Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Thank Yous & Congratulations! Why are new member communications so important

We've been focusing a lot lately on absentees and how you can get recently absent members back into the club. But as we approach the New Year, we want to ensure all of your new members are engaged and stick around as long as possible.

The face-to-face interaction such as a good welcome session and setting goals with a new member are really key (for a full service club) to engage with new members. It's also critical to get the new member communication journey right, whether you're running a traditional or budget club. There are loads of reasons why, here are our top three. Please add yours in the comments below, and we'll include them next month:

Say Thanks and Congratulations

The new member has just bought something from you. So say thank you.
That Direct Debit confirmation email doesn't count (even if you've tailored the text to say thank you)! As a new member signs up, the very least you can do is to send a thank you message. While you’re there, congratulate them on making such a good choice by joining your club. You can congratulate them again at a significant milestone, say the end of the first month (more on this next time).

Recap what you told them

A lot of what is said on the welcome session goes in one ear and out the other, even with the best instructors. One way to improve the process is to use the three tells:

  1. Tell them what you're going to tell them
  2. Tell them
  3. Tell them what you've told them

Another (more sure-fire) way is to recap all the key information in a couple of emails, once the new member has made a couple of visits. There's lots to tell them; classes, refer a friend, exercise programme reviews, challenges, and all your other member benefits and perks. Yes, you've just sold them a membership, but keep on selling, as that's a great way to make sure they keep coming back for more!

Ask how they’re doing

A quick new member survey can give you great insights into what's going well (or badly) in your on-boarding process. Ask whether the member would refer a friend based on the join process; if they say yes, send a refer a friend voucher or guest pass. Ask if they've already done a fitness class, or would consider trying a class; if they would try one, send a class voucher… you get the idea. Surveys (quick ones) are good, because they create a two way interaction, rather than just a one way information send.

What’s the most important reason that you send new member messages, and how do you send them?
Please add your thoughts in the comments below.

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