New Year fitness discount and promotion dos and don’ts

9 min read
Unlock the secret to boosting your New Year sign ups without slashing your prices with our dos and don'ts for deals and promos.

Unlock the secret to boosting your New Year sign ups without slashing your prices with our dos and don'ts for deals and promos.

Discounts and promotions are an easy way to boost quick sign-ups, but when done improperly they can do more harm than good. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t extend new members a special offer or deal to start the new year, rather that you should know how to do it the right way.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the dos and don’ts of new year discounts and promotions. You’ll learn how to make special deals and programs work for you and find great examples of fitness businesses taking advantage of this strategy to build retention and add value to their memberships. You’ll quickly see how much easier it is to offer your members a promotion that will keep them coming back for more, rather than something they can click and redeem without a second thought. So let’s get started.

CrossFit All or Nothing members


Photo credit: CrossFit All or Nothing

How to offer New Year’s fitness deals and discounts

If you’re like us, you love a flashy discount, for sale, or a % off badge slapped across your favourite items and services. Consumers love the fact that they can get the products they know, love, and live by for cheaper.

It can help them save money, especially around the holiday seasons when spending is up and budgets are tight, as well as give brands and businesses an extra boost in their revenue and sales.

But seller beware. As mentioned the wrong types of discounts can do more harm than good for fitness businesses. Ultimately you want your discount or promo to reflect three things:

  1. You are willing to offer your services at a deal to make it easier at the start for new clients or members to sign up for your services.
  2. That while your service or product is currently at a lower price or packaged for less at the start, that does not mean the value is lower
  3. That this deal is meant to TAKE ACTION NOW. The phrase “limited time only” is designed to emphasise the urgency to encourage sign-ups but also to communicate to existing members that it’s a temporary offer.

Fitness discounts and promo dos and don’ts

When it comes to discounting your product or service you want to make sure you follow the dos and don’ts of promotions to ensure the quality and value of your offering is reflected no matter what your deal or discount is.

Here are some things to keep in mind when discounting your services and memberships:

New year discount and deal dos:

  • Get new members to take action now, but never compensate your value or processes for a quick sale.
  • Ensure the discount or promo does not hurt your revenue or income but boosts it.
  • Remember the 5 pricing mistakes that studio owners often make and how to avoid them and keep them in mind when packing your offer.
  • Be specific with time and how long this offer is available. A “sign up before it’s too late” loses oomph if they don’t know when the deadline is.
  • State exactly who the offer is for and if you have multiple offers, be clear which is for who.
  • Think out of the box. Slashing your prices isn’t the only way to get new members in the door (we’ll give you some ideas later in the article).
  • Limit the number of discounts and promos you offer at one time. No need to overcomplicate the point you’re getting across.
  • Focus on retention. Your promotion strategy should always support building lasting relationships with your clients.

New year discount and deal don’ts:

  • Offer a lower price point for new members all year long. People are smart and will find new ways to take advantage of your deals more than once if it saves them money.
  • Rely on discounts and promos as your only marketing strategy. It should support your consistent strategies, not replace them.
  • Lower the price for existing or past members to get them to stay or come back. You’ll lose your value quickly this way.
  • Eliminate the barriers of entry to make the sale quicker. Your sign up procedures are set up for your business’s and clients’ safety.
  • Skip out on collecting payment information for new sign-ups.
  • Look for more and more ways to knock your prices down to get new members in.

It’s really that simple and can be very effective for your business as long as you focus on the dos and avoid the don’ts.

The best New Year’s fitness deals and discounts

To give you an idea of the right way to offer discounts and promotions to entice new sign-ups, here are some TeamUp customers who are offering a great new year promotion without lowering their value.

Buy one get one free special

Now, this type of promotion is not to be confused with your average discounted item or membership. The one big difference in this type of offer is getting members to commit for a period of time by purchasing the membership deals they already offer, new clients also get an additional month with a BOGO, Buy One (or More) Get One Free method. They will pay the same price as other members with the added benefit of saving some money without paying a lower price.

By the time a new member completes their 3 months, they’ll already be hooked and you can implement your retention strategies over a 90-day period so that they won’t want to leave. Also notice in the caption they are specific about this being a JANUARY DEAL.

balance the countryside gym instagram photo


And in this example of the Buy One Month, Get One Month Free strategy, CrossFit AON is explicit with commitment and when the second payment is due. In addition, what is included on top of the membership, a 2-hour induction to get new members started off on the right track.

crossfit all or nothing instagram photo


Trial periods and tasters

Another great way to get new members in the door to check you out without lowering your membership pricing is to offer a specific day or set of days they can come to try a class. New members can come in at the same time and see if it’s for them without changing up your normal schedule or pricing, or affecting your existing members’ memberships. You’ll also be able to pay close attention to new members who need some help or have specific beginner questions.

pink kitten dance school instagram photo


Combo promotions

Or take the two previous examples and combine. As said in the caption, this type of offer is ideal for new potential members who want to first give a class a go before committing, and that’s ok! But remember that in a free class you really want to step it up to encourage that taster to come back for more.

blush dance school instagram photo

Photo Credit: Blush Dance UK

Personalised programs and challenges

What is so great about this type of offer is you do not have to lower your entry price or discount your service at all. You simply add to your value by including other services that you might not typically include in a membership or program. Encouraging new members to sign up for a program that they can commit to for a short-to-medium length of time boosts motivation and doesn’t scare members away. It helps when you add information about the results new members and customers can expect to see in that period of time.

the fitness boxx instagram photo

Photo Credit: The Fitness Boxx

Refer a friend

Another great way to add value to your client’s membership while simultaneously encouraging them to help your business grow right at the start of the year is via a referral program. Rewarding your client with a free class or discount they can apply to a future membership when they bring in a friend or family member will motivate them to get people they know through your door.

But caution should be considered when creating your referral program. When the offer of a discount or free classes are on the table, some members will try to take advantage of that by bringing as many people they know to class, who might not have any intention of returning. That’s not a successful program. To avoid this common mishap, make sure that there are a few other layers required in order to redeem the referral reward.

For example, the new potential member has to sign up for a membership, or they have to pay for the class and attend before the existing member can claim their reward. It’s all about building retention and customer referrals are a great way to do that when they benefit everyone involved, including you.

hotpod yoga lisboa instagram photo

Photo Credit: Hotpod Yoga Lisboa

Checklist for fitness discounts and promos

When you’re creating your new year discount and promotion, come back to this list and make sure you have checked these points. They will help you ensure you create the best promotion and are successful in your quest to welcome new members.

  • Is your offer or deal clear and will a member know how to redeem or use the offer?
  • Is it clear in your promotion who this discount or deal is for?
  • Does your promotion state the specific time period for which it can be redeemed or used?
  • Does your promotion or discount call for urgency and include an attractive call to action?
  • Is it easy to sign up for your membership and use the deal, discount, or promotion?
  • Is your promotion attractive?
  • Have you created a plan or strategy for marketing your promotion? Our social media marketing guide can help.
  • They are specific in what the client will receive by taking advantage of the offer

If you need some assistance promoting your offer or creating the assets to announce your offer, our social media marketing guide can help.

That’s all there is to it! If you have questions about how to set up your discounts and promotions in your dashboard, you can check out our support guides or contact our team via the chat widget in your dashboard.

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