Why Your Gym Needs To Offer Members A Fitness App

runner checking phone

Do you know how much it costs to develop a fitness app from scratch?

The cost of a fitness app ranges from between £3,500 – £8,000, which is highly dependant on the features you want in the app, and that’s just a low range estimate.

Now of course, that’s a high price and as an independant gym, you might not only think it’s too high of an investment, but you also might question if it’s needed at all. After all, your members have never pushed for a fitness app before, so why should they need one now.

They’re all valid concerns, but if you stick with us, we can explain why a gym member fitness app is not only good for your members, but it’s also great for member retention… and it’s much cheaper than you think to get one!

 

Why A Member Fitness App Is Good For Your Gym

There are 3 key reasons why getting a member app is beneficial for your gym and it’s almost worth having a member fitness app for these reasons alone:

  1. A member app will free up your admin
  2. A member app makes sending instant gym facility updates easy
  3. It’s a fantastic way to up sell your extra products & services

In short, a members app helps you save time and make money.

Woman Slicing FruitHow it saves you time is simple. A members app is more than just a way for your members to track their own fitness. If you allow for classes to be booked, then what better way to improve that, than to allow your members to book classes online, through your own app.

By doing this all online and via the app, it centralises all of your bookings and allows you to greatly decrease any admin. Now your app can handle everything from accepting the booking, to even informing members if there’s no spaces left in a class.

A members app is also an amazing way for sending any updates and news to your members. If you have new classes coming to your gym or you’re closed for some emergency maintenance, then a members app allows you to broadcast that information directly to your members’ mobiles, complete with a notification to grab their attention.

And finally, your members app can also be an extra source of income. If you’re selling classes or even merchandise as an added extra, then now your members app can be used as a digital storefront, giving you a new way to alert your members to extra services and take payments simply and quickly, all from one place.

With a members app, there’s less mess, less admin and the chance for extra revenue to be made.

And the benefits aren’t limited to just your club running smoother…

 

A Member Fitness App Improves Gym Member Retention

Okay, so we’ve looked at how your member app is great for your gym, but now let’s focus on a far more important element: How can it keep your members coming back to your gym for longer.

And the answer is simple!

 

Your Members Will Feel More Engaged And Loyal

Weight Lifting ManThe power of customer loyalty cannot be understated in any business and gyms are no different.

When you get a customer personally invested in the future of your company, not only can you be certain you’re delivering a great service, but it does wonders for your member retention. If a customer feels negative about even the thought of cancelling their membership, then that is a great place to be as a fitness business.

An app for your members works to foster that kind of loyal environment.

As a gym with a member app, you stop simply being just a place that your members visit when they have time.

You become a constant part of their life. They will use your app to track their fitness, their improvements, check for news from you and plan their week by booking online classes ahead of time.

If you have a functional member app, you can take your members from being individuals to being a community, with your health club at the heart and centre of it all.

 

A Members App Makes Your Health Club Unique

unique red gummy bear

Apps have been around for well over a decade by this point. However, like all new technology it takes a while for many businesses to catch up on popular trends.

Even though fitness apps are extremely popular and used by tens of millions of people every single day, hardly any gyms or clubs utilise them as part of their service.

That’s why having a member fitness app can be so impressive, by the sheer fact that everyone is struggling to keep up. If you get a member app, you are ahead of 99% of other gyms instantly, which helps you stand out from the crowd, which is never a bad thing.

 

A Member Fitness App Is A Better Value Proposition

This one may sound obvious. After all, the more you give your members, the more valuable your gym is.

But you have to remember how important that extra value is. There are a lot of gyms out there, possibly a half dozen within the same area unless you’re in a very remote location. So it’s important that you offer your members the most you can for their money. Gyms are still a luxury purchase and many members look for the best deal.

So if you’re unable to fight on price in the local area, then increase the value of your gym in anyway you can to keep members getting the most they can for their money.

A member fitness app is a cheap and easy way to achieve this goal.

 

Offering Your Members An App Is Now Easy & Most Importantly, Cost Effective!

Phone app WebsiteAt the start of this post, we mentioned the cost of offering a fitness app. Hopefully throughout this, we’ve convinced you, that a fitness app for your members is such a good investment, that you’re ready to google a developer to work on it, whatever the cost.

Well, here’s the next bit of good news.

Your members fitness app has already been developed, so you don’t need to pay any of that money to develop it.

At Ashbourne, we’ve already put in the time and money to develop an incredible members app that is able to be rebranded for your particular gym and give you all the benefits of a custom membership app, without any of the expensive development or design.

Our fully integrated gym app offers a number of features that allows each member to get the most from their workout, and most importantly, retain their membership to your gym.

So if you’re looking to future proof your business and get ahead of the competition, while retaining more members and improving your services, then please get in contact with Ashbourne today and let us introduce you to our amazing member app+ service, as well as our entire platform of membership management tools.

7 Features A Gym Needs From Membership Management Software

How to keep your members subscribed during lockdown

Gym Membership Management Software

There are 7 key features that are integral to the membership management software required of a modern health and fitness club.

Your members expect a lot from you and you need to be sure that you can deliver those expectations and the service that a modern club member demands.

So before you begin signing up for anything, make sure it has these 7 key features…

 

Automatic Club Check In And Turnstile

gym turnstile signing in

We’ve already written an in-depth article about the importance of a turnstile system for fitness clubs, but we can offer a quick summation here as it’s first on this list for a reason.

In short, a turnstile is the foundation of how you can begin to automate your gym to not only free up your staff’s time, but also keep your doors open longer and keep track of your members better.

By having a turnstile, it means that someone doesn’t have to be monitoring the doors to check if non-members are trying to get into the gym, freeing up time for your staff to focus on other admin, training members or simply catching up with other tasks.

Secondly, the lack of surveillance and monitoring means that you can keep your gym open longer, which means you can have more members sign up for your gym.

