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Marketing & Sales

Marketing: A Member Advantage Program


I recommend that you spend 39 percent of your yearly marketing dollars in the months of January, February and March. That’s right. Well over one third of your budget is gone in three months. The obvious reason being that these are the months during the year when your marketing dollars are likely to be most effective. From the “New Year resolution” folks to the “spring into shape for the beach” people, your gym likely sees more traffic during these 90 days.

Conversely, I want you to only spend 12 percent of your yearly marketing dollars in the months of June, July and August. Email me at jason@jasonlinse.com with “formula” in the subject line and I will shoot you back a document that breaks down each month. These are the months when club traffic is lighter, and prospects aren’t responding to your ads like they do in the winter. But you can’t do nothing during these months. You may not have the budget to be sending out direct mail pieces or running radio ads, but no worries. This is a great time of year to get to know some of your business neighbors and at the same time, offer a benefit to your members, while gaining some exposure to potential prospects.

How it works: Your goal is to find eight to 10 businesses that are willing to offer a discount exclusive to your members. Your members simply show a membership card or access card when ordering or paying, and they receive a small discount.

Pizza place: $2.00 off a large pizza.

Dry Cleaners: $20 off all dry cleaning.

Hair salon: Free style with haircut.

Oil change shop: $19.95 oil change (early bird special) all of the time.

Liquor store: 10% off all products.

Those are five examples of business partnership discounts that I have used when I owned a gym.

What is in it for your business neighbors? Free advertising. You aren’t asking your business neighbors to give away the farm. You are simply offering them, at no cost, the opportunity for exposure to your members. No brainer.

What is in it for you? Once you complete your member advantage program, you can then show your members and prospects some extra value from being part of Awesome Blossom Fitness. Also, the business neighbors will be much more likely to promote your gym via passes on counter tops and word of mouth if they are part of your program.

“Hi, Mr. pizza guy, how are you?”

“I’m good, how are you?”

“Doing great. Hey, I wanted to talk to you about something cool we are doing for a select few of our business neighbors. Do you have a minute?”

“Sure, what’s up?”

“We are targeting about 10 local businesses that want to advertise for free to our members. It is really simple. You provide us a logo and a special offer and we will take care of the rest.”

“Okay, what kind of offer?”

“Well, in your case, how about a few bucks off of a pizza?”

“Okay, I would be happy to knock $2.00 off a medium and $3.00 off a large for your members.”

“Great. Here is my card. Please email me a logo. Also, in exchange, it would be awesome if you would place these sticky notes on your pizza boxes every Friday night.”

“Sure, we can do that.”

There is one example of how to approach your local pizza shop, explaining how the program works.

Once you get eight to 10 businesses, put them on your website, and print up some hard copies to place at your front desk and on a couple of walls around the club.

Building up this program is fun, gets staff outside of the gym to build relationships, helps with retention and also with new sales. All for a little bit of time and not a lot of dollars.

Keep changing lives.


Jason Linse

Jason Linse is president and founder of The Business of Fitness, a consulting company. He also owns a personality assessment company called People Plus+ Fitness. Contact him at jason@jasonlinse.com or 612-310-1319 for resources on scheduling more tours and personality assessments, or visit www.jasonlinse.com.

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