The ‘Trial to Membership’ Conversion Playbook for Fitness Studios

Written by:
Linnette Le
January 27, 2023
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You meet with a prospective client, devoting your precious time to showing them the gym and discussing your offerings. Ultimately, you convince them to sign up for a free gym trial. You walk away feeling like you sealed the deal with your perfect sales pitch. However, after their trial period expires, you never see or hear from them again.

That scenario must sound eerily familiar, as traditional gym membership sales processes almost always look like that. That said, if you have experienced the challenges of converting gym trials to memberships, trust us; you are not alone.

Thankfully, you can break the cycle and create studio trial to membership pipelines that actually work. In our ‘trial to membership’ conversion playbook, we share secrets from Tu Le, a successful martial arts studio owner and founder of the dynamic gym membership management software MyStudio.

7 Steps to Create Studio Free Trial Pipelines That Work

If you want to know how to increase gym membership sales, we suggest that you follow these seven simple steps:

1. Implement MyStudio

The old-school approach to enrolling potential clients into trial programs simply doesn’t fit the modern fitness industry. Think about it: Your potential customers have the ability to use self-service tools when shopping online, paying bills, ordering food, or even managing their finances, so if you want your business to stand out from traditional fitness studios, you need to follow suit.

Enter MyStudio, a dynamic gym membership management solution that allows you to create studio trials, manage active memberships, advertise events and sales, and much more through a single platform.

With MyStudio, you can gain a 360-degree view of your business from anywhere. You can manage everyone who interacts with or buys services from your brand, whether you are in the office, at home, or on the go.

2. Create Custom Events to Generate Leads

Once you have rolled out MyStudio, you can use one of its most powerful lead-generation tools, creating custom events designed to engage active members, gather contact information for potential customers, and transform clients into your biggest lead-generation asset.

Tu Le and his successful martial arts studios, InCourage Martial Arts, regularly host events like Parents’ Night Out. To attend an event, parents must enroll their children using MyStudio’s user-friendly portal.

Le uses these events to generate supplemental revenue for his business by charging a small attendance fee. His team also gives attendees the option to gain free entry into the event by bringing a friend that is not a current member of InCourage, turning the event into both a revenue and lead generator.

3. Gather and Review Contact Data

While event guests won’t have to pay an entry fee, they and their parents will have to provide their contact information. After each event, Le’s team sorts through that information, comparing it to their current database. They then identify how many new leads were generated from the event and get to work nurturing them.

Your fitness studio can use the framework to generate leads and gather contact information. If you operate a business primarily geared toward adults, consider hosting an alternative event. For instance, you could host a free group training session, assigning one of your top trainers to go over the proper form for popular lifts like barbell squats or bench presses.

4. Set Up an Automated Nurturing Campaign

Once you have assembled a healthy list of email addresses and phone numbers, it is time to put them to use. You won’t have to worry about investing in a separate campaign management solution, as you can create and manage your marketing messages directly from within MyStudio.

With MyStudio, you can create and use message templates that automatically insert information like the recipient's name. These messages can be delivered via email or text message, and you can also customize when messages are delivered, how they are sent, and what actions trigger the messages’ delivery.

For instance, you could set up an email message and follow-up text, and if the recipient of the email opens the message and signs up, you could instruct MyStudio to discontinue future messages. However, you could also use MyStudio’s custom rules to automatically target recipients with additional messages if they don’t open the original email.

5. Be Consistent, But Not Pushy

MyStudio’s marketing tools allow you to customize the entire messaging timetable, including when messages are sent and how frequently they are delivered. With that in mind, make sure that you are consistent about nurturing leads but not too pushy, either.

Ideally, you’ll want to convert your leads within 14 days of their trial start day. Therefore, you should be the boldest during this critical window. If you do not convert a lead within that window, consider scaling back message frequency to once or twice a month. Doing so will keep your brand at the top of potential leads’ minds without causing friction between you.

6. Assign Team Members to Follow Up With Promising Leads

While MyStudio’s automated marketing messages are a great asset for nurturing and converting trials to memberships, some people prefer the personalized nature of a follow-up phone call, and MyStudio lets you schedule these types of follow-ups.

When using the MyStudio platform, select “Task” and follow the on-screen prompts. You can classify the task (i.e., a follow-up phone call), assign it to a specific team member, and set custom deadlines. If the team member forgets to complete the task on the assigned date, they will receive reminder emails to ensure that the lead does not slip through the cracks.

7. Empower Prospects to Sign Up on Their Terms

The final step in the ‘trial to membership’ playbook involves offering your prospects self-service tools. Signing up for a gym membership should not be a tedious, time-consuming process. It should be simple, easy, and frictionless, and with MyStudio, it can be.

MyStudio enables potential customers to sign up on their terms. They can easily complete any necessary waivers, provide payment information, and select the membership tier they want to purchase, all through a single, user-friendly platform. Removing the friction from the signup process ensures that your hard work results in more memberships and stronger revenue for your business.

Demo MyStudio’s Fitness Club Management Software Today

Now that you know how to sell gym memberships using Tu Le’s ‘trial to membership’ conversion playbook, it’s time to put that growth roadmap to use, but to do so, you will need to implement MyStudio’s dynamic gym membership management software.

MyStudio is the ideal club membership management software for martial arts studios, traditional gyms, fitness studios, and other membership-based health and wellness businesses. If you would like to learn more about this exciting opportunity to convert leads to customers, schedule a demo of MyStudio today.

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Written By
Linnette Le

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