Gym marketing with beacons: 5 ways to improve your gym member retention strategy
Last Updated:  May 10, 2021
Gym marketing coupled with technology such as Bluetooth beacons makes everyday interactions at the gym more enjoyable, engaging and efficient.
In the United States, around 45 million adults, i.e., 14% of the population, have a gym membership. However, 80% of the people quit the gym within 5 months. Given the behavior, Planet Fitness, one of the largest fitness chains in America, signed up 6000 members at the beginning of the year, while it can hold about 300 members! An influx of new memberships can be exciting, but given the quitting rate, it is not a long-term benefit for the gym. A study shows that, on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
The above scenario demonstrates a problematic situation of member retention and recurring revenue at gyms. The biggest struggle for most traditional gyms is hammering down a customer retention strategy and creating a new level of engagement with members that keep them coming back month after month. Given the requirements, Bluetooth beacon marketing has emerged as a powerful marketing channel for fitness centers (/gyms).
Your gym marketing strategy in 2018 SHOULD include Bluetooth beacons. Here’s why!
Global shipments of Bluetooth equipped fitness and health tracker devices are forecast to amount to around 70.02 million units by the end of 2018. In the last few years especially, the use of fitness trackers, smartwatches and Bluetooth earphones have gained overwhelming popularity. Given the surge of these devices at gyms, it is only natural to align marketing strategies to technologies that leverage Bluetooth.
Bluetooth beacons, which broadcasts campaigns to smartphones in proximity, communicate via Bluetooth Low Energy. It’s the ability to interact with Android phones even without an app and operate at extremely low power requirements, makes it a promising solution for gyms and fitness centres.
Creative beacon campaigns at gyms for boosting member retention
1. Turn beacons into personal trainers by broadcasting location-specific information
Beacons present gyms and fitness centers with unique opportunities to reach members based on what they’re doing in the gym and which section they are in.
Equipment related information
Leverage BLE beacon technology to transform your gym equipment into talking personal trainers. Deploy these tiny devices on treadmills, cycles and cross trainers to –
Broadcastvideos on how to use the equipment – to make these videos more relevant add tutorials for multiple fitness levels. You can also broadcast a 10-mins video with the instructor doing the same exercise alongside. Gym-goers are motivated to work harder when someone is talking to them and driving them to push their limits.(Adding a video to beacon campaigns increases the engagement by 23%)
Inform of ways to avoid and fix sore muscles – muscle discomfort after a heavy workout often nudges members to take breaks from the gym. These breaks usually translate to quitting. Hence, knowing how to prevent (or alleviate) and fix sore muscles is important. Inform members about best practices of using gym equipment.
Get feedback on newly added equipment – member feedback is the foundation of any customer retention strategy. This not only makes the member feel special but also gives the gym management a sense of what they should invest in.
Section related information
Most modern gyms segment the studio area into group classes, women’s gym hall, physiotherapy, classes for seniors and more. As a member moves around the studio, what’s relevant for her changes! For better targeting and enhanced engagement, reach out to members based on which section of the studio they are in.
For instance, for group classes, engage with members by asking them to fill out a form about the class and trainers involved, or share the schedule for the next group class. Similarly, for the women’s gym hall broadcast podcasts about women health and recommended diet plan for women that they can listen to while exercising.
2. Strengthen your social media marketing using beacons
Social media is not just crucial in getting new customers, but also to keep the existing members engaged and motivated. One cannot look away from the gym selfies and bench press videos which are flooding social media channels. It’s only organic to integrate it into the gym marketing strategy.
Push members to share authentic experiences, monthly milestones and check-ins with their network of friends and followers on social media. Beaconstac beacons allow you to add an app intent to the notifications as well, which means, the notifications will open directly on to the social media app, such as Facebook or Instagram.
Also, encourage members to share their referral codes with friends. This not only signs up new members but also ensures that your existing members get the company to the gym!
Beaconstac also allows you to retarget members on Facebook. This means you can continue to motivate members on Facebook even as they take a break from the gym.
3. Do you have a gym app? Enhance member experiences by 8X!
Leverage beacons to promote your fitness app to members. With the app intent feature on Beaconstac, you can push members directly to the Google Play Store or App Store to download an app. Today almost every fitness enthusiast has a fitness app on their mobile devices – the number of fitness apps on Google Play Store has increased from 23,955 in Q1‘15 to 51,333 in Q1’18. 28% of people use health apps on a weekly basis, up from 23% a year ago. This figure rises to 44% among millennials. Having your fitness app on their phones will benefit you in the following ways –
Apps can be used to keep track of client milestones,
Track customer routines,
And the frequency of visits.
As a result of so much data, the app can produce automatic workout suggestions tailored to the fitness level of member. To implement this use-case, you need iBeacon compliant beacons.
4. Design realistic campaigns to motivate gym members
When life gets busy, workouts can often fall by the wayside. That’s especially true when people have to drive substantial distances to reach their gyms or need to find childcare before going for workouts. This is why fitness studios need to keep members motivated and nudge them to drive to the gym every day.
Few of the interactive and motivating gym campaigns are:
Turn gym into a community by running monthly challenges
Community events and hangouts, such as a game of football
Podcasts/ motivational talks of staying fit
Videos of fellow gym members achieving their goals
It is important to tap into the competitive nature as a source of motivation. Broadcast beacon notifications with a link to update the status of the monthly challenge, inform them about community events, or reaching out to fitness fans through podcasting.
Campaigns with videos of fellow members achieving results have also been very successful. When the target audience can relate to the people they see in fitness videos, they’re more likely to realize they can prioritize fitness. Tremendously toned (mostly photoshopped) model photos used for gym advertising and motivation building do not help.
5. Gain member insights
Just as beacons enable customers to become attuned to their location, they also give gym marketers or owners insight into the member behavior. These data points are helpful in boosting the efficiency of the gym and trainers.
Beacons help you keep track of
Progress of members
Busiest and rarest hours of the day
If you’d like to explore an app-less solution to run proximity marketing campaigns, consider using NFC and QR codes.
Own a gym or fitness studio? Talk to us if you would like to revolutionize your gym too. Beaconstac’s end-to-end solution comes with an intuitive dashboard that allows you to monitor all your campaigns at once.
I am fascinated by tech-driven marketing. Love to read & write about entrepreneurship and tech-driven business strategies for B2B and B2C companies. Have b(e)acon and eggs for breakfast and always up for doughnuts!
While restaurants are eager to formulate a robust post-crisis plan, the evolving consumer behavior makes this hard to do. In this blog post, I talk about the expected change in consumer behavior and how restaurants can adapt to keep their doors open post-lockdown.