Andrea Metcalf by Andrea Metcalf

It is the most wonderful time of year for everyone except those running a health club or gym. It seems to be the worst attendance month just before we hit the big onslaught of the New Year’s Resolution crowds. But keeping your members in the gym is important to keeping them healthy and happy, while also contributing to ancillary sales from revenue streams in the juice bar, café, pro shop and training center.

So don’t skip the holiday cheer. Here are six strategies to keep your members in the gym and drive business throughout the holiday season:

  1. Discounts for Consistency. This is the best time of year to offer gift certificates, and you can help keep current members coming back by offering stacked discounts for completed workouts. For example, offer members 10% off a gift card purchase for completing three workouts in a single week, or 20% off for completing five workouts in one week. You can structure the deal any way that best suits your club pricing, but the idea is that the more they work out, the better the offer they will receive. This is also a great time to promote discounts on café and pro-shop items to keep inventory moving.
  2. Bring a Friend. Encourage members to bring a guest for free during slow times or the entire month of December. Then offer the guests a great deal if they sign up for January, and provide an extra reward to the hosting member. Having a partner can help keep almost anyone on track with getting to the gym. When classes are full, people perceive they are getting a better workout.
  3. 12 Days of Health. Take a lead from the 12 days of Christmas and create a 12 days of health promotion. Each day, put on a different event targeted at your community. Encourage your in-house personal trainers to provide a short talk or workout and reach out to local health stores, food venues, chiropractors and other wellness-related providers. Enjoy the social media benefits of having those who present promote your brand, and be sure to “retweet” and share their posts on your social media as well.
  4. Fitness FaceTime. This is a great time of year to have people showcase their successes achieved during the past year. Ask current staff, fitness trainers and instructors to take short videos to highlight their clients’ success stories. This content can be shared now and re-purposed in January, too.
  5. Team Up for Tots. Encouraging community spirit and the gift of giving is a good business practice. Team up with a local charity or food drive and encourage your members to bring in the goods. Toy, shoe or coat drives are great ways to create member engagement and have a story to tell in January.
  6. Maintain Campaign. Share tips on social media or on a dedicated bulletin board on how to eat healthy and use express workouts, which can keep members coming back in.