Commercial Christmas campaigns to build membership loyalty

A difficulty that arises in December is the fact that, while July for example has its own linearity of market/commercial development that can rely almost on a whole month, December actually runs out in the first 15 days of the month.
This is because the pre-Christmas period absorbs people, therefore our users, in a whole series of activities and jobs that lead to declining visits and overall interest.

Hence, the importance of feeling prepared for December, and this means having started at the latest in November any campaigns or commercial mechanics to make the most of the final month of the year where attention spans are shorter.

Marketing material demands will be high and the actions that commercial staff have to take are numerous; that is why, on the 1st December, everything must already be planned, realised and communicated, so that we can start with the campaign immediately.
The communication should start latest in the last week of November. This should suffice to show the importance of timing in such a month.
Like all campaigns, we will therefore have an external aim, i. e. addressed to the new subscribers, and an internal declination, i. e. addressed to the subscribers, that is, with valid subscription in progress.
At this stage, we will be looking at the internal campaign. Like all internal campaigns, the December campaign will have two objectives:

  • Reward the member for his or her loyalty
  • Reward the referral of any family and friends

The prize for the subscriber

You could reward a customer’s current loyalty by giving them a Christmas gift, which in turns secures their subscription as it can only be redeemed on the next renewal.
This could be a voucher or a discount voucher that is worth an economic discount or serves as a great incentive for another renewal.
Often the economic discount is more appealing, so you can give the customer a voucher worth £50 for example to spend on the next renewal.
It will be very attractive as a gift especially for those who are near the end of their current subscription.
This gift, however, could even be spent even if you are not in the process of renewal, even months later, when it will be time to renew, as long as you present the voucher that you received as a free gift at Christmas.
Clearly, in order to avoid the occurrence of renewing people too early, we will give a time limit to subscriptions (enrolled) to which we will communicate this mechanic.

Usually, we do not go beyond the month of February, so that the person to whom the subscription expires in May or later does not consider this and therefore you have the benefit of concentrating the discounts in a limited period of time.
Also because this voucher could be used in conjunction with another, for example evergreen discounts, where for early renewal members could naturally enjoy (10% off).
As said before, this voucher could also contain a gift in services - in fact, treatments for Beauty/Spa centres or services related to the Personal Training world are highly appreciated - so the choice for Clubs will also be based on what characterises their service.
This is therefore the campaign aimed exclusively at the interiors, that is to say our members.

Partners and referrals

And let’s not forget the power of membership referral. For example, still on the theme of Christmas gifts, we could give our subscribers, in addition to the voucher that can be spent on the next renewal or in services, other vouchers that they could  give as Christmas gifts with another 2 or 3 vouchers containing a time period varying from 2 to 4 weeks.

With this action, we will also encourage the member to bring in other potential contacts.

As mentioned, December is almost like an all or nothing period and given the precariousness and scarcity of visits, it lends well to the concept of deadlines to make decisions. These "friends' vouchers" must be activated as quickly as possible, perhaps making an offer that rewards urgency (first to start = more chances to earn rewards).

Therefore, where deadlines are concerned, the activation of this voucher cannot go beyond the first week of January, to capitalize on the month of January and not drag out any further commercial mechanics into the following month, where it’s likely you will need new ones anyway.
Thanks to new kinds of unconventional communication and the use of technology, today more than ever, even a month traditionally difficult as December can be transformed into a great opportunity.
Fortunately, the fitness market is also growing, and people are becoming increasingly aware of the obligatory nature of physical activity and the undoubted benefits associated with it.

Despite the fact that we always turn to an unmotivated audience, we can try to involve people, in the wake of this increased awareness, even playing on less commercial and more fun mechanics, aggregation and internal challenges. These can be in the form of themed challenges or even creating leader boards where the top clients receive access to the most coveted benefits or rewards.

In any case, the most important factor at play to achieve success for these kinds of campaigns is the timeliness of them.
More so than in other months, where the campaign has to be defined 10 or 15 days before, December must already be planned at least a month earlier involving all comms, staff resource and so on.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is our motto.

Objectives must be realistic and quantifiable, such as, the number of new subscribers, number of phone calls received, how many appointments are booked and how many repeat subscriptions have been made.
Never forget the main objective, namely the promotion of physical activity, the education of a territory to combat sedentary activity through the ease of carrying out a training program, the ability to reach a goal with a little effort and above all the fun you can experience in improving your life.
These are the ingredients, this is the conviction and this is the vision from which to start to make any campaign functional, creative and captivating.

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