It’s no easy feat building a gym member referral campaign that will work wonders for your health club. There can often be a lot involved to make sure it works effectively and consistently, but at the end of the day a successful referral program is essential to the growth of your fitness centre.

Just check out this infographic by Referral Candy and you’ll see why. More than 90% of people trust a recommendation from their friends, and it’s one of the primary factors for between 20%-50% of purchasing decisions – including signing up for a new gym membership.

To help you get kick started, here are a few ideas for your own gym member referral program.

Build a compelling offer

There are plenty of different incentives you could offer new referrals. Some of the most common and popular refer-a-friend programs are:

  • Waiving sign-up fees
  • Giving a one-month free membership
  • Complementary swag on sign up
  • Reduced membership costs.

We could go on! The key to what you choose to offer though is understanding exactly who your target market is and what will appeal to them most.

For instance, maybe your ideal market is students since you’re positioned near a Uni and your membership price point is student-friendly? Think about offering reduced sign up fees to appeal to this more money conscious demographic.

If you find a lot of your referrals are switching over from other gyms, perhaps try offering one month free or a temporarily reduced membership cost to help them with the transition period of moving from their old contract to their new one with you.

You might also like to think about what will encourage more gym referrals – do you need to reward both the referrer and the referee? Or just the referee? Within Gladstone, you can easily record which of your members have referred new gym-goers, and you can update the status of that new referral. Did they join? What kind of membership did they sign-up for? You can view all of this key information within your club management software.

Create awareness of your program

Once you know what your refer-a-friend offer will look like, you need to work on getting the message out to your members. This kind of communication can take many different forms. From email or SMS campaigns to advertising within the gym, there’s so much you can do to communicate your new program.

As with any communication, ensure your message is clear, consistent across the marketing mix, and your members can easily see the value in it for themselves and their friends.

Make your gym irresistible

It might seem like a no-brainer, but creating a gym that stands out from the competition should be at the top of your checklist when you start thinking about creating a referral campaign.

Are your facilities clean and tidy, with all weights put away on a regular basis? Is your equipment in good nick? Do your members love your personal trainers and group fitness class coaches? Can you spot any red flags that may stop someone from recommending you to a friend?

Get your team on board

The only way a referral campaign is going to work effectively long term is if your whole team is on board and actively participating. Set an expectation along with guidelines for your team, as to when you want them to be encouraging referrals and how they should approach the situation.

Whenever your personal trainers, receptionist, sales team, or group fitness classes coaches are chatting with a member, and that member is gushing over how much they’re loving your gym at the moment, your staff should be stepping in and mentioning your referral program.

These are just a few ideas to help you get your gym member referral program off the ground. To learn about how Gladstone can help your business, be sure to get in touch here.