Erin Oncken, the director of sales and marketing at MOTUS Consumer Insights, shares strategies you can use to win back canceled fitness members.
It’s a reality some members will cancel. No club has a 100% retention rate, after all. And member cancelations were in many cases higher over the last few years as a result of the pandemic. Here, discover strategies you can use to recover faster by winning back canceled fitness members.
Group Canceled Members Into Prospect Lists
First and foremost, silo canceled members into prospect lists that you will target for marketing campaigns. If you never engage lost customers again, you’re leaving money on the table. However, if you dump every cancelation into one catch-all prospect list, you’ll be forced to use generalized, saturation marketing strategies that offer low ROI. Instead, leverage your customer data to segment canceled members into several prospect lists. Organize each list by shared characteristics like cancelation reason, previous buying history, membership type or demographics. If your available membership data is limited, you can work with an analytics company to enrich your information for a more comprehensive understanding of your canceled members.
Stay Connected with Canceled Members
Second, keep your club top of mind for canceled members. When conditions normalize, you don’t want your former members signing up with the gym next door. Make your club their first choice by staying in front of these audiences with a multi-channel promotional push. Deploy marketing campaigns across various channels like geofencing, paid search, programmatic display, connected TV ads and direct mail so your message finds its audience no matter where they are.
Build Hyper-Targeted and Personalized Win-Back Campaigns
Finally, when you’re ready to invite members back into your facilities, dig into your customer data to build hyper-targeted and personalized win-back campaigns. To start, create promotional deals that mirror previous buying decisions, like offering special class bundles to canceled group members. Next, analyze your data to understand which marketing channels each segmented prospect list is most receptive to receiving ads on. One group of prospects may find mobile ads off-putting, whereas another may prefer the streamlined signup process a mobile promotion provides. Lastly, use your data to hyper-target canceled members. Depending on their marketing preference, this could be delivering ads to their mobile devices, connected smart TVs, or on the household-level through direct mail campaigns.
Eventually, the fitness industry will normalize, and every club’s recovery plan should include winning back canceled members. While saturation marketing offers limited results, implementing a hyper-targeted and personalized marketing approach will give your fitness club a competitive advantage in the coming months.
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