Parties, camping trips, barbecues, concerts, and movies wouldn’t be the same without at least one good friend to enjoy the experience with you. This fact holds true in fitness as well. Consequently, fitness studios that find success understand how to create effective customer referral campaigns.
Going out used to mean grabbing some drinks with your friends at a local bar. But a new, healthy alternative trend is emerging. It is now cool to be fit, active, and associated with popular fitness brands. Wanting to share the experience with others is a natural impulse. And referral programs can provide an additional incentive to do so. A recent Nielsen Global survey found that, “84% of group fitness attendees recommend their current facility to their friends and family (1).” Clearly, these recommendations are incredibly effective. According to AFS, 60% of all studio/gym owners found “client/member referral programs are their best source of new leads (2).” As a leading avenue for customer acquisition, making sure you have a well designed referral reward program is imperative.
So how do you create an effective referral program?
Generosity is the key
When it comes to referral programs, the bigger the reward, the better. My go to reward combo is the 5 for 5. As in, if a client refers a friend and that friend purchases at least 5 classes they receive 5 classes as a reward.
The reasoning behind this reward structure is simple. These two friends will take all 5 classes together. Plus they’ll enjoy their time at your studio tenfold more than if they were to go by themselves. These classes become much more than an intense hour of physical exercise. Instead, they become memorable shared experiences between two friends. And your studio will join the roster of potential meetup locations the next time these friends want to do something fun together. Ultimately, the hope is that your new studio convert will then invite one of their friends, and so begins the lucrative domino chain that is an effective referral program.
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-Evan Welch, Sales Manager