Not everyone is the same and recent studies showed that 20% of Britons go to the gym during night time hours and 25% of Britons complained that they were unable to use equipment they wanted in the gym during peak times.

There’s never been a better reason to appeal to the night owls and offer them unconventional hours to use the gym when it’s quieter, which is completely possible with a turnstile.

And finally, if everyone has to check in through a turnstile, that immediately gives you information on every single member that comes in and out of the gym, giving you an amazing array of data on your members that you’ve never had before. That is the basis of excellent membership management software.

 

An Online Joining Page

On the subject of automation in your membership management software, let’s turn our gaze to your website.

What may now be a simple online billboard of basic information, can be an amazing way to start getting members to sign up there and then, with the potential for a special promotion to help get them through the door.

A great fitness club membership management software will integrate easily with your existing website to offer a streamlined way for members to sign up, set up a direct debit, make their first payment and head to the gym all within a few minutes.

 

Online Class Booking

gym class yoga studioWhen it comes to your website being an extension of your gym’s services, let’s not stop at simple payments.

Your modern day members are busy people and the best way to keep busy people engaged is to give them convenience and the ability to plan their day on the go.

An online class booking system as part of your club membership management software is perfect for this as not only does it allow members to book their personalised gym sessions on your site, but it also avoids the nasty surprise of you realising your classes are overbooked at the moment when it’s too late to do anything about it.

A great fitness membership management software allows you to offer online class booking, and even better, it provides you even more of that membership data that allows you to learn about your members.

 

Your Own Health Club Member’s App

And why stop at just having a website that offers some neat features. A great gym membership management software should also provide your members with their own app, branded with your own club identity, but offering a range of tailor made services.
This application could include:
  • Online class booking
  • Fitness planner and tracker
  • Workout plans
  • Options to upgrade and purchase gym extras
  • Live chat with your gym and club membership management software provider
With this application as part of your fitness club membership management software, you get all the benefits of your own club app for your members, but without the months and high cost of development.

 

Staff And Facility Scheduling

Your members shouldn’t be the only people to gain from your club membership management software. After all, you still have a fitness club to manage and members are only one part of that. Your staff are a huge part of what makes your gym unique and run like clockwork.

So as part of your gym membership management software, you should also receive scheduling software for your staffs’ rotas, schedules, as well as big news, updates or plans for your facility as a whole, all hosted online so anyone can check it and update it at any time.

 

Lead And Prospect Management

old man young man exercisingWhen it comes to your membership management software, it’s important not just to manage the members you already have, but the members you have yet to manage.

That was a bit of a tongue twister, but in short, you still need to focus on getting new members in.

That’s why a great health club membership management software will help you track leads and prospects who have shown an interest in your club. Your membership management software will help you take details for any potential members who are interested in your gym and let you stay in touch with them and continue to foster your relationship to convert them into a paying member.

There are many ways to do this, from email marketing, direct mail and social media marketing that your membership management software will be able to keep track of, so you can keep tabs on any potential leads and keep growing your fitness business.

 

Direct Debits, Payment Collection And Debt Collection

There’s no more important part of a club’s membership management software than your ability to get payments on time, so that your members never have their fitness club service interrupted.

From setting up your direct debits, handling any payment issues and tackling any debt collection issues when they turn up, a great membership management software will allow you to not only keep track of your payments, but gives you a great service as your membership management company continues to handle your payment collection, with friendly, trained and professional staff treating your members with respect and dignity to uphold your club’s reputation

 

Ashbourne’s Gym Membership Management Software Has All This And More

Now you know what a premium membership management software looks like, it’s now time to meet the provider of it.

At Ashbourne Membership Management, we’ve been handling direct debit collections for gyms and health clubs for over 20 years.

Over our 20 decades of experience, we’ve continued to build and adapt our software and service to the growing demands of an ever changing health and fitness industry.

If you’re interested in improving your club’s offerings and need a world renowned membership management software to handle it all, then get in touch and one of our amazing team will help you discover the perfect product for your health club, leisure centre, gym or studio…whatever you run, we can manage it.

How To Improve Your Health Club Member Retention With Direct Debits

happy gym members

When it comes to setting up a new payment collection system, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that its more hassle than it’s worth.

It’s too complicated.

It might drive loyal members away.

I don’t mind collecting the money each month.

My system works fine as it is.

On the face of it, those are all good reasons and can be very convincing when you only think of a fitness business direct debit as just an alternative payment method, that can be easily replaced by cash or card payments.

But what if we told you, that direct debits improve member retention at gyms dramatically. You might not believe it and think that the two are completely unrelated.

But we can assure you that over 20 years of handling direct debits for the fitness industry, we can prove to you without question, that a fitness business direct debit will increase your member retention significantly.

 

How To Improve Member Retention With A Fitness Business Direct Debit

There are actually several reasons for how a direct debit will increase member retention at your health club, so let’s quickly sum up the 4 prime reasons why a fitness business direct debit will keep your members around and paying for longer.

 

Number 1: Direct Debits Mean That Members Can’t Miss Payments

pen-calendar-to-do-checklistYour members are busy people with busy lives. As much as they might love your gym, it’s unlikely that the first thing on your member’s mind every month is the due date for their gym membership, when they also have their mortgage, rent, car payments, water, electric, gas, council tax and all manner of bills coming out as well (usually by direct debit may we add).

It’s only a matter of time before they forget. This means that not only do you have to start actively chasing your members for money (which can quickly leave a bad impression), but it also stops the responsibility resting on you every month.

In fact, between 3-5% of card payments fail each month due to cards expiring or being cancelled, so that leaves an even higher potential for this happening, even without your members meaning it to.

And when a member misses a payment, it means they don’t have access to your gym and therefore, it’s a chance that they won’t come ever again.

