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Tips for Getting More Member Referrals

member referrals

Referrals are an easy and cost-effective way to get new members in your club.

In an ideal world, your club would create an experience that makes your members want to organically tell their friends and family about joining the health club. However, according to Noah Hastay, the operations manager at Gainesville Health and Fitness, members sometimes need an incentive.

Gainesville Health and Fitness regularly runs internal campaigns to educate the membership population on their ‘Power of Friends’ program. This allows members to bring two guests per visit. Each guest can use a facility up to six times at no charge. This allows the guests to experience the club in hopes they will become members themselves.

“Our most recent ad was called ‘BYOB: Bring Your Own Bestie,’” said Hastay. “We used some guerrilla tactics such as placing the content on giant stickers, made by Sticker Genius, that were placed on our sidewalks outside the front doors of our clubs.”

If the friend the member brings in joins a Gainesville location, both the member and the referred member are rewarded.

Getting a member to refer a friend is great, but how can clubs keep track of the collection of referrals?

For Gainesville Health and Fitness, they collect referrals at the point of sale through their sales team. Additionally, club members will periodically receive messages from the sales team inviting them to bring in a friend. The sales team them collects referrals post-sale. 

Overall, Gainesville has had success by creating inspiring messaging and internal advertising that promotes the gym being better with friends. While asking members for referrals can seem pushy, creating the right member experience can ease concerns.

“Inevitably if you create a sticky enough experience and can organically make members promoters of your club, you don’t even really have to ask them,” said Hastay. “They will do it because they truly want others to experience the same things they are.”   

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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