How to Increase Gym Memberships this Summer
Ahhhh, summer. The season of sun and fun can be a catch-22 for gym owners. On one hand, the rise of ‘beach body season’ (and the growing social media trend of #beachbody workouts) can mean more people are focused on their fitness during summer than at other times of the year. When the weather gets warmer, however, people don’t necessarily want to spend their days inside a gym, so many of these workouts are moved outside. In order to attract new members during these warmer months, gyms should be able to deliver a mix of outdoor-friendly workouts with results-focused programming.
Here are some tips and tricks to increase gym memberships this summer – and to retain these members year-round:
Run a summer-focused promotion. Summer is one of the best times to run a gym membership promotion, along with the back-to-school season and the new year. Offer a free month or a ten pack of free classes with a membership agreement to get people in the doors, and then keep them coming back with the classes and programming you offer. Just know that people who join gyms in the summer are usually looking for fast results, so consider doubling-down on your high-intensity workouts right out of the gate.
Ask members to engage with your gym on social media. During the summer, #beachbodys are everywhere. The growth of hashtags and social media culture has catapulted Instagram trainers and online workout programs to the front of cultural conversations. Traditional gyms can capitalize on this movement by establishing an active social media presence. Ask your current members to post on social media using a gym-specific hashtag, and promote the heck out of your gym to attract new customers.
Take your summer classes offsite. If you offer classes like yoga, zumba, or even HIIT, think about taking these classes offsite for summer. If there is a grassy area, park, or parking lot nearby, see if your members would like to do a class outside for a change. Just remember to document the experience and share on social media so prospective members can see what they’re missing out on!
Start an extracurricular club outside the gym. Summertime is the perfect time to build a strong community around your gym and create bonds that go beyond gym workouts. Start a running or walking club in your community that meets once a week at a local brewery. Members can come, go on a run or walk, and end their evening with a cold beer – the perfect situation for meeting new people and adding new members to your gym family. For events like this, promotion and local partnerships are key, so make sure you have a few solid weeks of planning in before kicking off.
Build excitement for the rest of the year. If you’re sponsoring run clubs, building social media followers, and bringing new members into your gym during the summer, you need to be able to retain these members into the fall and the rest of the year. Build excitement by promoting other events throughout the year, or touting milestones that come with longevity, like a free t-shirt after your first 100 classes. Make sure your new members know there is more to your gym than just the summer months!
You can learn more about attracting new gym members during the summer and year-round here.