 

Number 2: Direct Debits Mean That YOU Can’t Miss Payments

Much like your members, your health club business is made up of people and people make mistakes.

If you’re having to keep track of every single payment from every single member, then it’s only a matter of time before you start making mistakes.

And whether malicious or not, if you’re not chasing your members to pay, then in most cases they won’t.

At the end of the day, your service and the reason you started a health club business in the first place was to spend your efforts helping members improve their health and fitness, not chasing them for missed payments. This extra admin can easily put a strain on your team and mean that only do you potentially miss making income, but that your service falters because you’re too focused on admin rather than training.

 

Number 3: Direct Debits Are More Convenient For The Customer

member gym personal trainerBy its nature, direct debits are more convenient. No one has to remember them or pay attention to them.

Every month, like clockwork, their gym membership will be taken out of their account, with no awkward conversations, no chasing and no one keeping track of it.

It’s perfect and leaves you and your members free to focus on their exercise and health, rather than financials.

But most importantly, it creates a better relationship with your members as you can focus on providing them with a better service and overall there’s less anxiety around money for everyone.

Plus it means that if they want to upgrade or change their membership in any way, you can just update it on the system and the direct debit is changed for good, without anyone having to remember it.

 

Number 4: Direct Debits Make Your Club MORE Valuable

Netflix is an online streaming service with no contract that allows customers to cancel their subscription at any time.

Every month, millions of people don’t find the time to watch Netflix.

Every month, millions of people pay for Netflix that they’re not watching.

This is the power of Direct Debit!

working out financesNow, this example isn’t meant to demonstrate how customers are stupid or that direct debits take advantage of customers. Your members are extremely savvy and make an important and weighed financial decision when they choose to join your gym. They only have a limited amount of money and yet they see the value of your gym and invest some of that limited income into your business.

That’s an amazing testimony of how good your gym is!

But every month is not the same and that’s why we bring up the Netflix example. Some months, your members won’t have time for the gym and they won’t be in the mood.

In the same way, millions of people pay for Netflix, even though they aren’t watching anything. It offers no value to them during these periods and yet they continue to pay for it and most importantly, they don’t feel ripped off.

They still value Netflix enough to keep their subscription, even though they don’t use it.

That’s the psychology of a direct debit. It changes the way your customers view money.

If you ask a customer to pay each month, some months your gym will have no value for them because they’re unlikely to use it. However, a direct debit means that your gym becomes a permanent feature of their lives. A direct debit means that your gym is a fact of life, a convenient service that they can use whenever they want.

Your gym is simply there!

It’s as easy to go to your gym as it is to turn on the TV and catch a quick show on Netflix, or turn on the tap and have a glass of water.

By stopping your customer from having to weigh up the value or need for your gym each month and instead make it a convenient and easy service that they can use without having to think about it, then the value of your gym goes up in your customer’s mind. It’s an amazing glitch in the way that humans think about the way they value things, but it’s one of the most powerful reasons why setting up a fitness business direct debit allows you to retain members.

 

Ashbourne Can Help Your Health Club Retain More Members

For 20 years, Ashbourne has been at the forefront of helping the fitness and health club industry collect their payments through direct debit, to retain more members and cut their administration drastically, to keep them in business.

We have hundreds of gyms that we manage and help stay in business through the power of direct debit and our dozens of other management tools.

If you’re interested in setting up a direct debit service for your health club or fitness business, then contact us today and one of our team can show you just how powerful direct debit can be for your fitness business.

The Ultimate 11 Step Health Club Social Media Workout

Ashbourne Simple Social Media Workout Feature 2

Most successful health clubs have a fittingly successful club social media. It’s that simple.

It is without a shadow of a doubt the best way to directly connect with your members and find new customers, at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. However, running a successful club social media campaign is a skill and like any skill, it needs training and patience to get it working for you and your health club business.

So what better way to get you up to speed than with our 11 step workout to get your health club social media in shape.

 

Why You Need A Good Club Social Media

Social media is an amazing way to interact with your audience. It helps you advertise, build trust and handle your customer service all in one.

Search engines also love social media. Being on social media helps your brand appear in more Google and Bing searches, giving you more places to be discovered online.

Plus, the numbers alone speak for themselves:

The Total UK Population in 2019 was 66.77 Million

The Number of Active UK Social Media Users in 2019 was 45 Million

That means that over 67% of the potential UK market are already using social media in some form

In the last 12 months alone, active UK social media users went up by 1 million, while the UK population only increased by only a third of that

Social media is a huge market and it’s only getting bigger!

When you put it like that, it’s hard to deny not only the cultural impact that social media has had on the UK market in just over a decade, but also the potential it holds for health club and gym businesses like yours.

But having a large base is only the start of tapping into the potential social media market. Running a successful club social media is a special art, so let’s take a look at how you can make your gym social media work for you.

 

Step 1: Keep Your Club Social Media…Social

Social SelfieSocial media’s main purpose is in the name. It’s social!

Whenever you talk about your business, the temptation is to immediately go into advertising mode. It’s the biggest mistake companies make when it comes to their social media.

People don’t use social media to be advertised to. I’m sure you yourself can’t think of any companies that you follow who just show you adverts on your social feed. You have to talk to people on that level, and only post things that YOU would be interested in, if you didn’t know your gym existed.

There’s plenty of smarter ways to show people how great your business is than just telling them. Interest them! Interact with them! Associate your brand with great content and an approachable presence.

Think of things that you think people will actually pay attention to; not just something you want them to pay attention to!

 

Step 2: Choose Your Club Social Media Platforms Wisely

Not all social media platforms are built alike and people use them for very different reasons.social media mobile

Take a look at what your club delivers and focus on the social media platform that gets that across best.

Focusing on pictures? Then why not try Instagram!

Want to offer social media customer service? Then Facebook is best.

