The scales don’t always tip in our favor during the holidays. Last-minute shopping trips and countless get-togethers make carving out time for the gym challenging, and avoiding decadent seasonal treats can be just as difficult. Long story short, many people put a pause on healthy habits until the New Year.
Without a comprehensive strategy in place, like at Fit Body Boot Camp, this consumer mindset can also make it difficult for gym franchise owners to market their business during the holidays. However, our strategy helps Fit Body Boot Camp gym owners find ways to attract new clients while retaining existing ones – the keys to marketing and running a popular fitness business.
Here’s how to market your gym franchise to get the most out of the holiday season:
- Keep Existing Gym Members Engaged with Holiday Contests and Competitions
- Build Interest for Your Fitness Franchise among New Clients
- Support a Charitable Cause and Spark Community Involvement for Your Gym
The holiday season may seem like the prime time to indulge and pack on the pounds, but it also represents a significant opportunity to motivate and engage your existing clients. This will, in turn, often drive long-term retention.
Many gym owners focus their marketing efforts on attracting new clients, but the reality is that most people are not looking to join a gym during the holidays. Plus, it costs nine times as much to acquire a new client as it does to retain an existing one.[i] That’s not to say generating new leads isn’t important, but during the holiday season, your marketing focus is best left to member retention.
Introducing holiday-themed contests and competitions for existing members can be one of the best ways to boost engagement. Holding these internal contests is an effective strategy to show your appreciation for your clients while motivating them to stay fit during the holidays.
Every holiday season, Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owners host a “0 lb. Challenge” to engage clients and incentivize healthy choices during the holidays. Instead of encouraging weight loss like other seasonal, internal competitions, the “0 lb. Challenge” simply motivates clients to not gain any additional holiday weight. Because the average American gains at least one pound during the holidays, this contest was created to encourage clients to enjoy the holidays in moderation, without imposing unrealistic expectations on their fitness journey.[ii]
When clients succeed in the challenge, they’re eligible to win various prizes, such as a discounted monthly membership. This creates excitement and enthusiasm among clients while setting them up for success throughout the holidays and beyond. With the additional engagement and motivation, clients are also much more likely to continue their memberships in the New Year.
Gym membership rates peak during the months following December. More than 12 percent of Americans join a gym in January – a notable spike from the 8 percent on average who join during the rest of the year.[iii]
While potential new clients are distracted by festivities during the holidays, it’s the perfect time to build your e-mail list and begin generating interest among new prospects. This helps you capitalize on the seasonal spike before it even begins, so you can hit the ground running with lead generation in January.
For instance, Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owners build their e-mail lists throughout the holidays by sending prospects useful tools, such as free, downloadable holiday recipe guides and meal plans. This informative content provides value to leads while positioning Fit Body Boot Camp as a go-to resource to help jumpstart their New Year’s resolution.
Before the New Year even rolls around, interested prospects will already have Fit Body Boot Camp top-of-mind to help them achieve their fitness and wellness goals.
The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to the community and support charitable causes — and effectively incorporate them into your marketing plan.
Although fundraising and community outreach are year-long initiatives at Fit Body Boot Camp, franchise owners are able to leverage peoples’ heightened generosity, awareness and support during the holidays to give back.
As part of our Charity Check-In program, franchise owners raise money every month for various philanthropies. Six will be causes supported by global organizations, and six will be causes supported by local organizations. The global organizations are selected by the headquarters team, while the local organizations are chosen by franchisees, who know their communities better than anyone else. In December, Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owners will focus support on local shelters and food banks. The ultimate goal of the program is to raise $250,000 for charitable causes over the next year.
Aside from making a positive impact on countless communities, charitable campaigns also represent a strong marketing opportunity. Each campaign is assigned similar hashtags from the Fit Body Boot Camp headquarters team. Franchisees share these hashtags with their coaches, who encourage clients to use them when they check in. In addition to social media marketing tactics, the headquarters team also provides other marketing collateral to franchise owners to boost brand awareness and garner support.
By giving back, franchise owners can engage existing members, while creating new connections and boosting brand awareness in their community.