Ah, Fall is well underway, meaning the busy holiday season is here. It can be so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running your gym or selling memberships and before you know it, it’s the day before Halloween. You throw together a last minute “spooky” promotion and call it a day. But we are here to help you out with some ideas for the entire holiday season so that you aren’t caught off guard and have plenty of sales, events, and promotions to choose from for the fourth quarter. (Also, it’s not too late to get started on your plans. Download our “The Ultimate “Get @#$% Done” Marketing Planner for Gym Businesses” here.)
Halloween is a great holiday for your fun and festive promotion ideas. Because the holiday is really focused on just having fun and eating candy, jump in with your own fun promotion ideas, maybe sans-candy. Here are a couple of promotion or event ideas that you could do to increase awareness and bring in more prospects:
- Run relevant promotions that play off the words and feelings of Halloween. For example, create an email with the subject line “We aren’t tricking you with this treat.” Then offer a free month or 2 free classes for anyone who signs up before October 31st.
- For an event, try a Treadmill or Treat: Similar to your local trunk or treat, invite members, their families, and their friends to come in wearing costumes and celebrate by going from different pieces of equipment. Your trainers and staff can hand out fun Halloween inspired snacks and get to know everyone.
- Host an event the weekend before Halloween that is focused around working off that Halloween candy you know you will steal from your kids! Set up mini personal training sessions, decorate the gym, offer free group classes, and more. We also suggest really getting in the spirit with a screen playing a scary movie or even just re-runs of Jimmy Kimmel's “We ate all your Halloween Candy.” (Always gets laughs!)
Because all of these holidays are consecutive, it’s important to focus on one aspect of your sales process for each one. For Thanksgiving, we find it a great time to say “thanks” to your current customers and possibly people in your sales pipeline. Here are some easy ways to say thanks to your gym community:
- Send out an email to your current customer with a promotion based on reduced PT prices, thanking them for their dedication to your gym and their health. Subject line: “For Thanksgiving, we’re giving back, to you.” Within the email, offer 50% off PT packages or a free shake if they show the email. This is a great way to increase possible ancillary revenues but also gives your customers something of real value.
- Hosting a healthy Thanksgiving event where your team shows your members, their families, and their friends how to cook healthy alternatives to the usually not so healthy turkey dinner. Sending out the recipes after as a follow-up opportunity is a great way to create a relationship.
- Another way to focus a campaign on healthy eating is to send an email to your prospect list and member list that has “5 Healthy Holiday Recipes You Can Make This Year” as the subject line. Not only does this help engage your customers, it makes your prospects see you as an authority on a healthy lifestyle. You can add in an offer to your prospects or ask everyone to share their healthy dinners on your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook pages!
This is a great time for simply giving back to your community. Because everyone celebrates differently, finding a common theme among all of the holiday traditions will help you resonate with your members and prospects. See some of our ideas for this time of year:
- Host a toy drive at your gym or studio for a local shelter or organization. Get the message out to your entire community so that you also raise awareness for your business. Some organizations we have seen be successful include Blue Santa, Salvation Army, Homeless Shelters, Women and Children Shelters.
- If your area has an Angel Tree organization or something similar, reward your members for choosing an angel and bringing in gifts for a child with a $10 gift certificate to your shop or a free class.
- Doing a food drive is also a great way to get people in the door and to make yourself a bigger part of the community. Ask your local food shelter what they are needing from you and set up a drive.
- You can also give the time of yourself and your employees (and any members who want to join in). Set up a time to serve food or distribute toys with your employees and members who want to participate. This helps bring everyone together during a season of giving.
New Years is the biggest event in the fitness world, so it’s only fitting that it deserves your biggest and best promotions. This is the time when everyone and their dogs are saying they want to lose 15 pounds, 30 pounds, or 50 pounds within the next year. If you really position your business as the one who can help them do it, you are going to have a very successful New Year’s rush. Here are some unique promotion and outreach ideas:
- On the first Saturday after the New Year (January 6th, 2018), host a large event to kick off everyone’s goals! Market the event for the entire month of December, and invite everyone (prospects or members) and their friends. At the event, host free classes, workshops, PT sessions, and more. This is a great opportunity to get everyone really excited about their membership and hopefully increase their rate of return. It’s also a great time to get prospects in the door of your gym and allowing them to see everything you offer and fall in love.
- For the two weeks before and after New Year’s, host a promotion for a free month or two at your gym. The best way to get people in the door is to give them money off, it works every time. If you position your promotion as “Try us for a month and decide after if you want to sign up,” you will see a lot more interest because you aren’t making them sign a long contract. Obviously, you want that contract to follow, but it gives your prospects a way to ease into your gym.
- Another way to increase awareness of your business is to send out an email and in-person newsletter with tips and tricks on sticking to fitness and healthy dieting goals. Everyone is interested in how they can be healthier, and similar to the Thanksgiving email we mentioned previously, this is a great time to make your business look and feel like an authority on the subject. At the bottom, invite people in for a free assessment and goal planning meeting.
Getting a head start on your holiday promotions and events planning allows you to get creative and not run the same promotion more than once. It also helps you plan your follow-up, lead, and membership sales goals for each month and the beginning of 2018. Comment below with other creative ideas you have seen hosted in the gym or fitness industry!