Creating an effective referral program is one of the most important things you can do as a studio owner. Why? Referring members to your studio generates revenue and increases your overall membership numbers; as such, a studio referral program should be a big part of your overall marketing strategy.

Clients are 4x more likely to join your studio when referred by a friend

This article will tell you how to create, announce, and track a referral program, using the FitGrid Class App as a powerful tool in your referral engine.

Step 1: Create The Program

Ask yourself, “How do I plan to reward my client for their referral?” Then get creative with giveaways: invest in a fun branded reward (think t-shirts, protein shakers, etc.) that will keep clients referring. Loyal studio clients love having a fresh piece of branded fitness gear. It personifies satisfaction and belonging.

“I would be willing to give away ____ in exchange for a new client” (fill in the blank)

For online trainers using digital referral programs, class credits work best. You definitely want to incorporate the FitGrid Class app to make referring effortless. Setting up a FitGrid Reward Class is a great way to incentivize your current clients to “gift” a class at your studio to a friend. The FitGrid Class App Resource Library is full of great ideas and easy-to-follow templates that will help you utilize and gain momentum around the FitGrid Class App.

Create and announce a quarterly contest! The client with most referrals to sign up signup wins big

When designing your referral program, simplicity is key. One example would be to build a challenge where the most referrals in 30 days wins a prize. Keep the rules simple and make them clear to avoid any confusion that might lead to disinterest. No one has time for a complicated, time-consuming referral program!

Action Items

  1. Identify the rewards

  2. Setup your Rewards class

  3. Kickoff with referrals challenge

Step 2: Announce the program

Now that you’ve created your program, it’s time to announce it to your staff and your clients. When creating your announcements, remember to utilize multiple channels. Don’t just assume your members will know what’s going from random hit-or-miss social media posts.

For maximum impact (eg. highest number of new clients) be sure to announce it everywhere

Use our FitGrid Member Insights to segment clients by their willingness to connect with others. Clients who see themselves as “extroverted” may view themselves as a brand ambassador of sorts, while clients who see themselves as “introverted” may refer in a different way.

FitGrid Member Insights Service

Action Items: Make sure all your clients and members are personally invited and encouraged to participate. Develop a marketing emphasis for each of the following channels:

  1. Word-of-mouth (in-person and digital)

  2. In-house communication: newsletter, email, SMS

  3. Use your instructors to share with class

  4. Social media

Step 3: Track the program

When your program is officially launched, track the results and be willing to make adjustments to the program to achieve your desired results. Use Mindbody to track the redemption of FitGrid reward classes, and use FitGrid to identify your top referrers. You want to know which of your clients are churning out the most referrals and thank them profusely for their support of your business.

Action Item:

  1. Run a Sales by Service Report in Mindbody

  2. Select FitGrid Rewards Class

  3. See All Signups

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