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Entries in Douglas Miller (1)


Best Practices: Membership Promotions that Produce the Best Results 

The following post was written by Douglas Miller for our Best Practices series. 

Question: Which sorts of special membership promotions tend to produce the best results?

Douglas Miller: Generally, I recommend that clubs run specials on their enrollment fees, monthly dues, or annual prepaid memberships. I don’t recommend that they reduce their monthly dues, except with corporate accounts. Nor do I suggest that they offer two-for-the-price-of-one annual memberships.

Today, clubs are making use of their enrollment fee as an incentive in one of two ways: 

  1. They’re offering prospects the chance to obtain a full refund on their enrollment fee if they use the club a minimum of eight times during the first month of their membership. This promotes retention by training them to use the club. Normally, about 70% of the new members will get their money back.
  2. Clubs also are allowing prospects to forego the full enrollment fee if they commit to a 12-month—as opposed to a month-to-month—membership. 

Another promotion involves distributing a special trial membership pass for either seven or 12 days. The prospect can then cash it in for a credit towards the cost of membership, for either seven or 12 times the daily fee—depending on when they redeem it. This is a countdown promotion; they could, for example, save $100 if they cashed it in immediately, or lose $10 in credit each day they wait.

While every business is different, I normally try to wean my clients off of “specials,” and onto a well-trained staff that can sell the product. 

Douglas Miller
Sales Makers International
Suffolk, United Kingdom