In the previous two articles of the series, we’ve explored the real impact lockdown had on fitness operator revenues.
Led by insights from roundtable discussions with facility owners across the sector, our main finding is that following an initial surge of pent-up demand, membership rates are already hitting a ceiling. One that’s much lower than pre-lockdown levels and will have a big impact on cash flow.
It’s still a turbulent and unpredictable time to be trading in. One that’s going to require new strategies to clear the hurdles COVID19 has put in the way of business growth.
Operators recognise the need to reach new customers and to increase awareness of how their facilities can support a modern fitness routine. One that includes a hybrid of both physical and digital workouts. This is the number one fitness trend for 2021 as recently predicted by Health Club Management.
Traditionally, a member acquisition campaign would be led by some sort of price promotion in order to get people through the door and onto the system. It’s a tried and tested technique.
However, during such an economically turbulent time, this strategy is no longer a realistic option for lots of operators.
As per Jamie Owens, the Head of Sales here at Hussle
“Whilst Hussle’s mission has always been to help the industry, I’ve been part of many conversations about the merit of the service. I’ve experienced this from both sides as an operator myself and now working within the business to support our gym partners. I’d imagine most operators in my position have had similar debates over the last few years.
The independently audited whitepaper ‘Aggregation in Fitness’ carried out with Fusion last year revealed two standout things about gym membership that, as a former Head of Membership Sales, really got my attention.
Firstly, 71% of Hussle customers used a gym they wouldn’t otherwise have visited. These customers offer a new revenue stream that operators can access without having to spend any of their own marketing money. That cost and risk falls on Hussle.
Secondly, 26% of Hussle customers go on to join a gym directly. This is an organic area Hussle hasn’t focused on to date. However, the math tells us that the indirect revenue generated by converted members is around x4.5 the direct revenue that we pay gym operators. We want to professionalise the customer journey from Hussle user to direct gym member.
Driven by this insight, Jamie championed the launch of a new Hussle service: The Member Acquisition Programme (MAP). It’s an algorithm-led tool used to identify customers well suited to a direct gym membership. When these customers walk through the door, they’re flagged to operators as a potential membership lead.
Our MAP tool is just the first step towards a fully integrated membership conversion service now being piloted with a number of operators. We’ve penciled it in to launch fully in early 2021 and are looking for operators that want to collaborate on this. Our scale means we are well placed to reach new customers, identify those that require multi-club access versus those that are better suited to a direct gym membership, and then collaborate with our partners to optimise a seamless flow of new members into their business.”
Fitness operators just face the challenge of how they can efficiently take advantage of this. Diversification is what’s needed. Businesses need to open themselves up to new opportunities, dodge the obstacles that are getting in the way, and find new ways to accelerate their growth out of the post-lockdown landscape. This is exactly where Hussle can help.