Connecting With Members and Reaping Rewards
Part of any good marketing director’s job is to find a fun way to simultaneously engage members and encourage them to become brand ambassadors. By utilizing a member rewards program, clubs can put these two key components successfully into action. Recently, O2 Fitness, with locations throughout North Carolina, started its own rewards program, “O2 Rewards.” Since the start of the program, we have seen incredible member interest, a spike in club activity and a significant influx in social media shout-outs.
A few months back, O2 Fitness started looking for a rewards program that would fit into the brand and culture. We set up demos with a few companies, but hadn’t quite found the perfect fit. We needed something that could be O2 branded, something we could “own,” and something that was simple for our members to use. Then we came across Perkville.
Perkville is a company that offers a great rewards program, not just for fitness centers, but companies of all types that are looking to reward their customers through a system, based on earning points by completing activities, and redeeming those points for gifts, discounts and services.
O2 Fitness strives to keep our members active, happy and motivated. We wanted a program that could be a part of everything we do internally, and have something that could help incentivize our members to participate in activities around the club, such as Bootcamps, TRX programs, personal training and special group fitness classes, all which earn our members points.
Members can redeem their points for free personal training sessions, gift certificates to our online retail store (O2 SHOP), as well as services outside of O2 Fitness, such as free spray tans and massages at local businesses.
The key to the success of all new programs is based on your members’ perception. We didn’t do any pre-marketing to our members, because we didn’t want to confuse them about the program and what was to come. We wanted to roll it out to our members all at once, simply and easily.
We created a branded design that was clean and easy to follow, but with a look that had not been used at our clubs, so that we could give this new program a special feel and attract our members’ attention.
The morning of January 7, 2013, an e-blast was sent out to our members announcing the launch of O2 Rewards. The e-mail guided them to a landing page on our website where they could request an invitation for O2 Rewards through Perkville. Perkville sent them an e-mail so they could set up their account, and like magic, each new member received 50 bonus points for signing up.
The clubs were ready with printed marketing materials on the launch date. Large and small posters filled the walls of the clubs, front desk team members were passing out small flyers, and all new guests were immediately introduced to the program during their club tour and sit-down with membership consultants.
Social media was another important aspect of our O2 Rewards launch. We have over 7,000 Facebook fans that are always active and communicating with us. A status update that morning, which was “promoted” for $50, announced the launch of the program and took them directly to the O2 Fitness landing page where they could request an invitation. We also changed our Facebook cover photo to announce the launch of O2 Rewards. Each time a member went to our Facebook page they would be reminded of the new program.
On a side note, Perkville offered full Twitter integration where members received an extra 10 points for following us, and one point each time they tweeted about us. Members also receive one point for writing a Facebook status from their Perkville account, mentioning O2 Fitness. So far we have received 43 Facebook postings, 33 new Twitter followers and 50 Tweets directly from the Perkville platform.
Approximately 14,000 members received the initial e-mail blast, 25 percent opened the e-mail and around 1,300 joined O2 Rewards within the first day. We were amazed by the quick results and immediate response from our members — they were excited about the program and couldn’t wait to earn points!
The response has been outstanding, and since the start of the program, we have accumulated almost 3,000 O2 Rewards members. What was even better was that 700 of these members have referred the program, as well as O2 Fitness, to their friends and family. Overall, O2 Rewards will be a great addition to the O2 Fitness brand, as well as a wonderful retention tool that keeps our members excited about working out and trying new programs throughout the club.
Think about how you could create a rewards program at your club, through Perkville or another rewards company, which could help you engage members.
By Shanna Kane, the Director of Marketing for O2 Fitness.