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Optimism Index: The Future is Looking Bright

Optimism Index

How a correlation between the optimism index and membership conversion rates can change your health club’s marketing strategy.

What is that one thing that could change your marketing strategy?

For that answer, I turn to the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index, which is the earliest take on consumer confidence each month. And though not perfect, it predicts with good reliability monthly changes in the sentiment of consumers. The index, in short, lends itself to being a leading indicator of the month to follow.

The good news is the U.S. rose 1.8 points to 51.9 in February of 2021, reaching a new high since October. This is most likely due to vaccinations picking up speed and COVID-19 cases starting to decline. In fact, on February 3, it was reported that the U.S. has seen more vaccinations than cases.

What does this mean for gym owners? While we have seen a direct correlation between the optimism index and membership conversion rates, there are some things to consider.

First, the people who most likely to join your club are the ones who have shown interest in the past but haven’t taken advantage of your offer. For them, we recommend simplification — one or two easy to understand offers that are too good to pass up. The goal is to convert them before the competition does.

It’s also the perfect time to increase your cash and EFT by upselling active members. This group feels better about the economy and the decision they made to keep working out while others stayed away.

As marketing starts to ramp up to a normal pace, you know your competition is going to start going after your customers and prospects. Now is the time to “wall them in” so their messaging is neutralized. You can do this by simply emailing a weekly update on what’s going on in the club. Utilize retargeting to all prospects and members, including those who chose to freeze and have not yet reactivated their membership.

Lastly, you should be ready to put fuel on the fire at a moment’s notice. As the market in February and March heats up, you need to be prepared to hit the ground running, and do so before your competition does.  

David Steel

David Steel is the chief viral officer at Sneeze It. He can be reached at dsteel@sneeze.it or visit sneeze.it.

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