Personal training referral programs are a great way to unlock more value from your members and grow your membership base. They’re a great promotional strategy for trainers with both big and small client bases, because people value recommendations from friends and family. They want suggestions on where to go and what to try, including the best local personal trainers.
To make sure your referral campaign is as successful as possible, you need to plan ahead. Just remember: Keep it simple! After all, according to research by Nielsen Insights, 84% of people trust a recommendation when it comes from someone they know.
The Right Incentives For Your Existing Members
The first secret to a successful referral campaign is choosing the right incentives for your existing members. They’re the people who will be driving all your referrals, and you want to encourage them to talk to as many of their friends and family as possible.
And if you’re asking them to do something for you, you need to give your members something in return. An incentive that makes them want to refer your training services to others.
Think about what your members will most like – consider reviewing the data you have available within your personal trainer software to identify relevant trends. What will help retain them and build their loyalty? The top personal training referral incentives are:
- Free products, including wholesale products or gear
- Free paid-for activities, such as fitness assessments
- Free membership months, like one month free per new member referredPage Break
The Right Rewards For New Members
You’ll also need to make sure signing up for your personal training is an attractive option to new prospects. There’s likely to be a lot of competition in your local area, and a referral from a friend won’t be enough on its own to convince someone to join.
You’ll need to offer them a reward to sign up. It’s best to focus these on the barriers that prevent people from joining a new health and fitness club.
- Discount the joining fee if they’re referred by a friend or offer a free month
- Offer free gear, including bags, trainers, towels or workout clothes
- Give free inductions and free introductory personal training sessions to help anyone unsure ease into a training program
When it comes to referral programs, the bigger the reward, the better. If a client refers a friend to you, and that friend purchases at least 5 sessions, they receive 5 sessions as a reward.
Your PT business will join the roster of potential meetup locations the next time these friends want to do something fun together. Ultimately, the hope is that your new PT business convert will then invite one of their friends, and so begins the lucrative domino chain that is an effective referral program.
Know the Promo Inside and Out
One other often overlooked secret to a successful membership referral campaign is making sure you or your team of coaches knows it like the back of your hand. You should know every detail, inside out, so it’s second nature to recite it to a prospect.
You should encourage your clients to refer their friends and family at every opportunity, and there shouldn’t be any issues with tracking those referrals. There are a few ways to distinctly know where your referrals are coming from.
- Promo Codes: Set up members with unique codes they can give to family and friends for exclusive discounts. This will also tell you exactly which of your clients are bringing in new referrals.
- Tagged Links: This one is a bit more complicated, but if you integrate Google Analytics into your website, you can create uniquely tagged links to see which source (email, social media, website, etc.) referrals are coming in from.
- TrueCoach: Use TrueCoach’s email notification feature to notify clients of the referral program, share details.
Shout Your Referral Program From The Rooftops
The next step is to spread the word about your membership referral program. You’ve put the effort into planning all the details, so now you need to make sure everyone knows about it.
The secret here is making sure you don’t miss an opportunity or a marketing channel. Focus on:
- Email & text message: cost-effectively send a blast out to opted-in members with a clear call to action
- Printed marketing materials: distribute to members and put up throughout your clubs
- Social media: shout about your referral campaign on all your social channels to attract interest
- On your website: advertise your refer-a-friend offers online, so existing members see them whenever they’re booking a session or managing their membership
Whenever a new member signs up for your services, part of their welcome pack should include all the details about your referral plan. You could even use your software to email or text new starters at set times during their first month, encouraging them to bring their friends and family.
This works especially well if you offer a free month for successfully referring a friend. You could tell new members they could get their whole first year free if they refer 12 friends!
This is where a personal trainer software such as TrueCoach comes in to regularly promote referrals to existing members. Send a regular notification each month to remind them about the benefits of referring friends and family.
Keep It Simple And Streamlined
Finally, you’ll always want to make sure your referral campaign is as simple and streamlined as possible. If you bring in multiple membership rewards, a range of incentives and several strategies, you’ll overcomplicate the process. It’ll be confusing to existing members, new prospects, and any other coaches on your team. As a result, referrals will fall.
No one wants to spend time and effort on a complicated referral process. It’s too much hard work. That’s why you need to keep your referral campaign as streamlined as possible, minimizing the hoops members have to jump through and the details they need to fill in.
It’s also why…
The biggest secret to running a successful referral campaign is efficient automation.
Where your team doesn’t need to constantly think about encouraging members to refer-a-friend and where it’s super simple for your members to make those referrals.
Those campaigns are built on automation, on efficient client management software that can automatically email or text members to remind them to refer their friends and family.
It makes for an easy, hassle-free process for everyone. No difficulties for members. No confusion for your coaches. No barriers to joining for new prospects. Just a highly effective and successful referral campaign, all year round.
Wrapping Up: A Few Trips For Promotion Referrals
- Don’t make it feel like you’re just trying to make more money;
do make it about building the community.
- Make it rewarding for your current customers to reward in some way—
perhaps they don’t get anything but their friends and family get free sessions.
- Make it feel special. It’s a privilege customers get to share with VIP friends once a month. Train them to think about it each month so they are already primed to refer!
- Use your digital real-estate to promote referrals—consider a homepage takeover to promote it.
- Build a consistent message and visual campaign promoting your referral on your website, in session, on social, and in emails.
- Help your customers get to their referral link to their network.
Interested in learning more about what TrueCoach can do for you?
Why not give TrueCoach a try to help manage your days? Whether you want to sign up for our Xplorer Plan, which is free forever and lets you manage one client, or want to try a commitment-free 14-day free trial of a paid plan, we’re ready to help you get started.
Plus, with TrueCoach’s exclusive Partner Perks, get exclusive offers with your favorite products, tools, and certifications and pass them along to your clients. Stack the discounts on referral programs to drive even more referrals back to your business!