September is almost upon us. The summer’s winding down, your clients are returning from their holidays and trips abroad, and the day-to-day school runs and heading back to work are approaching, or have already begun. Some of you are probably even excited for colder weather, we know we are.
It’s no surprise that September is one of the most popular seasons in fitness with customers wanting to shed their summer fun and get back into action. If summer is all about staying fresh, then autumn is all about refreshing. It’s the perfect opportunity to re-engage your members and encourage people who have been on the fence for a while to finally say “let’s do this”.
If you want to make the most of the September rush and kick the month off with a fresh start, check out these refreshing ideas and useful strategies for your business and members.
Encourage your members to save their spots
The “it’s not you, it’s summer” excuse for not coming to class is no longer viable and your members need to be reminded why you’re the one for them. Use the last weeks of August to encourage your members to start saving their spots and to let them know they’re going fast.
Through TeamUp, you can also see if you have any members who have fallen into the slipping away state and send an extra check-in to assess what their plans are for September.
Remind your members how much you’ve missed them and that you are ready and waiting to help them get a jumpstart on their “back to school” routine.
Reconnect with former customers
And don’t count previous customers out either. A quick email or text from you might be just the thing they need to decide to come back. Using your marketing platforms and Zapier you can create a list of all of your customers who no longer have active memberships and send them an email or text message with a prompt to come back.
Let them know what’s new, what they can expect in September, and any new promotions you’d like to offer them to return, for example, a 28-day challenge that can help them jumpstart their routine or a new limited-time discount code.
Offer some back-to-school specials
Stay-at-home parents are the perfect clientele to target with some savvy marketing to keep your classes full all day every day. For parents who don’t have a lot of time in their schedule to enjoy themselves offering earlier and mid-day class times will go a long way in making it possible for them to come.
Offer a discount for daytime and morning membership and customise your class offering to meet the needs of your customers who are parents with busy schedules. They’ll appreciate that and make sure they make time for you in their schedule.
Add after-school classes to your schedule
Encouraging kids to be active from a young age is great for them, great for their parents, and great for your fitness business. Now that the kids are heading back to school you can open up after-school classes that they can attend a couple of times a week.
It also means you can add family memberships, making your fitness business somewhere mom, dad, and the kids can all go and enjoy together. Filling up their afternoons with fun activities is going to give parents a bit more time in the afternoons too, so it makes sense for them to look at signing up their kids to any kids classes you add to your calendar.
Run an autumn challenge
Add a bit of a competitive spirit for your customers coming back after the summer. Competitions aren’t just fun but they help your customers stick to their new goals. Making those new goals into a challenge, helps your clients keep focused on what they want to achieve by going to your facility.
You can make the challenge as simple or as challenging as possible. For example, you could create a fun bingo-style challenge that clients can complete over the month with different fitness goals to achieve as a way to ease people back into their fitness routines. Equally, you can offer a more challenging fitness competition for your members such as 30-days of fitness or similar challenges.
Reach new members through marketplaces
TeamUp integrates with several marketplaces including OpenActive, MoveGB, and ClassPass where you can list your classes and fill up free spots. This is a great way to advertise the classes you’re running this summer, attract new members, and keep your classes full with new faces.
With OpenActive and Parasport, you can list all of your accessible and disabled-friendly classes to aid in bringing larger awareness to inclusive activities in Great Britain. You’ll help many people requiring accessible and adaptive fitness and sports activities find your business easily and give them an opportunity to participate and enjoy.
Spruce up your new member offer
With your regular members changing up their summer routines, now’s a perfect time to extend your offer to new members and get more people to your business. Spruce up your new member offer with an exclusive timely deal for new members who sign up during the month of September. The limit on when they can take advantage of your stellar deal will encourage new members to sign up and get started sooner rather than later.
Create a discount code to use in September
Discount codes are a very popular way to encourage members to come back after their summer holidays. One studio owner says she offers a discount code that’s available to use only during the month following their holiday break. This discount code allows them to join an extra class so they can make up a class and not feel like they’ve missed out. You can create customised discount codes depending on your services or a general discount code that all members can use as a welcome back perk.
Offer make-up sessions in September
For members who were unable to make the majority of their August sessions, give them an opportunity to catch up in September with a make-up session. While makeup sessions can be tricky to organise especially for more than one member, an easy fix is to offer a one-off class time that members who missed can book into and recover at the same time.
Additionally, you can open up your appointment schedule and allow members an opportunity to meet with you one on one to discuss their new needs and what their goals are post-summer holidays.
Encourage members to bring their friends to class
With your members racing back to class, they’re most likely going to have some friends who they can bring along. Encourage them to do so with your TeamUp referral program. Reward your members for bringing along a newcomer and offer that newcomer a free class or special offer to kickstart their new journey with your business.
Customise your referral program however you’d like and don’t forget to include it in your marketing so all members know they can take advantage of the sweet deals you’re offering and an opportunity to bring their pals along.
Highlight your easy booking experience
An easy booking experience leads to a better overall customer experience. You have this advantage over other businesses in your area who don’t offer such a seamless signup process so make sure new members know just how easy you make it for them.
If you have spiced up your TeamUp since the last time members saw you, make sure they know what’s new, what’s been updated, and what’s going to make their experience this fall better than ever.
Make sure your timetable is easily accessible
Remind your members where and how they can book, especially if it’s been some time since you’ve seen them. Making sure your timetable is easily accessible and everything is up to date is the best way to ensure your members are able to sign up and book on their own hassle-free. Add your timetable to your website, on social media, in your newsletter, in your Google listing, and anywhere you market your business.
Use your ads to share September promos
While people might not be racing to the gym in the summer, they sure will be come September. Take advantage of running September specials and early fall promos in your ads to boost new autumn memberships. You can share any new member deals you’ll be offering and let people know they can their registrations and reservations early by signing up and booking now.
Are you ready for September?
Or should September be ready for YOU! Take these strategies and ideas for a spin and watch as your classes fill up fast. If there are some areas in your business you’d like to review before you put these new ideas to the test, check out our September checklist you can use side by side with these ideas. Enjoy the last few weeks of August and get ready to make a splash in September.
Make sure you’re ready for September with our autumn checklist for your best season yet.
Thanks for reading!