5 Considerations for Fitness Intro Offers During the Pandemic
By Lauren McAlister
Recently, you may be faced with a new kind of client retention challenge.
From health to finances, there are a myriad of reasons why customers may be churning more frequently from your business. That’s why having a steady flow of new customers and an effective sales strategy is so important.
But how do you attract customers and improve new client retention amid the COVID-19 pandemic? It starts with a solid intro offer. Here are a few things to think through when creating, or revamping, yours:
Keep it simple
Whether you’re open or closed, review the various options you're currently able to provide customers—indoor, live stream, on-demand, or outdoor—and decide which to include in your introductory offer(s). The Mindbody University best practice is to simplify as much as possible—1-2 intro offers max. This allows you and your staff to clearly define and promote each one, without overwhelming customers.
Give your intro offer(s) an expiration date but make sure it encourages multiple visits, too. Especially now, clients need enough time to make your services part of their new routine. Giving 15 to 30 days from the purchase date is a good time frame to encourage client retention.
If you’ve reopened, consider any capacity limitations you have. If your in-person classes are nearing their limit, you may need to adjust your in-person offer or promote a virtual one instead. One strategy, if you’re offering a hybrid intro (including both virtual and in-person), is to assign a higher value for in-person compared to virtual classes. You can do this with credit-based pricing in Mindbody.
Review your pricing
If you haven’t already, now may be the time to audit your pricing overall. Factor in your expenses and payroll, capacity limitations, and attendance frequency to reverse engineer the pricing that makes the most sense for your business—introductory offer(s) included.
The best practice is to price your unlimited, one-month intro offer at around 50-75% of your monthly membership. If there's too much of a price difference, the upsell will be difficult later.
Many fitness businesses are finding that a membership model (and thus, intro offer) that includes both virtual and in-person makes the most sense for their business and clients once they’ve reopened.
Promote your intro offer(s)
Once you’ve nailed down the specifics, you'll need to get the word out. Promote your introductory offer(s) everywhere possible: on your website, social media, paid ads, and email marketing. Train your staff to communicate the benefits, too.
Set up automation to follow up and upsell your introductory offer to drop-ins. With Marketing Suite’s First Time Visitor Welcome automation and Intro Offer template, it’s simple to upsell without extra work on your part. Check out our Marketing Suite Playbook for more details.
With millions actively looking for fitness services on the Mindbody app, don’t miss the chance to promote your introductory offer(s) there. By opting into promoted intro offers, your intro pricing will be prominently displayed on the homepage of the app. Prospective customers can then find and purchase with ease.
Evaluate your sales process
Perhaps the most important part of the intro offer is the rapport built between your staff and the client. That’s where your sales process comes in.
Throughout the intro offer, check in with new clients regularly with emails, texts, calls, or a combination of all three. Ask how they’re enjoying their experience, answer any questions they might have, and tell them about their options moving forward. Use automation to your advantage here, too.
If you’re a Mindbody customer, it’s easy to see where new customers are in their journey—and retain them. Pull reports like the “First Visit” and “Last Visit” reports to see which clients aren’t fully utilizing their intro offer and the “Visits Remaining” report to see when their intro offer expires. The “Expiring intro offers” alert is especially helpful for this, too.
Even though your business may be facing unique challenges during this pandemic, an enticing intro offer and an effective client retention strategy will encourage customers to check your studio out and keep them coming back.