Marketing: The Rule of New Member Promotions
When I first joined my current cable company, I was so excited. The deal I was getting was great (in my opinion). It included cable, high-speed internet and phones, plus HBO and Starz, all for $160 per month. To me, that seemed completely reasonable, and I was excited to join.
But this past weekend (a year after first joining), I recently opened my bill and was surprised to see it had jumped $40, to $200 per month. To figure out what had happened, I called and was told my new member promotions had expired.
Of course, they had told me this when I first joined. But I was still slightly annoyed to hear the news. Why, as a customer who has been with this cable company for a year (one who has paid my bill on time each and every month), should I have to pay more than a customer who is just coming on board?
Maybe I’m just spoiled. But let’s face it — a lot of us are. This deal is something that almost all of us grapple with, and none of us like, no matter where business is being dealt. As a result, it’s something you should consider, before creating a new member marketing promotion at your health club.
I’m not saying that all new member promotions are bad — but there is a way to do them that doesn’t alienate your current members. And it really only involves one rule.
Rule No. 1: Don’t Discount Your Monthly Membership Dues
Instead, offer new members discounts on enrollment fees. Trust me, current members will not be nearly as upset if they know a new member is getting a one-time discount. But, if they’re getting a discount month after month, or year after year, that’s when animosity happens, and the complaints start rolling in.
At the end of the day, doing new member promotions this way can boost your retention, while still helping you earn new customers.