When you’re starting a boutique fitness studio, it can be difficult to get people through the door. There is no shortage of demand when it comes to people seeking out memberships at boutique studios. More than ever, millennials seek out a unique, niche-like fitness experience. In a study by IHRSA, of the people who belong to a fitness center, 42% are members of a studio.
But with the rising number of people interested in boutique fitness studios also comes the rising number of those boutique studios. What does this mean for you as an entrepreneur? It means that you’re going to have to get crafty when it comes to marketing your studio and getting those first members through the door. Intro offers are a great way to draw people in and get them to try your fitness studio. Think of intro offers more like ways to vastly increase your signups, and less like how you could potentially lose money – because it doesn’t have to be that way.
Below are seven great offers you can give your first-time customers to boost membership and retention rates.
Free 7-Day Pass
A free 7-day pass seems like it’s too good to be true, which is why people will be knocking on your door asking how they can get one. The majority of gyms or fitness classes offer a free class or trial at their facility, but not many are willing to offer an entire week risk-free. You may have guessed why that is. It seems like if you offer a free week pass then people will take it and once their free trial is over move on to the next studio. Here’s where your personality and finesse as a business owner come in.
With this type of intro offer, getting people through the door is the easy part. Keeping them there is the hard part. By creating a sense of community with amazing instructors, top of the line facilities, and friendly faces, you can get people to fall in love with your studio and keep coming back for more. Unlike a traditional free day or class, with this intro offer, you will have an entire week to win over your members giving you multiple chances to show them how awesome your studio is.
$10 for 10 days
The great thing about this intro option is that it rolls off the tongue and is easy to market. Plus with simple addition skills, any of your customers can figure out that they’re getting an amazing deal to use your studio for only $1 a day. By offering only a 10-day option, you are keeping their interest for longer. This means that not only will they feel obligated to come to your classes more often to get the most out of their great deal, they will have nearly two weeks of experience at your studio. Two weeks is almost enough time for a habit to form. Once you get them hooked on this intro offer, they’ll have almost no choice but to come back for more.
$1 Dollar 1-Day Trials
This offer is great for clients who want a short-term commitment that’s affordable. Try using this trial in addition to a long-term option to give people the option of 1 day versus a week. 1-day trials target guests visiting the area or people who are trying their luck at different studios across town. Once you hook a customer with a 1-day trial, you only have one chance to impress them. While a trial this cheap and low-commitment is bound to draw a lot of customers to sign up, the challenge with it is that you have really had to step up your gain to retain those customers and get them to become monthly members.
The Groupon Option
Groupon works because it’s essentially free advertising for your business. When you put up a special offer on Groupon, you go straight to your target audience. By offering a discount on Groupon, you are sure to see an increase in new customers walking through the door. The only downside with this type of intro offer is that people may exploit your Groupon (ie. buying multiples). To avoid this, create a limited Groupon to the first 50 or so people, and keep track of people coming through your door with a Groupon so you don’t have repeat offenders.
The ClassPass Option
ClassPass has become an increasingly popular option for customers who are looking for a low-cost way to take classes at a variety of fitness studios each month. The ClassPass allows consumers flexibility with payment options, numbers of classes, and the ability to try out different studios as they wish without committing to anyone in particular. From the consumer side of things, ClassPass is a great deal. But how does ClassPass work for small studio owners?
When you sign up for ClassPass as a studio owner, they promise to help you fill out spots and bring in revenue that otherwise is lost. As a studio, you individually negotiate how much you want to get paid out per class with the ClassPass rate. For example, if your studio charges $200 for a 10-class pack, that means your per class rate is $20 at the lowest price. If you’ve negotiated say a 40% payout with ClassPass per class, that means that means that for every spot that is filled in your class by ClassPass you get $8.
No Enrollment Fee
An enticing way to get more new members to sign up for your studio is to nix the enrollment fee. This is a very cost-effective option for your studio because you aren’t giving anything away for free or at a discounted price. Think of the enrollment fee as a bonus – you get it if somebody comes in when the promotion isn’t running. In reality, you don’t need to charge an enrollment fee, but you can allow new members to believe that you do. By offering them an intro offer of free enrollment, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Enroll-with-a-friend and Save
The enroll-with-a-friend intro offer is the best way to get multiple new members enrolling at once. There are several ways you can go about selling this offer. Bring a friend with you when you enroll and you both get a class on the house, or enroll with a friend and you both get a discount on your first monthly package. Enrolling with a friend is a great way to encourage more people to try your studio and double your possible retention rate.
As a new studio, it’s not always easy getting new members through the door. Try out these different intro offers to draw people to your studio and keep them there for months to come.
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