It sounds simple but find out the strengths for each platform and play to them. Twitter has a character limit because it’s supposed to be short and snappy. Instagram is picture focused, so put your attention and effort on your imagery. Facebook has great connectivity between contacts, so focus on connection.

And keep it under control. Only put your efforts into 3 platforms max and don’t over exert yourself. Make sure your content is high in quality, rather than high in quantity.

And always be on the look out for new social media platforms. People thought Facebook wouldn’t replace Myspace, yet here we are. Snapchat, Pinterest, reddit and TikTok… the world is booming with potentially untapped social media platforms that your club can jump onto.

 

Step 3: Give Things Away For Free On Your Gym Social Media

It seems wrong, but giving away free things via your club social media will get you more customers.

If you have fitness regimes, advice or dietary information, then give it away. You may initially be scared that it’ll turn customers away, after all, if they’re getting the service for free, then why pay for it?

But this really isn’t how customers think and if people see how much you can add to their lives, they’ll be far more interested in using your service.

Try packaging your advice up in an easy to read infographic to make it more enjoyable to read. There are plenty of free platforms you can use, so try them out and get creative.

 

Step 4: Use Pictures, Videos And Visuals

People are very visual animals. More and more internet users are digesting their content through videos, infographics and visual media than ever before.

Make sure you catch your audience’s attention in the sea of their socials feeds with eye grabbing content that is interest, relevant and gets them watching your health club social media.

And make sure it looks good by making sure your images are the correct size for each platform. You can find information on the perfect image and video resolutions for any and all social media platforms here, so your content always look great and displays correctly.

 

Step 5: Retweet, Follow, Like And Share

social media symbolsWe’ve already said that social media is all about being social. So get social!

Follow your audience, answer their questions, post questions and polls yourself. Start a conversation, share and retweet interesting things you see.

Make your audience enjoy seeing you pop up in their feeds and chats.

You can even make a list of sites and social media profiles that you can check if you need interesting things to share that day.

 

Step 6: Get Inspirational

Man Holding Inspirational QuoteSelf improvement is a personal journey for everyone who embarks on it.

Your service as a health club and your club social media is designed to help people improve their lives and feel great about themselves. So help them feel great!

Be inspirational, share your wisdom and really get to the key core emotional place that your members are at when they decide to improve their health and bodies.

Why not celebrate your inspirational member of the month? Give out quotes, wisdom and targets for your members to aspire to.

And if you’re not a designer and want to make your quotes look nice, have no fear. Platforms like Canva allow you to make nice images, while connecting directly to all your health club social media channels.

 

Step 7: Run Promos And Competitions

People love a great bargain. If you have a promotion coming up, get it on social. If you want to give away a couple of months of membership, then host a contest on your social media.

two men competing race

Competitions are a great way to get people talking about you, liking your page and engaging with you, which means you’ll show up in even more people’s feeds.

You can even make people share your content or like things you post in order to be involved in a competition, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

And if you’re not sure how to handle this yourself, there are a services designed to automate the whole competition system for your club social media.

 

Step 8: Get Organised

Social media should be a key part of your health club’s business marketing strategy and you have to treat it with the same level of importance as any other part of your marketing.

Try out different post times and different types of content. Keep a note and see what is working and what isn’t.

You’ll quickly find out when your audience is online and what they like.

You can download a free social media calendar here in order to get more organised with your health club social media.

 

Step 9: Follow The Goldilocks Rule

You know the story of Goldilocks right?

Post too little on your social media and it will be dead.

Post too often and people will feel spammed.

Post just the right amount and people will follow you.

Be aware of how much you’re posting. However it does depend on the platform. For instance, Facebook should be once or twice a day, but Twitter can be way more.

You can check here to see how often you should be posting to each social media platform.

 

Step 10: Give Your Club Social Media A Boost

spare change on tableFacebook allows you to boost your posts so you can reach more people.

This is often the best way to reach a lot more potential clients who are already connected to existing fans of your page.

However, unless you know what you’re doing, don’t spend a lot of money on paid social advertising. But putting £5-10 every few weeks into boosting a post is a great way to expand your reach.

Think about adding social media boosts as part of your marketing budget, so you keep your spending official and under control.

 

Step 11: Be Patient With The Results

Social media is a slow burn but it is worth it if you stick with it. The more you post, the more you engage your audience and the more you’ll get from it.

But never expect instant results!

This is very important. Social media is all about finding your unique groove and sticking with it.

The important part is to enjoy it, make it fun, connect with your audience and you’ll soon see the benefits. But always be genuine and keep that in check always.

 

Download Our Free Club Social Media Workout Today

Ashbourne Simple Social Media WorkoutSpeaking of free and helpful giveaways, please feel free to download our free Club Social Media Workout PDF, which includes links and examples to everything written in this blog, in a simple to read and understand format.

Ashbourne Membership Management is focused on helping gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and studios grow their membership with solid leads and retain loyal members with an all-in-one management service, to give members the best health and fitness experience around.

Enjoy the free downloadable, but if you want to know more, then contact us and one of our dedicated team will be in touch to help you discover the right club membership management product for you.

Is Your Website Working For Your Club?

Your website is at the heart of all the marketing you run as a club. It shapes people’s perceptions of your services and facilities and it directly impacts the number of new members you’re able to sign up.

You see, gone are the days when potential new members simply just pop into your club without having done some degree of research and having qualified you to some level beforehand.

All of your potential members are connected to the web. Smart phones and computers, which provide them with everything that they want at the click of a button, are a part of their everyday lives.

Having a fantastic club with the best staff in the world is no longer enough if you want to maximise new member sign ups and the potential of your club. Why? Because if you aren’t making the right impression online, many potential members will simply never enquire or step foot inside your club.

Effectively portraying your club and building strong relationships online is paramount to the future prosperity of your business. Ensuring that you have an abundance of great reviews and that you continually re-engage with prospects during their research and consideration process when they’re on the look out for a new gym or club is of the highest importance.

