The holiday season presents both challenges and opportunities for gym owners. During this bustling time of festivities and celebration, member retention issues and the constant threat of churn are ever-present.

Yet, as Xmas kicks into the New Year, a general shift in mindset to resolutions for the coming year presents a golden opportunity for fitness professionals. Smart gym owners can make the most of the holiday season to actively increase revenue, mitigate the threat of churn, and grow their membership base.

This article uncovers 17 proven strategies to unlock hidden gym profits during the holiday season. 

7 Holiday Gym Marketing Strategies

The holiday season presents unique opportunities to engage your existing members and reach out to new ones. A combination of online and offline methods can yield powerful results. 

1. Festive Campaigns

Launch a festive campaign across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your content should be visually appealing while emphasizing the importance of fitness resolutions. Encourage your social media followers to share their resolutions and successes over the previous 12 months. Offer rewards for the best posts.

Here’s a sample message to whet your creative juices:

“Unwrap a healthier you this holiday season! Share your fitness goals with us and tag us using #FitHolidays2023. The best stories stand a chance to win exclusive gym goodies. Let’s celebrate health together! 🎄💪 #HolidayFitness #NewYearNewYou”

2. Exclusive Promotions

Generate buzz by announcing exclusive holiday promotions on your social media platforms. Offer limited-time discounts on memberships, buy-one-get-one-free personal trainer sessions, and merchandise giveaways.

With the holiday season putting such strain on people’s finances, delayed payment offers can be very enticing. As January dawns, millions will feel guilty for overindulging during the silly season. They may get the urge to hit the gym but not have the means. The offer to pay nothing until March can be just what it takes to get them through your doors. 

To spread your message, incentivize your existing followers to share your holiday promotions with their social media networks. Here’s a sample holiday promo message:

Give the gift of health this season! Enjoy 15% off on all new memberships and personal training sessions until December 31st. Share this post and tag a friend who deserves a healthy kickstart in 2023! Let’s spread the joy of fitness together. 🎁💙 #HolidayWellness #GymDeals”

3. User-Generated Content & Contests

Create a holiday-themed contest based on user-generated content. Encourage your members to post their workout program, nutrition tips, recipes, and 2023 transformations. Offer rewards for participation, such as free fitness classes or merchandise. 

Here’s a sample message:

“Show us how you stay fit during the holidays! Share your favorite festive workout or a healthy holiday recipe using #FitFestive and tag us. The most creative entries stand a chance to win a month of complimentary classes. Let’s inspire each other! 🌟🏋️‍♀️ #HealthyHolidays #FitCommunity”

4. Virtual Classes & Challenges

During the hectic holiday season, many people can’t physically get to the gym. Cater to your members who are on holiday or bogged down with festivities by offering extra virtual classes. Make them even more engaging by adding a challenge element, such as a 12 Days of Christmas challenge, where participants embark on a fitness journey with a unique workout inspired by the classic holiday song each day.

Sample message:

“Join us live from the comfort of your home this holiday season! Our virtual fitness classes bring the gym to you. Stay active, stay connected. Check our schedule and let’s make your holiday workouts memorable. 💻🏠💪 #VirtualFitness #FitAnywhere”

5. Local Business Collaborations

The holiday season is a great time to collaborate with local businesses that align with your mission. Do joint promotions with health food and supplement stores, healthy cafes, and gift stores. 

Produce attention-getting flyers that can be distributed at the collaborative business. Offer a complimentary session or discounts on supplements and merchandise – and be sure to treat that prospective like a star when they come through your door. 

Sample message:

Fuel your fitness journey this season! Present our gym flyer at XYZ Nutrition Store for an exclusive supplement discount. Let’s build a healthier community together. 🌿💪 #LocalHealthPartners #WellnessCollaboration”

6. Community Events & Sponsorship

There are a lot of community events going on during the holiday season. You need to have an active presence at these events. Set up a booth and sponsor events. 

A key goal here is to collect lead information you can follow upon  later. A great way to do this is to run a competition. Offer a free 12-month membership for the person who guesses the weight of a beautifully decorated holiday-themed fitness hamper. To enter, people must complete a form with their email address on it.

