How to Keep Your Fitness Clients Engaged Through Multiple Openings and Closings
By Denise Prichard
The current COVID-19 landscape has posed quite a challenge for fitness studios all over the world—especially since it's forced many business owners to close, reopen, and for some, close again.
No matter where your studio operates, it’s likely your in-studio offerings have been impacted. If you’ve reopened, there are strict limits on how many people are allowed in your business at any given time. If you’re closed, you’re unable to provide in-studio services at all.
To help keep up with the drastic changes in the fitness world, studios have been adopting new methods to keep members engaged and increase client retention. From live stream and on-demand classes, to now smaller, in-person offerings, business owners and instructors have had to get creative in order to keep engagement high and to deliver on their promise of keeping clients safe while still helping them reach their fitness goals.
Here are some ways fitness studios can keep clients engaged amid a pandemic:
Experiment with class length
While a 60- or 75-minute class may be the sweet spot for some in-studio classes, these may be too long for someone working out at home. Whether your clients are taking advantage of your live stream classes or on-demand videos, there may be too many distractions at home that affect their attention span and their workout. Shorten your virtual offerings to 30 minutes or less to help them stay engaged while getting a good workout in.
Take classes outside
Right now, you’re either limited to how many people are allowed in your business or have been forced to temporarily cancel in-studio classes. However, there are fitness studios that are seeing success by taking their classes outside for a number of reasons. Even though these past several months have required folks to quarantine, that doesn’t mean their fitness goals aren’t a priority. And let’s face it—people are looking for an excuse to get out of the house at this point. By offering a safe, socially distanced class at a nearby park, sports stadium, or even your unused parking lot, you can retain and reinvigorate clients by keeping their fitness goals, and your studio, top-of-mind.
This option may not work for everyone; be sure to check any municipal government, logistical, or weather-related restrictions—especially if your city or county still has sheltering-in-place restrictions.
Switch up class variety
Reinvigorating your studio offerings can help keep clients on their toes and keep them excited to see what your studio is ready to experiment with next. If you happen to run a HIIT studio, it’s likely your clients are in need of stretching not only after class, but a few times throughout the week. Try adding a 15-minute yoga class to your schedule to help keep your clients’ muscles long, lean, and ready for their next at-home or in-studio HIIT workout. Or if you run a yoga studio, think about adding 10-minute classes that focus on strengthening certain parts of the body like, abs, arms, and back to help your clients strengthen their practice.
Add new class times
More people are working from home than ever before, which means their timeframe for working out may have changed. Before coronavirus hit, people were used to either squeezing in a workout early in the morning before heading to their job or hitting the gym directly after their last meeting of the day. Now, folks can torch those calories in-between morning meetings or on their lunch break, so you should think about adding virtual classes to those time slots, too.
Take advantage of Dynamic Pricing to fill classes
Whether you’re learning to adapt to this new world of reduced, in-studio capacity or looking to help fill your virtual classes, you know that every spot matters now more than ever before. Mindbody’s Dynamic Pricing feature automatically helps your business fill empty spots in your classes, ensuring you make more money from every class. Have a class that usually has a low attendance rate? Based on your settings, you can use Dynamic Pricing to adjust the drop-in rate to help increase attendance.
Did you know you can also use Dynamic Pricing to earn more for each spot in your high-demand, in-studio classes? Earn more revenue by increasing the class price as the start time approaches and available spots decrease. You can also use Dynamic Pricing to encourage consumers to book early when class prices are low. Here’s more on using Dynamic Pricing to increase revenue at your fitness business.
Retain clients by utilizing video in your email communications
Whether you’re open for limited, in-studio classes or temporarily closed, one thing is constant—virtual workouts are here to stay. In fact, in the past few months, over 80% of fitness enthusiasts have adopted live streaming fitness classes, compared to a mere 7% in 2019. The virtual wave presents an opportunity to retain clients by promoting video content in your email communications. With Marketing Suite, it’s simple to include your videos from Mindbody’s Virtual Wellness Platform directly into your email campaigns. You can increase client retention by giving members access to virtual services they love and help them stay on top of their fitness goals.
Plus, video content also boosts your email performance. On average, adding videos in your emails can increase open rate by 16% and click-through-rate by 65%. It’s all about getting the word out and being creative with it. Not sure how to start? Using Marketing Suite’s email editor, it’s easy to plug in a video, class info, and hit send. If you’re looking for more ways to retain clients and boost engagement, download our Marketing Suite Playbook to learn how to implement a retention marketing strategy both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the current landscape makes it difficult to stay connected with clients, these tips can help your studio stay top-of-mind and keep them engaged. From virtual classes to switching up the types of in-person classes you offer, don’t underestimate what a bit of extra effort can do to keep your clients motivated and bring in extra revenue during this challenging time.