But, more important than anything else, is your website!

Your marketing efforts to generate new member sign ups can either prosper or fail because of your website. Your website is at the heart of your online presence and, in 2019, it’s a digital extension of your club that (whether you like it or not) has a huge impact on people’s views of you as a business.

Having a great website for your business is no longer a choice – it’s a necessity.

Your website is directly responsible for prospects’ impression of you as a brand and it’s ultimately responsible for the number of enquiries and member sign-ups you’re able to generate as a club. A poorly designed website which is difficult to navigate around won’t help you achieve your core objectives as a business and will drive people away from your site (and club) for good. And, of course, that’s only great for your competitors.

Simply put, anything less than a great website will cost you members.

 

What Makes A Great Website?

A great website can be the difference between surviving and thriving in this industry. Your website should educate & inform your prospects, inspire them and accurately showcase your facilities & services and the fantastic benefits you have to offer them.

Here are some of the fundamental aspects which you need to get right on your website if you’re going to increase your membership numbers this year and beyond…

 

Conversion Optimisation

The primary objective of your website is to generate new enquiries for your club. The conversion rate of your website is simply the percentage of visitors to your website who turn into enquiries. If your website isn’t converting visitors into qualified enquiries, you need to address what’s going wrong.

There are a number of ways to improve the conversion of your website from improving the design to ensuring that it’s easy to navigate around to making sure that it’s straight-forward for a prospect to get in touch and leave their details. We’ll take a look at some of these things in more detail throughout this blog.

 

Design and Usability

Your club’s website needs to both look great and be easy to use. For example, as increasing volumes of traffic to clubs’ websites across the UK come from mobile devices, it’s essential that your site is fully mobile-optimised. It’s now more important than ever for your site to display well and be user-friendly on a mobile device. If your site doesn’t look great on mobile as well as on desktop and tablet and is difficult to use, it’s costing you enquiries and, therefore, revenue.

 

Inspiring Imagery

If your website isn’t rich in inspiring, high-quality imagery, you need to do something about it. Imagery is so important to get potential members excited about your club and all it has to offer them. It’s also important to assure your prospects that your club is going to be an enjoyable and pleasant place to spend time and achieve their fitness & health goals.

 

Social Proof

Potential members want to know what other people are saying about you. It’s estimated that over 90% of people use reviews as part of their research process when looking for a new club. Reviews build trust and help potential members become more confident that about choosing your club over your competitors. Reviews and member testimonials are so easy to get and shout about and are so, so powerful. Their role in driving member sign ups should not be underestimated.

And, your website isn’t the only place to share reviews. Google & Facebook are just a couple of other places which you can share all the positive things which people have to say about your club.

 

Informative

How much is membership? What are your opening times? What classes do you hold each week? What facilities are available at your club?

Your website should be deeply informative and answer all the questions potential members might have. The content across your site should also position you in a professional way that builds confidence in visitors. Try and put yourself in the shoes of your potential members and members alike. What information would you want? If your website is lacking in this department, it’s time to make some changes!

 

If your website is currently struggling to generate enquiries for your club or you have any questions about ways to drive increases in new member sign ups, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us today by calling 01564 741 837.

Why Your Club Website Is Critical To Helping Your Club To Grow

How can my club website help grow my gym business?

It’s a question that many gym and club owners ask because at first, your gym website doesn’t seem like an important part of your marketing or service.

Too many club owners, their club website is nothing more than an online billboard. It’s a place where your customers can google your club and set up their gym membership.

But many health club owners not only severely underestimate the importance of their club website but also are fundamentally out of touch about the level of service that the modern club member expects from their gym and their gym website.

In this short guide, we’ll break down the 5 key ways that your club website can be your ultimate tool to not only growing your members but also retaining those memberships as well.

 

Your Club Website Is Your Best Marketing Tool

welcome customer signWhether you’re talking about your club on your social media, pamphlets, billboards, radio ads, word of mouth or however else you market your business, you’re more than likely going to direct people to your club website.

You might think that these adverts and social posts themselves are your best marketing tool, but your real secret is your club website itself.

If you look at the numbers for any business, the story they tell is very clear…and we’re going to look at 3 numbers in particular.

  • View rate – the number of people who hear about your gym through an ad
  • Click rate – the number of people who engage with your gym’s ad and head to your club website
  • Conversion rate – the number of people who sign up for your gym from your club website

These are the basics of the journey that every one of your club members will take before they become a member. The aim is to get someone through each of those stages and then… you have a customer, congratulations!

But sadly, the “View” rate, to the “Click” rate and onto the “Conversion” rate drops significantly with every step. It’s a fact of life that hundreds of times the number of people will see an ad or hear about your club than will actually end up signing up as a member to your health club or gym.

That’s why your website is so important.

It doesn’t matter how good your ad or social post or reputation is.

Inevitably, a majority of your potential members are going to end up heading to your club website and if that club website doesn’t impress and get people to that “Conversion” stage, then it was all for nothing.

Your club website matters and that’s because…

 

Your Club Website Is Your First Contact

hand reach outA website can tell your customer a lot about your business.

And more people than ever are discovering local gyms using a gym’s own website, so your gym website needs to leave a great first impression as your initial contact.

People are judgmental, and when it comes to spending their money, customers are even more judgmental. Even a moment of hesitation where a customer isn’t sure about the quality of your club is a chance for you to lose a potential customer.

So much like how you would clean your house before a visitor comes over, make sure your website works well, is simple to use and easy to read. Make your customer’s journey from clicking your site to arranging their first visit is as simple as possible, so you make a great first impression.

 

Your Club Website Needs To Work On Everything

online devicesPeople use more devices than ever before, whether it’s their phones, laptop, desktop, tablet or even WiFi-enabled fridge, you need to be sure that your website works on everything.