These efforts will position your gym as a key part of the local community while also providing touchpoints for potential members.

Promote your participation through social media with messages like this:

Join us at the ABC Wellness Expo! Visit our booth for fitness tips, giveaways, and exclusive holiday promotions. Let’s celebrate health and happiness together. 🎉💙 #CommunityWellness #FitnessExpo2024″.

7. Holiday-Themed Workshops

Offer holiday-themed workshops at the gym that address typical challenges people encounter at this time of year. Themes could include stress management during the festive season, nutrition tips to eat healthy over the Christmas season, or how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

These sessions will position your gym as the local fitness authority and provide opportunities to gather more lead information. Include a promotional membership deal as part of the event.

Sample message to promote your workshop:

Unlock the secrets to a healthy holiday season! Join our workshop on stress management and nutrition at XYZ Community Center. Spaces are limited, reserve your spot today! 🍏🧘‍♂️ #HolidayWellnessWorkshop #HealthyHabits

5 Member Retention Strategies

Your members face unique challenges during the holiday season. These include blown-out budgets, crazy schedules, travel plans, and family commitments. To minimize churn, you must take proactive steps to meet your members where they are. 

Here are five strategies to prevent members from ditching their membership during the holiday season …

  1. Financial Hardship Assistance: Offer deferred payment options, giving your members the option of a payment holiday while they deal with holiday expenses. This empathetic approach can make a deep impression on your financially strapped members. 
  2. Tailored Workouts: Offer tailored workouts that accommodate busy schedules. These may involve short, high-intensity workouts that cut the workout time in half without sacrificing the intensity.
  3. Virtual Fitness Challenge: Keep your members engaged with a holiday challenge that they can participate in from any location. Make sure that it runs through the Christmas and New Year periods. Offer incentives like personal training sessions, free t-shirts, and extended membership.
  4. Holiday Nutrition Guidance: Provide tips and strategies that allow members to enjoy holiday food without jeopardizing their progress throughout 2023. 
  5. Communicate Your Concern: Send out a message to all your members at the start of the holiday season summarizing all the steps you’re putting in place to help them negotiate the holiday season. 

Here’s a sample message to promote these services:

“Dear [Member’s Name],

As the holiday season approaches, we understand that maintaining your fitness routine can be challenging, both physically and financially. We are committed to supporting you every step of the way! Here are personalized strategies to help you navigate the holidays without compromising your commitment to health:

  • 1. Tailored Workout Plans: We’ve crafted a workout schedule to fit your holiday availability—short, effective workouts designed for busy festive days.
  • 2. Virtual Fitness Challenge: Join our ’12 Days of Fitness’ challenge from anywhere! Engage with our community, share your progress, and stand a chance to win exciting prizes. For those facing financial strain, we offer flexible incentives, including deferred payments to participate without immediate financial pressure.
  • 3. Nutrition Guidance: Discover tips for making mindful food choices at holiday gatherings. Attend our nutrition workshop for insights into maintaining a healthy balance during festive feasts. We’ve made it financially accessible to ensure everyone can benefit.
  • 4. Interactive Support: Our check-in campaigns are designed to keep us connected. Share your experiences, challenges, and successes, and let us provide the support you need. For those encountering financial hardships, we are introducing deferred payment options to ease the burden during this season.

Remember, your fitness journey is unique, and we’re here to customize our support to fit your goals. Let’s make this holiday season a time of both celebration and continued progress.

Best, [Your Gym’s Name]”

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How to Attract Holiday Vacationers

The holiday season brings many visitors to your town. Many of them are regular gym goers who will be looking for a place to train. Here’s how to ensure they make a beeline to your gym rather than a competitor:

  • Guest Passes: Offer holidaymakers a guest pass with the first workout for free.
  • Hassle-Free Access: Make it easy for holidaymakers to get a guest pass. Utilize user-friendly online registration and ensure that the counter experience is seamless when they turn up. Then go out of your way to impress; offer a guided tour of your facilities, check if they need workout guidance, and offer tips to stay on track during the holidays.
  • Flier Distribution: Print flyers targeting holidaymakers and leave them at local holiday parks. Don’t forget information centers and tourist hubs. Highlight your gym’s unique offerings and your free visit promo.
  • Cross Promotions: Collaborate with tourist attractions, restaurants and wellness providers, offering discounts or bundled services for the entire family to enjoy a workout experience.

