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Plan a New Intro Offer To Grow Your Fitness Business in 2021

You have a big opportunity to score new customers for your fitness classes if you plan ahead and reach out with smart marketing and intro offers in 2021.

December 17, 2020

Traditionally, fitness businesses get ready to welcome their highest volume of new business in January and February. While the worldwide pandemic has likely changed what your studio is expecting in the New Year, you still have a big opportunity to score new customers if you reach out with smart marketing to capture their business.

You may not be able to throw your doors open to packed classes yet – but if you are among the first in your local market to launch a New Year’s get fit campaign your fitness business could achieve gains that will pay off all year long.

Here’s how to launch and run a successful introductory offer for your fitness business using the power of Punchpass.

Create an Intro Offer that Stands Out from the Competition

This year has been unique to say the least, so why wouldn’t your intro offer be creative and new too? In many localities fitness instructors and studios offer nearly identical discount offers to lure in new students and members.

Instead of the traditional free class, free week or discounted month, consider putting together an irresistible offer that’s custom tailored to the current mindset and needs of the people in your community. Most of us have been cooped up at home, perhaps cobbling together a mixture of DIY exercise regimens, online workouts and tentative forays to in-person classes. It’s no stretch to assume that nearly everyone is feeling off their game, and in need of extra support and encouragement to recreate – or create for the first time – a consistent health and fitness routine.

Since you’re not likely to be able to invite everyone in for in-person classes – at least en masse – for several more months, think about packaging and discounting a combination of on-demand, live online and small group or private classes for new students. A special offer that includes an online support session and supplementary guidance in the form of downloadable tip sheets or guidebooks, which you can host through your Punchpass content library – could add substantial value without too much effort on your part.

Another way to build community and energy while offering extra support is to create an intro offer that’s a challenge or other kind of fun game with tracking and acknowledgement of participant’s success and prizes for motivation. A month-long challenge where participants post pics and inspiration on social media and win branded water bottles, t-shirt or hats could generate a lot of buzz!

Along with your discounted class pass or trial month, what about adding on a private consultation which you can do either online through your Punchpass Zoom integration or safely in person under COVID safety protocols?

Price Your Intro Offer Right

The key to an introductory offer that works is to offer enough of a deal to lure in new customers without undermining your standard pricing, and that’s at a level where the jump to purchasing a class pass or membership isn’t too big a leap.

When figuring out the math:

  • Avoid freebies when possible. Giving away your services – even if it’s just one class or session –  undervalues your time, effort and credentials and tends to bring in too many “unqualified leads” i.e. bargain shoppers without any intention of ever becoming a long-term paying customer.
  • Stay away from coupon services that take a financial cut of your profits from your offer. If you need help promoting your introductory offer you can get very good results at a lower cost by paying to promote your offer in a targeted way on platforms like Facebook.
  • Do offer a discount but don’t make it too deep. You don’t want new customers to get sticker shock when their deal is over and want to buy a regularly priced class pass. A good range is 20% to 50% off.

Promote & Track Your Deal

Once you’ve got your introductory offer created and have set it up in your Punchpass software, you’re ready to get the word out and start generating sales!

When you create your marketing campaigns, make sure they have specific start and end dates, and include all the marketing platforms you’ll use to share your offer with your community. Expiration dates and limited time offers generate a sense of urgency – which prompts people to buy.

For example, you could launch a “new year, new you” campaign and promote your deal through emails and social media posts. Facebook has a built in paid advertising option for creating a limited time deal. Punchpass’ email features, including integration with MailChimp, make it easy to create beautifully designed – and trackable – marketing messages.

If your deal is a separate pricing option in your Punchpass software simply include the link to purchase in your email and social media marketing. You can track sales using Punchpass’ Reports feature.

If your deal is set up as a percent or dollar amount off one of your regularly priced items, like a 10-class pass, for example, you can set up a promotional code that will automatically take the discount when your customer enters the code upon purchase. Include the code in your email, and social media messages.

You can track how many times the code has been used in the Reports area of Punchpass. Add in an invitation for your best clients to share the deal with friends and family.

Set up a separate campaign with a new intro offer, tracking and promotional codes for the New Year. If you’re linking your offer to a challenge or other special program, make sure to launch your promotional campaign at least two week before the start date to give customers time to plan and purchase. 

Welcome Your New Customers and Retain Them

The whole point of the intro offer is to gain new, long term business. To do this, you must have an effective system in place for communicating with the people who are trying out your fitness business during their trial – whether it’s one day, one week or one month. Do not make the mistake of thinking people will simply love you enough to buy a full priced pass, membership or training session on their own.

Successful fitness studios and gyms know that to make new potential customers stick around they have to be invited and encouraged multiple times. Here’s a retention and upselling simple system that won’t cost you tons of time and energy:

  1. Use your Punchpass fitness business software Reports feature to track all of the new intro offer purchases during your campaigns. Generate a contact list for all purchases.
  2.  Within the first week of purchase, or the first week the offer-holder has attended a class, call them with a welcome message. Schedule a follow up call with each contact before their trial period ends. If you want to be more high-touch, you can schedule the call with the customer, letting them know that you’ll be checking in with them about their experience, or you can schedule the follow up behind the scenes in your own calendar.
  3. Set up automated emails to new customers that are sent when a new customer is entered into your Punchpass system, at the beginning of their trial (the timing will depend on the length of the trial offer) and just before their trial ends. In the “end of trial” message consider offering another, much smaller, but still enticing discount off the purchase of a full-priced pass or membership which expires at the end of their trial.
  4. Make phone calls to the customers who have not purchased regular passes or memberships and invite them to do so. You can sell the pass over the phone using your Punchpass software, or email the customer a discount code to use online.

As always, the way to attract new business is by being friendly, welcoming and sharing how much you love and have benefited from the fitness programs that you offer. Think of your introductory offer as an invitation to someone who might not otherwise benefit from a healthier, happier life and enjoy the support and encouragement of your community. This will shift your mindset to one of serving others and naturally engage with customers who may be with you for years to come!