Marketing: Your March Strategy
So the dust has settled after the New Year, now what? We all know clubs see the highest traffic in January, so how can you make sure your numbers don’t plummet in March?
Now is the best time to make sure you have a strong referral program in place. You have all of these new members, many who are new to fitness. Offer them a free 30-day accountability pass so they can bring a friend to workout with them. Many new members may be intimidated by the club and will feel more comfortable with a friend. Studies show people who have a workout buddy are more motivated and stick to a fitness program. You are achieving two things:
- Getting the new member into a routine of coming to the club. This will help with retention.
- Getting the non-member friend introduced to the club and into the habit of coming to the club with their friend so hopefully they will join.
Make sure you are offering the current member an incentive if their friend joins during this time. A free month is always a great incentive.
In addition, March is the perfect time to start marketing Shape Up For Summer programs. Many people still think summer is so far off, so remind them now is the time to start getting that beach-ready body. An effective, low-cost way to capture leads is social media. Do some boosted posts or paid ads offering a Guide to Get Your Body Beach Ready. The link should go to a landing page on your website where the person can enter their email to download the book. Make sure you send them the link to download the book to ensure they will enter the correct email.
Geo-fencing is another great way to capture leads. You can deliver mobile ads for the Beach Ready Body guide to people who are in close proximity to your club or to other locations you may choose to target. Geo-fencing is a more budget-friendly alternative to direct mail. There are many companies who will conduct a geo-fencing campaign for you now — you don’t have to spend thousands to have it built into your app.
It’s a great time to also target your former members. Maybe they didn’t stick to their resolution this year. Tell them it’s not too late and give them a special “former member” offer to restart their membership. Your alumni count from the last year or two should be relatively low if you are doing a good job with retention, so direct mail is more feasible for something like this. I see a much higher return from direct mail to alumni than other target markets, so I often save my direct mail budget to send pieces to former members.
So you’ve got your bases covered, you are marketing to current members for referrals, non-members and alumni. Your March traffic should keep all of your sales staff pretty busy.