There are around 102,148 Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs across the U.S. A number that has grown consistently by 1.3% per year over the last five years.
A trajectory of growth is typically great news for any industry. But as fitness center owners know, this means a lot more competition.
As the new gym on the block, your grand opening is more than just a first impression. It’s the chance for you to lay the groundwork for future retention efforts that will ultimately build your bottom line.
Your gym’s grand opening strategy needs to connect you with potential clients who come in from the initial buzz and come back because of your killer follow-up.
Leading up to your grand opening event, there are four main focus areas you should consider.
The odds are pretty high that your gym will be facing some competition in your area. With that in mind, you may want to add some incentive to your grand opening invitation that could convince someone to give you their business instead.
Before you define your offer, you may want to jot down some points about your audience that defines their motivations. In turn, that could give you a better idea of what will drive folks through the door.
|How does your gym compare price-wise to the competition?||Offer an opening day member discount to event attendees who sign-up that day.|
|Do you live in an area with a high concentration of a specific profession?||Advertise free admission to groups like the military, teachers, medical professionals, etc.|
|Would your audience be receptive to giveaways?||Center your opening invitation around a raffle for a free year of membership.|
|Is your audience active on social media?||Set up smaller giveaways on social media leading up to the opening with the winners announced at the event.|
If you’re starting from scratch with your invites, you’ll likely turn to social media to create a buzz around the event. After all, social media has incredible reach, especially when it comes to connecting with new customers.
As wonderful as a Facebook event invitation is for generating buzz, it’s not the most effective at converting into actual attendance. In fact, social media only has about a 1.8% conversion rate.
Texting, on the other hand, sees average conversion rates as high as 45%!
Utilizing SMS to build your invite list out is a simple, hands-off way to gather contact information on a rolling basis. Here’s an idea of how it can work.
The odds are you’ll need to take an omnichannel approach to invitations. While emails are great for a broad reach, text messages are much harder to ignore (hence their 98% open rate).
A personalized text invitation to join your gym has a much greater chance of resonating with attendees when they feel valued and remembered! Not to mention, a text addressing the recipient by their name is much harder to ignore since it loses some of the generic text blast feel.
In addition to your who, what, where, when, and why, your invitations should include a few other things:
Here’s an example of how you might pack all of that into one short text message:
After your event, you’ll want to take advantage of your new contacts and share some post-event follow-up marketing.
This makes way for tons of post-event automation opportunities like:
If you aren’t already considering SMS as part of your gym’s marketing strategy, there’s no better time to give it a test run than with your opening invitations.
Your first 50 messages are on us, and we’ve got plenty of resources to get you started. In the words of the great Michael Jordan, “some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
With SimpleTexting, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads can send time-sensitive updates and booking confirmations to its members.Read