Capitalizing on New Year’s Resolutions

With the start of the new year, millions of people set their sights on their resolutions for the coming 12 months. Often, these revolve around weight loss, body composition, and fitness. Gym owners can capitalize on this momentum with the use of targeted strategies.

Offer early bird deals so prospective members can jump-start their fitness resolutions before the holiday financial crunch bites. Launch a resolution campaign in early December, encouraging people to commit to their resolutions before January 1st.

Create urgency by emphasizing the deal’s limited duration by including time-sensitive elements in your early bird deals. Promote the deal on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Revamp your class schedules and offerings for the New Year. Offer goal-specific classes and hold one or more body transformation challenges to take new members through January and February.

Release your new year’s schedule and teasers for your challenges from mid-December through social media, email, and your website.

Offer seminars on how to succeed with your New Year’s resolutions for members and non-members.

Put a staged pricing policy in place to encourage early sign-up. Offer deeper discounts for signing up in November than December to encourage early action.

Here’s a sample New Year’s Resolution marketing message:

“🎉 New Year, New Goals, New You! 🎉

At [Your Gym’s Name], we believe in the power of fresh starts and new beginnings. As the new year approaches, we’re thrilled to unveil exclusive early bird deals to kickstart your fitness journey. Why wait for January 1st when you can get a head start on your resolutions now?

🌟 Early Bird Deals Include:

[Specify Discounts or Perks]

[Exclusive Access to Special Classes]

[Free Personal Training Session]

🚀 Why Join Now?

Secure the best prices with our limited-time offers.

Enjoy the perks of being an early bird, including [Additional Benefits].

Beat the New Year rush and start making progress toward your goals today.

📆 Mark Your Calendar:

[Launch Date for Early Bird Deals]

[Deadline for Exclusive Offers]

Ready to make 2024 your healthiest year yet? Take the first step and be a part of our vibrant fitness community!

Join us on social media for exciting teasers, updates, and behind-the-scenes looks. Your fitness journey begins now! 💪✨

Best, [Your Gym’s Name]”

Offer Gift Cards

According to National Retail Federation statistics, 60% of Americans were interested in purchasing gift cards last year. Many people shop for fitness-minded friends, so a gym gift card provides an obvious solution. 

Gift cards also provide easy access to people new to the gym, allowing them to try out the experience without commitment. Gym gift cards also fit in well with people’s New Year resolutions.

Here’s how you can use gift cards to improve your holiday season bottom line:

  • Design a visually appealing card that features your logo and colors.
  • Provide a range of gift card options, including day passes, 30-day memberships, and fitness class packages.
  • Offer bundle packages in gift card form. An example could be combining a free personal trainer session with the membership or offering exclusive access to a new fitness class.
  • Make gift cards available for purchase both online and in person. Include a provision to have the gift card mailed out for online purchasers.
  • Provide incentives for your members to buy gift cards for friends and family. 
  • Promote your gift cards on social media. Include testimonials and success stories from your members.
  • Collaborate with local businesses to promote your gift cards.
  • Create a sense of urgency by providing limited-time discounts on gift cards.
  • Undertake an email campaign to encourage existing members to solve their gift-giving headaches with a gym gift card.
  • Train your staff to promote and sell gift cards. 

Here’s a sample gift card social media ad:

🎁 Give the Gift of Fitness this Holiday Season! 🏋️‍♂️🎄

🌟 Unwrap a Healthier You! 🌟

This holiday season, treat your loved ones to the perfect gift – the gift of health and wellness! 🎁 Our exclusive Holiday Gift Cards are the ideal present for anyone looking to kickstart their fitness journey or take their workouts to the next level.