In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices and mobile devices made up 42% of total time spent online.

The good news is that website developers know this and many CMS (Content Management Systems) and page builders allow you to optimise your website based on screen sizes, so you can always make a web page look great.

So before you even think of making a business website live, always log into it on a range of devices. You might be surprised by what needs fixing.

 

Your Club Website Will Affect Your Sign Ups

online digital marketingWe’ve already talked about the quality of your site reflects the quality of your gym, but your site’s quality when it comes to its presentation is only half the battle.

The fact of the matter is, more people than ever are signing up to their gyms using an online sign-up.

In just a few minutes and even fewer clicks, a member can have set up a direct debit, activated their account and already be on their way to using the club for the first time.

The more decisions you allow a member to make, the more chances they have to make the decision to leave your site and therefore, risk them never coming back again.

If you don’t have an online sign-up, that means that instead of a visitor becoming a member there and then, they have to come down to the gym and pay, during opening hours. That gives them a chance to forget for a few days, only be available on the day you’re closed or simply push the thought of exercising to the back of their mind after a hard week.

Giving your members the facilities to sign up for your gym there and then, within just a few clicks, is an amazing and simple way to get members on board faster, easier and most importantly, without you needing to do anything.

And the best part is, Ashbourne has already built this system and can implement it into your gym’s website.

 

Your Club Website Is Now A Service

In the days of old, customers would simply use your club website to see what services you offer, make a payment and possibly book their first visit.

Now, before even entering the gym, customers want to track their progress, book their classes, change their account details, check any updates and maybe even schedule a personal training session…

The point is, your website isn’t just a place to learn about your gym, it’s an online hub that is part of your service.

Think of your website as an extension of your gym. It’s fundamental to what we offer at Ashbourne, centralising every aspect of your gym to your website, so your members can use their entire gym membership from one area.

 

Ashbourne Helps Build A Better Club Website Experience

jogger running sunsetAshbourne Membership Management is focused on helping health clubs and gyms grow their business by simplifying every aspect of club management.

From marketing your club, running promotions, handling member’s payments and tracking their fitness; Ashbourne is the all in one club membership management tool that helps you manage your club, so you can focus on helping your members get the most they can from their health club.

If you enjoyed this blog and want to know more about how Ashbourne can help you manage your health club, gym, leisure centre, yoga studio or MMA classes, then contact us here and let one of our team help you discover your perfect club management package.

The Importance Of Email Marketing For Your Club

Grow Your Club With Email Marketing

Email should be one of the key pillars in any club’s marketing strategy. It’s vital in driving new member sign-ups, maximising the value of your current members and increasing retention.

Despite it’s undeniable importance, there are a lot of clubs out there who aren’t using the channel effectively (or at all) to help maximise their revenue and profitability.   Now, there’s an old saying – ‘it’s not what you do but the way that you do it’ – and it’s never been more applicable than when it comes to the use of email for clubs like yours.

We work with a lot of gym & clubs here at Ashbourne who are using email and they’re having great success. It’s making a real difference to their new member sign-ups and, ultimately, their bottom line. And it can do the same for any club if it’s implemented in the right way!

The clubs who are making it work have refined their tactics and are using email in a smarter way and it’s something that’s working really, really well.

We’ve created this blog to share a couple of strategies that you can use to grow the conversion rates of your prospects into new sign-ups and to help increase member retention.

 

GDPR

Firstly, we’ll begin by addressing GDPR.

GDPR came into affect last year as a regulation in EU law to help help protect the data and privacy of European citizens. It certainly had an effect on the amount of email marketing which clubs were carrying out.

Now, we won’t go into the specific rules and regulations on GDPR because there’s enough good information online for you already, but the long and short of it is that…

1| You need your privacy policy to be updated and water tight.

2| If you’re using cookies on your site (anything to do with analytics or remarketing) you need a pop up to ask for your visitors’ consent.

3| You need to be able to prove that anyone you’re emailing has opted in to receive marketing communications (this is easily done by adding privacy statements to forms on your website and when you ask for people’s details at your club stating that the person is happy for you to send marketing emails to them – this is standard protocol now for all companies, not just in our industry).

If you’re doing these things, you’ll be absolutely fine and won’t have any issues with emailing people.

 

Using Email Marketing To Convert Prospects Into Paying Members

A lead comes into your club and you or a member of your team follows it up with a phone call or an email. Some of these leads will request information about prices & facilities etc., some will come and visit you and some of them will just have questions they want answered. Eventually, some of these leads become members which, of course, is fantastic!

The reality is though, like in any business, a large proportion of these prospects don’t become members. Not so fantastic.

But, what’s most baffling, is that there’s lack of activity that a lot of gyms and clubs have in place to convert more of their leads into customers in the longer term.

You see, what you have to understand is that just because someone is ready to enquire or visit for a trial, it doesn’t mean that they’re ready to sign up and become a paying a member. A significant percentage of people aren’t ready to commit to that and haven’t reached that stage.

The industry in which we operate is one with well-thought out and researched customer journeys and your marketing needs to adapt to that reality. On top of that, the industry is highly competitive and the need to stand out and build better relationships with your prospects is key.

 

So, how do you convert more prospects into members?

 

Some prospects go dark. That’s life. You or your sales team marks a prospect as ‘dead’. But, if you think that there’s no benefit in communicating with that person from that point on, you’re wrong. Really wrong.

Deciding to join a new club or change from your current club is something people give a lot of thought to. These decisions are well thought-out and well researched. Your prospect has almost certainly looked at least a couple of other clubs and possibly visited them too.

The gyms and clubs that adopt a longer-term strategy to the conversion of their prospects into members can win big. The most effective way to do this: email!

Emailing prospects in the weeks and months after they initially become an enquiry will increase your conversion rates and will help increase new member sign-ups. That’s a fact.

