Go ahead, double check that calendar. Ready or not, the holidays are just around the corner. And if you were planning your annual “happy holidays” post to Facebook and a special new member promotion leading up to Near Year’s, that’s fine. But, we think you can do better with your fitness holiday marketing.

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s -- they’re all holidays about family, fun, and indulgence. Come January 1st, people will flock to their local gyms and studios with the hopes of getting back in shape, taking off the extra holiday pounds, or finally achieving that fitness resolution. But, waiting until late December or even early January to put your studio out there will mean getting left behind.

If you’re looking to drum up new memberships and sales leading up to the holidays -- and be well-positioned to take on plenty of “resolution-ers” as new members -- then you’ll want to try these 6 creative ways to pump up for your fitness holiday marketing.

 

#1: Celebrate early

No, we’re not giving you permission to open up your gifts two whole months early. Get people thinking about those upcoming New Year’s resolutions by sparking the holiday spirit a little early. That way, your content won’t get lost in the shuffle come December.

This could mean a “Santa’s Come Early” new member special or even a “Headstart on the Holidays” fitness challenge, encouraging people to get in shape before the holidays instead of waiting until after. If you’re the first studio in your area to get members thinking about getting in shape for the holidays, you’ll have a big leg up on your competitors.

#2: Refresh your gift cards

Gift cards are a simple, practical gift during the holidays, so make sure yours catch members’ attention. If you’ve had the same gift cards for a few years, try refreshing the design. Or, you can order special holiday-style gift card holders to get people thinking ahead on their Christmas list.

Place the gift cards in an easy to see spot - like your reception desk - and consider giving members’ the option to purchase a gift card online. In 2016, 71% of gift card purchasers said they’d purchased a gift card or coupon online, so give people multiple ways to give the gift of fitness.

(And if you’re directing people to a landing page to purchase those gift cards, check out Landing Pages 101 to see how your studio can create landing pages that convert.)

#3: Bolster your presence on review sites

Last time you went out to dinner, found a new doctor’s office, or went shopping for clothes, did you look at the business’s online reviews first? If you’re like 92% of modern consumers, you probably did.

When January 1st comes around, everyone and their mother is going to be on a hunt for the best fitness studio in town. Make sure you stand out on review sites so prospects find you first. Encourage happy current members to write reviews this November and December, or reach out to your email list requesting feedback. You can even offer a first-time check-in special on Yelp to encourage prospects to stop in (and leave a positive review!). Invest time this month into making your studio look its best on review sites, and your work will easily pay off in 2018.

#4: Boycott the holidays

Okay, we’re not recommending actually boycotting the holidays -- just using that trope to have fun with your marketing. If your studio has a tougher, more serious atmosphere that doesn’t mesh well with the cheer and merriment of the holiday season, you can organize campaigns or studio challenges that are “anti-holiday” in a fun and light-hearted way.

With shopping, traveling, and so much more, the holidays can be a stressful time too. If your marketing and programming uniquely focuses on that side of the holidays, you’ll pique the interest of people who are already a little tired of the holiday spirit. For example, you can organize a “Skip the Shopping” class one Saturday, encouraging people to forget about stressful holiday shopping and take time for themselves instead. Or, you can tempt new members to spend on themselves instead with a new member special.

#5: Holiday meal help

Position your studio as a valuable resource during the holidays by offering some help with eating well. Organize an email or social media campaign with tips for eating healthy during Thanksgiving, or offer a customized meal plan when members purchase a personal training package.

Eating well during the holidays is hard. And when you reach out to lend a hand to members and prospects, they’ll be more likely to think of you when they’re ready to join a gym or start visiting their existing studio more often.

 

#6: Have fun with holiday classes

Around the holidays, turn classes into events. Literally -- organize a themed holiday class, and drum up excitement with a Facebook invite, evite, or posters around the club. Playing up the holidays in one of your classes can be an easy and fun way to motivate members to try classes they haven’t yet or get back in the gym after a long time away. You can even turn your themed classes into lead generation tools by inviting members to bring a guest for free. Or, you can get the community involved by organizing a donation-based event benefitting a local charity.

If your studio hasn’t started thinking about marketing for the holidays, don’t delay! Thoughtful, targeted marketing leading up to the new year is a vital way to keep members engaged, draw prospects to your studio, and be well-positioned for the New Year’s resolution boom.

 

But, we get it -- well-rounded, multi-media marketing can be daunting. That’s why SWETI Services is here to help with a gift just for you: a complimentary marketing review. Our team can get you up and running with a targeted marketing campaign just in time for the holidays. All you have to do is schedule your free marketing review today.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

If you’re like most studios, you experienced a lower number of new members during the summer months. This seasonal slowdown is commonly known as the “Summer Slump.” But, vacations are winding down, kids are back in school, and people are ready to focus on their health and wellbeing. So, how do you sell more new memberships and pick up the pace for your studio now that summer’s over?

 

#1: Host a Challenge

Everyone loves a good challenge! Reignite your members’ passion for fitness and encourage new members to check you out with a fitness challenge. Fitness challenges -- especially 30-day challenges -- have seen a sharp increase in popularity over the past few years. Committing to a fitness regimen for a set period of time can be a wildly successful way for people to hit their health goals (and for you to hit your revenue goals).

The rules of the challenge can be different depending on what kind of studio you have. If you’re a class-based studio looking to increase unlimited membership sales, challenge members to a certain number of classes in 30 days. This can encourage people to get in the habit of attending more often -- and motivate them to purchase more classes from your studio.

For larger gyms or businesses, a weight loss challenge can be a successful way to get people motivated too. Throw a “weigh-in” party at the beginning of the challenge period, host a series of group workouts or offer complimentary nutrition counseling, and then host a final weigh-in party with prizes and party favors.

Adding a little friendly competition to your members’ workout routine can get them excited about visiting your studio more regularly and utilizing the additional services you offer -- like personal training or classes.

 

#2: Get Your Members Thinking Ahead

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know 12% of gym memberships are sold in January. But, you may be surprised to learn that 80% of those people who sign up in January quit within five months. People have the best of intentions with every new year. They’re ready to commit to healthier habits and a more active lifestyle. But, if you can convince members to join this fall, they’re more likely to stick around.

Focus your marketing efforts and studio offerings on getting potential members to think ahead. You can offer a Plan Ahead rate -- where members who join before January 1st get a special discount. Or, you can promote your personal training packages as a way to get in shape for the holiday season. Who doesn’t want to show off an amazing personal transformation just in time for the company Christmas party?

 

#3: Leverage Social Media

If you’re connected with your members on social media, use those platforms to get people more involved in your studio. Facebook, Instagram, Google+, etc. are great places to not only highlight new offerings to your current members, but also get potential members excited to check you out.

Use your social pages to inspire current and past members to get more active at your studio. Highlight a recent success story or share content from your popular new class. Posting regular, engaging content to your social media pages keeps your studio top of mind for your followers.

(If you could use a little more help designing engaging content for your pages, book a free marketing review with our team and we can offer some specific recommendations!)

You can also leverage social media to spread positive word of mouth. Encourage happy members to leave a review, or even offer a free guest pass if they share an honest review on Facebook or Google+. You can also leverage social media to get new members excited about your business, as well. Through Yelp and Facebook, you have the ability to run a check-in special for new or existing members. When they check in at your studio (and broadcast to their followers that they stopped in), you can offer a discounted class or free swag.

 

#4: Spread the Word In-Person

With a world that’s moving more and more online, it’s easy to forget about good, ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth marketing -- i.e. actually getting out there to talk about your business. Even with all of our review sites, social media forums, and online resources, the number one most trusted resource for making a purchase decision is someone just like your members. When you get out there and familiarize yourself with potential members in your area, they’ll be more likely to think of you when they’re searching for a new workout routine.

Every time you’re out in your community, have some offer cards on you. Simple business-sized cards that offer a free class or an exclusive discount are helpful to have on hand if you strike up a conversation about your studio.

You can also leverage your relationship with other businesses in your area. Partner with a local restaurant, retail shop, or studio with a different style of workout to offer mutual discounts to your members and their customers. For example, you could partner with a local smoothie bar down the street -- when your members show their key tags, they get 10% off their smoothie purchase. And when smoothie bar customers show their loyalty card at your gym, they get $0 enrollment.

 

Don’t let the Summer Slump drag your business down. Head into fall with fresh ideas and exciting offerings for your members, and get a headstart on the New Year’s rush.

Want more tailored ways to boost revenue for your studio? SWETI Services is here to help! When you book a free marketing review, we offer in-the-moment feedback on what you could be doing to better marketing your studio.

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

When this page loaded (yes, this webpage with the article you’re reading now), what was the first thing you saw? We’ll bet you scanned the image, maybe you read the title, and then after your eyes adjusted to our colors, font choice, and sidebars, you started reading.

People are pretty predictable when it comes to website behavior. On landing pages, our eyes are attracted to the same places, we’re intrigued by similar tones, and most people are apprehensive of sites they’ve never visited before. That’s why it’s important to put some thought and strategy behind landing pages for your studio.

What exactly is a landing page? At its most basic definition, a landing page is a standalone page of your website accessed by clicking a hyperlink. Landing pages are commonly used for special offers, introductory sessions, and general lead generation. And since they’re such a vital tool for lead generation, it’s important to make sure people who see your page submit their information and connect with your business.

How exactly do you do that? Let’s break down the most important guidelines for building out a landing page:

 

Be Consistent

When it comes to converting visitors on your landing page, consistency is key. Try to keep your landing page consistent not only with your studio’s branding, but also with the wording and visuals on your original source -- i.e. the ad or post where people clicked to your landing page.

For example, if you’re offering a free trial pass, talk about it the same way in your social post or digital advertising as you do on your landing page. Using similar phrases, colors, and pictures assures the user they’re on the right page. Plus, if they clicked to your landing page, they were clearly a fan of your words, colors and images to begin with.

It’s also important to make sure the call-to-action is the same. If your email blast mentions a “3-day pass,” but your landing page calls it a “guest membership,” people may get confused and abandon ship. Keep your phrasing consistent between promotions and landing pages.

(Want an easy and effective way to drive more people to your landing page? We break down exactly what type of Facebook Advertising will work best for you in our blog, Facebook Ads 101.)

 

Be Concise

When visiting a new website, most visitors will navigate away within 10 seconds. That means you have 10 seconds to clarify what you’re offering, show the user what information you’ll need from them, and get them excited about what you have to offer. That’s a lot of things to accomplish in under 10 seconds!

That’s why it’s crucial to be concise on your landing page. Make your offer clear with a bold title and avoid long paragraphs of text. If there are multiple benefits people can get by taking advantage of this offer or a fairly complex explanation of your services, try bullet points instead. And if there’s information that’s not crucial or doesn’t need to be elaborated on, cut it.

And make it easy for people to take action. Keep your CTA specific, and try to only require the information you absolutely need from a potential client. The easier it is for someone to fill out your form, the more likely they are to actually submit their info.

 

Be Informed

There’s no “one size fits all” for landing pages. Depending on the type of business you are, what you’re offering, and the information you want to convey, your ideal layout will be different. That’s where A/B testing can be helpful. Try two different versions of your landing page and see which generates the most views and submissions.

If your landing page includes a call-to-action (and most good ones should!), do a little research on language, as well. How you phrase your CTA can make a big difference in whether people will take you up on your promotion. For example, a tone that sounds offering and generous can be more successful than a tone that’s demanding. Getting more leads on your landing page could be as simple as switching your CTA from “Book Now” to “Get Your Appointment.”

 

Never Underestimate Layout

Now that you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, it’s crucial to lay out your landing page the correct way. Studies have found layout to be a major factor in website performance, so take the time to make sure everything is clear and visually appealing.

Not sure where to start when it comes to designing your layout? Start with some rules of thumb:

  • Make the CTA button pop in a contrasting color or a clear font
  • Place your CTA button above the fold (i.e. users shouldn’t have to scroll down to see it)
  • Stamp on your studio’s logo somewhere easy to spot
  • Minimize the visuals. Don’t clutter your landing page with too many pictures as that can decrease click-through and also cause your landing page to load more slowly.
  • Try adding proof. If you’ve got some testimonials about what you’re promoting, you can add those underneath the CTA

And don’t forget to make your landing page mobile friendly! With over half of website visits happening on a mobile device, it’s important to make your landing page mobile-responsive so it’s still clear, organized and easy to read from any device.

 

When it comes to designing the perfect landing page, there are a lot of important points and strategies to keep in mind. That’s where SWETI Services comes in. We keep all of these guidelines (and more!) in mind when designing pages for your studio.

To learn more about how we can generate leads and drive conversions for your studio, schedule a free marketing review with our team.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

This blog was co-written with our partners at Club OS

 

Setting prices for your studio is arguably one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. You’ve built a great space, you’ve hired a killer staff, and now you need to get people in the door. Price your classes or memberships too high, and you’ll scare away potential members. Price them too low, and your business won’t turn a profit.

When it comes to setting prices for your studio, remember that less is more. Keep your membership and purchase options clear, condensed, and competitively priced. How can you make that happen? Let’s break it down:

 

#1: Look At Your Demographic

Look at who your studio is appealing to. Do you have an upbeat, high-energy class that millennials would flock to? Is restorative yoga for the aging body your specialty? Clearly lay out the age demographic of your ideal clientele as well as their average income. Honing in on who you’re hoping to reach will keep your pricing competitive and reasonable, ensuring you’re bringing in the right people who will stick around. Our partners at Club OS recommend that you create a digital lead form that every prospect fills out. This will allow you to capture demographic information, making it easier to define your prices.

If you’re appealing to a wealthier, high-end clientele, for example, consider a more expensive, all-encompassing price. Members with a bit more money to spare are less likely to be turned away by a higher price tag, but may get frustrated by regular additional charges or add-ons they need to deal with. Think about SoulCycle, for example: The price per class is around $25, but it includes your shoe rental, towel service, and use of the studio’s facilities before or after your class. Consider a higher class price or monthly membership that includes all the bells and whistles if you’re looking to reach high-end users.

That said, if your studio appeals to a mass market instead, a lower starting price may be to your benefit. A more expensive base price may cause a little sticker shock to folks just looking to hit the gym a few times a week. If your ideal members are younger, “price-elastic” consumers, consider an optional pricing model. This would mean that your regular or entry-level price is lower, but members can pay for upgrades like personal training, towel service, or group exercise classes. The low starting price point will get members to join, and then you can entice them with the additional services that come at an extra charge.

The more options you offer also allows you to be more specific in your marketing and communication. Our partners at Club OS know the importance that communication plays in keeping your members around, and if you know what they are interested in and willing to pay for, you can customize your communication around that.

(Memberships aren’t the only way your studio can drive revenue for your studio. Check out our Guide to Promoting Retail at Your Studio.)

 

#2: Do Your Research

Think of a successful competitor in your area -- one who you admire that appeals to a similar demographic as your studio. What’s their pricing model? That doesn’t mean you should swipe the exact membership and class options they offer, but it can definitely give you an idea of what people in your area are willing to spend. If a competitor’s prices aren’t readily available on their website, you can still get an idea of how their memberships are set up with sites like Yelp or Google+. See why their members stay.

Our partners at Club OS have seen gyms and studios find success in sending out surveys to their current members, as well. Send out a survey that has some questions about your gym, and include a question about price. Most people will want a lower price, but it will help you find a happy medium based on feedback.

Dig into the industry standard pricing for your type of studio too. If you run a yoga studio, for example, you’ll likely want to offer both a class pack and an unlimited membership to accommodate the dedicated yogis as well as the athletes who just want to drop in here and there. But on the other hand, if you run a gym that focuses on self-directed workouts in your open space, you’ll probably want to offer one or two membership tiers, as well as additional package prices for personal training or specific classes.

 

#3: Keep It Simple

Did you know restaurants that offer more than seven food options per category actually overwhelm and confuse guests? The same goes for fitness studios. If people have too many choices when it comes to memberships, it’s more likely they won’t choose anything at all. Make it easy for your clients to choose which membership will work for them and understand what’s involved.

Which types of class packs or prices you offer will likely depend on what kind of business you have, so refer back to your research to see what your industry standard is. There’s no magic number when it comes to how many options you should have, but see if there’s overlap in your offerings. Are two of your membership options pretty similar with only one or two differences? See if you can combine those into one option to simplify your pricing model.

Keeping your pricing simple not only benefits your members: it benefits you! When you’ve got just a handful of pricing options, it’s easier to make sales predictions and membership goals for your business. When you limit the number of purchase options, you can get a better idea of which are most popular and how many of each you typically get in a month.

 

So, if you’re setting prices at your studio for the first time or looking to streamline your existing options, just remember: less is more.

 

Club OS is the leading technology solution for lead and member management in the fitness industry. With features such as texting, scheduling, automated follow-ups, email marketing, and more, Club OS is the tool you need to increase revenue.

*   *   *

If you could use help marketing your studio's memberships, SWETI Services can help. Book a free marketing review with our team to get in -the-moment feedback on your current marketing efforts.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

It’s not easy choosing just the right stock photo for a gym or fitness studio. It seems most fitness stock models are under-dressed (for the thousandth time, underwear does NOT count as shorts), over-excited (trust us: no one is that jazzed about Zumba) or have never stepped foot in a gym before (ummm that machine doesn’t...well...whatever, forget it).

But, there are some fitness stock photos that are just downright wrong. And to save you the trouble of going out and finding them, we’ve pulled together just for you -- the world’s worst fitness stock photos.

Enjoy.

 

Real life reaction to, “The whole front row of bikes is open -- why don’t you move up?”

Real talk: When was the last time you saw someone in an electric blue terrycloth headband? There also isn’t any context to this pose since the background is stark white. We’d avoid using an image like this for your fitness business. Choose a photo that’s a little less over-the-top and a little more relatable.

 

“I am a powerful businesswoman. This is my power pose.”

Real talk: When choosing stock photos, pick a believable scenario. You want an image about healthy habits in the workplace to look like you captured someone in the middle of their day, not like...well, this.

 

Working up a sweat, but mascara still on point.

Real talk: It’s a gym, not a Revlon ad. Pick photos of people actually getting active.

 

“Alright, Bryan, pose on that machine. Not that kind of posing, Bryan, just use the equipment. Oh forget it, let’s just shoot this thing.”

Real talk: We’re not even going to touch that tricep dip form. But in reality, overly-posed photos likely won’t appeal to people who are looking to get fit -- try to find photos that feel more natural.

 

DID NO ONE TELL BRYAN YOU’RE NEVER SUPPOSED TO MAKE EYE CONTACT ON THIS MACHINE?

Real talk: Don’t make eye contact on this machine.

 

“Oh hey, we didn’t see you there. Won’t you join us?”

Real talk: Let’s take a minute to talk about what is happening here. Nothing. Nothing is happening here. This model is literally just placing his hands on another model to make it look like he’s helping her work out. If you want an image that highlights personal training, be sure to use one that gives your audience confidence that your personal trainers are actually skilled and knowledgeable.

 

From the gym to the club. If you can make it out of the gym without breaking your ankle.

Real talk: As Austinites, we get it -- when you're working out in the summer, you want to wear less clothing so you can stay cool. But, when it comes to choosing a relatable image for your gym, there's a difference between dressing practically and dressing like literally no one in your studio is dressed. And if you know someone who can do any sort of workout in shoes like that, consider us very impressed. And nervous for their safety.

A poster for the Lifetime Original Movie, Carl, John, the Scale, and Me.

Real talk: What is going on here?? You don’t need to fit every healthy living visual into one image -- focus instead on one lifestyle photo at a time to really capture the image of healthy living.

 

“Throw the Precious into the fire!”

Real talk: We said it before, but we’ll say it again: Context is everything. Though this may give off the “intense” and “powerful” vibes, it’s a little too literal.

 

The title of this photo is, “Two Women Making Exercising.” We did not make that up.

Real talk: If you’re trying to convince an audience that working out will be enjoyable and rewarding, you’ll probably want to choose a photo where people actually look like they’re enjoying themselves. And can we agree at this point to just not use photos with an all-white background? Ok, good.

We’re not gonna lie -- we just added this one in here to make you smile. #FriendshipGoals

Real talk: Yes, this photo is adorable. But, if your goal is to target a more mature audience, it’s better to choose an image that shows the safe, effective and assisted exercises they’ll be able to do with your studio.

 

One more real talk for you: If you own, operate, or work at a fitness studio, schedule your free marketing review with us today. We’d love to talk with you about how we can take your studio’s marketing efforts to the next level. And we promise to never use any of these photos.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist