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Half the year — that likely began with a rush of New Year’s resolutions — has now passed. Hopefully you followed New Year’s up with some great promos and are right on track to meet goals for the year! Whether or not that’s true, you likely wouldn’t turn down a chance to make even more money, right? Ideally, the tools are available at your fingertips to do just that with three custom databases already compiled in your club management software with contacts that you can market (members, guests, former members).
Dividing the previous three into three separate markets and generating the proper lists are highly important to the effectiveness of mailing and calling campaigns. Use the mail-merge function in your club management software to create pre-formatted, yet personalized, letters or e-mails.
Try some of these ideas for your region or intended market:
Give the Gift of Health: Allow members to add-on a family member for a reduced price or no enrollment fee. Offer the member $5 off his/her dues every month for as long as that new member remains active. Your club management software should track and automatically verify eligibility before generating the monthly billing file with the appropriate adjustment.
Summer Brain Freeze Special: Half-price frozen smoothies for one week or free when members try a new Group X session. Serve them in a branded water bottle that they can then keep.
Beach Bum: Sign up for a swim-class program and get a free beach towel and mini sunscreen with the club’s name imprinted on both. This one works best early in the summer, so participants have plenty of opportunities to practice their new skills outside!
Crash Course in Summer Time: Designate a cardio Group X class, abdominal or spinning class as a Swimsuit Primer. Three-time participants earn a free tanning session.
January in July: For members that sign up in July, give them a free month when they need it most — January, when the holiday bills start rolling in. The club will be better able to absorb those freebies in a traditionally high-sales month. A simple one-month billing freeze will account for this.
Earn Points for Summer: Member reward programs work year-round because everyone likes to be recognized. Decide what to reward or recognize, and let your club management software track it all, issuing reminders when members accumulate the correct number of points or hit milestones.
• Important dates: birthday, anniversary of enrollment in membership or a particular service or program.
• Personal fitness goals: weight loss, inches lost, miles on the treadmill.
• Evidence of club loyalty: number of visits in 30 days, renewing membership, referring a friend, getting you in the door of their corporation’s wellness manager.
• Community involvement: volunteering for a charity, participating in a 5K, or stair climb (with extra points for using club facilities to train).
The key is to encourage people to use the club, which is vital to keeping members as active, paying members and to creating positive word of mouth that prompts friends and family to come and see what the “buzz” is about. The administrative aspects of programs like this can seem overwhelming and the logistics cumbersome, but there are good software management companies out there that do most of the set-up, offering a turn-key solution.
Gift Card Power: Sell them to members to keep for themselves or to give to friends or family, and you can track the sales and redemptions right from POS in your club management software. It’s a nice touch to offer these at 5 percent off and to let members use them, up to a point, towards their membership fees. This is an unexpected perk and creates goodwill towards your club, because who does that?
Before and after any kind of promotion, be disciplined about running reports to show membership additions, increased class participation, gift card purchases or whatever it was you were promoting. Then engage with members, promote the club and your community and increase the bottom line all at once!
Carole Oat is a national sales manager at Twin Oaks Software and a former club owner and operator for 15 years. She can be reached at email@example.com or 860.829.6000 x 281.