Continuing to send personal and valuable content will help build relationships with these people and drive ongoing engagement with your club. Whether it’s current promotions, client testimonials which build trust, details of your facilities, it doesn’t matter. As long as the content is relevant, personal and valuable, it will help your conversion rates.

It will also help you to stand out from your competition as a club which that puts its members first and it will bring in sales to your club which would have otherwise been lost. What’s more is that it will barely cost your business a penny and will deliver a colossal ROI.

 

Increase Retention & Member Lifetime Value

There are three core ways to grow any gym or club….

…increase the number of members you have, increase retention or increase the average lifetime value of your members.

It’s the second and third ways which we’re going to look at now. You see, keeping members and getting them to spend more is generally much easier and cost-effective than signing up new members. Email serves as a beautifully simple and inexpensive way to frequently engage with your current members, build stronger relationships with them and ensure that they feel valued and more than just another customer who pays you money every month.

What you include in these emails is of course up to you but they may just be updates on events at your club, information about new facilities & classes or free passes for their friends and family (which is a great way to generate additional enquiries). It may even include an email once in a while which lets you know how much you value them or which asks for feedback on ways to improve your services. Emailing your current members is also a great way to promote offers and bring additional revenue into your business.

Sending regular emails to your members requires very little investment both in terms of time and financially and is guaranteed increase retention. If you aren’t doing it at the moment, you need to start. It’s an absolute no-brainer!

So there you have it. Two simple but highly effective ways to better utilise email for your club which will help increase your conversion rates and improve retention.

 

If you’d like to know more about email marketing and good email marketing platforms, simply get in touch with us today and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Using Facebook Advertising To Grow Your Membership Numbers

Facebook Advertising comes with a huge amount of benefits when it comes to creating awareness of your club locally and, ultimately, increasing your membership numbers.

If you’re not currently using Facebook Advertising to promote your club, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. An opportunity to stand out from your competition and consistently generate new enquiries and sign-ups.

We live in a world where social media platforms are becoming ever more powerful and prominent. In the UK, we spend almost 25% of our mobile internet usage time using Facebook. The sheer volume of people using Facebook each and every day means that it’s a complete no-brainer to use the platform as part of your overall marketing strategy. It’s where your prospects are ‘hanging out’ and, therefore, it’s most definitely where you should be advertising.

And it’s not just the vast number of users that makes the social media platform an essential channel to include as part of your strategy to attract new members. What makes Facebook Advertising so effective is the vast range of targeting options available to businesses. These targeting options mean that you can be extremely focused and precise with what audiences you target with your ads and what messages you use to engage with them. It’s these targeting options which put Facebook Advertising up there as one of the most advanced and powerful platforms for advertising your gym or club.

Want to target people based on their age, their location, their gender, the sports they’re interested in or whether they like going to the gym and keeping fit? No problem. Facebook’s hyper-detailed targeting options guarantee that your ads will only show to the right people. It’s the combination of the sheer number of users combined with an incredible ability to refine who you’re targeting that makes Facebook Advertising essential for any club looking to maximise new member sign-ups and to increase the ROI on their marketing investments.

 

Use Facebook generally to promote your club or use is more tactically to promote specific offers, deals and unique selling points. For example, you can:

 

Showcase & generate awareness of your gym or club.

Facebook Ads are a great way to promote your club and your facilities and memberships in general. Carousel and Video ads are an effective ad format to show off your entire club in a way that will be extremely cost-efficient and which potential members will really engage with. Never underestimate the power of creating awareness using platforms like Facebook. If someone doesn’t know that you even exist, how on earth are they ever going to sign up to your club?

 

Promote your latest offers.

Promoting offers on Facebook is a proven way to generate lots and lots of enquiries and new member sign-ups for your club. Whether it’s simply a discount on membership, a free first month or a free pass, the right offer promoted in the right way is a sure fire way to bring in new members.

 

Facebook Carousel Ads (above) are a really engaging ad format which allow
you use a range of engaging images and messages as part of the same advert.

 

Shout about your club’s real selling-points.

Just revamped your gym or started a brand new range of classes? Perhaps you’re less expensive than your competitors?  These are the selling points that you need to shout about and which often differentiate you from your competition. Tell potential members about these things using Facebook Advertising and, used in the right way, it’s guaranteed to help bring new enquiries into your business.

 

If you’re not using Facebook Advertising at the moment and what some advice on where to start (or if you’re using the channel but not quite getting the results that you’re after) simply get in touch with us here at Ashbourne and a member of our team will be happy to help. You can call us now on 01564 741 837 or, alternatively, simply click here to drop us a message.

4 Reasons Why Your Fitness Club Needs a Turnstile System

Over the course of a week, your club experiences a significant amount of footfall.

Without an effective entrance solution in place however, inefficiencies occur and problems arise when it comes to managing memberships. More pressingly, it becomes difficult to track who’s entering your club and ensuring that your facility stays safe and secure.

Installing a turnstile system is an effective and affordable way to overcome these problems and provides a low maintenance and affordable solution to make your club run more efficiently, effectively and, ultimately, profitably.

To help illustrate this point further, here are some compelling reasons why your club should consider investing in Ashbourne’s Access Control system…

 

1. Profitability

 

This is perhaps the biggest reasons to invest in a turnstile at your fitness club. By implementing this technology into your building, you’ll no longer need someone on reception throughout the day. As a result, this will not only save money on wages, but it will eliminate any non-members from getting past the reception when it isn’t being manned. At Ashbourne, we offer a range of turnstile options to meet the needs of your club so that you can rest assured that the system you choose will deliver the best results possible when it comes to making long-term savings.

 

2. Utilise staff elsewhere

 

By removing the need for a member of staff at reception, you’ll be able to utilise their skills in other areas of the business.

