Black Friday, a.k.a. the day after Thanksgiving and the unofficial start to holiday shopping season, falls on November 24 this year. With just a few weeks left before the holiday, this is the perfect time for your studio to encourage sales and gifting by offering discounts on everything from membership to merchandise. With customers both looking for the best deals of the year and trying to stay active during the holidays, this is a prime time to get people jazzed to workout. Here are five ideas to help your studio or gym seize the moment!

Offer a Deep Discount on Classes

This is no time for a 10 percent discount. Black Friday is about killer deals–the kind that’ll get newbies to try you out and members to buy more because the savings are that big. If you can, offer 30 to 35 percent off at a minimum or slash prices by a dollar amount that adds up to at least $50 on a block of classes.

Paul Michael Rahn, founder and CEO of SWEAT in Chicago, is offering his best deal of the season on Black Friday. “This year, similar to the past, we are offering the cheapest deal on Friday: 10 classes and one retail item for $190 (normally $250),” Rahn says. “Small Business Saturday is 5 classes for $69, and Cyber Monday is buy one get one on individual classes so buy one class at $25 and get one free.”

Once you’ve crafted your deal, make sure to market it as a Black Friday Flash Sale to create urgency around a purchase.

Once you’ve crafted your deal, make sure to market it as a Black Friday Flash Sale to create urgency around a purchase. Offer your deepest discount on Black Friday and extend a form of the deal through Sunday.

Invite Newbies to Try Your Studio or Gym for Free

Chances are your studio offers a free class to anyone who wants to try you out all year. On Black Friday, you’ll need to significantly sweeten that deal by encouraging folks to workout for free for a week or even two. Market your offer on Black Friday weekend as an opportunity to give newbies half-off their first month of membership, which amounts to two weeks of free workouts. If you can swing it, go a step further by offering a free month of membership on Black Friday only with a paid 6- or 12-month membership.

Amanda Cort, owner of Xtend Barre Newbury Street in Boston, offered a successful half-off your first month of membership deal last year. “We did a Black Friday sale [because] people are usually shopping around this time of year so it’s a no brainer,” says Cort. “Some are looking to get a jumpstart on their New Year’s fitness resolutions and a one-month discount at Xtend always proves successful and gets people hooked.” 

Slash Prices on Studio and Gym Merchandise

Members can never have enough pieces in their athleisure wardrobe and Black Friday is a great time to offer deals on yoga pants, leggings, hoodies, tank tops, beanies and more. Make sure your discount is at least 30 percent off or offer a buy one piece and get the second at half-price deal.

Show off your trendiest athleisure on social media in the week leading up to Black Friday. Get instructors and your most loyal members to model your most popular tanks and tees on Instagram so members know about the deal before they walk into the studio. If you can, offer an even deeper discount to early birds who come to your first class after Thanksgiving. Give early risers 40 to 50 percent off your most popular T-shirt or tank until noon.

Plan a Black Friday Workout Event

The average American takes in up to 4,500 calories (yup, you read that right) from the apps, dinner and dessert that come with an all-day Thanksgiving feast, according to research from the Calorie Control Council. And that’s why the morning after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to plan a custom workout to burn those bad boys.

Give your one-time only class a special name like Black Friday Burn and get a few instructors involved so they can teach as a group. Consider extending the class time to 90 minutes instead of the usual 60 and incorporate a few mini workouts into one. In the two weeks leading up to Black Friday, ask members to bring a friend and pledge to workout the morning after to burn off the bird.

Invite newbies to come to your Black Friday workout event for free. Once they’re in the studio, offer them a deal on their first month of membership, if you can swing it. No matter what you decide, remember to reward current members for their loyalty since they’re the backbone of your business. Say thanks by offering them a discount on a block of classes or membership fees.

Add on Freebies for Anyone Who Buys

Most studios have a healthy stock of promotional items like water bottles and protein shakers on hand. Take inventory of what you have and offer a deal that makes the most financial sense for you. For example, offer a free water bottle or protein shaker with any type of purchase that adds up to $100 or more. Giving out merch with your studio’s branding is not only a win for members but it also markets your studio in a grassroots way.

“I love offering value driven deals such as these packages that are great at getting clients in your door but also walking out wearing something with your branding on it marketing your business to the world,” says Rahn. “It’s been a great revenue builder each year as well as a super easy gift that our current members love to give to friends and family around the holidays which creates instant loyalty in the new clients as they come with their friends and family too.”

 

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