Prospect Strategies for Newly-Reopened Health Clubs

Posted by Jessica Isle on Apr 13, 2021 8:30:00 AM

As health clubs and gyms reopen for in-person workouts, it may be time to revamp your marketing approach to driving traffic through your doors (in-person, outdoor and online). Here's the Active Marketing team’s recommendations for prospecting new members in 2021. 

  1. Book Now – Join Later. Consumers want to go to your website or fitness app and book their workout without wading through membership options. Make it easy to get them into your doors for a workout, and invite them to become a member AFTER they’ve had that much needed endorphin-boosting communal workout that makes them want to come back for more!
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  2. Still Optimize Your Website for Online Joins. For those who have already decided they want to return, your goal is to simply remove any barriers or roadblocks that stand in their way. Make it simple to start or reactivate a membership online and begin booking workouts, without requiring an email or phone call to your team. While this may seem like a no-brainer, many of us have become so focused on communicating health and safety measures (also important), that we’ve let some of our basic call-to-action items get buried on our websites.

    Quick audit: Do you have a prominent Join Online button located on the homepage of your website (no scrolling, drop-down or searching required)? Be sure to test the experience on both your phone and computer to make sure messaging is current and your technology works.
  3. Test Offers, And Then Test Again. We’ve tested offers that performed well in the northeast but not the northwest, as well as ones that performed better in February compared to last November. As restrictions and circumstances change, your market’s responsiveness to offers will adapt as well. Don’t be afraid to test an offer, and then try again down the road even if it didn’t work before. Here are a few that have performed well for our sites recently:
    > Offer a free welcome back workout for previous members (dropping the first-time only clause).
    > “Dues don’t start until you do.” Join now with $0 dues until your first workout. This allows prospects to convert to memberships and get on your books, without committing to coming in before they’re ready.
    > 4-week paid usage pass at an introductory rate that can be converted into memberships later.

  4. Be Sensitive to Commitment-Phobia. After a year of uncertainties, consumers have been trained to take it one month or even day at a time. Your target audience may have infrequent childcare, job insecurity, and a general anxiety over the unknown. Be sensitive to this by allowing clients to purchase class packs and/or monthly memberships with easy cancellations. This reassures clients that you’re flexible enough to change with their circumstances if needed.

    Quick audit: can your members easily find your cancellation policy and request online? More than a member service tool, this can also drive lead conversion by helping prospects feel comfortable joining.

  5. Hubspot Blog Post Image (1)Re-Engage Yourself To Get Inspired. Finally, find the time to workout yourself, ideally in your own gym orstudio space. Nothing is more impactful than putting yourself in the (workout) shoes of your members. Take time for the workouts you’ve loved and missed, and it’ll be easier for you to inspire others to do the same!






Need help driving traffic into your gym? The Active team can help. Our Marketing services include promotional campaign plans, website development, environmental design, email marketing, social media and marketing strategy. Learn more here.

About: The Active Marketing team is an industry-leading marketing team with proven strategies to engage. We partner with fitness sites of all sizes and marketing budgets on efficient and effective solutions to optimize digital spend, drive revenue and engagement through B2C strategy, including opt-in promotional membership campaigns. Opt into our existing promotional membership campaigns customized for your site or let us help develop your B2C strategy. 

Note: Recommendations are based on the Active Wellness Marketing team’s use of these products. Active Wellness pays for subscription to these services and not affiliated with these brands nor receiving product sponsorship or endorsement for our referrals. 


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Jessica Isle is the Marketing Manager for Active Wellness and leads our B2C strategy for clients, with a focus on medical fitness integration. Jessica’s 10+ years of fitness marketing experience combined with a background in the community sector gives her unique insight on creating mission-based brand experiences that support membership growth and retention. She has been featured in industry publications like Club Solutions and as a speaker at IHRSA's International Convention, and Club Industry's Future of Fitness 2021. Jessica recently returned to her home state of Tennessee where she enjoys hiking, yoga and time with her two active boys.