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Health clubs, New Year’s resolutions, and SMS – a trio for success

Portrait of young women using mobile phone in the gym.

Did you see an increase in your health club enrolment over the last week or so? You probably did because health related goals are always among the most popular resolutions made each year. Motivated by the desire to get fit, lose weight, build muscle, or run that marathon, people pile into clubs in droves come January.

But according to research by Richard Wiseman, most people will give up by January 23rd. Wiseman, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire, predicts that only one in ten will achieve their goal. That’s a sad statistic for both health clubs and for all those people hoping to improve their lives.

You, as their health club, can help them stay on track. You may already offer group programs, or personal training, or other motivational materials, but you also know many people won’t participate. They fear being judged, or the cost of a personal trainer. Just getting themselves into the club that first time is an achievement.

Research has proven many times over the years that people with support groups, or who are held accountable, are more likely to reach their goals. Last year there was a study in the US that said even when people regularly posted the status on their goals to Twitter, their weight loss increased (they lost more weight!). The “support” received from social media enabled people to stick with it longer than they would have all on their own.

So what if you could offer support and encouragement in a similar, but more personal way to your new members? You can of course, by using SMS messaging. And since text messages are delivered right to their mobile, you can be sure they always get the message – unlike an email that may or may not be read.

Here are three examples of messages you can send to help support your new members:

  1. Acknowledge them for coming to the club. For those who don’t usually follow a fitness program, or are just beginning to use the club, it’s a big deal to actually make the time to go. After all, if they don’t show up they’ll never make any progress. Sending an SMS message congratulating them for making it to the club will help them feel proud and recognized for their efforts.
  2. Send reminders to come back. Again, making time to get to the club is an issue when it isn’t yet a habit. In the beginning, sending members reminders to come to the club for their workout can help spur them on. Of course you don’t want to send these messages to those who actually come regularly, but if someone hasn’t come for several days a reminder might help. Or alternatively, you can send them on a schedule chosen by the member themselves.
  3. Offer them rewards. Everyone likes to be rewarded for hard work. And creating a new habit of working out regularly is certainly hard work. Send the new members a special reward after their first full week of attending. Then another maybe after two or three. It can be something as simple as a coupon code for a discounted lunch at a nearby healthy foods café. Or a free water bottle with your logo on it. Maybe you can extend a discount on their club fees if they attend regularly for several months. Whatever it is, your new members will appreciate the free stuff and the recognition of their hard work.

These are all great ideas right? But you’re probably wondering how to make it work for your health club, especially since the new year has already begun. Is it too late? No, it’s not. We have several ways that you can get started today in just a few minutes. If you’re anxious to hear about them, click on our live chat or call us today. And in my next blog I’ll cover the ways health clubs, or any business, can get started using our service to support members the same day you sign up.

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