Summer’s a dangerous time for the fitness industry. Beyond the typical 3% member fall out that most clubs see month-to-month, a long list of distractions can keep members out of the club, away from their usual routines and disconnected from your brand. Opportunities for outdoor runs, kayaking, cycling clubs and yoga in the park are everywhere, and left unaddressed these distractions can easily snowball to stall motivation and even cause membership cancellations. But by adopting some simple strategies that engage members with mobile fitness solutions and positioning your club as a hub for summer season connectivity you can actually turn the tide and make the summer months a great opportunity to build member relationships in new ways. Here's how.
Embrace app-based workouts
Don’t fight it. Your members are busy with trips to the beach house, the cabin or a thousand other events that consume them and their families when the sun’s out (and not too hot). Embrace the fluid schedules that summer brings and focus heavily during August and early September on promoting everything your app has to offer. Remember every time they open their app, they’re engaging with your club brand. But as most members use their apps mainly for scheduling, try engaging them with other benefits.
A coordinated program of social media posts, emails and app notifications can drive them to mobile content that can really fit in with their busy summer schedules. Try curating and promoting content and classes that can be done anywhere: beach yoga, meditation on the hotel balcony and core or bodyweight workouts where they need no equipment. All can be great, mobile-friendly tips and ideas to share. Add QR codes too to in-club signage and member emails that connect members with the content and classes that can fit with the time they have available too. :15 or :30 minute workouts done a few times a week can still have a positive impact on member fitness and overall wellness, helping them stay on track until they’re back in studio.
Help members create summer fitness journeys
You could tackle the issue head-on too and help members understand that it’s easy to lose track of their fitness or wellness goals during the frenzy of summer activities. Try launching a “stay strong for summer” campaign, for instance, that encourages members not to sideline their fitness goals (entirely) for fun in the sun. Some apps like FLEX from FitnessOnDemand make it easy for club operators to run member challenges and special events. This can be as simple as naming the challenge in your app, setting an end date and determining the criteria: maybe it’s a mileage based run or walk goal, total number of classes members take in a given time frame, or a virtual ride from point A to B with a leader board.
Integrate app-based events into on-site activities
Even as you adopt proactive app-based summer fitness outreach to members, don’t forget to integrate those experiences, activities, events and challenges with your physical club. Make sure members coming and going during summer and early Fall are actively engaged with app challenges through signage, social updates and notifications. Think too about physical ways to bring members to the club even if they’re engaged in other activities. Can you move yoga, Pilates or other classes to outdoor spaces at the club to meet member desires for outdoor activity? Or can you have instructors or trainers lead a weekly weekend run that starts and ends with a post-run social event or gathering at the club. And spa service discounts can be a good way to bring members back inside as they pursue other activities beyond the club.
Share nutrition advice to keep members eating right
Fitness apps aren’t what they used to be. They’re much more. Our new FLEX app is designed as a comprehensive wellness experience. It’s important that members are familiar with the wide variety of fitness and wellness content and advice now available in their hands. That can mean all of the fitness content of course, but also now nutrition advice, ideas, tips and recipes that can help your members eat right and stay hydrated – which is critical when working out in warm weather – even if they’re on vacation with their defenses down at the buffet table. Think about promoting summer or travel-related eating-right advice in all member communications and for members who do stop into the club, have trainers and instructors remind them about all of the information and advice that’s now at their fingertips.
Just because members are out of town or on the go doesn’t mean they should forget their goals, or their club. Follow these simple strategies and keep them connected through summer and beyond.
Rose Minar is a highly driven and creative global branding leader, currently spearheading brand marketing and experience initiatives at Lift Brands. Her extensive experience in defining and executing brand strategies across diverse hotel brands showcases her exceptional ability in driving brand equity and profitability.