Blog/List Growth

The Secret to Writing the Perfect Gym Opening Invitations

Ensure your gym’s opening is a success with our tips for turning your gym’s opening invitation into a way to acquire and retain members.

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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. 

How to Craft the Perfect Gym Opening Invitation

Leading up to your grand opening event, there are four main focus areas you should consider. 

Define Your Invitation

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.

Audience AnalysisIncentive
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.

Build Your List

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. 

More than half of brand discovery happens on social media, and it’s most commonly used for grand openings during pre-event engagement.

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.

  1. Create a text-to-join keyword, also known as a short word or phrase that, when texted in to your number, signs someone up to receive marketing messages. 
  2. Put a web sign-up form on your website to collect contact information from visitors. 
  3. Run ads on social media using your keyword to collect phone numbers and email addresses.

Write Your Invitations

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). 

Text message invites can also be personalized, which matters when 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized.

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:

  • Prompts to encourage folks to respond to your invitation and share any questions they may have about your gym, pricing, etc. 
  • Prominently feature your event’s benefit (giveaway, founders day pricing, etc.).
  • Include calls to action to visit your website, social media profiles, etc. 

Here’s an example of how you might pack all of that into one short text message:

Today 10:10 AM
Tina, Pure Barre Midtown’s grand opening is almost here and you’re invited to join us 11/4 for our first class. We’ll be giving away a free 1-year membership to one attendee as well as opening day membership discounts. RSVP and learn more here: https://txt.st/PQBLPE

Follow Up

After your event, you’ll want to take advantage of your new contacts and share some post-event follow-up marketing. 

If your gym uses apps like MindBody, ClubRunner, or YouCanBook.Me to manage members, you can connect your SMS platform directly with tools like Zapier and Pabbly.

This makes way for tons of post-event automation opportunities like:

  • Add a new client from MindBody to a SimpleTexting contact list
  • Send a text message when a class is booked
  • Send a reminder message before an upcoming class
  • Text a member with upcoming billing reminders 
  • Message a client who hasn’t been into the studio for a while 

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.”

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