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When is Discounting Gym Membership a Good Idea

Last Updated on Mar 15, 2018

First and foremost, we here at FitnessTexter aren’t big fans of discounting gym memberships, we’re fans of giving away FREE membership. Here’s why. If you give someone a free week pass, they’re going to come in two, maybe three, times. If they like your facility, they’re going to be paying full price at the end of the week.

However, if you give someone a huge “daily-deal” type discount like 75% off for the first month, you’re going to attract a different crowd (not always, but usually). These are the people that come in every single day for a month, and then when their discount ends and you ask them to stay paying full-price membership, they disappear into the wind. Even if you’ve read every book about membership retention (and there are some good ones), you’re going to have a hard time keeping these guys around. If you’re looking for some great reading on increasing and selling more memberships, check out these books.

That said, there are still times when can offer a discounted membership.

Military Members & Public Service Worker Discounts

Offering a military discount can be a great business practice, as well as a great HUMAN practice. It’s a sad fact that most military members don’t come back to high-paying jobs, and many are fighting with unemployment. If you can give them a hand and help them stay in shape at a decent price, you’re doing a deed for society. Not to mention military loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising with their other military friends in your area.

Senior Citizen, AARP & Retiree Discounts

AARP DiscountLast but not least, it’s BOOMER time. If you’re not offering senior citizen discounts and classes, you’re missing out on a huge market. The boomers contribute a ridiculous amount to the US economy. If you haven’t tapped into that marketing, you better start ASAP. Offering boomer discounts provides some of the same “fill-the-slow-time” benefits of service industry discounts. Your retiree members are normally going to be taking classes in the morning and early afternoon. This keeps your facility from overflowing during the busy evening hours, but keeps your financial coffers full.

Service-Industry Employee Discounts

Having worked in restaurants for nearly eight years, I can attest to the benefits of a service-industry discount. Some gyms in the US are already offering this discount, and it’s a great way to tap into an overlooked gym membership area. Most industry employees work at night, so they’re going to be using your gym during the slow hours of the middle of the day. This is a great way to fill your business when you’re normally empty. Not to mention the word-of-mouth benefits. Service employees are constantly talking with their clients and if they like your facility, there is a good chance they’ll tell their clients/friends.

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