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Ok so it’s not quite New Year yet and things are still a bit uncertain, but now is the perfect time to start preparing for that January rush. As last January was a no-go, why not ensure that the start of 2022 makes up for it? We're keeping everything crossed that January will see a spike in new members (and nothing else!). Although you might normally rely simply on word of mouth to gain new members in the early months each year, we’ve put together some marketing tips to allow you to reach a flurry of new members and show them what you’re all about.
Anyone conducting a quick Google search for gyms or leisure centres in the area will hopefully end up on your website. This is your opportunity! It’s worth taking a few minutes to glance over your website and think about how it would come across to someone stumbling across it with no prior knowledge of your organisation. Is it clear what you’re offering?
Try not to cram too much text on your pages – modern consumers have a short attention span and want to gather the key information quickly. Instead, keep it simple and use a range of images showing off your facilities and people using them. Your navigation bar should include a few different pages, perhaps dedicated to different areas – classes, pool, sports hall etc. This will help users easily find what they’re looking for. As well as clear ‘Book now’ and ‘Join now’ buttons prominently displayed on your homepage.
Check your information is up to date. Opening hours, class timetables, membership types and prices need to reflect your current situation. Remove anything that’s out of date and update with the correct information. And remember to update your Covid protocols with how you're keeping your members safe. No confusion means consumers are more likely to go ahead and make a purchase.
If your members’ resolutions are to get active, yours should be to get active on social media! Social media is a great tool, and it would be a missed opportunity not to use it to promote your organisation, especially leading up to the New Year rush. This is the prime time for the great British public to be sat on our sofas scrolling through various social media channels thinking we might have overdone it with the mulled wine and mince pies once again.
Why not share some photos of your facilities or some fun photos from your fitness classes over the Christmas period? Don’t be afraid to show some personality, people need to see what they’re getting into before they purchase a membership and they’re much more likely to be interested if there are real people behind the shiny equipment and extensive facilities. If you use paid advertising, it’s a great time to run some Facebook ads showing off your centre and any offer you might be running in January.
Get creative! Maybe you could spotlight a few of your instructors and include some quotes. Many people are reluctant to join a gym because they find it intimidating. Showing your friendly instructors and their passion to help everyone get active will help put them at ease!
What are you offering? Now, this doesn’t have to be a monetary offer like a discount. Of course, that’s great if it is! Instead, think about what your USP is and what value you could bring to perspective customers’ lives. Do you pride yourself on your friendly instructors? What about your packed class timetable? Or your state-of-the-art gym equipment? Whatever it is, shout it loud and proud on your website and social media posts.
You could also gather a list of all your members whose annual membership is about to expire and send them a tailored email specifying your membership packages and what they offer them. Of course, make sure you have permission to send them marketing information first! This will remind them to renew and help sway their decision if they were thinking of letting it lapse.
Remember, everyone’s different. Think about your user’s goals and why they might be looking to join your centre. Nowadays joining a gym is for more than those just looking to get some rock-solid abs. From feeling a part of a community or building fitness after an illness to training for an elite event, everyone’s goals are different, and you should showcase how your facilities, staff and membership packages can help your users conquer their fitness goals.
Maybe you could write some blog articles that focus on your membership packages and who they’re best suited to? Or maybe you could do a deep dive into your swimming lessons and the various levels offered? This information will educate your prospective customers and help them see how your offering fits their needs.
And don’t forget to include a call to action (CTA)! Having read your article, your interested readers need somewhere to go next (eg. the membership purchasing page).
Not got enough time on your hands to write blog posts for your website? Or maybe you just need a helping hand to craft the perfect message? Why not take a look at our writing service and see how we could help to produce some high-quality blog posts for you, optimised for SEO.
And that wraps up our four top tips to improve your marketing efforts this January. We hope they help to attract even more members through your doors and get you ready for a long-awaited January rush. Have a great rest of the year and Happy New Year when it comes! Stay safe everyone.