially those busy members. With the right software, contacting your customers doesn’t need to be restricted to the post-transaction email or updates on your new gym equipment or Jacuzzi.
There are so many great opportunities to get in touch and let them know you’re here if you need them
Seasonal campaigns can be highly effective for bringing in extra revenue. There are so many seasonal events and key dates that you can take advantage of in your marketing, bringing in seasonal sales, deals and competitions. These include Christmas, Easter, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Black Friday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day – and not forgetting all those lovely Bank Holiday weekends!
For example, as part of a Valentine’s campaign, you could send out a ‘Love Your Body’ promotion, comprising guides to healthy eating and the best exercises for a healthy mind and body. You could also target those who click through your email with an exclusive direct mail campaign, inviting them to an exclusive event or class.
During the run up to Mother’s Day, why not launch a ‘Treat Your Mum to a Buy-One-Get-One-Free Spa Day’ campaign?
These are just a couple of examples you could use, and right software can make it so easy to get marketing during these special occasions.
Offers and promotions
Do you have a limited offer on your gold membership? Or a promotion on your spa treatments? Tell your customers! By
Diverse kettlebell fitness class
segmenting your data into preference-based lists, you can find out who would be the most receptive to your deals, and send to them in order to capture their interest. Try sending a monthly deal to specific segments of your mailing list.
Consistent sends will mean your customers begin to expect your offers, and in turn look forward to them. Including a coupon in your emails or direct for your customers to redeem within your leisure centre will also help you measure the success of these campaigns.
Why not showcase your personal training packages promotions via email and SMS campaigns? After all, there’s no better way to get started than with a professional!
The below diagram demonstrates how you can stay in touch with your customer throughout their journey with you.
Haven’t seen your member around for a while? Let them know they’re missed with a friendly email or text. You could focus on a ‘We Miss You!’ theme and offer them a discount on your exercise classes or spa days if they visit before the end of the month. Even better – include a reference code in the email or SMS that your customer should present to your front desk should they decide to redeem their discount. This way, you add some exclusivity to your campaign, and you can also more effectively track the success of your campaign.