This can include:

• Keeping on top of maintenance duties for an improved member-experience.
• Offering a wider variety of classes at different times for members.
• Providing extra PT and one-on-one sessions.
• Focusing on improving your club’s marketing and customer acquisition.

 

3. Improved membership management

 

Keeping tabs on non-paying members and monitoring customer behaviour is extremely difficult if you haven’t got a turnstile installed. With fitness clubs often requiring its staff to attend to a number of different tasks throughout the day, membership management usually takes a back seat.

A turnstile is a simple solution. Instead of requiring a member of staff and a computer system to check membership and register a customer’s time of arrival, a turnstile will automatically do this via its access control system. Providing a customer’s membership is valid, up-to-date and approved, the gate will then open. Furthermore, our Access Control solutions link seamlessly to Ashbourne’s Club Software giving you valuable insights into member usage and behaviour at the click of a button which you can use to your advantage to improve retention and deliver maximum value to your customers.

 

4. 24/7, around-the-clock access

 

Another great way of boosting sign-ups and improving customer satisfaction is by granting your members access to your club around the clock.

Not everyone wants or is able to use your club during more ‘conventional’ hours. A 24/7 service is a highly attractive prospect for your current members and prospects alike and enables you to provide a real selling point which will ultimately help to drive more sales.

What’s more, it might help reduce overcrowding in your fitness club at peak times as well. In fact, in a recent survey, 25% of Brits said that they’ve gone to the gym and couldn’t use the machines they wanted to because of this issue.

Instead, opening your fitness club up for 24/7 access might encourage peak members to go later in the evening or earlier in the morning. This flexibility will of course drive satisfaction levels up and help to increase retention.

 

How to choose the right turnstile for your club.

 

If you do want to invest in a turnstile at your fitness club or leisure centre, it’s essential that you choose the right one.

Here at Ashbourne Membership Management, our Access Control solutions can include RFID technology for added entry control, seamlessly integrate with our membership management software and comes with unlimited support from our team of engineers.

Simply put, it provides a simple but truly effective way to easily transform your club into a 24/7 facility without any fuss or receiving unwanted 3 am calls from members having trouble gaining access.

To find out more about our turnstile and access control systems, simply get in touch with us today and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Get more members through remarketing

Remarketing for gyms & clubs.

The competition for new members has never been more fierce. Ensuring that you have a comprehensive and multi-channel marketing strategy in place in order to generate enquiries and stand out from other clubs has never been more important.

There are of course lots of ways to market your club, however, if you’re not using remarketing as part of your marketing efforts, you’re missing a big trick.

Remarketing is a technique which allows you to show adverts to people who have already visited your website but who didn’t convert into an enquiry or become a new member (companies like Amazon and ASOS, for example, use remarketing really effectively and you’ll have no doubt seen this happen many times before – you look at a product on their site and you’ll see ads for that product and other similar products across other sites online once you leave their site. This isn’t by chance, this is remarketing in action). Implemented in the right way, remarketing is a very effective method of generating more enquiries and bringing new members into your club. New members who may well have ended up joining a different club.

More than 95% of users who visit your website leave without taking any form of action. They don’t get in touch with you, sign up or leave their contact details. More often than not, once they leave your site, they don’t come back – you won’t ever see them again.

But, there’s good news and this is where remarketing comes in. You see, remarketing allows you to communicate with the people who have been to your website in the days, weeks and even months after they visited your website as they come closer to making a decision about signing up to a new club.


And there’s even more good news…

…most clubs don’t implement remarketing activity as part of their strategy which means – for those clubs that do choose to use the technique – it serves as an extremely effective way to stand out from your competition and build stronger relationships with people who are actively looking for a brand new gym or club to join.

 

The facts.

Most people who visit your website each day don’t make an enquiry of any kind. They might be researching what clubs exist in the area, they might not be able to find the information they’re after or they might just get distracted because someone’s just rung their door bell. Ultimately though, regardless of the reason, they leave your website without taking action you want them to take.

In 2019, in this industry, an average customer journey doesn’t exist. The journeys new members take when looking for a new club are non-linear, unique to each individual and can be very long. However long or short that journey is though, it takes a period of time – a period of time in which you can communicate and re-engage with a potential member at various different stages and places throughout that journey.

Because remarketing only targets users who have previously been to your website, it means that there’s an increased likelihood of them being in-market for a new club to join.

 

Why does it work?

Remarketing works for a number of fundamental reasons…

1. It increases brand awareness by delivering continuous exposure of your brand, facilities and offers during a member’s buying journey. These people have already been to your website which means there’s a good chance that they’re interested in what you have to offer

2. It increases return visits to your website. The vast majority of people who visit your site for the first time don’t convert into enquiries or sign ups. When a user visits your site for a second, third, fourth time etc., they’re typically much closer to making the decision to join a new club. Therefore, on average, they are more engaged and are more likely to become members than someone who is a first-time visitor to your site. The long and short of it; if you want to generate more enquiries and members, you need to increase the number of return visits to your site and remarketing was designed for this very reason.

3. It’ll help you to improve the ROI on your marketing investment. Persistence definitely pays off in this industry. There’s so much choice and competition for your target audiences that it’s never been more critical to do whatever you can to stand out. To add to that, your prospects’ attention is so easily diverted by everything else that’s going on in their lives. As club owners, you have to accept that. In order to maximise ROI on your marketing investment, you need to continuously re-engage with potential members throughout their consideration process to increase new member sign ups and revenue.

 

There are a range of ways and online channels which you can use to run remarketing campaigns for you club, from Display Remarketing through the Google Display Network to Facebook and Paid Search. If you want to know more about remarketing and how best to use it to grow your member numbers, don’t hesitate to get in touch – a member of our team will be happy to help.

 

So, how does remarketing actually work?

 

explanation of remarketing

 

If you would like to know more about using remarketing as part of your club’s overall marketing efforts, don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to help. You can contact us by clicking here.