Friday, 22 October 2010

New Year – Old Members

Right now, many clubs are planning their New Year sales campaigns, and hopefully it’s going to be one of the busiest Januarys ever. Many existing members also come back in the New Year though, so work out how you’re going to recognise them, and make them feel just as special as your new members.

It’s important to focus on the new members and get their journey right (whether or not they’re paying an induction fee). However, the members who are coming back may have already paid 12 months or more, so why not have a returning member journey, programme & goal review.

If you can, set up a trigger/flag/reminder in your system for any member who has not visited for a few months, so that when they do visit, you get a reminder to talk to them. Know the outcome you want from the interaction; whether it’s to try and offer a review, get them on a ‘return journey’ or simply to make them feel welcome. Find out what’s prompted them to come back, record this information, and track their visits and/or progress for the next few weeks.

This practice is especially important in January, but is also valid when a site re-opens. The new members often get treated like royalty, but respect and spend time with your existing members with their New Year’s resolutions, or uncertainty about the new kit. Sure it’s going to be busy, but second chances don’t come along often, so when they do, you’ve got to grab them!