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3 Reasons Your Gym Needs a Referral Program

Posted by Calley Belcher on Dec 13, 2016 11:02:00 AM


Before we get started, if you want an in-depth look at how to use referrals in your gym, Perkville and Club OS teamed up to create a Referrals and Retention Handbook. Download it here.

Driving sales is at the top of every gym owner, salesperson, and personal trainer’s mind. Nearly everyone exhausts their sales and marketing tactics—even going to the mall and starting up cold conversations about fitness. While these tactics can have their benefits, what if you could just use your current customers to grow your business?

Referral programs are an overlooked revenue source for most clubs. A lot of owners spend money advertising, but don’t see the value in creating a referral challenge for their customers, or offering a free giveaway. In this article, we'll explore the different reasons that make referrals the best way to skyrocket sales in your gym.

1. Less Ground Work

Because asking for referrals is so simple, your sales team can do this in between other lead generation tactics. One easy way to build your referral lead list is to set up an email blast that reaches out to members every two months asking them to send in their referrals. This just takes a quick setup and the rest can be done automatically using your club management software.

Remember, once a prospect becomes a member, the revenue source doesn’t end there. Use those warm introductions to make a new lead feel welcome.

2. Low-Cost Per Lead

On average, fitness clubs spend around $60 per new customer acquisition. But asking your current members for referrals comes at little to no cost. All they have to do is fill out a quick form, and you have some new leads! Some cost may accumulate if you decide to run a referral program that offers a free month or a giveaway, but it’s minimal and pays off in the long run.

Simple referral programs such as a free month for the member and their referred guest are easy and inexpensive ways to incentivize your members. Programs such as Perkville automate this for you, making it easy for your members to automatically refer their friends on social or through email.

3. Increased Retention Rates

When your members are inviting their friends, they are growing their community at your gym. If members are surrounded and encouraged by people they know, they often don’t have a reason to leave. In fact, research shows that referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Being proactive and asking for referrals from your members will turn those members into a mobilized sales team. You'll strengthen your member community while increasing sales and revenue at the same time.

That’s right, you have revenue sitting in your gym, you just may not have realized how much. Make sure that your sales team is implementing referral tactics after every sale, and keeping them up throughout a member’s life cycle.

Automate Member Communication to Make Referrals Easy

The easier it is to reach your members, the sooner you can get their referrals through the door. Club OS software offers automated email and text message marketing solutions that streamline communication and save you time. Set up automatic communications to support your referral program and watch your memberships grow.

Book a Demo of Club OS

Perkville is the #1 customer loyalty program in the health and fitness space, offering point-based rewards that drive referrals, improve retention and increase spend per member. Perkville operates an open platform with extensive API integration, helping your rewards program grow with your business and partners.


Topics: Sales referral program ● gym membership referral program marketing ideas for gym memberships


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