🔥 What’s Included:

  • 🎉 Flexible Memberships: Choose from a variety of membership options.
  • 🏋️‍♀️ Access to State-of-the-Art Facilities: Our cutting-edge equipment is waiting for you!
  • 🎊 Special Holiday Fitness Classes: Join our festive classes and keep the holiday calories at bay!
  • 💪 Complimentary Wellness Consultation: Start your fitness journey with expert advice.

✨ Why Choose Our Gift Cards:

  • 🌐 Convenient Online Purchase: Easily order your gift card from the comfort of your home.
  • 🎀 Customizable Options: Tailor the perfect package for your loved ones.
  • 🚀 Instant Activation: Start the fitness journey right away!

🌈 How to Purchase:

  • 📲 Click the link in our bio to explore our holiday gift card options.
  • 🎁 Choose the perfect package for your loved ones.
  • 🛒 Complete the hassle-free online purchase.
  • 💌 Receive the e-gift card instantly or choose to have a physical card mailed!

🎊 Limited-Time Offer: Act Fast!

Tag someone who needs a nudge towards a healthier lifestyle or drop a hint for your perfect gift! 🎅✨

Ready to make this holiday season merry, bright, and fit? 🌟 Let the journey to a healthier you begin! 💪 #GiftOfFitness #HealthyHolidays #GymGiftCard

[GYM LOGO] 🏋️‍♂️ [GYM NAME] | [WEBSITE] | [CONTACT INFO]

*Terms and conditions apply. Offer valid until [expiration date].

Offer Corporate Fitness Solutions

The holiday season can be difficult for corporations as they deal with staff stress and maintaining employee wellness. A collaboration with your gym can be a win-win for both parties. 

Individually tailored fitness programs can be utilized as a team-building event. Regular exercise also promotes productivity and minimizes work absences. Work-based fitness programs enhance employee loyalty and morale. 

You can maximize this opportunity by tailoring fitness programs to meet the specific needs of corporate clients. Offer onsite fitness classes, wellness workshops, and personalized sessions in the workplace. 

Hold stress management, nutrition, and mindfulness seminars during the holiday period. Make them engaging and participatory so that workers do more than sit and listen.

Introduce a holiday-themed fitness challenge, especially for the company. Get management to support it so that buzz is created actively. Offer a year’s membership for the winner.

Be flexible with your schedule, allowing employees to work out during their lunch period or before and after work. 

Offer discounted memberships for company employees. 

Work in conjunction with the company’s human resources department. If you can get buy-in from the head person in HR, your efforts will be far more likely to succeed. 

Have an Open Day

An open day during the holiday season lets you showcase your gym to the community and holidaymakers. You’ll be able to highlight all the promotions and special offers we’ve already discussed.

Many people have time on their hands during the holidays. Many will feel as if they should be doing something about their health after overindulging over Xmas. So, a gym open day is likely to sound pretty appealing.

Hosting an open day also reinforces your commitment to the community. Quite a few locals will have gone past the gym frequently and wondered what goes inside your walls. An open day allows them to satisfy their curiosity free of charge.

Here are some tips on how to hold an open day:

  • Launch a targeted campaign leading up to the open day. Utilize Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as email and local offline advertising. Consider a series of radio advertisements culminating with having the station broadcast live from your gym on the big day.
  • Decorate the gym with holiday-themed elements to promote a festive mood.
  • Provide free day passes during the open day.
  • Have a sausage sizzle operating just outside the doorway.
  • Bring in guest instructors or trainers for the day. If you can swing it, organize for a locally known sports personality or pro bodybuilder to make an appearance.
  • Set up a dedicated membership sign-up station manned by your most talented, personable staff members.
  • Have holiday-themed giveaways throughout the day, along with a major competition where you can collect emails on entry forms.

Conclusion

The holiday season presents a host of opportunities for gym owners to market themselves to a new audience, enhance existing member relationships, and capitalize on the holiday influx. But it won’t happen automatically. 

In this article, you’ve been presented with 17 different ways to maximize your gym profits during the holiday season. Go back over them and pick the half dozen that resonate with you. Then roll up your sleeves and get busy!

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