Does your business suffer from a summer slowdown?

Our poll data indicates that the pace of salons and fitness centers slows down during the summer. Which, in turn, gives us an opportunity to show you how to leverage some of Vagaro’s marketing features to help you ride the wave of summertime.

Tips for Fitness Centers

We recognize that our fitness and beauty industry customers have different needs, as well as serving different client bases. So we’ve created a companion blog for salon professionals, which you can read here.

Step 1: Host an Event

Everyone loves a summer party! Hosting an open house, blood drive, or other event at your fitness center is a great way to get new people in the door! Snacks, drinks, giveaways, or giving back to the community are great ways to introduce your business to people who may not have heard of you.

Pro Tip: Invite other professionals to co-host the event with you—that way, you can promote each other’s services. Even better, you’ll both broaden your networks by bringing your client bases together.

Step 2: Become a Vagaro Featured Business

As a Featured Business, your fitness center will be prioritized on the first page of area listings on the Vagaro Fitness and Beauty Marketplace. You’ll have a photo gallery to showcase your gym or studio, making it easier to attract new members. Being Featured is especially helpful when promoted alongside a Daily Deal!

Step 3: Let Social Media Do the Heavy Lifting

With Vagaro’s social media integrations, your members can access your class schedules and business pages directly from Instagram, Yelp, or Facebook. So, take advantage of the benefits of social media, and let the pictures tell a thousand words for you!

Pro Tip: Integrating to your social media also expands your customer demographic. Seize the opportunity to turn social media followers into paying customers!

Step 4: Use Promo Codes

Try creating a promo code for a referral program, rewarding members for bringing in their friends and family. Promo codes are also helpful in re-connecting with members who haven’t checked in recently.

Bright Ideas

  • Offer new or established members a free mini-session with a personal trainer, offering discounted rates on summer sessions
  • Offer members guest passes to bring a friend to the gym
  • Have a weekly spotlight on group fitness to introduce members to classes and workshops you offer
  • Use promo codes to sell! Promo codes can create added value for classes, memberships, products, gift certificates and more
  • Use promo codes to boost purchases from your online store if your business sells branded merchandise such as water bottles or workout clothes

Step 5: Create a Daily Deal They Can’t Pass Up!

Promo codes, discounts and bundles are a proven way to bring in new members and to keep established members coming back. If you’ve linked your fitness center’s social media channels to your Vagaro account, you can harness the power of social media to cross-promote on Facebook with just one click!

Bright Idea

  • Summer Buddies. Offer a BOGO membership for the summer months (90 day cycle.) At the end of the summer BOGO deal, you can offer both parties a discounted rate or other incentive if they choose to continue their membership.

Step 6: Create Memberships & Packages They Need

Vagaro’s Support forum has more detailed information on memberships and packages, and how to make them work for your fitness center.

Bright Ideas

  • Create a Fit Parents promotion targeted towards parents whose fitness routines may be off-track while school is out for the summertime, especially if your facility offers childcare for members.
  • Create Family Fitness classes that appeal to parents and kids as an activity where families can spend time together in the gym.
  • Summer Class Memberships. Offer a flat-fee membership for the summer season (90 days) that provides an added value, such as a per-class discounted fee or preferred check-ins for members.
  • Summer Packages. Is there a type of fitness offering that has a greater decline in the summer months? For example, if your gym sees a greater drop-off in personal training during the summertime, consider summer training packages to incentivize members to give a personal trainer a try.

Step 7: Make Email Marketing Your Strongest Tool

Your basic Vagaro subscription includes 1,000 free emails per month, and it’s easy to check and see how many you’ve used. If you find your email campaigns are effective and you want to increase your volume, you can always upgrade your plan. We offer upgrades for as little as $10 per month, with plans to fit any size business.

Bright Ideas

  • Create a filter for members who haven’t checked in recently. Try sending a “Summer Is Here!” email with an associated promo code or discount, e.g. SUMMER2019.
  • Use automated emails to update members on anything new you have to offer, especially if it’s geared towards summertime or outdoors.
  • Create a filter for members who participate in a specific class or workshop you offer (e.g., CrossFit, Les Mills classes, Zumba, yoga, spin, kickboxing, etc.) Create a promo code, discount, or package and send targeted emails to these members to ensure they’ll spend their summer with you!  
  • Filter for members who’ve used additional services, such as personal training or nutritional consulting. Try offering a package for services they’ve used in the past to encourage them to reinvest in these services.
  • Seasonal newsletters are an effective way of letting members know what you’ve got slated for the summer and encourages them to mark their calendars. Include any open houses or community events in the newsletter. This is also a great place to promote classes geared towards summertime, outdoors (or remind them that your center is air-conditioned!) Don’t forget to mention it if your facility includes saunas, pools, or water sports!

Motivate Your Members This Summer

It’s easy to mix and match your Vagaro marketing tools to build effective marketing campaigns with Daily Deals, Promo Codes, Social Media Integrations, and Email Marketing. However, tools can’t do it all, and that’s where your creativity comes into play. Keep in mind, it’s easier to maintain a positive habit than it is to build a new one. While you should focus attention on new member sign-ups, don’t forget to focus efforts on at-risk members who may need extra encouragement. For fitness professionals, you’ll need to tap into member motivation to help stay busy in summertime.

Data-Driven Marketing

This is where Vagaro’s reporting tools will come in handy, enabling you to identify members who haven’t checked in recently. Once you know which memberships may be at-risk, you can then focus your marketing efforts on member retention with targeted, automated email campaigns appealing to the needs of these members.

For instance, your regular members may not be interested in mini-sessions with trainers, while newer members might. Using automated emails, offer complimentary personal training sessions to newer members or members with spotty attendance. Afterwards, use Vagaro’s Form Builder to follow, offering them the weekly accountability check-in throughout the summer.

Bright Ideas

  • Host a weight loss or muscle gain challenge for members. Incentivize participation by creating the challenge with a minimum “buy-in” where members sign up for the challenge and the winner collects the pot.
  • Host “Weekly Workout Accountability” challenges, using automated email reminders to keep up engagement and build a sense of community.
  • Make summer work for you! If your facility has outdoor space available, try offering some classes outdoors to take advantage of the summer sunshine.
  • Work with local parks or community green spaces to offer some of your regularly schedules classes in outdoor settings. Examples might include early morning outside Tai Chi classes, afternoon yoga in the park, outdoor bootcamps, and more.
  • Meet your neighbors. Parks, farmer’s markets, and block parties are a great way to network and attract new members. Offer free mini-classes at community events to show the community what you’ve got to offer, and to allow non-members to “try before they buy.”

While it’s true that summer moves at its own pace, that doesn’t have to impact your summer revenue. We hope that you’ll find these ideas result in a steady way to attract new members and boost retention throughout summertime. Now that you know how easy marketing can be with your automated tools, you’ll be able to carry your increased summer business into fall and beyond!

How does your fitness business keep people moving during slower seasons? Let us know your tips & tricks!

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