As the owner of a gym, fitness facility, or health club, you’re likely well aware of the importance of the new year when it comes to attracting new clients. Every January, gyms around the country experience an influx of New Year’s “resolutioners,” as they are often referred — spelling out big bucks and exciting opportunities for gym owners. Even with the increase in gym registrations worldwide, there are so many competing gyms and fitness facilities. So, how can you stay competitive and stand out amongst the rest?

The key to attracting new gym members in the new year is to promote your fitness facility beforehand as the best option for a new gym membership in January.

To make the most of this incredible marketing opportunity and prep your gym for the new year, follow these top tips to reap the benefits of attracting resolutioners.

3 people in a small gym working with a medicine ball

Promote Upcoming New Year’s Resolution Fitness Programs

First thing’s first: Don’t wait until the new year to start marketing to resolutioners with a gym membership sign-up on their resolution list.

Start promoting special New Year’s offers at least a month ahead of time in December. Consider including specialized program offers that incorporate shorter time commitments and progressive difficulty levels. This kind of introductory program will ease gym members back into the world of gym attendance and physical fitness without overwhelming or discouraging them.

Prospective members are more likely to sign up for a membership — and achieve their desired fitness goals — when they are encouraged to meet small, easily attainable goals along the way. Start promoting your upcoming New Year’s fitness programs early on to get resolutioners thinking about their goals and attracting their business before your competitors have the chance.

Offer Entry-Level Membership Promotions That Don’t Break The Bank

Sure, you could view the new year as your opportunity to make some quick money off of people who may or may not become serious about attending the gym regularly. But a better idea is to offer special entry-level membership promotions with affordable price tags that allow people to ease themselves — and their wallets — into your programming.

By offering affordable, entry-level membership promotions, your members will know that you are confident they will keep coming back because of how incredible your facility is.

As well, by introducing affordable membership costs, your facility will position itself as a leading competitor amongst others. If prospective members that are unsure whether a gym membership is right for them, your competitive pricing will seem like an attractive, risk-free investment.

Establish Programs Specifically For New Gym Goers

Many people who decide to buy gym memberships for the new year have rarely ever even stepped foot in a gym. Intimidation often prevents newbies from getting comfortable enough to sign up at all, regardless of their fitness goals. This creates a good opportunity to set up memberships that are specifically geared toward new gym goers.

Create a new gym member registration package that explains the basics and train your staff to understand the unique needs of newcomers. You might also include extra programming like nutrition workshops, lessons for learning how to use the equipment and basic, customized workout routines for new members to follow. This special introductory program will be perfect for those New Year’s resolutioners who want to dive into the world of fitness but don’t know where to begin.

As well, this type of introductory programming and expanded focus on health and fitness will surely appeal to the “deconditioned market” of people who are somewhat out of practice. Positioning your gym as an inclusive, educational facility that welcomes beginners will work to draw in people who may be uncomfortable attending a fitness facility otherwise. Promote these special introductory promotions before the new year to entice new or out-of-practice gym members.

Reward Your Existing Gym Members In The New Year

All too often, gym owners focus so intently on attracting new members that they forget about retaining their existing ones. Every new member you attain during the new year could become a staying member… but that’s more likely if they see that you take care of your loyal members.

Here are some great ideas to consider to reward customers this winter and to improve your membership retention rates after the new year:

  • Points-based Loyalty Program – Set up a customer loyalty program in which customers earn points for attending and for using various services. Once they gain a certain amount of loyalty points, they can then cash them in for prizes like free personal training sessions, a free month of membership, free merchandise and so on.
  • Tiered Loyalty Program – Keep your members coming back by offering a tiered rewards program that, for example, provides one free group class for every five personal training sessions they purchase. The next tier might be to offer one free personal training session for every two months of membership, and so on.
  • Referral Incentive Program – Make the most of your regulars by offering them “thank-you” perks for bringing in new members. For example, you might offer one month of free fitness gym membership for every five new members an existing member refers. You can then offer progressively larger incentives for those who bring in even more business. It’s a great way to get your loyal customers bringing in new crowds of customers!
  • Loyalty Game – Finally, you might set up a game or competition in which the member who attends the most times in a single month receives a prize. For example, you might offer them their next month free. Adding this competitive edge to your facility will be a key motivator for your existing customers and show new prospective members how much fun your facility can be!

Finally, make sure that all of the efforts you put in are going to get noticed. Take advantage of the power of social media and promote these special offers on your blog page and social media platforms. Posting consistently will work to expose your gym to prospective members before January rolls around, and will get them thinking about your facility as the best option to achieve their fitness resolutions.

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