Most gyms follow the same marketing playbook. Direct mail, cold calls, emails, print advertisements and maybe a TV spot if the budget allows it. This playbook has been the health club standard for decades. But in 2016 it is becoming clear that these marketing tactics are growing increasingly stale. Nearly 2/3 of Americans own a smartphone and the effect of mobile hitting the mainstream has revolutionized many industries, including hotels (Airbnb), taxis (Uber) and killing time on the subway (Candy Crush).
Now it’s the fitness industry’s turn. Here are three ways your members’ smartphones can transform your gym’s marketing strategy.
1. Supercharge your referral program
Converting prospects into new members at scale is an essential part of any club’s survival. Unfortunately many club’s referral processes belong in 1986, not 2016. Some clubs still use outdated and inefficient gym marketing tactics like direct mail special offers or sales calls. These processes are not only expensive for your club, but are intimidating for prospects.
Harnessing your member’s smartphones can revolutionize your referral process. If your gym has its own Club Mobile App, your members can refer their family and friends with just a few taps on their contact list. The referred prospects receive a personalized text with a link to download your club’s mobile app. Once they’ve downloaded the app they receive a temporary mobile guest pass they can use to sign into your club just like a regular member. If they like what they see, they can join your club with a few simple taps on their smartphones. Clubs that have incentivized members to issue mobile referrals have seen amazing results. One club's members referred 56 prospects in just one month.
2. Integrate your members' technology into your club
More than 1-in-5 Americans currently own a wearable. Don’t fear the wearable revolution; instead your club should work towards integrating with it. Your members will soon expect you to smoothly integrate their tracked personal fitness statistics into their club experience. If you have a Club Mobile App with a built-in workout tracking features, your members can connect their Fitbits, Microsoft Bands and other fitness tracking devices to your mobile app. Calories burned, steps taken and all of the other valuable fitness statistics their wearables are tracking will automatically be transferred to your gym’s app, making your club the centerpiece of their fitness world and making your job of marketing your gym that much easier.
3. More effective member communications
Over 95% of direct mailers are ignored. More than 77% of fitness industry emails are never opened. The fact of the matter is this: getting engagement from your gym marketing isn’t easy. But what if there was a tool that could get you a 25% engagement rate?
Push notifications are the future of member communications. Push notifications are brief messages that appear on members’ smartphone screens who have installed your mobile app. They can inform members of important club news like hours changes, celebrate a fitness challenge success or contain links to personalized special offers.
With geotargeting functionality you can send push notifications specifically to members who are currently inside of your club that contain special offers, such as “50% off Yoga class starting in 15 minutes. 2 spots left!” Members are much more likely to engage with push notification offers that they receive while inside of your club than emailed or direct mail coupons.
Don’t be content with your traditional suite of marketing tactics. Your members already have the smartphones, so take advantage of the power of digital marketing and transform your gym’s marketing strategy. Start sending member communications that will actually be read, engaging with your members’ wearables and supercharging your referral program.
Learn more about how digital marketing tactics can revolutionize your revenue streams with our Mobile Marketing Bootcamp. These 5 lessons will change the way you think about your gym's marketing strategy: