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

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

 

Maybe you already have a small retail shop at your studio, or maybe you’re thinking about giving it a try. Either way, promoting retail at your fitness business is a different ballgame than promoting your studio in general. But, it’s not as hard as you might think! If you want to sell products and goodies at your studio, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help make retail at your fitness business successful and profitable:

#1: Stock the right stuff

You may have the most genius idea for branded knee-high socks, but ask yourself this: Are your members going to buy it? Before opening up the retail side of your business (or even if it’s already up and running!), take the time to do some small-scale market research. Ask your staff and members:

  • What gear would they want to wear?
  • What do they forget most often when they visit your studio that would be helpful to sell, like a yoga mat or earphones?
  • What types of supplements do your trainers recommend most often, and is there a certain brand you personally endorse?

Selling the right stuff is the first step to successful retailing.

#2: Create hype

If you’re planning to offer some products at your studio in the future or you just ordered some new stuff, get people excited before the products get there. Make an announcement on social media to let people know that their new favorite shirt is coming soon. Or plaster promotional posters around your studio letting members know they’ll be able to cool off after a tough workout at your new smoothie bar.

Letting people know about your products before they arrive can help bolster sales right from the get-go, rather than having your awesome new merchandise sitting around gathering dust.

#3: Update online tags and descriptions

Make sure it’s clear online that you also offer products for sale at your studio. Build out a page on your website that displays some of what you sell, a menu of the food or drink items you offer, or even an online store where people can order right from your site.

But, don’t stop there. Most social media sites, like Yelp or Facebook, allow businesses to tag their page by what services they offer. Be sure to add retail as a tag on these sites so new visitors know you offer products for sale, as well. On Facebook, for example, you can see and edit any business tags in your “About” section:

 

Be sure to update the tags on your business description.

#4: Put it in the right place

Let’s face it: People probably aren’t coming to your studio just to buy the products you sell on the side. They’re coming in for a workout, class or personal training session. If they happen to buy something while they’re in, great! But don’t expect anyone to go looking for your retail items if they’re tucked at the back of the building by your office.

Set up your retail shop in a location that’s high-traffic and convenient for your members. The lobby is usually a good bet, and make sure the merchandise is close to a cashier to make purchases even easier.

#5: Use it as an incentive

If you sell products at your studio, you want people to get excited about them. And what better way to get people excited about your retail items than offering them as a prize? If you run regular competitions at your gym or participate in any sort of in-studio or charity giveaways, use your merchandise or products as awards. 

Take Orangetheory, for example. Winners of their workout challenge were awarded with Orangetheory gear. So, the winners feel great about themselves, and OTF has new brand ambassadors to rep their name around town and get other people interested in the gear:

Check out how Orangetheory Fitness leveraged their gear for an in-studio contest.

Don’t want to just give your products away? Offer discount incentives, instead! Entice new members at your studio by offering 10% off your products for their first month. Or surprise your loyal members by giving them a BOGO card after they’ve attended 10 classes. Using your products as a prize automatically makes people excited about them, and you can easily get members introduced to what you offer so they’ll get in the habit of coming back to buy more.

#6: Rep it

If you’ve got great gear with your studio’s name or logo, show it off! Get your staff or trainers to wear the latest gear you’ve got in the store rather than a standard uniform. Your members probably look up to your amazing trainers and will be more likely to buy a shirt themselves if their favorite instructor is repping it.

You can also motivate your members to show off your studio’s gear. Check out how SoulCycle inspired their members. They encourage members to share pics in SoulCycle gear with the hashtag #SOULStyle for a chance to be featured in a monthly email newsletter:

SouCycle inspires members to rep their gear on social media.

 

Still unsure the best way to market the retail side of your business? Or want a more in-depth analysis on the best way to market products to your members? SWETI would love to help! Schedule your free marketing review, and we can offer in-the-moment feedback and consultation to get the retail side of your business off the ground.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

 

For kids, summer is always the best time of year: no school, beautiful weather, and endless hours outside with friends. But for those in the fitness industry, the new season can feel a bit more daunting. At the average gym in America, new memberships hit an all-time low between June and August. With the warm weather driving people outside and more families scheduling their summer vacations, most studio owners out there have experienced the “Summer Slump.”

Here at SWETI Services, we’ve seen summer after summer in the fitness industry, and we’ve put together some surefire ways your studio can beat the Summer Slump:

 

Refresh Your Calendar

People may prefer to get active outside as the weather warms up, but that’s not always an option for people that are still working a 9 - 5 job. They may not have time to hit up their favorite hiking trail before work or won’t feel safe running through their town late at night after dinner. Update your class schedule to accommodate those people. Make sure you’ve got some early-morning options for members who want a quick sweat session before work, as well as some late classes for the night owls.

 

Motivate Your Current Members

Just because new memberships are traditionally low this time of year doesn’t mean you should focus all of your attention on driving those sales back up. Dedicate energy to motivating your current members to get more involved, as well. Try putting together a summer workout challenge, where members are challenged to hit the gym a certain number of times a week to win a prize. Or, they could compete with other members for the most weight lost or highest number of classes attended.

You could also get your current members more involved by offering great deals on some of your pricier services, like personal training or nutritional planning. It’s hard to pass up a good deal, so give members a little push to check out other things your studio has to offer.

 

Reward Regulars

If you’re successful in motivating your members, you’re sure to have some regulars you can always count on: The people who show up day in and day out. Summer is the perfect opportunity to show those people how much you appreciate them (while inspiring your less-active members to get more involved, as well, or new members to come on board). Highlight some of your regular members on social media with a “member spotlight” or offer some free swag to people who attend your weekend workouts. That little unexpected surprise can motivate members to keep at it during the summer months.

(Looking for other ways you can use social media to keep your members involved? SWETI breaks it down with 4 Ways You Can Leverage Social Media to Increase Retention.)

 

Focus on Customer Service

Customer service is important any time of year, but it’s especially crucial during the summer months. Think of it this way: If your members are coming in less frequently during the summer, that means you have less chances to impress them and show them why they love coming into your studio. Make sure your facility is cleaner than ever, always well-stocked, and remind staff to be gracious, helpful, and proactive. If a member has a great experience when they come into your studio and leave in a great mood, they’ll be more likely to come back.

 

Take Advantage of the Season

Don’t always fight the new season -- embrace it when you can! If your members are eager to get outside, help them do that at your studio. Take one of your weekly boot camps outdoors or organize a fun run that starts at your gym where members can invite friends. Taking advantage of the weather can create a nice change of pace and still provide a great option for your outdoorsy members.

 

The ultimate way to beat the Summer Slump? Make sure your studio has a well-rounded marketing strategy to keep members involved all season long. SWETI Services would love to help you put that together. Schedule your free marketing review today to get in-the-moment feedback and advice to drive revenue for your business.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist